Play Sonnet 148
O me! what eyes hath Love put in my head,
Which have no correspondence with true sight;
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,
That censures falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
What means the world to say it is not so?
If it be not, then love doth well denote
Love’s eye is not so true as all men’s: no,
How can it? O! how can Love’s eye be true,
That is so vexed with watching and with tears?
No marvel then, though I mistake my view;
The sun itself sees not, till heaven clears.
O cunning Love! with tears thou keep’st me blind,
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.
Sonnet 148 ponders the effect of love on our vision, both literal and figurative.
Will wonders aloud what love has done to his eyes that prevents him from seeing clearly, or else to his judgement that prevents him from making clear decisions. Because he is in love, he thinks the woman he fancies beautiful, though the rest of the world begs to differ. He attributes this to lying awake and crying, and like a cloud in front of the sun it sullies his view. Love keeps him blind with tears and prevents him from seeing his lady’s faults.
Teardrop Park, Manhattan
A tiny play-oasis… Teardrop Park is a public park in downtown Manhattan, in Battery Park City, near the site of the World Trade Center. It was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, a New York City landscape architecture firm. The park includes art designed for it by Ann Hamilton. The park sits between residential buildings towards the north end of Battery Park City at the corner of Warren Street and River Terrace.
The creation of Teardrop Park is part of the ongoing construction of Battery Park City, a neighborhood on the southwest edge of Manhattan Island that was created in the 1970s by landfilling the Hudson River between the existing bulkhead and the historic pierhead line. Before construction, the site was empty and flat. The park was designed in anticipation of four high residential towers that would define its eastern and western edges.
The park opened on September 30, 2004, and is one of several in Battery Park City. Located near Rockefeller Park, which has a popular playground with standard equipment, Teardrop Park was designed in collaboration with play experts from the Natural Learning Initiative to complement rather than replicate the existing play area. Teardrop’s play elements are integrated into the landscape to allow city children to interact with natural materials such as water, plants, rock, and sand.
The shadier southern half of the site is an active play area featuring a long slide, two sand pits, “theatre steps” and a water playground. The northern half of the park is unprogrammed play space featuring a broad lawn, which is graded to catch the most light from the south, park benches, a small wetland play path, and a perched gathering area made from New York State rocks, an installation created by the artist Ann Hamilton. Dividing these two areas is a large rock wall, constructed from sedimentary rocks brought from elsewhere in New York State. The rocks are stacked to resemble a natural stratum and include a water source to allow icicles to form in the winter. A short tunnel connects the two areas, and is an homage to Frederick Law Olmsted and the tunnels he created within Central Park in New York City. Pathways criss-cross the site, providing elevated views within the park and beyond as well as urban connections across the park.
The park was designed in accordance with Battery Park City’s Green Guidelines. Sustainable initiatives include reusing gray water collected from the surrounding buildings in the irrigation of the park as well as the selection of sustainable construction materials. The plantings of Teardrop Park are designed to thrive on a relatively shady site and provide habitat for native and migratory birds. The soils of the park are designed to support plant life without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
With construction beginning in 2008 and completion projected in 2009, Teardrop Park will be expanded across the street to the south. The design of Teardrop South is also by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and it will continue certain themes from the original park. The new portion of the park will address its heavily shaded microclimate through the introduction of three 8-foot-diameter (2.4 m) heliostats, or solar mirrors, that reflect the sun from the top of a residential apartment building in Battery Park City. The mirrors were designed by Carpenter Norris Consulting.
When it opened in 2004, Teardrop Park was praised for its use of natural plantings in a children’s park. One article described the park as being crowded with children and parents, jampacked with experience, and offering a welcome naturalistic retreat from the city. Another critic said the park was barely used because it didn’t offer enough things to do. A subsequent article, written by child development experts who helped design the park, said a study indicated that the park is well used, and “deserves to be praised as a successful public space.”
1. Hines, Susan, “Abstract Realism”, Landscape Architecture, February 2007
2. Great Public Spaces, Project for Public Spaces, New York
3. Moore, Robin, “Critic at Large: Reason to Smile at Teardrop,” Landscape Architecture, December 2007, p. 136
ACTOR – Brendan Averett
Brendan Averett started acting as a senior in high school after his father suggested he take a drama class as an elective – perhaps to get Brendan to do something constructive with his silliness. This small breakfast table suggestion changed his life forever. After graduating from high school, two years of studying biology at San Jose State University and doing theatre on the side, he abandoned his childhood dream of becoming a genetic engineer and moved to Los Angeles to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena.
After graduating in 1993 and stage managing a couple of shows, Brendan continued his study by attending the British-American Drama Academy’s “Midsummer in Oxford” conservatory program. Upon returning, he landed his first acting job playing Pistol in Henry V. Since then, he has performed in 38 plays – almost half of which have been productions of Shakespeare.
He is the 2003 Fellow for the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, attended the festival’s conservatory program and went on to perform for two seasons there. He has performed at many theaters across the nation including Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles, The Goodman, as well as The Court Theatre in Chicago, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Saint Louis Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory and The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. He also performed in Julie Taymor’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience’s new space – the Polonsky Shakespeare Center.
Brendan directed the film of Sonnet 141.
DIRECTOR – Matt Scott
Matt Scott is a filmmaker living in NYC. He wrote, directed, and edited the short Once Loser for the 2013 48 Hour Film Project, which swept the major awards and screened as part of the Filmapalooza festival in New Orleans last March. In 2012, he wrote and directed an indie TV pilot, The Spirit Seeker!, starring Mary Birdsong, Brian Huskey, Romy Rosemont, and Michael Blaiklock. He’s also created comedy shorts for FunnyorDie and NBC’s DotComedy, as well as documentaries and corporate videos through his secret identity as president of TornadoMedia. He thanks William Shakespeare for a great script.