L’important, c’est de poser des questions!

Toujours des questions.

Tintamarrathon 2011 was a remarkable journey.  Thirteen passionate theatre enthusiasts set forth to spread their message to people of all ages, demonstrating the important role theatre plays in society and in the building of communities. Celebrating diversity and embracing every challenge as it arose, we accomplished more in three weeks than we thought was possible.

3 weeks
21 days
504 hours
30240 minutes
1814400 seconds
3300+ spectators

Countless special moments and interactions that will remain forever engrained in our hearts and memories as we reflect upon this experience in the years to come.

Wow. There was something special about every audience, and something that excited us about every space we performed in. We had the privilege of meeting people from all over and of participating in excellent discussions about Bouffe’s themes as well as about the Tintamarre process and general life as a Mount Allison student.  The actors were always learning throughout this process, as new questions and points to ponder were brought forward after nearly every show.

After an amazing journey, it was difficult to find a way to wrap things up on here that could somehow be a fair representation of our experiences together.  We’ve decided that we’d like to share some of our favorite thoughts, memories, and moments of tour with you to finish things off.  Of course, it was impossible to recapture everything, but here are some of our reflections on highlights and favorite moments of the three weeks…

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Tour is now over and I am thrilled to have been a part of such a wonderful experience and to have shared it with an amazing group of people.  We made magic happen in so many different spaces, had engaging audiences, and quite the variety of questions from our audiences in our discussions after the shows were over.  This play not only entertained people, but it also gave me insight about all the foods that surrounds us every day.

It was great to live with people who were very much in tune with healthy eating, and I absolutely loved cooking with everyone in the kitchen.  We had an amazing variety of food because of different family backgrounds, allergies, and the fact that we were so aware of what we were eating especially after Bouffe!  Right after a long day on the road we would all come home to Cuthbertson and cook a delicious supper together containing salads, all the vegetables you can imagine, homemade bread (the best kind there is), and some kind of dessert afterward.  We loved to help each other and everyone pitched in whenever there was space in the kitchen, all the while happily singing with each other in harmony.  Cooking and learning new delicious recipes was an incredible experience and even after returning to my hometown, I have introduced many of these healthy recipes to my family.

Thank you to Alex, the cast of Bouffe, and all the audience members for making these past three weeks the most amazing, entertaining, educational and delicious three weeks I have ever had.

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Tinta-marrathon it certainly was.  I found this incredible experience
to be both extremely demanding and extremely rewarding.  Pendant mon voyage en train
j’ai pensé beaucoup aux trois dernières  semaines et aux personnes qui  les ont rendues si géniales et superfantasmagoriques!  I am slowly realizing how unique and longlasting the Tintamarrathon experience is. I feel like the most recognizable thing that I learned/experienced on tour is the magical ability of group creativity and collaboration to produce phenomenal things and also build momentum and energy!  C’est magnifique, ce qu’on peut créer ensemble si on a la direction et la compatibilité.

Something I loved particularly, and found absolutely beautiful, about Tintamarrathon, was all the music we created together all the time.  Singing and Orchestres and jamming and dancing to tunes in the car…  I always feel like creating music together is an incredibly good way of tightening a group and it makes me SO happy.  It is always especially magical when it is spontaneous, as it was much of the time with Tintamarre.  I also really value creating and eating food together as an exquisite part of community, and we did a lot of that in Cuthbertson house!

J’ai adoré la diversité de toutes les écoles et leur rapport avec nous.  Il y avait des élèves qui ont bien aimé Bouffe! dans chaque école mais les réactions et les questions étaient toutes différentes et fantastiques.

I will cherish the memories of the several big potlucks we hosted in Cuthbertson, so much happiness and good food and music.  And also the night we made a Bouffe! dinner to share with Alex and Margaret!  The amount of excitement and enthusiasm and how much we all got so into it was SO much fun and I will always remember!  The pinnacle moment was when we could see Alex and Margaret come out of their house and we went a little crazy because we were not yet fully prepared with a plan.  It was fabulous and hilarious and tremendous fun!

