I will be writing to you this week from the Blackfriars Conference at American Shakespeare Center in beautiful Staunton, Virginia. STJ English Blogger Danielle Lee and I are presenting papers at Blackfriars this week, and we drove down yesterday from NYC. It was a long but very lovely drive, and we arrived at our hotel around 9:30 p.m.
After getting settled in, we checked out the town of Staunton today and registered for the conference this afternoon. In our conference bags, we received travel coffee mugs and stainless steel water bottles along with our name tags and schedules and maps. After registering and signing up for some more limited events, I had fifteen minutes to rehearse three actors who will be performing during my presentation tomorrow. Two of the actors are actually performing the roles of Prospero and Caliban in ASC’s production of The Tempest, which we’ll get to see tomorrow night — and they are reading selections of these roles in my paper. They read beautifully this afternoon, so I am looking forward to the full presentation tomorrow afternoon at 3:15 p.m.
My greatest fear about this conference is the fact that I got really sick over the weekend, and today I have hardly any voice. I am presenting my paper in the Blackfriars Theater so I’m going to have trouble filling the space with the very little voice I have. Lots of tea and honey and vocal rest between now and 3:15 tomorrow. I’m happy to say that I feel good about my paper and very good about my actors, so let’s hope I can actually speak when the time comes. Unfortunately, this means that Daniella and I are both missing out on the Early Arrivers Party this evening, but we’re hoping to both feel better in the morning and ready for the conference to officially begin!