Not to long ago, a proposal that been floating within the California State Legislators has a bill that will allow state schools to begin their classroom day no earlier than 8:30 in the morning. This bill will require schools up to the high school level not to begin classes before half passed eight. This way, anyone of school age (eighteen year or below) can show up at their local school house by 8:30 AM at the vary latest without missing on those sessions that involve readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmatic.

There has been arguments through parents and/or caretakers over the many school seasons noting for these kids stating that it’s very hard to have these same kids rise at the crack of dawn (sometimes even earlier) in order to get ready for their school day. Some schools even began their classes as early as 7:30 AM. Depending on where the school was located or how the kids got to school, this would mean that a student would have to be up and atom by 6:00 AM or so (perhaps earlier), in order to start their day. In other words, this rise and shine method may be as bad–if not worse–then what the adults have to face getting to their places where they may spend their Monday through Friday antics, usually in the form of some kind of employment and or remote commitment.

Although it’s been many years since this writer was part of the pre-college school curriculum, I can relate to this issue of school starting off way too early. It really wasn’t fun to get up early in the morning in order to take part in an activity that wasn’t a big favorite of mine. It was bad enough where for some six and a half hours per day five days a week, I was cooped up in a rather sterile building where I had to deal with teacher’s (or a number of teacher’s) dirty looks on subjects I found anywhere between mildly amusing to downright dull and boring! What made it worse is that these episodes started before 9:00 AM, a time where during the summer months along with an occasion “no school” day, I would usually get out of bed around that time. It’s only saving grace to getting up a bit earlier on that no-school day was to catch up on some of the game shows that were on daytime TV back then! If I would get up early that weekday morn’ where I didn’t seem to mind, it was because I wasn’t going to school! I can enjoy a full hour of Captain Kangaroo without being rushed to turn off the TV set with my mom hollering at me to hurry up so I won’t be late for class!

Even as an adult, getting to and from one’s job was within the same ilk as going to school. However, unlike a kid heading over to the classrooms where transportation was either by school bus, public transportation, or if one was lucky enough, having one’s mom drive them to school, or having somebody else’s mom drive them as part of a carpool system, the adult would have to drive themselves to the office while fighting through that morning rush hour traffic.

But this writer is speaking for an era that occurred not so long ago when many people worked that 9-to-5 agenda. Within the last few years, telecommuting allowed people to work at home or some other remote place that didn’t require them to be at the office at 9:00 AM on the dot. And thanks to the gig economy, one can work when they wanted to start and ended when they desired to quit for the moment. Just as long as the assignment was completed, it didn’t matter much if one didn’t began the work day at 9:00 AM and completed in by 5:00 PM.

For many kids, that option doesn’t apply. Yes, there are some kids that are “home schooled”, meaning that they receive their education outside of a traditional classroom setting by having a parent or some other adult aged person with the knowledge and ability lead the kids as the teacher for the period. However, very few kids are considered as home schooled. The majority of these kids still get their education at an outside location with other kids of their own age and/or situations.

So even if this bill does pass through the California Legislators, will this starting school no earlier than 8:30 AM make a difference to these kids? It’s rather hard to say, although the so-called experts have their reasons to note on why it will work and/or won’t!

However, thanks to these post modern parents of kids, it will be very likely that they will push their kids in the participation of extra curriculum activities. Many of these activities involve a sporting game play, although a few meet to do something else, especially at the high school level such as computer programming (or “hacking” in today’s speak), or maybe a “cram” session to study for those ever lovin’ SATs, or whatever a pre-adult does in the current landscape. And many of these sessions take place before the school day. So if daughter Taylor and/or son Hunter participate in some kind of event, that practice session may begin at 7:30 AM, meaning that the kid will be at the session location every early. However, Taylor and Hunter picked this activity by choice. If they wanted to play soccer or lacrosse so bad, they will get up before sunrise to play a game or two before regular classes.