Merci beaucoup à tous les Tintamarriens et Tintamarriennes de cette année et des années passées qui ont contribué à cette collaboration magnifique de Tintamarre, et aussi un hyper-grand merci à Alex qui est toujours le ‘compositeur’ si doué et généreux.
Je vous aime tous, et je vais profiter de cette aventure, et l’esprit de Tintamarre restera avec moi très longtemps, toujours même!

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I think one of the moments that sticks out for me is in a high school one morning when a girl came to talk to us after the show. We didn’t have time for a discussion, so as the kids left we all sat on the edge of the stage and debriefed. Then, a student came up to us alone and asked us some questions about Tintamarre and Mount A. I don’t remember her name, but I do remember feeling really good about what we were doing, and how it could affect people like this girl on a personal level. It is feelings like that one that I think will stick with me the most.

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La fin du tournee…

Whirlwind. That is what I would call it. A delightful whirlwind that tucked us into parts of the Maritimes I have never seen, and that I fell in love with. There was so much to learn from each other, and from the students we met wherever we set up our colourful set!

It’s hard for me to sum up my feelings about the fantastic pocket of time we all shared these past weeks, but I can share a memory with you, a memory that is a little glimpse of what the Tintamarathon was for me…

It was the morning of our second day touring, our first show of our first three show day (!!). All the actors tumbled out of our vehicles, and trooped over to the front doors of Birchmount Elementary School. The sunlight was golden, it was a grand spring morning, and, quite spontaneously, we began to sing.

Sunrise, he bring in the morning,
Sunrise, he bring in the morning,
Scattering the rays all arou-wow-wowo-wow-wowo-wow…….

We were happy, excited and raring to go, and our voices kept building on top of each other, waking up, stretching out (a good thing to do before a show!). A teacher was walking just a little ways in front of us, and as we kept singing, she started to dance! She turned around and told us she wished we were there everyday, because this was the way to start out the day! Something about that little exchange sticks with me. It was just our second day of touring, but already we were all connected to each other, listening and collaborating. Once we reached the doors we waited for the “Go” from Alex, and unloaded our Bouffe world into the Birchmount gym. With such an energy between us, we could go into a new space happily, and build a relationship between the audience as we performed, to help us create the world of Bouffe.

Merci. Je vous embrasse tous, et j’ai hâte pour les aventures qui vous attendent! MERDE!!!

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It is impossible for me to pinpoint just one moment to share with you as, for me, the magic of tour started back in April when we were at the university call center, contacting anciens Tintamarrien(ne)s from all over the world. Alex always tells us that the Tintamarre community is far reaching over space and time, and that “once a Tintamarrien, always a Tintamarrien”. I never realized how much truth there was to this statement until I had the opportunity to chat with people who had graduated decades ago and still cherished their memories from Tintamarre as some of the highlights of their youth. It was an amazing experience to reminisce with these individuals, some of whom participated in the very first Tintamarrathon, and to find out where they are and what they are doing now. Strangers by all other means, but joined by one golden thread: Alex Fancy et Tintamarre. We talk about community amongst ourselves, but this extended community was amazing to see. As I am entering the last year of my degree (and my last year in Tintamarre), it was comforting to see that Alex’s ‘catch-phrase’ is true.

As for tour, there were many magical moments. One that stands out happened after a show at a school in Nova Scotia. After loading everything back into the van, we stopped to debrief in the beautiful sunshine before heading to our next show. Alex informed us of a discussion he’d had with a teacher following the presentation, where she informed him that a class of 26 special needs students were in the audience to see Bouffe. She was quite emotional, as she said she’d never before seen them so attentive for such a long period of time. This was incredible, as the students were so engaged in the show that we never would have known they had any particular challenges, and we had some really neat questions from that school. Many of the actors were teared up after Alex’s story, as it reminded us of the value in what we were doing.

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 Of all of my memories of Tintamarre, perhaps my favourite was our long Friday, May 6th. It was an excellent showcase of how Tintamarre can be entertaining for diverse audiences, when we performed for a high school in Amherst, NB, an elementary and high school in Oxford, NS and the PEI Food Security Network in Charlottetown with resounding success. The day was long, the longest that we had, and by the time that we got home from Charlottetown it was nearly 2 am. Undoubtedly, it was a day I will never forget.

