And we have hit the road, running!

Ooufff! Aujourd’hui on a franchi un cap! Le premier spectacle était superfantasmagorique!

We had a leisurely morning before heading off to Auburn Drive High School in Dartmouth, NS. A 9:45 departure – quelle luxe!! We had a smooth drive, if a long one, but took a lunch break at Mastadon Ridge in Stewiacke. Malheureusement notre accès au mastadon était interdit mais on a quand même pris de belles photos de la troupe qui vont apparaître sur le blog très bientôt!

We arrived at Auburn Drive with plenty of time to spare. The load out went surprisingly well. Thank you, Paul, for organizing our load out into the van so well! We are already starting to get a feel for the routine of setting up and taking down the set – not bad for the first performance.

While waiting for all of the students to arrive, we had an opportunity to include some of the patiently waiting students in our warm up exercises and games; some of which included “lion/raisin sec”, “yee-haw”, la chanson “Sunrise” (a shout out to you, Adrienne!). A big thank you to all of the students who joined in the fun – on ne peut pas imaginer une meilleure façon de commencer le Tintamarrathon! Our first show had a lot of ENERGY and momentum! There may have been a few minor stumbles and mumbles, and at times the play may have felt a bit jumbled, but all in all we felt very happy and content with notre grand succès! Wahoooo! Youpiiii! Yeee-haw!!! Ceci dit, il reste encore beaucoup de chemin à faire. We’re up for the challenge.

Il y avait quelques commentaires et questions posées par les étudiant(e)s après le spectacle. Ils étaient très engagés pendent le spectacle, especially when Ours and Hibou were sitting beside them in the audience. Overall, a wonderful start to what promises to be an amazing tour! Alex is easing us into many an early morning, with an 8 AM departure demain matin.

Exciting times!

-Libellule et Ours (Ours tout court)

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This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house…

and we will do it in action as we will do it before the Duke […of Mount Quom-Si-Quom-Sa-Sa.] (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 3.1)

(Sorry, a bit of theatre nerdiness there. What would tour be without some Shakespeare?)

So much has happened in the past few days! How do we start? Where do we begin?

“Start with yesterday,” Allison tells me, sitting across from me at our kitchen table and sipping her tea.

And have we talked about our wonderful house yet? Dear Cuthbertson, as stately and graceful as a Victorian lady, open and welcoming as one might like. (And as strangely composed–we wish we could show you the servants’ quarters.) Standing stern and rickety and labyrinthine. Our home for the next two weeks.

Cuthbertson

Cuthbertson

We’ve started cooking–and eating –meals together. Gluten-free pizza with spinach and peanut sauce; banana butterscotch pie, heaped with whipped cream; warm, savory stews… on n’est certainement pas en manque de nourriture. C’est d’ailleurs très difficile de trouver l’énergie nécessaire pour se lever si c’est l’heure de la répétition… c’est pourquoi nous avons établi une petite, euh… tradition pour s’assurer de ne pas devenir trop inerte. Ça s’appelle Devil and Angel –Ange et démon. On reçoit le nom d’un membre de la troupe au début de la semaine, et on doit lui jouer un tour. Bien sûr, il faut faire sa pénitence en faisant quelque chose de gentil…

Which is why last night, Eric got in and found his room like this:

Uh-oh.

Uh-oh.

What you can’t hear is the iPhone alarm hidden under the bed, blaring Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up . (You know the one.) Thankfully, Eric has a sink in his room, so he might have been able to empty out the glasses–if his sink hadn’t been filled to the brim with bright blue feathers. Needless to say, his cries of anguish resounded throughout the house… to our great delight. Let the prank war begin! Life in Cuthbertson is about to get much more interesting…

This was take before Eric was pranked, but it gives you an approximation for his expression when he found out.

I suppose that we should also talk about the fact that we are now–gasp–officially off-book! On Monday, we wondered how we would ever do it–and now we’re off and running, peeling off Italian runs at a moment’s notice. Slowly but surely, we’ve gotten to that point on tour where any sentence you say can–and is–replaced by a line from the play. We aren’t just doing theatre–we’re living it!

And right on time, too, because a few eyes have started to turn toward us… yesterday morning, we had the pleasure of letting in a reporter from CTV Atlantic to see our rehearsal process. We hope that we didn’t scare you too much, Jonathan. It was a wonderful time–and we got our first audience apart from Alex! We’ll try to post the link to the segment in the coming days–if we can find it.

Alex and Jonathan

Alex and Jonathan

Getting interviewed by Jonathan

Getting interviewed by the Swan Pond

It’s mostly been raining here in Sackville, so we’ve been keeping our rehearsals confined to the space beneath Convocation Hall–but yesterday was so gorgeous that we couldn’t help but bring our rehearsal outside. Embrace nature! Embrassons la nature! It was a good idea, after all…

This bush shall be our tiring-house...

This green plot shall be our stage...

There’s nothing quite like rehearsing outside. Suddenly, you can’t project to a particular wall–you just have to direct your words at the audience and hope that you’re loud enough to be heard. We didn’t have a set–only the warmth of the sun on our skins and the sound of the wind in the trees. I found myself unable to completely concentrate because I was too busy looking around at the beautiful afternoon.

