Below are some of the texts I would like to record this semester as part of my Poetry and Prose Performances Project:
“Making a Change” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“If I were a Man” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The wikipedia page for Charlotte Perkins Gilman is quite good.
“The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde
“How the Alphabet was Made” by Rudyard Kipling
“Birches” by Robert Frost
More than individual pieces, I have selected authors based on the following criteria:
- They are commonly assigned
- They are short enough to be read aloud in 10-30 minutes
- They sound good read aloud.
We will not necessary record all of these, and may record other pieces by these authors
Another important reason why I chose each of these stories is that I like them. Of these 6, all but “The Happy Prince” have been my favorites since I was a preteen. And when I read “The Happy Prince” last night, I nearly cried it was so sad and good (it was recommended by a good friend with good taste).
Think “The Giving Tree” but by Oscar Wilde.
I allow my own likes and dislikes to enter into the decision of which pieces to pick, not only because I believe I have good taste in children’s books, but also because I will probably spend around 10 hours working to record, edit, makes movies of and promote these works, and I will not do that well for pieces I do not feel passionately about.
I will probably also be adding “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1919), by T. S. Eliot and Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie based on performer suggestions. I am very exited about including Peter Pan, but am nervous because it is so long. More on that later.
Another important factor, thinking about this today, is that all of these pieces are childhood appropriate and still meaningful for adults. Like Bugs Bunny cartoons, there are stories for children to enjoy and jokes for the adults minding them to enjoy. Here’s a famous example of Bugs Bunny playing to two audiences. I know when I was little, I loved that Elmer Fudd had a funny accent, and that Bugs was dressed as a woman to avoid Elmer Fudd.
Now as a minor in Vocal Performance, I love the opera spoofing–so good!
Fred Allen – “Television is a medium because anything well done is rare.”