It was one of those days that felt like a week, because so much happened. I was feeling really sick, and felt like I was not going to make it through the day, but the energy of the group powered me up (only to help me crash the next following days when we were resting). After feeling absolutely zonked, we managed to put on 3 very good shows. The highlight of the day itself had to come from Oxford, when two of the helpers that came to help us unpack had already read the script. I kept my eye on both of them during the show, and as they were following the script, I could see how much wonder filled their eyes as we performed. They let us know that before we arrived, they had been reading through the script, and one of the girls had the script on hand so that she could follow along when we were performing. Afterwards, I chatted with one of them and her happiness was something that made me totally content.
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The touring cast members have now gone their separate ways for the summer. Five of the twelve have graduated and have exciting adventures awaiting them. We couldn’t have imagined a better way to end the year than with Tintamarrathon 2011, and we’d like to thank all of the teachers and students at the schools we visited for making it all possible.  We’d also like to thank our supporters and les anciens Tintamarriens that helped us to raise funds for this experience; without your help, we could not have done this.

We’d also like to send the biggest of thank yous to Alex and his wife Margaret for providing us with this invaluable opportunity, and for the lovely meals we’d find on our doorstep after a long day on the road.

Je vous souhaite, à tous et a toutes, une très belle été! Merci beaucoup. 🙂

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So Much Love

The past three weeks have been an incredible journey for each and every one of us. We’ve learned, grown, and done so much in such a small stretch of time that it’s hard to wrap our minds around everything.  We’re all still processing our adventures, but over the next few days we’re going to compile some of our favorite tour moments and memories into a final Tintamarrathon 2011 blog post.

Sunday’s final show was one of our best. We were all relying on each other 100% and the performance was as much for ourselves and for each other as it was for the audience.  In many ways, it was a celebration of the family we’ve become, and of all the challenges we’ve overcome in such a short time. Performing our last show in Windsor Theatre, our home, makes a complete circle in the process. It gives us the closure we need as things draw to a close. At the end of the show, we had a special surprise planned for Alex.  We rewrote the lyrics to some of the show songs and sang our creation to him at the end, in front of the spectators. We had a lot of fun writing the song, which was, of course, a collaborative process. It reflected not only our adventure, but the entire creation/learning process as a whole. By the end, many of us were in tears. Tour is such an amazing experience, and the end is always bittersweet.

These are the lyrics we wrote for Alex,

We’re all a little sad because the tour must end,
Nous étions enracinés et en communauté,
On a l’estime de soi, fera du bénévolat,
Car nous admirons tant la collaboration,
Les défis de tous les jours,
Et tous les calembours.

Lately we’ve been pondering the places we’ve been wand’ring
Bout the moments we are sharing and not squandering.
Lately we’ve been grasping that these lessons, they are lasting
In our lives, from all the things we’re asking.

Hey, depuis quelque peu on connait cette personne
qui nous enseigne, qui nous inspire, qui transmet son passion.
Son énergie va durer plus longtemps qu’on peut le dire
et nous on va la conjuger à l’avenir (x2)

What would life be like without the Alex Fancy?
How could we ever cope without Margaret or Nancy?
Who would encourage us when we’re feeling antsy?
What else can we say? We love you Alex Fancy!

Love, love, la la la love, (x4)

So much love.

Vive le theatre!

Our tour family. ❤

It’s been a slice and a half . . .

Well well well and OH LA LA!, here we find ourselves on the last day of our Tintamarrathon. We have our last show in a matter of hours at Windsor Theatre. We expect to see lots of familiar faces in the audience – mainly family members and former Tintamarriens and Tintamarriennes. On a hâte, mais en même temps, c’est pas mal triste que la tournée soit terminée aujourd’hui. As one of our fellow Tintamarriennes put it last night: we are so enamored with one another and BOUFFE!, we’re going to go through intense withdrawal in the days to come. Ah, what an amazing and enriching experience this has been!

