Monthly Archives: March 2014

Leavenworth Summer Theater 2014 Season

Leavenworth is Washington state’s Bavarian village.  Leavenworth provides shopping and fun for all ages.  It is also the home of Leavenworth Summer Theater.  LST began in 1994, and was started by John and Susan Wagner and Bill Weis.

This summer Leavenworth Summer Theater will be producing three fantastic shows.  Fiddler on the Roof at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery Park Stage, The Drowsy Chaperone at The Festhalle Theater, and their 20th annual production of The Sound of Music at the Ski Hill Amphitheater.

The signature performance of The Sound of Music at the Ski Hill Amphitheater is a wonderful outdoor experience.  Directly behind the stage is a beautiful view of the mountains in the background, creating a wonderful setting for the show.  Sitting under the stars, enjoying the story of the Von Trapp family, and hearing the crickets accompany the show creates an experience like no other.   It is an ideal way to end a fabulous day in Leavenworth.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is based on the true story of the Von Trapp family.  It tells the story of a young postulant, Maria, who is sent by the Reverend Mother of the Nonnberg Abbey to be a governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven children.  She discovers the children don’t know how to sing, and accidentally falls in love with the Captain.

Word has gotten around about this excellent summer evening fun in Leavenworth, and the tickets sell quickly!  To learn more about the theater, the experience, and how to get tickets visit the Leavenworth Summer Theater website.

The Sound of MusicJuly 4, 5, 11, 12, 17, 19, 22, 24, 25, 31 and August 1, 5, 8, 14, 16, 19, 22, 27, 30, 31 at 8:00pm

Fiddler on the RoofJuly 16, 18, 23, 26, 30 and August 2, 7, 9, 12, 15, 20, 23, 26, 29 at 8:00pm

The Drowsy ChaperoneJuly 29, August 6, 13, 21, 28 at 8:00 p.m. and August 2, 9, 16, 23 at 2 p.m.


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Aladdin on Broadway


The classic 1992 Disney film, Aladdin, has been transformed into a magical Broadway musical!  The musical debuted in 2011 at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.  In 2013 it ran a pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto.  On March 20 2014, the musical opened on Broadway in the New Amsterdam Theatre and is enjoying favorable reviews.

Aladdin, of course, is the story of a street urchin who falls in love with a princess.  Unfortunately, she can only marry a prince.  Solution?  Find a magical genie in a lamp that can grant wishes!

The cast includes Adam Jacobs as Aladdin (Broadway: Les Miserables, The Lion King), Jonathon Freeman as Jafar, who is also the voice of Jafar in the film, James Monroe Iglehart as Genie (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and Courtney Heights as Jasmine (In the Heights, Mamma Mia!).  The cast also includes Seattle actors Brandon O’Neill and Don Darryl Rivera.

The cast recording will be released on June 17 2014, and is now available for pre-order.

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A Short Play Scene

This is a short scene written by Victoria L. Smith, in which two characters want the same thing.  A third character plays a role in how it turns out.

“The Coveted Role”

(high school hallway. Leah and Sandra are standing outside an auditorium in the school with sheet music.)

Leah    –           Hey, Sandra.  How are you?

Sandra-           I’m fine.

Leah    –           Are you auditioning for the school musical?

Sandra –           I have always wanted to be Cassie in A Chorus Line.  Now I can.

Leah    –           I am auditioning for Cassie too!

Sandra-           Wonderful, Leah.

Leah    –           I wonder if anyone else is.

Sandra-           I’ve talked to everyone.  I’m the only one.

Leah    –           Oh my, I wonder which one of us the director will like better.

Sandra-           It should be obvious.  You might as well pick a different part to audition for.

(the assistant director comes out of the auditorium.  The two girls hush.)

Assistant Director       –           Welcome girls, thanks for coming to audition for the role of Cassie.  Sandra, you’ll be first in about two minutes, and then you’ll go next Leah.

(he exits)

Leah    –           I mean to at least audition.

Sandra-           They’d never pick a girl with an accent like yours.  (beat) I better go in.  I don’t want to be late.

(Sandra enters the auditorium.  Leah stays outside.)

Leah    – (to herself)    She thinks she so much better than me.

(Sandra emerges.  She looks pleased.)

Sandra-           I did amazing.  As usual.

Leah    –           I’m next.

Sandra –           Good luck (sarcastically).

Leah    –           Thanks.

(Leah enters.  Sandra stays outside, looking very pleased and humming ‘One’)

(Leah emerges and stands outside.)

Sandra-           Well how’d it go?

Leah    –           It went well.

Sandra-           See, I told you.  My audition went ‘amazing’, and yours only went ‘well’.You should have given up before making a fool of yourself.

