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Safe Haven

 

 

I had none.

School, where children

bullied relentlessly

was an escape from home.

Church, which was

supposed to be a place

of sanctuary

and worship was instead

another battleground.

Home was a confusing

mess of lies

and emotional abuse

for years.

 

At home,

my grandparents

didn’t believe I was being

treated badly

on all fronts.

I was shouted at constantly

for doing things

that should’ve been

considered normal.

STOP THAT CRYING

I wanted my mommy.

You’re going to your

father’s.

I wanted my mommy.

 

“Daddy” was someone

I was sent to when

my grandparents wanted

a weekend to themselves.

I repressed my memories

of him,

but they came

flooding back

when I write.

And I have

to keep my head

down

to stop them.

 

My mother, I wouldn’t

see for months at a time.

My mommy took me to Starbucks

for hot chocolate.

My mommy took me doll

shopping.

What did you do with yours?

Nothing. I didn’t see her.

MOMLESS CRYBABY!

Momless crybaby!

 

School was a fucking

nightmare.

Classes were easy,

socializing was hard.

Everyday I sat beside

someone who made fun

of me.

Made fun of:

My lisp

My being over sensitive

Being friendsless

Being awkward

Being bisexual

 

Bisexuality is not a fucking choice!

 

Church made accusations.

You’re a sinner:

for being a child

for not fitting in

for having a talent

for having no talent

for caring for schoolwork

for being bullied

for being on the lowest rung

for being a girl

for being gay or bi

And you’re going to Hell.

 

My peers eventually

stopped bullying

me.

I guess a black

eye and split lip

is enough to

change minds.

The church kept

going.

My grandparents

noticed me getting

a mind of my own,

a sign of

growing up.

 

They cracked down.

Hard.

Eventually they gave

up forcing me to church.

 

I have a safe haven now.

 

It is not in my mind

or my heart.

Those still need

healing.

 

My safe haven

are two, strong

arms holding me tight,

belonging to the man

whose ring I wear;

My friends who

noticed my changes

and helped me accept them;

Hollins University where

the grass grows green,

the teachers like Charlotte

Matthews and Lawrence

Wayne Markert are these

epic, supporting people, and

where the new friends I’ve

made—like Patty, Lauren, Lucretia,

and Shoshana—know

how to love like sisters.

 

I have found my safe haven

and I hope I can be one

for my baby.


The Art of Escape

Ask me to enunciate

and I will try.

My lisp hinders me,

but I hope it intrigues.

 

Singing drinking songs

erases my lisp,

but Spring brings

it back for a visit.

 

Allergies are an enigma

that cannot be sated.

I hope you can see

that black hole.

 

I’m going to jump

through.

Abracadabra.


A Moment in Time

Kristin stared at the television, confused by what she saw. There was some sort of cheerleading movie on and while it appealed to the girly-ness of her character, it also frightened her a little. She quickly switched to BBC America where Doctor Who had already started. Matt Smith was running around with the Doctor’s new companion. Kristin enjoyed her. The girl reminded her of a souffle that was just about done. It still needed to peculate in the oven, but it would be perfect when finished. Her phone vibrated, surprising her enough to launch her in the air. Cursing silently to herself, she hoped her mother wasn’t faking her out again.

 

 

“Honey its me! Bye!”

 

 

God, was she tired of it. She looked at caller ID. 555-5555 She answered, holding the phone to her ear as she turned the volume to the Christmas Special down.

 

“Hey, Kristin! Its us!”

 

“I know! Oh goodness. Okay, so I’m not really sure what’s going on right now in my life,” she sighed, falling back on the bed. After talking to her friends, J and David, she realized that she wished she could be in the same room, discussing the Christmas Special together.


Harley Quin

Don’t you dare try and leave

I have something up my sleeves

An ace of clubs and a fist

Tells you something’s missed

 

Black and red jumpsuit

Complete with matching boots

Give me a fight with black

Pigtails holding my hair back

 

My love’s hair of bean green

Cannot hide his form of lean

Avoid the gas he sprays

For your laughter will burst into a blaze

 

A hammer in hand with a grin

I’ll knock you into a rubbish bin

Give me something to cool in a pan

To defeat the Batman.l


Sleep and Dreams

Like a hunter,

it creeps up on you

to try and take

you to a new world

 

It laughs at your pain

and brings about the nightmares

that make you scream

 

But it doesn’t do all bad

 

Sometimes it gives you hope

and brings you the one thing

you desire most

 

Sleep wraps itself around you

like a blanket

that has all the good

and the bad.