Though there were some challenges and obstacles of overcome (fatigue?!), our last two days of tour went fantastically! We departed at 6 am on Thursday for Miramichi to start off our last three-show day. One neat thing about performing at Harkins Middle School was that we were performing for the entire school and not just the students in French immersion or drama. This presented us with the challenge of engaging those who didn’t necessarily understand the French lines in the play.  But animated we did make ourselves and I think the exaggerated expression paid off! We also had to be mindful of starting back at zero for the second show so we had costumes and props in place! It was a challenge to make such a quick turn around. At times it felt like we were accidentally repeating our lines, though it was just that we had said them in the same space not even an hour before!

From Harkins we headed to Bonar Law Memorial School where we were performing on a smaller stage and had to focus a lot of projecting our voices. We had a lot of focused energy and it was overall a very strong performance. We would’ve liked to have a discussion with the students afterwards, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in a day! Quelle belle journée!!

On Friday we performed in Springhill in the AM. We were performing on a very shallow stage, which I think made us more focused than usual because there was less room to goof around backstage! The spectators were buzzing with excitement and were very receptive, which led to some wonderful questions following the performance!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the great questions! We have learned so much from the after-show questions and discussions. Oh so much!! Our last school performance was in Pugwash – what a beautiful part of Nova Scotia – where we had a much bigger stage to play on in the gymnasium. We arrived to drawings of our characters that the kids had drawn in class! We were THRILLED! I think our excitement led to a less focused show, but some would beg to differ, as they felt it was one of their strongest shows. It is funny how that can happen. We did a workshop afterwards with the students, which was lots and lots of fun.

It’s hard to believe we only have one performance left. It is going to feel a little weird to not have to load out the set before the show, as it is ready and waiting for us at Windsor Theatre! And oh my goodness, everyone is waiting for me at the door. I must be off!!

Une bonne soirée

We are getting ever closer to our final show, and none of us are quite ready to say goodbye. There have been so many fantastic moments on and offstage, each interaction with the students has been unique, and the questions let us delve deeper into our story and our process as the Tintamarre troupe!

We are quite attached to our story…so much so that it leaks out, beyond the stage, and fills the rest of our lives! Last Sunday, we had the wonderful Alex and Margaret Fancy over for dinner, to our Cuthbertson homeland. As a troupe, we went over the top (to see what was on the other side!) and made a themed meal, everything a play off lines or foods mentioned in the play!

And so it begins...

These are some snippets -should I say some “tasters”?- of the marvelous feast and laughter that we shared this time last week.

(Please forgive our nostalgia. We are trying to linger in the past, making the tour stretch as far as possible….)

Nous voici, chez Mister Bouffe! (Sauf avec de la bonne bouffe…)

En attendant les Fancys

Ready and waiting...

Les voilà!

Quelle belle équipe…

Vive la collaboration!

Around the Bay of Fundy and back again…

Well, what a wonderful pas few days!

Monday was a great delve back into the swing of the tour, first at E.B. Chandler in Amherst, NS and the Marshview Middle school here in Sackville. The spaces were so different and dynamic… It is fantastic to see the engagement in the faces of students in the audience…There is definitely something magical about being able to play off the laughter, the eye contact and awe in the faces of les spectateurs. When there is shared light for the actors and audience alike, how the energy flows!
And a lovely touch — for our Secret Sauces song at the Marshview show, the students added another dimension to the show: high fives! As some of us danced into the audience, students reached out their hands for high fives, cementing the strong connection between the audience and us! And then there were SO MANY QUESTIONS! Such wonderful, wonderful, wonderful questions. So many we hadn’t heard before!

And that was Monday.

We are now back in Cuthbertson, quite knackered, but well fed and really happy about the past few days. We were on the road last night, bunking in the amazing house of a fellow actor in Saint John. We had two shows yesterday, both in Windsor, NS – Avon View High School. It was a rainy drive up, but with song and conversation (and snoozing) we were in great shape.

The space at Avon View was great, and unlike any of the spaces we’d been in before! We were in a wonderful drama classroom, and had the amazing luxury of performing two shows in one place — quite the luxury to a whirlwind tour such as the one under our belts!
We only had to set up once!! The challenge then, since we had no relocation, was to make sure that everything was in its beginning positions, taking things from the end of the play back to the very beginning.

C’est formidable d’avoir l’opportunité a discuter avec les étudiants et étudiantes de chaque école…chaque école a ses propres questions. With each question we are asked, the whole troupe learns more about our own characters and the process. Quelle belle experience!

