Category: Hayley Whiting (page 1 of 3)

“Theater-Going during a Pandemic ” by Hayley Whiting

Since the pandemic began, one of the things I’ve missed about no longer being able to be within six feet of anyone else is attending theater shows. There’s nothing like grabbing a free REP (Resident Ensemble Players) ticket from the Honors College building for one of their Honors at the Arts opportunities and heading to the Roselle Center for the Arts for an evening of theater. I also really enjoy attending shows put on by E52, a student theater group at UD! Sadly, I can no longer head to the Bacchus Theater or Pearson Hall to see a student-run show, but I have been enjoying theater from both the REP and E52 from my safely distanced couch!

This semester, the REP (UD’s very own professional theater company) is not to be stopped by COVID! In September, they put on a free, one-act, comedic Zoom play titled “Who’s in Charge” that recounted a meeting of all of the REP actors and the REP Producing Artistic Director so that they could decide what they would perform this semester. This play definitely did not disappoint—as always, the actors were spot on, and I was laughing the whole time! I’ve also really been enjoying the REP’s free audio presentation of Dracula, based on Bram Stoker’s novel. I’ve never listened to an audio performance of theater before, but the characters and story really come to life in this perfectly creepy, five-part adaptation—I would definitely recommend grabbing some garlic and taking a listen!

If you want to join in on the REP’s performances this semester, Dracula is still streaming on their website until November 22: https://www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/dracula. Until November 22, they also are currently offering another audio performance called Are you Now or Have You Ever Been, a fictional portrayal of the night in March of 1953 before Langston Hughes must answer to the Subcommittee on Investigations on Un-American Activities during Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunt: https://www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been (I’m looking forward to listening to this one!). Later on, in December, the REP will also be offering an audio performance of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to put you in the holiday spirit: https://www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/a-christmas-carol. Continue reading

“Five Things to Do around Campus” by Hayley Whiting

This past fall was the first semester I started commuting from home instead of living on campus. While it does offer its own benefits, commuting has the potential to make you feel less connected to campus. So in addition to staying on campus after classes for my job; to attend club meetings; and to study in Trabant, Perkins, or the library, I made a promise to myself that I would make an effort to go to more campus events. Here are five things I did around campus this fall that you can do, too!

1. See a REP play

What is the REP, you ask? REP stands for Resident Ensemble Players and is the University of Delaware’s own professional theater company with its own group of resident actors! I first saw a REP play when it was required for my freshman-year theater class, and I have been going back to see their plays ever since. The productions are always amazing, with incredible acting, set design, costumes, and direction, and each season the company puts on a variety of plays, so there is something for everyone. Also, you get to see a professional play for a reasonable price. This fall, I went to see the drama August: Osage County and the mystery Murder on the Orient Express, which had the most impressive set and production I’ve seen there yet, complete with a moving train and a movie-like screen in the background. For anyone who hasn’t gone to see a REP play yet, I would highly recommend it! 

REP website: http://www.rep.udel.edu/Pages/default.aspx  Continue reading

“An Evening of Poetry with Phil Kaye” by Hayley Whiting

About a month ago, I received an e-mail from the Honors Program announcing that Honors Mosaic, a group dedicated to promoting diversity in the Honors Program, would be hosting writer and spoken word poet Phil Kaye for a writing workshop and performance. I had never encountered his work before, but I immediately knew I wanted to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, especially after learning about his impressive background. To give some context, Phil is a Japanese-American poet who has published two books; has performed in twenty countries; was a National Poetry Slam finalist; has worked in maximum security prisons leading poetry workshops; and is co-director of Project VOICE, an organization that partners with schools to bring poetry to the classroom. 

As if Phil’s accolades weren’t enough, on the day of the writing workshop, as soon as I entered the room, I noticed how friendly, genuine, and funny he was (besides just being an all-around cool guy, complete with a man bun). He even made a point to remember everyone’s name after only hearing each name once, and throughout the workshop, he was really supportive when students shared their ideas.