Leah    –           Nobody has been made a fool yet.

Sandra-           All things come in time.  Did you get a callback?

Leah    –           Yes.  In ten minutes.

Sandra-           Mine’s in five.  I have to sing The Music and the Mirror again.

Leah    –           Me too.

Sandra-           Look, we both know who is going to be cast as Cassie.  Don’t go to the callback.

Leah    –           Don’t be afraid.

Sandra-           I am not afraid.  What in the world would I be afraid of?

Leah    –           It’s been five minutes.

(Sandra leaves huffingly.  Leah remains.)

(Sandra emerges)

Sandra-           You don’t have a chance.

Leah    –           We’ll see.

Sandra (trying to make her mad)        –           Go on, keep deceiving yourself into believing you are better than me.  It won’t get you the role anyway, so there’s no harm in it.

Leah (getting angry)   –           If you are so sure, why are you even auditioning?  Wouldn’t the director seek you out if he didn’t find anything he wanted in me?

Sandra-           I’m auditioning, you nerd-girl, because that’s how it works.

Leah    –           Isn’t it how it works that everyone should have a fair chance at something?!

Sandra-           You believe that?

Leah    –           Yes!  I absolutely do!

Sandra-           Then clearly you are cloudy minded.  (smartly)  Yelling will hurt your voice.

Leah    –           Mind your own business.

(Leah starts to leave, realizing her callback is about to start.)

Sandra-           Don’t go away.  We aren’t finished out here.

Leah    –           I’m finished.

Sandra-           Why do you want this part so bad anyway?  Why are you willing to fight so hard for it.

Leah    –           I want this part because I believe that I may have the potential and motivation to play it.  I’m willing to fight for it, because I don’t believe that it is fair that people like you should always get what they want.

Sandra-           And it’s fair for a person like you?  Leah, you have to understand.  The world isn’t fair.  It will never be fair.  If you keep deceiving yourself –

Leah    –           I wish you’d stop saying that.

Sandra-           I’ll say what I like.

Leah    –           I’ve learned th-

Sandra-           You are missing your callback.

(Leah jumps, and rushes into the callback.)

(Leah comes out.  The girl stand and don’t talk to each other.)

(Assistant director comes out.)

Assistant Director       –           Okay, girls, we’ll be having a quick dance audition. Just come on in in about two minutes and I’ll show you a series of steps to repeat after me.

(the assistant director exits into the auditorium.  A few moments pass.)

Sandra-           I better go in.

 (Sandra goes to the door, smirks and holds it open for Leah. Leah unsuspectingly walks through, and Sandra sticks out her foot to trip Leah.  Leah falls flat on her face.  The trip sprained her ankle.)

Leah    –           Ouch!  My ankle!

Sandra-           Did you trip?

Leah    –           Yes, I don’t know how in the world I could have.

Sandra-           Some people are just born clumsy.

(Leah frowns, the girls enter the auditorium. Sandra takes the stage and the assistant director shows her a few steps to try.  She performs them successfully to music.)

Assistant Director       –           Okay, thanks.  Come on up Leah.

Sandra-           Are you going to be able to dance?

Leah    –           I’ll have to try.

(Sandra crosses her arms, watching Leah struggle up the stage stairs.  Leah limps through a dance combination that, subtracting the limp, looked very complex and pretty.)

(The assistant director shows Leah a couple of different steps.  She does very well, although she limps badly.)

Assistant Director       –           Did you just hurt your ankle?

Leah    –           Yeah, coming in.  I tripped on accident.

Assistant Director       –           Could you do the combination once more with music?

Leah    –           Absolutely.

(the assistant director plays the music and Leah does the combination again, pushing against her bad ankle.)

Assistant Director       –           Great. Girls, wait in the hallway for the casting decision.  It will be about forty five minutes.

(as the girls exit the auditorium)

Sandra-           I’m sure you would have done okay.  But with that ankle it looked pretty bad.  He must think you are pretty clumsy just tripping on your way in like that.

(Leah shrugs)

Sandra-           Now we wait for the casting decision.  You have to be there to accept the role, or it will immediately be given to someone else.

Leah    –           I can wait forty five minutes.

Sandra-           You do look like you need medical help.

Leah    –           I can wait forty five minutes.

(The girls exit to the hall.  Leah crosses the hall to use the restroom.  Sandra looks around, and places a desk in front of the bathroom door. It is around the corner, so nobody could see the desk without looking.)

Sandra(to herself)       –           Just in case.  (beat)  Now it’s all mine.

