I hate Driving!

Have I ever mentioned…..that I despise driving? I hate it with every fiber of my being. This last month of driving has been particularly devilish. A couple weeks ago I had finished a breakfast with my friends. It had been a very pleasant morning. I had enjoyed some eggs and fruit at the local Denny’s Dinner. I was on my way home and decided not to take the major highway and took the small back roads of Hayden. I had just passed by my lovely high school when……a cop passes me. I was going under the speed limit like I always do…but still passing a cop is so nerve racking. I watched in my mirror as he turned on his lights and flipped around. I moved over to the side of the road…and he followed. I then went through the normal police fun. It turns out that my tags were expired…and WHAM….75 dollar fine. This was not my fault…my parents were supposed to take care of this.

Then yesterday! I was driving to Spokane to do my Senior Mentoring for My Senior Project and I was driving on the freeway. This was the first time I had been on the Freeway over to Spokane since getting my license. A PT Cruiser was following me the whole way from Couer D’ Alene…and really driving close. Around Liberty Lake there was a huge car wreck on the other side of the road and more wrecks all around. But our lane was clear. This white SUV in front of me suddenly slammed on their breaks..so i did too. The PT Cruiser did not. The driver was looking over at the wreck on the other side of the road…and WHAM. He hit me. I hate driving. Here are some pictures:


The Utah Shakespeare Festival!

Well it looks like the Bard festival is gearing up for another fantastic season!

Summer Season 2008
June 19 – August 30, 2008

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Cyrano de Bergerac
The Taming of the Shrew
Fiddler on the Roof
The School for Wives

Brian Vaughn and Melinda Pfundstein
Cast in Cyrano de Bergerac :

One of the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s favorite couples (on stage and in real life) will be returning this summer in the lead roles in Cyrano de Bergerac. Brian Vaughn and his wife, Melinda Pfundstein, will be performing in the roles of Cyrano and his timeless love, Roxane.

“We are excited for them to be returning to Cedar City,” said R. Scott Phillips, Festival executive director. “They both have performed here many times over the years and have become a favorite of our patrons. The fact that as a married couple they are deeply in love will add another layer to this romantic and beautiful play.”

Both Vaughn and Pfundstein attended Southern Utah University in Cedar City, and both have acted in numerous roles at the Festival (Vaughn in over forty roles since 1991, and Pfundstein in over twenty roles since 1996).

Director David Ivers is also excited for the chance to work with Vaughn and Pfundstein. “There was never any question about casting Brian as Cyrano and his wife Melinda as Roxane,” he said. “Our great, personal friendship aside, Brian and Mel are two of the most versatile, authentic and generous actors in the country. Their language skills, integrity, and work ethic are astonishing.”

Vaughn’s first role at the Festival was as Castrone in Volpone (1991). He has followed that up since with such diverse roles as Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1994), Smudge in Forever Plaid (both 1997 and 2004), Laertes in Hamlet (1997), the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance (2001), Cloten and Posthumus Leontus in Cymbeline (2002), Prince Arthur in Camelot (2005), and Charlie in Stones in His Pockets (2005).

He is also remembered for his critically acclaimed turn in the title role of the troubled Danish prince in Hamlet (2006), a production which Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, called the best Hamlet he had ever seen.

Vaughn is currently performing as Mellersh Wilkins in Enchanted April at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre where he is a resident acting company member. He has performed in over twenty-five productions there, including The Nerd, The Voysey Inheritance, A Month in the Country, Laughing Stock, Bach at Leipzig, Arsenic and Old Lace, Proof, Wit, Buried Child, The Leenane Triology, Inventing Van Gogh, The Glass Menegerie, The Tavern, The Shaughraun, and Amadeus.

He has also appeared at the Arizona Theatre Company, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Kennedy Center, the Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Theatrefest, Phoenix Theatre, and Red Bull Theatre.

Pfundstein’s first role at the Festival was in the chorus of The Mikado in 1996. Since then she has appeared as Gloria Tharpe in Damn Yankees (1999), Rose in Pirates of Penzance (2001), Audrey in As You Like It (2002), Clarice in The Servant of Two Masters (2003), Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors (2003), Martha Jefferson in 1776 (2003), Lady Percy in Henry IV Part One (2004), Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (2004), The Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2005), Emma in Johnny Guitar (2006), and many others.

She recently appeared at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre as Betty Haynes in White Christmas and as Tansy McGinnis in The Nerd and she has appeared in numerous roles in regional theatres across the country.

In addition to their roles in Cyrano de Bergerac, Vaughn will be playing Launce in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Pfundstein will play Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof.

David Ivers to Direct Cyrano de Bergerac :

One of the Utah Shakespearean Festival’s best-known actors will be returning this summer to the Adams Shakespearean Theatre, but he won’t be on the stage. David Ivers, a long-time actor at the Festival, will instead be directing Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand.