Zelda Fichandler

Dominant Voice in Regional Theatre

Zelda Fichandler has been honored with the creation of the award named after her. She was a dominant voice in regional theatre whose company was mixed race. Fichandler started three theatres and excelled in a variety of subjects.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Zelda Fichandler was a dominant voice in the regional theatre movement in the 1950’s. Her work includes oeping a stage with a mixed-race resident company during “a time when the National Theatre closed its doors rather than integrate” (Glabraith). Arena Stage was planned and built with a classmate, starting from an abandoned movie house to its permanent home as two parts-the Arena and the Kreeger (Fichandler). Fichandler’s company was the first to have toured the Soviet Union and “Arena won the first regional Tony Award” (Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance: Zelda Fichandler).

Childhood

Fichandler was born in Boston and was raised in Washington, D.C. since she was four. She was Helga in Helga and the White Peacock when she was eight and when she was eleven she won an essay contest in the Washington Star on how she wanted “’to be different people.’ It wasn’t really to be famous or rich, I said, but it was to show people ‘what other people could be like’” (Fichandler). Her father died without ever seeing the Arena and Fichandler says that “I don’t think he knew that I was going to land in theatre.”

Schooling

Zelda went to Cornell where she excelled in piano and learned Russian. She made money translating Russian to English. She read Chekhov and took classes about Soviet civilization. It was a class when Edward Mangum said to her, “Do you all know that the professional theatre in America consists of [ten] blocks on Broadway and nothing more? Touring shows, a lot of community theatre, nonprofessional. How does this sound to you? How does this seem to you” (Fichandler).

Profession

In Washington they found an abandoned movie house that the converted into a 247-seat arena. Mangum and Fichandler had to raise $15,000 dollars to renovate the old movie house. “There was this economic  fallacy which we bought into—that it would be cheaper because it didn’t have flats and drops” (Fichandler).

They started planning their permanent location while they were in their second “home” called the Old Vat by their costume designer, Jane  planning their permanent location while they were in their second “home” called the Old Vat by their costume designer, Jane Stanhope. She had just been to England and seen the Old Vic and so name it the “Old Vat” because it was a “brewery and there were all these beer-making kettles lying around” (Fichandler). Mangum was intrigued with the arena stage because he saw Margo Jones’. “[I]t  was the intimacy of the form that caught his imagination” (Fichandler).  The Old Vat sat 500 people and was not air-conditioned. They were there for five years (Fichandler).

In October of ’61 the Arena was built and in 1970 the Kreeger joined it. “I prefer the Arena. I think I can do anything in there and it invites a more expressionistic, a more poetic discovery of the play” (Fichandler). In 1973 the company toured the Soviet Union.  She realized that “you can’t do everything in the Arena” because of one of the plays she saw there (Fichandler). “So the Kreeger serves its purpose,” Zelda Fichandler says. “It allowed us also to do plays where only 500 people a night need come, instead of 832, so maybe we could do our riskier plays in there” (Fichandler). In 1990 she stepped down from the Arena to be the “director of New York University’s graduate acting programme” (Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance: Zelda Fichandler).

The Arena won a Tony in 1976. In 1968 her production of The Great White Hope was “the first regional theatre to transfer a show to Broadway” (Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance: Zelda Fichandler).

The Fichandler Award

The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society created the Zelda Fichandler Award.  It was established “to recognize an outstanding director or choreographer who is making a unique and exceptional contribution to the theatre through work in the regional arena” (Stage Directors and Choreographers). The first recipient  was “Jonathan Moscone of California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California” (Stage Directors and Choreographers).

Conclusion

Zelda Fichandler’s accomplishments as a director and a woman is best described by the woman herself. “I get asked quite a bit why women excel at running theatres. I don’t think that’s so much the case [anymore]. In the beginning of the movement, maybe, but I think there are more men than women now. Perhaps ‘we girls’ started our own because men wouldn’t hire us, didn’t trust us as leaders, or to manage money” (Fichandler). “As the director/producing director of Arena, Mrs. Fichandler has directed more than 50 plays herself” (Sweeney). These include The Crucible by Arthur Miller, The Seagull by Chekhov, and A Doll House which was written by Henrik Ibsen (Sweeney).

