By Isabel Randazzo
When building a set,
Wear clothes you don’t care about,
Give up hopes and dreams
Make one cool design
That isn’t feasible to do
Make another one
The ground plan is done.
“How soon will this be ready?”
Asks the director
Paint a lot of things
Get covered in sawdust too
Do not sleep at all
As soon as you think you’re done
Do some more molding
Close to being done
Now to just hang this mirror
Takes two damn hours
The set never ends
But thanks to all who helped out
Hell yeah we did it
By Carver Bain & Octavia Fitzmaurice
1. Don’t talk to each other. This is where a lot of couples falter. Many people think that the way to build a healthy relationship is to talk to each other, but that’s simply not true. The fact is, the more you talk to each other, the faster you run out of things to talk about! Now of course you’ll have to exchange conversation concerning basic day-to-day business, but make sure you don’t get too deep into things like emotions, feelings, or deep thoughts. Here’s an example of an ideal conversation between spouses.
Spouse 1: Good afternoon darling, how was your day?
Spouse 2: My day was fine. I had lunch at around noon.
Spouse 1: So did I! No wonder I love you.
An example of a bad conversation would be the following:
Spouse 1: Good afternoon darling, how was your day?
Spouse 2: It was alright. My boss was somewhat rude to me.
Spouse 1: Oh dear, how does that make you feel?
Did you see where they went wrong? The first mistake was the second spouse revealing information that affected their emotions, and the second mistake was the first spouse using the word “feel.” For a healthy, long-lasting marriage, you want to avoid these types of conversations.
2. Both of you should become consumed by your careers. This has multiple levels of benefits. One relates to the first tip. The more engulfed in your relative careers, the less you’ll interact, and the less risk of getting into dangerous conversations. You have more opportunity for casual conversations as opposed to dangerous ones. It also gives each of you someone to focus on. It’s easy to get lost in the work, and you will rarely need to even think about the state of your relationship with your spouse! And when you’re not thinking about it, there’s no chance of anything going wrong. It will also build a strong financial foundation. Fiscal quibbling is a common problem in early relationships. Focusing on careers will fix that! Additionally, the more money you have, the bigger house you can purchase, and the bigger house you have, the smaller the chance of you running into each other when you need some alone time.
3. Have a child. Children are like experiments, they help you find out what works and what does not. They are also a good exercise in avoiding conflict and will give you someone to yell at who isn’t your spouse. Most importantly, children provide motivation for staying in the marriage and with your partner. Your marriage will be more successful without requiring any extra interaction!
4. Don’t have too many children. Think of it this way, each child requires one parent’s attention at a time. Having only one child means that only one of you needs to be present. Two children, especially if they’re close in age, are more difficult for one adult to manage. Three or more can be disastrous as they require far too much teamwork on the parent’s part. Your goal is a harmonious marriage, not fighting over how you raise the kids.
5. And finally, there are days that put a strain on any relationship. In this case, it is best to share a crisp bottle of Bordeaux, or on more challenging days, perhaps a bottle of whiskey. Whatever your beverage of choice may be, sharing a drink with your spouse can be just the thing to rekindle old flames, or at least will help you to forget what it is you were arguing about. Never be too quick to judge what a long evening of sipping on a nice glass of bourbon can do. It’s a quick and easy fix to any problem! It will calm the nerves, and chances are, neither of you will remember the previous night by morning. A happy marriage is one built on a lot of empty bottles.
Follow these easy steps, and next thing you know, you’ll be sitting next to your wrinkled and graying spouse after a lifetime together, watching your grandchildren play in the lawn of your mansion. Isn’t that what life is all about?
By Laura Nugent
Lighting the stage for “Rumors” has been a lesson in patience and comedic washing, painting the stage in an even bath of warm light that will illuminate the farce played out by the actors.
The set for this show is huge—it spans almost the entirety of the stage space in the Swirnow theater. Thirty lighting instruments that throw pools of light eight feet across are needed just to cover the floor and the balcony. Hanging each of those instruments so that they properly overlap without leaving any dark spots is an exercise in patience; correcting the focus of one light could require shifting the focus of several other lights.