Again, this writer can’t speak for today’s landscape as I was never a parent and didn’t have to fight these issues. But if they did have this proposal of post-8:30 schooling way back when, I would not have to worry to getting up earlier each day. I can spend a “school night” staying up late by watching an old movie on the late show, or staying up late tuning in on The Tomorrow Show. I learned a lot more from Tom Snyder’s guests than what I was able to get from Mrs. Klien’s social study’s class. At least Tom sported a better sounding laugh!

The Victory Theatre of Burbank presents the world premier of Judith Leora’s comedy SHOWPONY, a tale of where a working team at a smaller company that turned bigger finds themselves in confusing misunderstandings thanks to the revised rules that exist within the “new normal”.

The setting is an ad agency in New York that recently purchased a smaller boutique firm. Tara (Sionne Elise) is set to lead her group into a new marketing campaign targeting a female demographic. The team itself shows diversity, where fellow members Destiny (Bianca Lemaire), Patricia (Elle Vernee), and Omolola (Krystel Roche) are African-American. One member Sam (Lizzy Kimball) is far from being an ideal team player. In fact, her general attitude is somewhat obnoxious. She is there because she was part of the smaller ad firm that was bought by the bigger agency, so she remains there by default. Thanks to Sam’s going ons during their meeting, mentions of some inner notions held by this group start to leak out in terms of gender aggressions leading toward racism, and how post-modern domestic society treats some of these elements. Their notion are not as intentional at first, but through comments spoken not-so-off the cuff, these actions lead towards a spiral of how people of sex and color (i.e. “non-white”) are set within their own place verses on how they should be placed. And these same actions affects Tara’s boss Walker (Marshall McCabe) the only male of the bunch. A lot of diverse and not-so-diverse secrets and blown out of the water thanks to shifts of who’s right and what’s tolerated in the domesticated world of now!

This original comedy by Judith Leora is a very low-key satire of the recent upbringing based on factors between the so-called “#me too” movement, the “black lives matter” issues, and other perceptions that fall under the category of “political correctness”. Using those elements as a basis, the real focus is the comic repertory the ensemble casts holds up toward themselves. Sionee Elise as Tara is the true “white” woman that rose up from her previous world with the ambitions she keeps for herself. Her team members Destiny, Patricia, and Omolola do face the odds of being women of color, yet they do hold on to their professional commitments as well. Marshall McCabe as Walker may be the “token male” of the group that slides into a point where he falls as a victim of circumstance. Perhaps the character that stands out is Sam as played by Lizzy Kimball. She is the type that the team would want to toss out the window with a minimal height of about twenty stories, but can’t because she is part of the company by default!

The play could be called a “black comedy”, but in a different tone. The comic barbs projected are very witty, and the story line could be almost ripped from today’s headlines. Tom Ormeny, co-artistic director for The Victory Theatre, directs this show that hold high amusement factor, yet displays a bit of realism that many would not admit to when challenged otherwise. That is how real that this play can get.

Special mentions goes toward Evan Bartoletti’s set design that shows the boardroom of the ad agency in act one, and a fancy Miami hotel room in act two, utilizing the same furnishings that is slightly modified. Both sets show the spirit of the working and leisure settings that merges business and pleasure into one.

SHOWPONY is indeed a very original comedy that keeps its pace for today’s domestic landscape, while showing the same respect that the changes of what’s right and what isn’t is making its grade. Kudos to the playwright and its on-stage cast to focus the attention on speaking for these matters without going too far (or deep) into what it’s really all about. It’s all presented with keeping things moving while focusing on the funny side! Those elements may be strange bedfellows, but it all works out to the final crowning point!

SHOWPONY, presented by The Victory Theatre’s Barebones Ensemble, and performs at The Victory Theatre mainstage, 3326 West Victory Blvd., one block east of Hollywood Way, Burbank, until November 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM.
For ticket reservations and for more information, call (818) 841-5421, or via online at http://www.TheVictoryTheatreCentre.org
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!


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