Ivers’s connections to the Festival and Cyrano de Bergerac are numerous and varied. “In many ways, this seems a natural extension of my tenure with the Festival,” he said. “Sixteen years ago, I made my Festival acting debut in Cyrano de Bergerac in the Randall L. Jones Theatre. Randy Moore, a terrific actor who is a close colleague and fellow resident company member with me at the Denver Center Theatre Company, played Cyrano. I am now deep in rehearsal, directing a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, which Randy Moore is also in.”

Ivers also mentioned that he met his wife, Stephanie, in Cedar City, as well as the real estate agent who two years ago helped them find a new house in Colorado. And, if that isn’t enough, he is also directing two old friends in this year’s production: Brian Vaughn as Cyrano and Melinda Pfundstein as Roxane, both of whom he has acted with at the Festival.

“I have had an evolving relationship with Cyrano de Bergerac since the Festival 1992 production, and it remains, for me, the greatest play ever written,” said Ivers. “Its poetry, in harmony with its examination of love, death, selflessness, and introspection give it unparalleled status in the canon of dramatic literature.”

Ye Ol’ House of Larsen

Well the weather is the same. Cold!

Winter needs to be gone with soon. I don’t think I can take anymore of it. The snow has been on the ground for almost 4 straight weeks now. Thats enough to make one go nuts. It is snowing, or was snowing, right about now. Thats all I need, more snow.

My school year has been going good. I have Senior(itis) like you wouldn’t believe. I truly want to head off to college. I have decided to go two years at the local Community college, North Idaho College, for my first two years. I think that if their is a college close to home…then go. It is going to be a cost efficent college. Also I get to live at home for two more years. Then I am going to transfer to Southern Utah University or Southern Oregon University. Both Universities offer a great theatre program and place me next to either the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Speaking of Shakespeare festivals-both look like they are going to have some great shows. Utah is doing Cyrano de Bergerac! Always a classic. While Oregon is putting on Our Town-also a classic. I recently held auditions for War Letters and casted it with out any problems. I start rehearsal tuesday. Monday is presidents day so I recieved a four day weekend. Lucky for me I get to spend it writing a couple of essays and figuring out all the details of my Senior Project. I am hoping to have a busy schedule around May with; War Letters, Hopefully-Beauty and the Beast the Musical, My Birthday, Spring Play, and then June 6th is my graduation. It is hard to believe that I will be 18 in a couple of months. I was just telling my mom today that I still could play with Star Wars action figures and Hot Wheels if I wanted to. I guess it is the theatre in me…I still have an imagination. Thats why I like have Boden and Jett around, I can play with cars and not get made fun of. Farley is doing well. I feel sorry he has to be outside in the cold all the time…I let him in the garage on the cold nights. Here are some pictures just for fun:

War Letters

For the last couple of months I have been working on my Senior Project. As I have said before it involves the book called War Letters, which was written and edited by Andrew Carroll. I posted earlier my script from State Drama. I now have elaborated on that script adding real War Letters from the books and it is now a 30 page play. I can not post it on the internet due to legal reasons, and I will not be able to post a video of the performance either. So if you ant to see it, come to Idaho in May. Andrew Carroll is a New York Times bestseller and has been praised for his many works. Four months ago he visited my school to speak of his book. My English teacher from last year knew that I was involved in theatre, so she asked me to present a dramatic interpretation of the War Letters. I was able to perform in front of the entire Junior and Senior class before Mr. Carroll was going to speak. He didn’t get to see it all, but caught that last bit, as he was at Lake City High School also speaking. I was able to meet him after and he gave me his personel e-mail in order to keep him updated on my progress. It has been a big help having the actual writter helping me. I had recently asked him about “source” issues. He wrote back, ” I appreciate your checking in with me about the sourcing and permissions, and for now we should be OK. But I can only do it for this one time; we actually have contracts with other theater production companies, and it’s actually a very complicated process. I wouldn’t expect you to know all of this, and, again, we should be fine for your purposes at the school, but the letters are under copyright and it raises a host of legal issues to use them in any public performance.” I hold auditions on Monday for the play. The final script has over 20 parts, but I will double cast people to have 2 parts each. I am not going to charge an entrance fee, but instead ask for a donation of some sort. I had orginally planned to donate this money to the Legacy Project(Andrew Carroll started this as a means to preserve the letters, the books soon emerged. Then I found out that the Legacay Project does not accept monetary donations. So I asked Carroll what he thought would be the best place to donate. He told me about Ward 57. “Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington DC is the Army’s flagship hospital and first base for America’s returning warriors fresh from the battlefield. Ward 57 at the hospital is known as “the amputee ward”. The painful sacrifice of losing a limb or two or three is the nightmarish new battle the soldiers and their families now fight.

“Operation Ward 57″ is not just a way for individuals to show support for amputee soldiers, but an expedient system to raise funds for items needed on Ward 57. The program is run through pro-football player Kerry Carter’s THINK BIG FOUNDATION, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit, Tax ID: 20-196-2446, in partnership with Atmosphere Artist Management LLC.”

I can not wait to start.

War Letters

I strongly suggest you read the books:

War Letters
Operation Homecoming
Grace Under Fire
Behind the Lines

They are al incredible. Filled with amazing stories.