“Rumors” is very unlike the Barnstormers’ last mainstage, “Legally Blonde,” which was essentially a series of special effects. Of course “Rumors” has a few special effects hidden up its sleeve, but lighting this show has been an opportunity to step back and perfect the basics of lighting: providing a three dimensional space made out of light in which actors can tell a story.
Thanks again to my lovely assistant Lizze and board op Brandon, and to volunteers and friends Julia, Victor, and Najwa for all of your hard work. It wouldn’t be possible without you!
Cooking With Cookie! featuring Dr. Ernie Cusack Today’s Theme: What Your Food Says About Your Mood!
By Brenda Quesada and Sebastian Durfee
Cookie: Hello there everyone and welcome back to “Cooking with Cookie”! I’m your cook, Cookie Cusack! What a tongue twister, right? Okay then! This week we’ll be focusing on… your mood with food! With a very special guest, Dr. Ernie Cusack!
Ernie: Hello everyone!
Cookie: How are you doing, sweetie pie?
Ernie: I’m doing well, honey.
Cookie: So, Ernie is an analyst at Bellevue hospital in New York City and, today, he is here to talk to us about what your food is saying about your mood!
Ernie: Thank you, Cookie. So, to get started, let’s say you’re craving some tough or crunchy foods--
Cookie: Tough foods are like steak or chicken: any meat products. And crunchy foods are like chips!
Ernie: Exactly, poops. Cravings for tough and crunchy foods like that mean you could be feeling angry!
Cookie: Angry like an animal!
Ernie: And if you’re in the mood for sugars, that mean that you’re possibly feeling depressed.
Cookie: So put down that candy bar and run over to Bellevue Hospital to get an appointment with Ernie!
Ernie: Heh, that’s very funny, sweetheart. Moving on… If you crave soft and sweet foods, such as ice cream, you could be feeling anxious at the moment.
Cookie: So be wary of sharing your ice cream with someone else!
Ernie: Cravings for salty foods could indicate feelings of stress.
Cookie: Keep those sodium levels low and under control!
Ernie: And last, but not least, if you desire any bulky food that will really fill you up--
Cookie: Like crackers or pasta!
Ernie: --You could be feeling lonely and sexually frustrated.
Cookie: Ernie doesn’t eat a lot of pasta.
Cookie: Because of your cholesterol, puppy! You’re so silly.
Cookie: Well, we hoped you enjoyed this week’s “Cooking with Cookie” with my special guest, Dr. Ernie Cusack! If you’re every in need of any mental health services, Ernie is the analyst for you!
Ernie: Thank you, Cookie! I had a lot of fun being on today’s show.
Cookie: Bye, everyone! Next week, on our extra long 2-hour episode, we’ll be learning how to make lemon tarts!
As a professional director and lifelong academic theatre artist, working on this production of Rumors for the JHU Barnstormers has been a wonderful learning experience as I launch the second act of my career. As a JHU CTY programs student and staffer between 1990-2000 in Carlisle, PA and Frederick, MD, actually setting foot on the Homewood campus here in Baltimore was a special first-time-ever homecoming. Directing in the Swirnow and working with these dedicated extracurricular, entrepreneurial, and smart-as-whips students on Neil Simon's hugely popular and challenging social farce has been pretty terrific. Except I'm never sure the stuff I say in rehearsal won't end up at the bottom of the rehearsal report! (I should be grateful people are listening.)
Speaking of that: as every day in our country brings new Wikileaks and accusations, rumors and questions, infidelities and tweets, grave offenses met with chuckles on both sides . . . my confidence grows in the Barnstormers for choosing the perfect comedy for our moment. The play debuted on Broadway with a starry cast in 1989. But like fine wine, great art gets better with age and when paired with the perfect occasion. With performances on offer over the final two weekends before an historic and divisive US election, Rumors is great art for us. Why? It's mix of hilarity and indictment becomes a mirror through which we see our silly mugs and our flailing limbs and our collective memory that human connection is our best redemption.
I love the work we've been up to and how everyone works together to make the art happen.
I am full of gratitude for the chance to do what I love to do with top students.
This is the play for today. Don't miss it. Please come share a laugh and think with us!
Jeffrey M. Cordell - Barnstormers guest director