(a moment or two passes before Sandra hears a knock from the inside of the bathroom door.  Sandra ignores it.  The knock comes louder this time.  Sandra seems to be worried that someone will hear.  She thinks about what to do.  She slips out her iPod and begins to listen to music.  For added measure, she goes around the corner.  Now she has an excuse if someone asks her why she didn’t hear the knocking. The assistant director comes and posts the cast list. He looks around and doesn’t see anyone.  He finds this odd.  He hears a knock.  He looks around and wanders to find where the knock came from.  He sees the desk in front of the bathroom door and moves it.  Leah emerges)

Assistant Director       –           How did you get stuck in there?

Leah    –           I don’t have any idea.  Has the list been posted?

Assistant Director       –           I put it up just a moment ago.  I thought it strange when I didn’t see you or Sandra around.

Leah    –           Sandra’s not here?

Assistant Director       –           Not that I can see.

(Leah goes over to the cast list.)

Leah    (to herself) –    I can’t believe it.  I have made a fool of myself.  Sandra got it.  I am her understudy!

(she stands there mummified.)

Leah    –           At least I tried.  That’s worth something, I suppose.

Assistant Director       –           Technically since Sandra isn’t here, you, as her understudy, could sign for the role.  At the top of the paper here it says “Being present at the casting announcements for your role is mandatory.  If the recipient of the role is not present at the time of the casting announcement, the understudy can sign for the role.”

Leah    –           Are you serious?

Assistant Director       –           (nods) It’s your decision whether you want to take on the role or not.

Leah    –           Of course I do.  But, I just wonder –

(Leah seems to be considering whether or not to do this.  After all, Sandra is nowhere in sight, for she is sitting around the corner listening to loud music with earbuds.  Leah bites her lip, takes the pen and signs her name.  Satisfied, she forgets about her ankle.)

Assistant Director       –           Great!  I’ll see you at rehearsal tomorrow.

Leah    –           Ouch!

Assistant Director       –           Are you okay?  You should see a doctor, you’re ankle looks like its swelling.

Leah    –           I will, I just needed to finish the audition.

(Sandra hears this cry, and pulls out her earbuds, and comes around the corner.)

Sandra-           They’ve posted it!

(She goes up to the sheet.  Leah sees danger and begins to limp away.)

Sandra-           What in the w- You signed for my role!

Assistant Director       –           You weren’t here, so Leah had the right to sign for the role.

Sandra-           I was sitting around the corner!

Leah    –           Sorry, I didn’t know you were here.

Sandra-           Like I would leave?

Assistant Director       –           You weren’t here, so Leah had the right to sign for the role.

Sandra-           That’s not fair!

Leah    –           Now I realize, like you said, that not everything in life is fair. I’m sorry I didn’t see you.

Assistant Director       –           You can sign for her understudy.

Sandra-           Yeah right!  I’m not doing the show!

(she storms off. )

Assistant Director       –           Whew!

(he exits into the auditorium.)

Leah    –           Yup.

(Leah exits a different way humming One.)

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Free Online Courses

Yale University in Connecticut offers many free “Open Courses” online.  The courses include twenty-three 50 minute lectures and assignments.  The lectures are available for download, online, in PDF format, and MP3.  Some course subjects include Music, History, English, Economics, History of Art, and Philosophy, and there are many more.

Harvard has Open Courses online as well.  They offer a number of courses Computer Science, Shakespeare, and Mathematics.  Each course has about 10 to 15 lectures available to download or watch in a variety of ways.  Some of these courses include assignments.

Khan Academy is very useful for learning about specific things by watching videos on them.  Khan Academy has videos and practice problems on many subjects including Math and Science.

Hillsdale College is adding more content to their online course list.  The courses include ten 45 minute lectures, quizzes, readings and Q&A sessions.  They’re courses include Economics 101, Constitution 101 and 201, The Great Books 101, and History 101 and 102.


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Where is My Home? – A Story Poem

Where is My Home?

Written by Victoria L. Smith

I pedaled down the country road.

My shadow flew as it had never flown.

I rode faster.

I turned the sharp corner down a gravel drive.

I pedaled hard, home in sight.

I jumped off my bike, and let it roll.

I ran fast to the door, flung it open and rushed inside.

But, alas, the house, was empty

Where was my family?

Where was all the furniture?

Gone, they were never to come back.

I left the house in grief for I had been to late.

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How to Drive Safely

Driving safely is very important.  Every driver should know how to drive safely on the road.  Being alert of animals, pedestrians, and other vehicles on the road is the most important part of driving.  Animals, pedestrians, and other vehicles can run into the car’s path of travel.  A collision could occur, unless the driver steers away or slows down.  Every action a driver make while driving takes time.  Slowing down in situations can give drivers more time to react.  Following traffic laws and street signs is also vital to driving safely.

