Civil War Reenactment

welcomeI’ve never been to a reenactment before, and it was as delightfully nerdy as I pictured. The Rotary Club of Moorpark puts on a reenactment each year and it is the largest annual Civil War battle reenactment west of the Mississippi. I was ready to see people in full regalia and historical garb and experience life in the 1860s!

The reenactment was on a dirt field which only enhanced the authenticity of the time period. Local food vendors were set up as well as tents of people selling goods, historic clothing, antiques, and more. We arrived just in time for the battle and had front row bleacher seats. The battle reenactment served as a summary of the Civil War battles, not any one battle in particular, and had hundreds of actors riding horseback, firing canons, and ultimately, shooting at each other. There was a marching band, an announcer detailing the play-by-play of the war, and of course there were the Blue and the Gray. Continue reading

Author Garth Stein at Camarillo Reads 2015

I enjoy living in an area that puts on really cool community events. I participated again in Camarillo Reads, a city-wide book club where we read one novel and then see the author speak at the library. Last year’s novel was Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford and I covered it on the blog. I was a little late to the game this year, but I was able to finish the book on time and go to the talk and book signing.

This year’s was book was The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It is a novel told in the perspective of a dog. While the premise seems light-hearted, the book actually deals with heavy themes such as family, loss, and what it means to be human. The book has a lot of metaphors for life. The main (human) character is a racecar driver. His life is about being able to race in the rain – being able to carry on through hardship. The narrator, Enzo, is his dog whose soul is remarkably human and who cares very much for his owner. Continue reading

Author Jamie Ford at Camarillo Reads

20140330_135939This post is going to be a little different than usual. I decided not to have a creative writing element and instead focus on the event I attended.

Camarillo Reads is a program the local library puts on once a year where the whole city reads one book and meets together to discuss it. It’s like a city-wide book club. This year, the book featured was Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford. And I got to see Jamie Ford speak on his book!

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‘Into the Woods’ at Hillcrest Center for the Arts

Into the Woods

When I saw that one of my favorite musicals was going to be performed in Thousand Oaks, I just had to go.

Into the Woods, written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, was put on by Young Artists Ensemble and held inside the black box theatre at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts. Hillcrest Center is nestled on the side of a hill that overlooks Thousand Oaks and provides a stunning view. The Conejo Recreation & Park District sits alongside the Center for the Arts.

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Rogue Artists Ensemble’s ‘Songs of Bilitis’

bilitis-poster-small-665x1024Sensual: the senses being fully engaged. Sexual: of or pertaining to sex.

Songs of Bilitis exists in the realm between these two words.

I had the pleasure of enjoying yet another one of Rogue Artists Ensemble’s amazing productions, performed at the Bootleg Theater in LA, making this post both a journalism article and a theater review. Songs of Bilitis is about a French poet named Pierre Louÿs (played by Christopher Rivas) whose muse comes to him while he is traveling in Algeria around the turn of the century. It is the true story about a writer who wrote a counterfeit erotic book of poetry, claiming he was translating it from the Greek. Rogue’s signature use of masks, puppetry, and multimedia was demonstrated in their performance just as strongly as in their previous ones I have seen. The way they use sound and video projection is so innovative and translates beautifully onto the stage. I enjoyed how comfortable the cast was with their bodies and I loved the fluidity of the movement and the organic and raw nature of the performance. They captured the life of a tormented poet from the past so elegantly and with such emotion that it surpassed theater and entered the hearts of the audience.

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