After our two shows, we zoomed back to Sackville, fueled up on a delicious soup that Margaret had made us and was waiting at home on our step, and in an hours time we were in the cars once more, driving down to Saint John in the dark. At 10 or so, we tumbled into a wonderfully cozy house in Saint John, and discovered a beautiful room filled with mattresses and pillows and blankets. (Our intrepid Alex had his own room, away from the giggling.) In no time at all, we were all fast asleep, and woke up to a fantastic spread for breakfast that fueled us beautifully for today!
Today: What a gorgeous drive! We do live in a beautiful corner of the world, we do we do. Our first show today was at Fundy High School at 9:15. The audience was great and engaged, feeding energy back and forth in a wonderful way for an early morning show! And then the questions afterward were such fun…It really in fantastic how after 17 shows now, we are still encountering brand new questions!

We loaded the van up once more, this time in the sunshine (Hurra!) and zipped down the road to Back Bay Elementary school – a new location to the Tintamarrathon!! The troupe fell in love with the lovely shingled school just from the outside, and its location overlooking the Bay…
There were students from grade 3 to grade 8, both from Back Bay and visiting from Deer Island! What a great audience. The show was in the gym of Back Bay, with the most phenomenal acoustics. Our lines reverberated back to us quite powerfully, and collectively we pulled back our volume (we’ve gotten so used to filling large gymnasiums!), shaping to the space.
We had an impromptu mini-workshop with the students after our show… we sprang off the stage, and made a giant circle to teach the kids “Wiggle Bottom” (*our Dragon-specific variation!) and then sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (complete with Tintamarre motions, to be sure!). What fun!

Although the weather did journey into more of a blustery, grey day, on the drive back to Sackville we stopped at a lovely beach along the Bay…A wonderful Tintamarre tradition! We raced and galloped along the sand, jumped into the air, examined rocks and shells, and then piled back into the cars, slightly sandier, and trundled back to Sackville.

We have an early day ahead of us tomorrow. It is hard to believe that we are so close to the end of our tour. Just two more days touring to schools, and then one final show here at Mount Allison. We’ve been living in a bit of a tour bubble, oblivious to the fact that it will end, or stubbornly denying the nearing final show. What a wonderful experience it has been. Filled with great food and music alongside such fantastic adventures in schools across the provinces.
Phew! There. What a mouthful…Or rather, “screenful”. There are photographs too, to accompany these tales, but for now…To bed I must head. 6 am on the road tomorrow.

Bonne nuit!

Fun, Fatigue, and Fantastic Weather!

Friday was our second three-show day of tour, and what an incredible day it was!!!

We started Friday morning off with a show in Amherst, Nova Scotia at Amherst Regional High.  None of this year’s touring cast had been there before, and it was a treat!  The band was practicing as we were loading in, and the upbeat music was an incredible way to start our day off!  We were dancing and singing as we set up, and felt incredibly energized for our early show.  The space was really neat, and the audience was very receptive!  Although we didn’t have the opportunity to have a post-show discussion with these students, some stayed after to chat with the troupe. We had some fantastic discussions that left us all with smiles on our faces. 🙂

Our second show of the day was in Oxford, Nova Scotia, at the Oxford Regional Education Center.  This was Tintamarre’s first visit to the very new school, et quelle belle après-midi! We were met with incredibly warm greetings and had two very helpful grade eight students meet us at the doors as we were loading in!  They were excited to find out what roles we were playing, as some of the classes at Oxford had read the text in class and had taken ownership of different characters in the process.  It’s always really exciting when we find out that the students coming to watch our show have already done some work on it beforehand, because we know they’ll be watching out for some of their favorite parts and they’re already familiar with a lot of the themes we raise pendant le spectacle. It’s also a lot of fun to hear about their thoughts and expectations before seeing the show, and to hear their reactions afterward. Oxford also presented us with a unique opportunity: we performed for grades 4-12 all at once!  We usually perform for one age group at a time and adapt our style to each audience. This new challenge gave the actors a really neat chance to respond to the energy exchange among all audience members.

