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.