Thursday, May 29, 2014

No Words

We attended a post-show discussion and had the opportunity to ask
Alonso, King of Wales, some questions!
As a regularly excessively expressive person, being rendered speechless is a rare occasion. Yet when asked to describe my experience in Ashland, all I can do is smile and reminisce. Never would I have guessed that leaving Ashland would be so difficult. Never did I imagine I would willingly wake up at 5 AM to go jogging outside-- exercising during a vacation! And yet on the second day of our Ashland adventure, a group of students who normally find it a challenge to wake up at 7 AM for school jogged through the town and into the wilderness of Lithia Park. And had I not left Ashland for a school Band trip to Disneyland, I surely would have sat on one of the Columbia hotel's fluffy couches and refused to leave.

Ashland is a town straight from a novel. The quiet suburban community with a genuine old-town ambiance is a real treat and fresh break from congested concrete jungles. What's not to love about antique book shops, comic shops with impressively varied and affordable merchandise, and food shops ranging from organic ice cream parlors to literally underground restaurants. For the price of a school lunch I could buy a cinnamon role literally the size of my face!

The plays were entertaining and enlightening. Before each performance we had a group session of answering assigned questions pertaining to the work we were about to watch. Afterwards we experienced bafflement, suspense, and laughter from the performances which varied from modern (A Wrinkle in Time), to dramatic (The Tempest), to haunting(The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window), to comedic(Cocoanuts). As expected the actors were very talented, and their skills were especially highlighted in The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window because of the rapidly oscillating emotional extremes. The romantic comedy rapidly deteriorated to tragedy, and as the characters' lives fall apart viewers find themselves just wishing the plunging roller coaster would end. But despite the psychological whiplash, the work was enjoyable and undeniably praiseworthy. Cocoanuts was the only interactive play and a fitting send-off for the music students who left Ashland early to join the music trip to Disneyland. Audience members participated in an "auction" and likely gained a quantity of abdominal muscle from all the jokes and other antics, which kept us laughing even after the trip had ended.

There is not a drop of exaggeration when I say I will definitely return to Ashland. The plays, delectable foods, abundant nature, and tax-free comic books are more than enough to call me back. This has truly changed my life.

Selfie with the Oregon ducks!

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