Oberlin Blogs

Lions, Vicodin, and Audience Participation

October 6, 2009

Zoe McLaughlin ’11

Since last year all I wrote about was dance, this year I think all I'm going to write about is CSA, just to shake things up. I'm one of the group's two secretaries this year, and let me say right now that I take my job very seriously. When I get elected to something, I don't mess around.

Well, okay, I think what my RA told me the other day is closer to the truth. I just really enjoy sending out annoying e-mails to vast quantities of people. (She meant it in a good way.)

But given how much I like sending out e-mails about CSA, I figure I might as well keep writing blog posts about it, too.

If you've been following along with us, you'll know that this past weekend we celebrated the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. I was mainly in charge of directing the skit. I took this very seriously, too, which meant that I was somewhat concerned when our second rehearsal ever occurred a scant two hours before the masses were supposed to start showing up, looking for bubble tea.

I'm quite proud of my actors, though. They pulled it off really well. Everyone stepped up their performances from the rehearsal. Houyi and the Emperor had great chemistry as they chatted about Vicodin, Cheng'e and Peng pulled off their fight scene commendably, and the grandpa used a spoon as a pipe. Basically, it was awesome, and I think the people who came might even have grasped the story behind the Moon Festival.

So, Moon Festival: success. Now it's time to look toward the next event. CSA is going to have a booth at the International Festival net weekend. We'll also going to perform a lion dance.

Perhaps learning from our skit, we actually got together on Sunday and rehearsed a bit. And we plan to rehearse on Friday. This time, I'm not going to be the head (less pain, yes!). Instead, I'm going to be Buddha. Or, actually, some sort of cheeky person who could be Buddha, which is where the audience participation comes in.

Last year, my roommate made a papier-mâché mask for Buddha, and it wound up being one of the most terrifying things I have ever seen.

I categorically refuse to wear that thing, not only because it will frighten the children who might be watching but also because it will frighten me. And probably the lion.

So we're going to buy a mask. There were two ideas tossed around during the rehearsal: a blank mask or a pig. I'm sort of leaning toward a monkey, but that's just because I have good memories of Journey to the West.

I'm not going to go buy a mask until Friday, which means I have until then to listen to your ideas. So comment away! What do you think would look good in a traditional Chinese lion dance? (i.e. George Bush, not so much. An allosaurus? Maybe.)

Similar Blog Entries