 

 

 

Works Cited

Faculty Directory. n.d. November 2012. <http://gradacting.tisch.nyu.edu/object/FichandlerZ.html&gt;.

Fichandler, Zelda. Zelda Fichandler is the founder and long-time producing director of Washingon, D.C.’s Arena Stage. She currently heads the graduate school of acting at New york University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She served as TCG president from 1993 to 1995. 2001. November 2012. <http://www.tcg.org/publications/at/2001/zelda.cfm&gt;.

Glabraith, Susan. Zelda Fichandler galvanizes artist directors at the Zelda Fichandler Awards. 31 10 2011. November 2012. <http://dctheatrezcene.com/2011/10/31/zelda-fichandler-galvinates-artistic-directorss-at-the-zelda-fichandler-awards/&gt;.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance: Zelda Fichandler. n.d. November 2012. <http://www.answers.com/topic.zelda-fichandler#ixzz2CFPvc9B4&gt;.

Stage Directors and Choreographers. 2012. Novemaber 2012. <http://www.sdcweb.org/foundation/fichandler-award/&gt;.

Sweeney, Louise. Zelda Fichandler Looks for `Main Event’ In Each Play She Directs. 4 April 1990. Article. 26 November 2012.

 


Clara’s letter to herself in 20 years

Dear Clara in 20 years,

 

Please don’t be afraid to let your children explore. Don’t let yourself down for forgetting anything you wanted, what I want now.

Please do the right thing. I have a bad feeling about what the future will hold.

Sincerely,

Clara


Letter to 14-year-old Clara

Dear 14-year-old Clara,

God, what I would do to go back to then. At least to change one thing. Things do get better, but you have to leave that stupid village. Its a bad place for you, Clara. After they killed Father, there was nothing left. You’re old enough to take care of yourself. You just survived an attack from the Raptors. Get the hell out of dodge.

Don’t make the mistakes I did. I stayed, tried to fit in when I knew I couldn’t. Mother found another man and created another family. Don’t get attached to Em. She’ll be fine without you. I know she’s only an infant, but you need to stay away. You’ll get into the Tree Folks if you leave now.

Please think about it.

Sincerely,

Clara


Initiation

“What do I remember from the world blowing up in our faces? What do I remember? The first thing that told us it was happening was the sudden sound of airplane turbines. Airplane turbines that never turned off. They just go on and on as if some psycho has forgotten how to turn them off, but still remembers how to fuel them. Why won’t they stop? WHY WON’T THEY STOP?” the woman on the plasma screen said on a permanent loop. Hollywood had kept its desire for the fucked up and the exploitable. Even their belief in the power of fame couldn’t stop them from deteriorating to the ravaged bunch of animals. Somehow the fucked up tape kept playing on its loop, but with the volume turned up it somehow managed to block out the sound of what she described as an airplane turbine. I’d seen an airplane once. It was in a book that my mum burned for warmth, cooking something we caught hours earlier to eat. Unfortunately, the fire and the stench brought the Raptors after us. I’d escaped without a wound. Mum escaped with all but one limb. A tree branch had taken its place for two months. Then the Raptors got her too.

“Turn that shit off, Crim,” Pal said, running his hand over his machete blade that he was cleaning. I scoffed and turned the television up. The sharp, metallic clanging of a blade hitting the cold, concrete floor was loud enough to cause me to jump despite the volume of both the whirling and the woman’s nearly constantly screaming. I turned in time to see his boots before only the turbine-like noise was left.

“Fuck you,” I grumbled, adjusting my knick-knacks. Ignoring me, Pal’s footsteps walked off into what might have been a kitchen-area. Of course we converted it into a fire-pit to ward off the Raptors.  Fire was the only thing we had to protect ourselves.  Since I knew that if I turned on the Picture Set Pal would send me to the crow’s nest to watch for Raptors as they approach the side of our make-shift fortress that was unprotected, I got up and went to the window. A figure was running towards our home. Grabbing my binoculars from around my neck, held by a leather strap made from the skin of the first Raptor I killed, I watched the red headed man who could have been my brother run towards us. Behind him a dark-haired, light skinned man ran with his long hair bouncing with each stride. Pulling my face away, I picked up my handgun and holstered it before turning to Pal.

