Monday, February 29, 2016

Romeo and Juliet and The Foreigner in Rep, Spring 1993

Two plays done in a three week rep plus a tour to a local high school. 

Fun had by all, details to follow.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Dec 1992

Text coming soon.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Buried Child, 1992

The 1991-92 season was very successful for our program.
The productions were all large in scale and drew a record number of audience members.
At that time we had a good core of technical students plus hard working other students and staff who all worked hard in the building, painting, lighting, sewing and running the plays.

The 1992-93 would also turn out to be an exciting and successful season which again offered us some very demanding problems to overcome.
The season began with Buried Child by Sam Shepard in the fall and the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in the December slot.
We tried something new in the spring by doing both of our productions in repertory of three weeks instead of the usual two.
The two shows in Rep were  Romeo and Juliet and  The Foreigner.
If just mounting the two shows at the same time was not crazy enough we toured Romeo and Juliet to a Rochester high school during the middle of the run.

The production of Buried Child was performed on a large unit set that did not have one right angle.

The raked stage floor ran diagonally upstage and the walls leaned in at various angles.
Even the door, which was over-sized, was lopsided and was custom made.
It is all the various challenges of a show like this that makes it fun to work on.
I would spend many hours at the drafting board trying to figure out just how to make something work only to change it later because it did not look right or the designer or my assistant had a better idea.

(Note: I would begin to use Auto-CAD by the end of that season but at the time of this show I still used my T-Square and pencils. Cad does make everything easier but I miss the satisfaction I got from hand drafting.)

 One night during the rehearsal of the play and actor almost died.
The actor playing the father was a very large man and spend much of the play slumped over next to a couch.
At one of the breaks in the rehearsal they crew found that the actor was passed out and not breathing very well.
Fortunately the actor recovered the show went on without further incident.

* * *

Thursday, December 31, 2015


I have learned that I am not ready for retirement and that I am very bored and miss working on plays and teaching my students.

I will still be out of work for a while and hope to get back to working on my Blog, but to be honest I have not felt in the mood but need to force myself to start writing again and keep the mind sharp.

Hope everyone has a Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year ! ! ! !

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Things Change

Over the past five years I have enjoyed writing my Blog and have tried to write on a regular schedule but work on current productions would often get in the way of my retelling of shows of the past.
My resent gap in writing has been caused by several health issues.
Two and a half years ago I found out that I had prostate cancer.
After talking with several doctors and a visit to Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo I decided to opt for surgery.
Although I had lost fifty pounds in years the doctors wanted me to lose more weight before they would operate.
I had hit a plateau and could only lose a few more pounds.

My PSA numbers continued to raise and my regular doctor suggested that something needed to be done sooner then latter and this past summer I decided to try radiation therapy.
Not wanting to have to drive to Buffalo every day I saw a doctor at the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong hospital on Rochester only twenty minutes away.
After new rounds of blood tests, cat scans and bone scans it was offered to me that radiation therapy plus hormone therapy would be a good option for me.
In July I received the first of six monthly shots that would help shrink back the cancer.
The drug has several side effects but not too bad on its own.

On September 8th I began my radiation therapy and finished my last treatment today as I write this post.
I wanted things to be normal and choose to keep working at the college and work on the first show of the semester.
Things went well but as time went on I started to feel the effects of the drug and radiation and it got harder to work on the production.

After struggling to get the show done I decided that I would use some of my sick days and take a leave from the college.
If it was just the radiation therapy I might not needed to take off buy I also have a very bad arthritic hip that needs to be replace.
The hormone drug plus the ongoing effects of radiation sapped my strength and made it harder to do my job.
So I plan to take three to six months off and take care of my health.

I already miss working but know that I have to get better before I can effectively get back to work.
I expect now that I will have more free time I can get back to Blog, but we will have to see.
The staff at both hospitals were both great.
What was unexpected to me was meeting some incredible brave and strong fellow patients.
I met people who were much sicker than I ever was but these people were always upbeat, full of life and fighting their cancer as hard as they could.
These people helped me never to feel sorry for myself.

I have one more hormone shot in a month and will have blood test in February to see how it has all worked out.
I will let you all know what happens.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Geoffrey E. Guja

As we come to the fourteenth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 I think it is important to take a moment to remember all of the heroes that we lost that day. 

I am concerned the my freshmen college students are too young to truly remember that day. 

I recently asked my college freshmen if they remembered 9/11 and some they said that they did, but they were only about 4 years old at the time. 

Soon we will have a generation who does not remember the world before that day and it is important for those of us who do remember the pre-9/11 world to tell them what really happened that day.  

I found out a few years ago that I had once met one of those heroes almost forty years ago while I was still in college.

He was the twin brother of one of my friends and I enjoyed a few beers and some laughs with him during a visit to Buffalo.

* * *
Please take a minute to remember him and all of those who we lost on 9/11.

Geoffrey E. Guja

Age: 47

Hometown: Lindenhurst, N.Y., USA

Occupation: Firefighter, New York Fire Department

Location: Ground, World Trade Center

Original 9/11 memorial in Brockport, NY

* * *