We were presented with another unique opportunity Friday night, when we went to Charlottetown, PEI to perform an evening show for all ages.  We were invited by the PEI Food Security Council, and the post-show discussion was one that raised some excellent questions with some people as dedicated to the cause as many of us. It was really great to have the chance to perform for adults as well, as all of our other shows are for school audiences.  This show led to one of our longest discussions and the cast was thrilled with the outcome!

Overall, Friday was an amazing end to a fantastic week!  We didn’t arrive back in Sackville until after midnight, so the sleepy cast members were more than ready for a well-deserved siesta!  This weekend has been spent relaxing and enjoying quality down-time, enjoying the weather and getting rested up for our second week on the road.  Some of the cast went in to Moncton to see McSweeney’s Dinner Theatre’s current show, The House on Magnetic Hill, last night, and had a fabulous time.  Un ancien Tintamarrien est un des comédiens qui jouent dans la pièce, et le texte a été écrit par un élève de MTA – what a treat!  It was a nice change to be in the audience instead of in the show, and we thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the experience!  Today we are preparing une bonne bouffe for our director and his wonderful wife, to toast to this past week’s progress and to the excitement of the week ahead. Tomorrow morning we’ll be back on the road with two shows, and we’re all very excited!  With eleven shows complete, we’ve got another twelve to go, finishing up one week from today at Windsor Theatre as part of the Convocation Weekend activities.

Amherst to Oxford, and all the way to P.E.I.!

Hyper-machin-truc se prepare

Gothica nous donne un petit sourire

Les Bouffequetaires pratiquent

Planning post-show outside Amherst

Playing outside Oxford Education Centre

Waiting to load the van with the set

Never will we stop being young

Fuelling up before our show in P.E.I.

Un partie de la troupe à Charlottetown

Warming up backstage, just before the show!

Funky Dragon! Le Dragon dort ce soir…

Boum!  Patatras! Vlan! Crash! What a day, what a day! Nos deux spectacles aujourd’hui  s’étaient très bien passés.  En fait, ils étaitent génials! This morning at Tantramar High School we were a little tired to begin with, (this has been an intense week!!) but we got energized by our warm up singing Siyahumba and playing Samurai-Intergalactica.  Aussi, les spectateurs nous ont donné beaucoup d’énergie parce qu’ils étaient très engagés dès le début, en dépit de l’heure (il était tôt!).  Both shows today, at Tantramar High and then at Harmony Heights Elementary, were some of our best so far, and at Harmony Heights we had a record set-up time of 8 minutes!  The group of grade 4 and 5 students at Harmony Heights were incredibly friendly and excited!  They were very welcoming and helpful and they asked a lot of great questions at the end of the show.  On était déçus de partir de Harmony Heights aussi tôt, avant d’avoir eu l’occasion de répondre à toutes les questions (il y en avait tellement!). Pourtant, les paroles d’Alex avant de partir étaient très importantes et bien reçues: il a encouragé les spectateurs de continuer à poser des questions entre-eux, dans les salles de classe (Cue line from the play— *toujours des questions*!) Indeed we hope participants continue to ask questions and think about the play together! Another twinkle in the eye of today was the friendly DRAGON that greeted us at Harmony Heights. Dragon sur l’affiche, dragon sur le plancher du gymnase… dragons dragons everywhere! Our imaginations were inspired to incorporate the mythical creature into our warm up activities– this included renditions of In the Jungle…(the dragon sleeps tonight) and Wiggle Dragon (Funky Dragon! Who’s the Coolest Dragon?!) and Dragon-Raisin Sec for facial muscle warm-up. Lively and enriching discussion, dynamic energy exchange, warm welcomes and general group bonding through collective creativity made this day yet another success… in a different way than every other day so far… (*vive la différence!*) and we are excited to embark on another unique adventure tomorrow! Ces dragons doivent se coucher afin d’avoir la force pour nos 3 spectacles demain! Bonne nuit! More soon!

6 spectacles et 1 atelier déja complet!

It’s hard to believe that it’s only Wednesday, and that we’ve already performed six shows and done our first workshop.  Time is flying by and the cast is falling into the swing of things as tour progresses.  We’ve cut our set up time down from about 20 minutes to 13ish, and practice makes perfect so we’re hoping to get it down to 10 in the coming shows.

