Author: Guest

Life Imitates Art – Writing A Play About Motherhood.

By Julia B. Rosenblatt, Artistic Director, HartBeat Ensemble  (Pictured above) The idea to write a musical about motherhood came to me while I was writing my last play and nursing my second child.  That was the winter that my infant had Swine Flu, my kindergartner had a record number of school snow days and this play about local drug trafficking was apparently not writing itself.  I was telling my friend and HartBeat Ensemble partner, Greg Tate, that between the constant pressures of motherhood, career and financial stability, my life could easily spin out of control at the drop of a pacifier. To...

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Encouraging Imagination at Hartford Stage

By Erin Frederick I don’t know about you, but I had a big imagination when I was a kid.  I was constantly strutting about the house as one crazy character or another or valiantly trying to stage a full-scale production of Les Miserables on the playground with my fellow third-graders.  (It turns out we all wanted to play the tragic heroine Eponine, while no one wanted to be stodgy old Javert.)  I probably drove my mom crazy with my need to find an outlet for all of that creative energy. So it’s probably a good thing that I eventually went into a career in theatre and found my way to the Education Department at Hartford Stage.  Through our Studio Youth classes, we encourage our students to express themselves and build their self-confidence through theatre games and activities.  For the imaginative child, there is a wealth of class options year round: from beginner acting classes to full-length productions, from playwriting to accents and dialects to musical theatre cabaret!  It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to see our students go from timid beginners on the first day of class to boisterous, enthusiastic performers on their final Share Day performances.  One recent new student, a 5-year-old little boy, marched up proudly to his teacher on his second class and announced that he had been ACTING at home that week, because ACTING is...

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Angelman Syndrome

Guest Post Written by Jenn Kubicza My son Cole is just a few weeks shy of turning 3. He has bright blue eyes and wild blonde hair. He loves to laugh and explore. He wrestles with his older brother, Lincoln, but gives him big hugs too. His favorite food is macaroni and cheese. He completely adores books and stealing my iPhone (especially if he can take pictures of himself with it). Sounds a lot like your 3-year-old, doesn’t he? He is. He The only difference is…he has Angelman syndrome – a rare neurogenetic disorder. Cole has it because he is missing part of his 15th chromosome which happens in approximately 1 in 15,000 live births. Cole can’t walk yet and may only ever have just a few words. But think back to what I told you about Cole before. He’s still just like everyone else. When Cole was born, he had terrible feeding troubles. We ended up in the emergency room in the middle of the night when he was 10 days old. He was diagnosed with severe acid reflux a few days later and was put on medication. This finally helped him start gaining weight back, but he was still having some troubles. His milestones started to fall behind around 3 months. He was not rolling over or doing any of the other things babies his age would typically do. We...

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Mastering the Conference Call When Working From Home

Guest Post Written by Jessie D’Amato Ford I’m a full-time work at home mom. Three days a week I am alone working while my 2 ½ year old goes to school, which sounds less guilty than daycare, and two days I am pulling double duty as a mom and busy professional. Working in my house with a 2 ½ year old all day has its pros and cons. I am so lucky I get this time with my daughter but it’s also hard to get work done. I rely on early mornings and late nights to get all my hours in; luckily my employer is awesome and flexible. They know I’m reliable and I get my job done no matter what. One of the hardest things about working from home, happen to be the dreaded conference calls, duhduhduh…… I came up with a great, albeit short-lived process. I bought a number of dollar store toys, wrapped them up, and put them in a bag. Every time I had a call, I’d bribe my daughter, Lyla, with a toy. Be quiet while I’m on the phone and you get a present. It worked like a charm the first few times. Then three-quarters into my call, she would come in and announce she’s being quiet asking for a present. Finally the last time we used that system, I was on a...

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Food Fight

Guest Post Written by Cora Fuss A mother works in the kitchen cooking dinner while in the living room her children play together happily with her husband. She prepares a beautiful meal and brings it to the table. Everyone sits down together, says grace, and thanks the mother for her delicious meal. The children willingly eat their meal and sit politely while they wait for everyone at the table to finish. Finally, when everyone is done, the children carry their plates to the sink. This sounds like dinner at your house, right? Well it’s certainly not mine! Dinner time at my house looks a little more like this: I look at the clock at 5 and realize I still haven’t started dinner. Lovey and Kitten (ages 4 and 19 months) are arguing over a toy and when they see me leave the living room they scream louder; Kitten runs into the kitchen after me and clings to my leg. Honey, my dear husband, is in the living room trying to get Lovey to stop screaming and cannot therefore come to my rescue to release the leg-clinger. I begin cooking dinner with Kitten attached to my leg. Crap. What was I supposed to make? Baked chicken was on the menu but said chicken is a hard block in the freezer; I resort to Plan B. Pasta. Simple, right? Not. We have many...

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