Well, we did it! Staged our first Broadway production! Or should I say our first Goce Delchev production. The American Corner Skopje turned 10 this past weekend. The staff there asked us if we could work with the kids and put on a short play. We had three weeks in which to do this. My sole experience in theater has been as a performer–never stage crew or production–Katie and Susie hadn’t even done that. But the three of us are PCV’s and we can do anything we set our minds to. So first we find an inspiring dramatic piece to stage. Hmmm, this looks like something we can do with minimal props: Peggy the Pint-sized Pirate.
Now let’s have auditions (how do you do those?!) and assign parts. Done and done. We schedule five rehearsals and one dress rehearsal before the performance. The kids were amazing! They made us and their teacher very proud of them. Only one line was blown! The audience consisted mostly of their parents and friends but we also had Peace Corps staff and Embassy staff in attendance. All in all it was a lovely evening. And we celebrated by going out for some eats and adult beverages at Old City House.
In other news of the world……the strike goes on and is expanding to more schools throughout the country. My area of the country seems to have been the first to go out and now others are following. We are not sure what we should be doing during this time so we try to find secondary projects to work on. I’m fortunate to have GLOW. I also have an NGO in the community that would like me to work with them. They work to preserve Albanian Culture. The strike here is nothing like a strike in the US. There are no picket lines. The teachers go to work and sit in the teacher’s lounge drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. They chat and then they go home–they do not teach. Since very few women here in the village work, keeping the kids at home does not create a hardship for them. No day care to worry about. But it seems like not all schools within a system strike. Katie went with her counterpart to the second school she works in and her counterpart was called “Strikebreaker.” Their other school was not on strike. So you really need to know what is going on when you walk into the school. Fortunately, my host father is president of the local syndicate (their word for union) and lets me know what is happening on a daily basis–at least in my area of Macedonia. Stay tuned for updates.