At Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum, Vivi joined fellow thespians (ages 7-12) in the Museum's 2007 Camp Carlos five-day utopian world gone awry, learning difficult lines and life lessons — that even a perfect world has its problems. Actor and storyteller Julia Prittie directed about 20 campers in a children’s adaptation of Aristophanes' (c. 448-380 B.C.E.) The Birds.
In this lively, bird feather- and toga-filled comedy, the minimalist costumed cast of assorted birds, deities, and three-voice Greek chorus declaimed loudly and enunciated clearly (at times prompting each other when a line or word went AWOL).
One bright child, whose dyslexia made it all but impossible to learn lines on such short notice, turned a challenge into a starring role as the gold-coins-turned-goat, hopping and neighing with handheld "shield" — a feathered goat-puppet!
How can anyone, even young children, perform brilliantly after only three days' preparation?
- A gutsy seasoned director with an effective stage whisper
- Cue cards the size of some of the actors
- Well-rehearsed thespians who went to bed three nights with big lines on little lips
So I say, bring on more Greek classics! Most of the core issues shed light and humor on human follies as the dramatists hold up mirrors to audiences — mirrors more than 2500 years old and reflecting back to us brilliantly today.