“Hey, Pal. Ken’s back,” I said.

“So?”

“Someone is with him.”

“What?” Pal roared, jumping into the room and running out the door that headed to the scaffolding that he uses to target practise. He followed it down to the ground with me on his heels. The man stopped a foot behind Ken when he stopped at the borders to our territory.

“Pal?”

“Ken.”

“What’s wrong?” Ken asked.

“Why is there someone with you?”

“He needs help.”

“You know we can’t afford another mouth. Kern, this is the third time you’ve done this. We can’t keep doing this, Ken,” Pal said, starting his long speech that he’s been practising since he was elected leader by those who were left after the last leader went insane. I allowed my eyes to move to the new arrival. Somewhere in the speech Ken introduced him as Dav. His eyes met mine, but he averted his eyes first, seeming surprised by my green eyes. People claimed I was half Raptor.

I allowed myself to view the surroundings where old, junk vehicles sat rusted and unworkable. My boots brushed against the paper left in the street from the mass chaos that the mobs created. I heard a clink of two pebbles hitting each other and looked back at Dav kicking the rocks around. My eyes caught his foot hitting a rock that zoomed through the window of a junked up Cadillac. Loud, piercing wails caused me to jump a foot off the ground. Pal cursed, pulling his weapon from his belt. I followed suit, as did Ken. Dav stared at us.

We waited, silent with only the constant sound that had been there for as long as I could imagine. A good five minutes later we heard the tale-tell sound of a Raptor Horde, a loud scream, much like a baby crying for his mother. Ken grabbed Dav’s arm and threw him between the three of us as we turned to a position much like the mother triceratops circling the babies to protect them from enemies. The first Raptor crested the hill with a baby-like roar before rushing towards us.

Raptors are monsters that had been human once. Their eyes are emerald green and very humanoid. Their teeth are sharpened from cannibalistic tendencies over the generations and their fingernails have sharpened and lengthened to a deadly point. Their legs have mutated to look like the velociraptors from the books I read as a child right before we burned them. The Raptors didn’t wear clothing and their nude flesh were dark brown from the sun.

“Fuck.”

“How many do y think, Pal?”

“A good two, maybe three hundred.”

“I don’t think I have that many rounds on me, Pal,” I said, taking aim at the first one rushing directly at me.

“That doesn’t matter. Kill enough of ’em and they’ll run.”

“How much will be enough?”

“I don’t know,” Pal admitted. I shot the one I’d been aiming at, killing it. Two replaced it. I missed the next one I aimed at. The gunfire went on until every single gun we had clicked that it was empty. Three of mine laid at my feet and my fourth went empty in my hand. A ring of Raptors stood around us, in a circle. The stare down initiated , no one moved. We stayed like that until Dav, the stranger, jumped in front of me with a mallet and aimed at the first Raptor he saw, beating the living shit out of it. Once it was dead, he stood huffing over its body and looking up at the Horde as if asking who was next. The Raptors looked at each other confused before looking the corpse of the creature left. Dav started towards them, swinging the mallet wide. They turned and ran back the way they came. Pal stepped up to the corpse and prodded it with the butt of his gun.

“Its dead.”

“What’d you wanna do with it?” Ken asked.

“Can’t leave it here. The Raptors’ll return for the feast. Skin the legs and throw the rest of it to the dogs,” Pal said, turning to Dav. “Have you done that before?”

“Yes, sir.”

Ken picked up the corpse and carried it to the fenced in area towards the side of our fortress. Dav and Pal stared at each other for what seemed like forever.

“Believe it or not, that was our initiation. I guess you don’t have to prove yourself,” Pal said, grinning. Dav responded in kind and the two them started for the building. Pal mentioned a tour or something like that. I allowed my view to go back to the landscape and sighed.


Computer Problems

Glitches, changes in websites.

New formats that come with their

Own problems. Ones that mess

With the videos.

 

Freezing on a page, watching.

Software crashes and sudden

pop-ups. Ads with sound

On videos.

 

Restarting the video

On its own and causing

The browser to freeze.

I don’t want to restart.

 

Flash has crashed again.

And your computer

Just froze. You’ve

Lost everything.