Yesterday was our first of three 3-show days of tour.  We did three shows in the Moncton area: Birchmount, Bessborough (+Hillcrest), and Riverview.  The first 3-show day is the most taxing, particularly when the shows are in three different locations, but we were all pretty proud of our accomplishments by the time 4pm rolled around and we’d finished for the day. The Moncton shows were a lot of fun, as we had the opportunity to perform for a wide range of ages back to back. The audiences were spectacular, and the warmth with which les Tintamarriens were welcomed into the schools made us feel right at home.  We only had the opportunity to have a post-show discussion at Birchmount school as time was tight, but the questions raised were phenomenal and allowed for great discussion that I don’t think either the cast or the students wanted to end.

After a two-hour break back in Sackville over supper, we left for New Glasgow to stay at a lovely Comfort Inn last night.  We departed from the hotel early this morning to head to Antigonish for the first show of the day, and were met by enthusiastic greetings as always.  Following the show at J.H. Gillis, the troupe went to Alma to perform at Northumberland High School, where we held our first workshop with students following the post-show discussion.  Discussions following today’s show were also excellent; each raising different aspects to consider.  Something incredible about the question periods is that the actors are often learning along with the audience as we are asked about elements we may not have previously considered.

Particular challenges for the cast included adjusting to each space.  Le théâtre est partout, and any space can be transformed into a stage.  So far this week, we have performed in four theatres and two gymnasiums. Chaque endroit nous a présenté avec certaines défis, incluant la projection et des changements à la mise en place. When we are in gymnasiums, we try to scope out the location with the best light and least interference from basketball nets, and need to be aware of mechanical buzzings and general noises that need to be spoken over. Dr. J.H. Gillis’ theatre presented us with the opportunity to perform at 180 degrees, forcing us to cheat out (open up to the audience) significantly more than we are used to and to spread the show over a greater width.  While it was tricky, we spent a lot of time before the students came in to move around the entire space and grow comfortable with our new set-up. The ability to be flexible and to adjust to new locations is incredibly important in touring, and fosters creative growth throughout each show. Overcoming these obstacles makes us stronger actors and teaches us the importance of teamwork and support in theatre.

As only four members of the touring cast have toured before this year, there were a lot of questions surrounding our first workshop this afternoon.  We spent some time brainstorming ideas and developing a template procedure for leading activities, and today’s atelier was our trial run.  We couldn’t have asked for a better group of students to participate!  Les spectateurs ont été très engagés pendant le spectacle, et très enthusiaste pendant l’atelier. Everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves and we hope that the students had as much fun as we did in the workshop! While theatre games have specific purposes (energy, focus, etc.), they are all a lot of fun! We were aiming to provide insight into the reasoning behind the selection of specific activities, as well as showing everyone how great it is to be working as une partie de l’équipe. Spontaneity, flexibility, and team-building all play important roles in what we do, and the more ‘in tune’ you become avec les autres membres du groupe, the stronger the results you will find.

Tomorrow holds two more shows, with a Sackville high school performance in the morning and a Truro elementary school in the afternoon.  We’re all looking forward to another day of performances!

Notre Premier Spectacle!!

Today was our premier spectacle!!

Wahooooo!!

On est partis assez tôt ce matin pour Miramichi High School. Même si le départ était tôt on avait tous beaucoup d’énergie (sauf quelques unes)!! It was exciting to be performing in a new space and for lots of new faces. Après le spectacle les étudiants ont démandé beaucoup de très bonnes questions. On a parlé des thèmes de la pièce, de la processus collaboratif, les costumes, parmi d’autres super bonnes questions! Un gros merci aux étudiants de Miramichi High School!! On a passé un jour superfantasmagorique! Et on a très bien bouffé ce soir, comme toujours, et en Tintamarre-style, c’était un dîner collaboratif!

We are now  paying close attention to the election results and are waiting anxiously and (hopefully) excitedly for the outcome tomorrow morning. We are also excited for our three shows tomorrow!! Ça va être une grande journée!! On a hâte!!

More photos to follow soon!

À bientôt!!