The hall leading to the auditorium was lined with children's toys, books and play items--all possessing an eerie vibe. The chilling sounds of children's voices over a soundtrack accompanied by chants and other mumbling set the tone for what is sure to be an uncomfortable experience. Allegations of Lewis Carroll's erotic fascination with young girls, particularly the real 11-year-old Alice Liddell, who became the object of Carroll's affections and imaginations were made known to the audience, most of who were hearing the information for the first time through audio and video recordings from documentaries and first hand accounts.
The seating for the play was on stage and arranged in a way that incorporated the audience into the production. There were small remnants of the Wonderland that we use to know. Ace of hearts playing cards, flamingos and tea pots. The cast started the production by performing a set of vocal warm ups and stretches. After a brief reading of the house rules--we were transported to Wonderland.
In his Director''s notes, Dr. Patrick Santoro, Ph.D stated "we have not added words or rewritten scenarios between characters, nor have we worked to provide easy answers or lucid rationales for why things happen, but it also serves as an opportunity to reflect upon our current cultural landscape, in which we have finally begun to call out abuses of power and privilege and to at last name the silences left unspoken..."
Besides putting on a well executed theatrical work of art, the troupe did a fantastic job of bringing the characters we have come to love in unique and abstract ways. From the Cheshire cat, the Caterpillar, The Queen of Hearts, even Humpty Dumpty made an appearance during the 90 minute performance.
Director Dr. Santoro shared with the audience that he was a sexual assault survivor. One can assume that the feelings of isolation, loneliness and mental anguish lead to the production of this timely and appropriate toned work of art. GSU's Alice in Wonderland was met with excitement and anticipation--selling out all 3 shows for November 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Kudos to: Gaston, Nekia, Zachary, C. Kimberly, Carole, Kevin, Kennedi, Sade', Ronald, Melanie, Alex, Manuel, Alasia, Alexa, Samantha, Symone, Breigh, Hayley, Gerardo and Dr. Santoro for a wonderful night of fun, education and entertainment -- BRAVO!
Visit: http://www.govst.edu/About/Center_for_Performing_Arts/All_Events_by_Date/ for upcoming performances.
January 4 - 11, 2019: 14 students, 2 faculty and myself will travel to the country of Panama in the name of Child & Women rights, international relations and human rights advocacy. Governors State University has teamed up with Global Brigades to create a service learning opportunity with the purpose of providing legal clinics and human rights advocacy for women and children.
In order for me to participate in this rare and unique service learning opportunity I must fulfill a financial responsibility of $1900 USD.
I have been awarded a Study Abroad Scholarship from the Global Brigades in the amount of $550 USD and I have paid the security deposit of $250 USD, but I need your help in chipping away at the remaining balance of $1200 USD.
This opportunity is one that will culminate my MSW experience. By nature I am a kind and service oriented person. To have the opportunity to use my advocacy skills, while enmeshed in a new cultural environment, working hand in hand with the natives to change policies and social service program development can only polish and prepare me to be a master level social worker-- not by education, but by experience.
I ask of you Family, Friends, College Friends and Generous Strangers to share this link and help me attain a level of humility and appreciation that only international service learning can cultivate.
What your support would mean to me is indescribable and the positive impact you would have on the lives of Women and Children facing hardship and strife is a noble and honorable deed during this season of giving.
December 3, 2018.
I've missed you darlings. I had to to take a break and focus on some other more urgent items. Quick catch up, I'll soon have a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Holistic Alternatives. I've presented on LGBTQ culture and Sexuality development at the 2018 Illinois Association of Behavioral Health & Residential Facilities statewide conference (pictured to the right). Lastly, I have been making the shift to a plant based diet; slowly might I add...very slowly -HA! Like the new logo? I wanted to go with something more inclusive, fun, vibrant and eye catching.
Enough catching up, lets get to the tea about this Rosé brunch & Nude Trap paint party I went to for my birthday. When I tell you I enjoyed myself, its an understatement.
I heard about the Nude Trap paint party hosted by Chicago Socialites @Zerofuxxsgivin and @Partyboychaz from a co-hort of mine (hey Tara!) in my MSW program. After a brief...and I do mean brief tug of war in my head, I decide that my two best friends and I were going to spend my birthday even creating artistic renditions of male genitalia while listening to our favorite chart topping Trap songs.
The event was catered and had a cash bar with mixed drinks and top shelf liquor. With the purchase of a ticket each guest was allotted on mixed drink. The mixed gender crowd varied in ages and artistic ability. Overall I enjoyed myself. Question is...when is the next one?
My birthday fell on a Sunday this year. decided to have a brunch, I mean who doesn't love a good brunch!? I contacted Chef Chrissy over at Cultivating Catering and she whipped me up a balanced and tasty menu. Guest enjoyed buffalo chicken egg rolls, smoked salmon with cucumbers, capers and red onion slices, along with a fruit tray and assorted pastries and fine breads and more! The guest list consisted of my close friends and family. There were generations of friendships present in one room. We shared laughs and memories as we drank Moet Rosé Champagne. Chicago pastry chef @JoyDevaughnpastryxcake created a delicious "S" shaped cake with buttercream icing and filling -- yum! Rounding out the team was @Promodavefoc behind the camera capturing all the shenanigans.
Courtesy of my friends over at Moet and Chandon, my guest sipped chilled Rosé out of custom gold plated Moet & Chandon endorsed goblets and crystal flutes. These beautiful glasses were shipped to me from France along with a signature Moet ice bucket and serving tray. Both of which added a nice sleek and eye catching touch to the decor.
For this gathering I decided to go with a casual look consisting of Chelsea felt boots from Guess, Black straight legged jeans from the Ralph Lauren collection and a Versace inspired shirt and vintage Versace neck piece. My scent for the evening was a combination of Givenchy Pi and Guess Black.
Join me later this week when I recap Governor State Universities Alice in Wonderland with a sexual assault twist. You don't want to miss this!
Stephen "TheeBlackSocialite" Hale