“Why aren’t the others amazed at the beautiful world we see from Mount Quom-Si-Quom-Sa-Sa?” the tree says. Je suis d’accord. Comment ne peut-on pas aimer le monde qui se passe autour de nous? Les feuilles qui absorbent la lumière, qui bouillonnent de vie et de vert dans le vent. Sans la forêt autour de nous pendant nos répétitions, comment pourrions-nous l’apporter avec nous à travers les maritimes?

Alex dans le gazon - Directing from the grass

When I’m standing, cranky and owl-like, in our capharnaüm of a rehearsal space, it can be hard to really get under Hibou’s feathers–to find the forest in the props and flats, and be indignant at those who refuse to listen. Ever since our outdoor rehearsal, though, I’ve started to see leaves and branches springing out from the set pieces. I remember the wind and the sun, the trees and the shade, and I feel the same kind of peace I felt when we were outside, for once.

L'arbuste contemple....

L'arbuste contemple....

See you on the other side of the mountain.

-Hibou and the gang.

P.S.: We’ve set up a Flickr account to look at our adventures! Check out the sidebar to the right for more photos, or click right here.

Coming to une école near you…

Hello, everyone!

We’ll be writing more about our rehearsal experience soon–hoo, do we have stories for you!–but we were so excited we just had to post at this bleary hour of the night. Here are, at long last, our tour dates!

We're dancing--that's how excited we are.

Le Tintamarrathon 2012!

Apr. 30
Auburn Drive High School, Dartmouth, NS

May 1
Tantramar Regional High School, Sackville, NB
Pugwash Senior and Junior High Schools, Pugwash, NS (with workshop)

May 2
Birchmount School, Moncton, NB (with workshop)
Riverview High School, Riverview, NB

May 3
John Hugh Gillis Regional High School, Antigonish, NS
Northumberland Rural High School, Alma, NS (with workshop)

May 4
E. B. Chandler School, Amherst, NS
Oxford Regional Education Centre, Oxford, NS (with workshop)

May 7
Colchester Junior High School, Truro, NS
Harmony Heights School, Truro, NS

May 8
St. Stephen High School, St. Stephen, NB
Deer Island Community School and Back Bay Elementary School, Back Bay, NB (with workshop)

May 9
Avon View High School, Windsor, NS (two performances and workshop)

May 10
Miramichi Valley High School, Miramichi, NB
Bonar Law Memorial School, Rexton, NB

May 11 
Springhill High School
Springhill Junior High School
Junction Road Elementary School
West End Memorial School

May 13
Mount Allison University, Tweedie Hall, Wallace McCain Student Centre, 4 p.m.

We hope to see you soon!

Feeling the love...

Hurrah!

Looks tasty!

Looks tasty.

I’m sitting in the kitchen of our new home, Cuthbertson House, cooking up some pancakes and waiting for the rest of our sleepy Tintamarre family to wake up. I hope that they do so soon–for two reasons. First, rehearsal starts soon. Second, I might be inclined to eat all of their breakfast if they’re not fast enough… Ah, worrying about pancake breakfasts! Such is life on tour.

That’s right–you read it correctly. Le Tintamarrathon 2012 a officiellement commencé! For the past four days, a ragtaggedly wonderful (that’s an adjective, right?) gaggle of ten actors, musicians, costume artists, and tadpole imitators has been hard at work in the first throes of the rehearsal process. We only have ten days to recreate Camp Quom-Si-Quom-Sa-Sa and the events that happened there one summer before we set off into the sunrise to present in front of three thousand spectators. Intimidated, you say? I’m not. No way. Nuh-uh.

What could be so scary?

What could be so scary?

J’adore ces premiers jours de répétition. La grande majorité d’entre nous avons déjà joué le rôle, étant donné que nous faisions partie de la production de CAMP qui a été montée à Mount Allison en février. Mais il y a toujours des embûches… étant donné le besoin de couper, de recoudre et de rafistoler la pièce dans un format qui peut convenir à une période d’école, on se doit de doubler quelques personnages. You’ll see: most of the actors play two characters–one boy, one girl! Imagine our confusion when we think back to the play-that-was back in Feburary… we’ve all been using lines that were in the first version, but not this one. Old words for new characters… but don’t worry–we’ll get all of that untangled in the next few days.

But oh, my friends, we’ve had such fun so far! Practicing portraits of terror, finding our old friend Boris, tasting Margaret’s cooking, getting locked out of the hall on our first two-rehearsal day. Did I tell you about the time the girls were boys and the boys were girls, and we all traded rumours? Now that was fun.

Oh no, she didn't.

What will we be up to for the rest of the week? Well, our off-book deadline is tomorrow! (Eep is right.) Apart from that, we’ll be blocking the rest of the play in the next few days, making sure we remember how to act like boys, or girls, or both, and brushing up on our animal sounds. I’ll be working on my owl walk. I shouldn’t say too much, though. Can’t have spoilers! Mais c’est plus fort que moi…

Tree-huggers.

We should be posting the dates and venues for the tour very soon–today, perhaps? We’ll do our best, anyways–so that you know when we’re coming to a school near you. Until then–sit tight, read about our adventures, and rejoice. We can’t wait to perform. All our new friends are waiting out there…

-Hibou