Every car is equipped with turn signal lights and a horn.  Using these to communicate can help other drivers to know your intentions.

Every car is also equipped with restraints such as seatbelts, airbags, and headrests.  In the case of a collision, not using restraints can cause serious injury.  To be safe, always wear your seatbelt.  The usage of seatbelts helps you stay in your seat and in the car.  Being ejected from a car because you are not wearing a seatbelt can result in being run over by a car once ejected.

Texting, calling, listening to music, and passengers can be distracting while driving.  Drivers should put their phones away, turn down the radio, and ask other passengers to be quiet so they can focus on driving.

Nobody should ever drink alcohol before driving.  Being drunk affects drivers’ ability to respond to situations by dulling the senses.  Alcohol makes people feel as if their senses are sharper, when in reality they are much slower.  This effect gives false confidence, which is very dangerous when driving.


Driving is especially dangerous at night.  When the sun has gone done, there is no light and this reduces visibility of the road.  When driving after dark, drivers should be extra cautious and use their headlights.

Often when people are driving at night they are drowsy or tired.  This is extremely dangerous to the driver and other drivers.  If the driver falls asleep, he or she is no longer in control of the car.  Most times this results in a crash or collision.

There are a few solutions if you must travel in the car at night while you may be drowsy.  The best solution is to plan ahead and get plenty of rest the night before, or take a nap during the day.  If a driver doesn’t plan ahead or doesn’t have time to take a nap before driving at night, another solution is to find another who is rested to drive.  If a driver must drive while drowsy, there are some precautions.  The first is keep the window closed.  Although the wind of an open window may hit the driver, making he or she think it is helping them stay awake, the extra oxygen will actually make them more likely to fall asleep.  Drivers should keep the radio off.  Although it might seem helpful, it isn’t.  Music creates a beat, which makes people want to go to sleep if they are drowsy.  Lastly, taking stops frequently, walking around, and getting a drink of water can help drivers stay awake.


Weather can affect driving.  Rain and snow cause the road to be wet and slippery.  Reducing your speed gives you more time to react to situations.

Drivers should take curves more slowly when driving in the snow, because the snow makes the road slippery.

When driving in the rain, drivers should avoid areas of standing because they can cause hydroplaning, engine damage, and cause skids.

Windshield wipers can wipe water or snow off the windshield.  When water or snow is left on the windshield, it blocks the sight of the driver.

Fog limits the sight distance of drivers.  To assist in this sort of situation, drivers should turn on their low beam headlights.   Headlights not only help the driver to see the road, but they also help other drivers to see them better.


Not driving safely can be deadly.  Car accidents and collisions kill thousands every year.  Even more people are injured each year in car accidents.

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Next Season at The 5th Avenue Theatre

What’s up next at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle?  The most successful theater in the Northwest announced their 2014-2015 season last week.  Here’s the line up!

A Chorus Line

Kinky Boots (Tour)

A Christmas Story


Something Rotten!  (A New Musical)

Jacques Bell is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Co-production with ACT)


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The 5th Avenue Theatre SPAMalot Rising Star Project

“After The 5th Avenue Theatre wraps up its professional production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, the curtain will rise again for an all-student production, featuring more than 70 students from across Washington State. The Rising Star Project: Spamalot is not only a brilliant artistic collaboration between some of the area’s most promising up-and-coming young talent, but an educational program unlike any other in the country.”

Teen performers have the opportunity to rehearse with sets and costumes from the mainstage production as they learn the responsibilities of working in a professional theater. Meanwhile, students produce, develop, and market the student production under the mentorship of The 5th Avenue staff. The program is tuition free and open to all who wish to participate.”

There is no other educational program like this in the country,” said 5th Avenue Theatre Producing Director Bill Berry. “What makes this project truly unique is the opportunity young people have to be mentored by professional artists, staff and crew, at no cost to the student.”


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Some Series of Books…

Here is a short list of books in series that I have read in the past month.  You may find something you haven’t read before!


The Rani Series by Ron Snell

The true tales of a missionary kid’s adventures in Peru.

Book 1:  It’s a Jungle Out There!

Book 2:  Life is a Jungle

Book 3:  Jungle Calls


The Emily Trilogy by L. M. Montgomery

Born writer Emily Byrd Starr is orphaned and goes to live with two of her aunts at New Moon.

Emily of New Moon

Emily’s Climb

Emily’s Quest


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Arctic Star Productions ‘3 Gobblers’

3 gobblers

The first trailer of the Arctic Star Productions film 3 Gobblers has been released!  Click here to watch!

To read about the true story made into a film, refer to my previous post.

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