In Iceland: Day Three (Post Two)–Viðey Island

(This post is by Bridget Rose McJohn, BMC class of 2017.)

As Kristin mentioned earlier, our Sunday began with the morning free to wander through Reykjavik, try local treats, or to get some more necessary rest.

That afternoon we made our first trip on public transportation to Viðey Island for a day of exploration and God Spy character development.

Videy Island
Photo credit to Amy Radbill.

As we sipped our hot chocolate and ate our waffles in the cafe, many of us talked about the bizarre juxtaposition of the view of Reykjavik as we stood on the island. How can something that feels so serene only be a short ferry ride away from the busy capital? This may be because the island has been uninhabited for so long. While there were villages as early as the 10th century, the last residents moved off of the island in the 1950s.

Skúli Magnússon, known as the “father of Reykjavik,” built his home–the first stone building in Iceland–in 1755. Magnússon’s bouse is now used as the coffee shop.

Skulli Magnusson's House now the cafe
Skúli Magnússon’s house, Viðeyjarstofa, now the site of a lovely cafe. Photo credit to Amy Radbill.

Various statues and a horse barn have been added to the island, leaving Viðey mostly untouched by modern development. Nature flourishes there with over thirty species of birds and 156 different types of plants (this is about a third of Iceland’s flora on one island). The remoteness of this island attracts not only tourists, but also offers so many ways for us to play with the landscape and observe daily life from afar.

A Report From Rehearsal: Building the Characters

(This post is by Bridget St. John, BMC class of 2017.)

Around the giant table
Around the giant table. Photo Credit To Bridget St. John.

The initial check-ins included words like mess, scattered, wasted (meant to be rested), early, nervous, angry, late, hopeless, distraught, sad, tense, anxious, and Coke tea. We were able to push through this energy and accomplish a lot today!

Beginning with a reflection, we continued to expand the God’s spy character toolbox. Where has your character been? What has she seen?
Moving upstairs, we started to play with the shift between the world of Lear and the God’s spies. What are the ways in which your spy informs your Lear character? People began to make very interesting choices by switching seats, calling others over to them, and deciding to stand (on the table or just from their seat). Each shift, glance, head turn, and other minor movements become magnified at the table. Alliances become clear, and I personally really started to feel the tension of this first scene.