 He began the workshop by describing it as a “crash course in spoken word poetry.” To gather inspiration for poem ideas, he had us first make a list of three things we knew to be true — the more personal to us, the better. He explained that lists are a great way to beat writer’s block; if you don’t know what to write, pick a topic (that could be “things I know to be true” or “things I regret,” for example) and make a list to get your feelings down on paper. After that, he had us pick one of those topics and add as many sensory details as we could while creating a poem: sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and tactile feelings. Then, we focused on how to perform a spoken-word poem and brainstormed tips, from becoming aware of your fidgeting to slowing down your speech. Phil also asked us to do a fun activity in which we got into a circle, picked a word from our respective poems, and created an action to go with it, going around the circle and repeating each person’s word and action after them. Finally, the workshop culminated in performing our poems for each other and giving each other feedback. I had a blast at the workshop while also learning a lot about writing and performing poetry, from how to gain inspiration for what to write about to how to effectively perform my poetry. 

After the workshop, that evening, I was also lucky to see Phil’s performance in the Trabant theater. I really enjoyed watching him interpret his own poetry, observing the actions he chose for certain words and the tone of voice he used for certain lines. His poems were full of vivid images and different tones, from humorous to poignant to sorrowful to joyful, and ranged from topics such as the cultural differences of his grandfathers to the streets of New York City. I have never witnessed a spoken word poetry performance before, and hearing Phil’s poems come alive was a wonderful experience! 

After the performance, I had the opportunity to get a signed copy of Phil’s most recent book, Date and Time, and even snagged a picture (as you can see above)! I am so glad Honors Mosaic hosted Phil Kaye at UD for a fun and fulfilling evening of poetry!

“Are Parisian Stereotypes True?” by Hayley Whiting

After spending my fall semester in Paris on a UD study abroad program, I definitely feel that I was able to become part of the city, rather than a tourist, which was a rewarding and fun experience. Thanks to spending three months there, I came away with a better understanding of the people, culture, and day-to-day life of the city. Below, I affirm some Parisian stereotypes, challenge others, and offer more observations from my time in Paris! (Disclaimer: I refer to Parisians specifically instead of French people because I only lived in Paris, but it is possible that these observations could be true for other parts of France as well! All of these views are also based on my own opinions.)

 

Stereotype: Parisians are arrogant and rude

In my experience, Parisians have been very helpful, respectful, and kind. Even when I traveled to Paris with my family four years ago, while we were walking around on the street with our luggage looking for our Airbnb, a lady stopped to ask if we needed help and gave us directions. That same trip, a man helped my sister carry her suitcase up the metro stairs. During my time studying abroad, I always had positive interactions with people. For example, an older lady in my apartment building always stopped to talk with me, and restaurant servers, museum employees, and retail workers were always polite. Continue reading

“What I Gained from Studying Abroad for a Semester” by Hayley Whiting

When I graduate and look back at my time at UD, I know that studying abroad will be one of the best experiences I will take away from my four years as an undergraduate. My experience offered a completely unique opportunity to not only explore a new place but also to get to know myself. Here is what I gained from studying abroad in Paris for a semester!

First and foremost, my semester abroad strengthened me as individual. Before my trip, I had to go through the extensive visa process by following all of the steps and gathering all the needed documents, so, with determination, I was able to successfully complete the process on my own. Also, although I have flown with my family before, I flew on my own for the first time going to Paris, and then three more times for my fall break in Italy and my trip back to the U.S. It was rewarding knowing I could navigate the airport process by myself instead of relying on someone else! I also learned how to get around the city on my own. Once I got to Paris, it took me a few tries, but I quickly was able to figure out the metro system and was soon jumping on and off, making transfers, and following the signs in the underground passageways without a problem (but with the help of Google Maps, which is not only useful for metro routes but also for walking directions). I also really appreciated having my own unique experience exploring the city. I enjoyed many days jumping on the metro and choosing from the enormous selection of sights to see in Paris. I also decided to write in a journal consistently while I was there, which I have never done before, so it was nice to reflect on my day-to-day experiences and record my thoughts. Continue reading

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