Ah, oui … nous n’avons pas bloguer tous les jours (est-ce que je peux écrire ‘bloguer’? j’ai besoin du verbe comme ça). We’ve been kept on our toes for the most part! Our first ever-so-slightly madcap week – with its days of road tripping and bedding down in two different motels – finally concluded a little closer to home.
Yesterday (Friday) we had three shows in the same school, which was a very gratifying experience (and not just because we didn’t have to assemble and disassemble the set multiple times). Since we were allowed to get used to working in the same space, we took more notice of our audiences: of what they were giving to us, and vice versa. Compared to previous audiences, they were noisier – mais certainement pas plus nuisible. There was chatter and other assumed signs of inattention throughout much of the show; however, when something really intense was happening, the whole auditorium would go silent and we’d realize that they were truly invested in the story. They simply showed it in a different way. We could still interpret and channel their enthusiasm into our own work onstage. This audience-actor dynamic presented a fresh challenge – particularly for those like me who are first-time tour members – but I really feel that ALBUM came to life in a still more vibrant way than it ever had.
The questions and comments after the third show, for fourth-to-sixth graders, were perhaps the most rewarding ones of the day. We heard everything from “Were you the lion last year?” (toward David, whose bear costume could fairly be perceived as lion-like) to “How are your characters similar to the ones you played before?” Clearly, many of the kids remembered CAMPE, and they also asked eagerly if we’d be returning next year. Si possible, nous l’aurions réalisé!
We were especially touched when one young boy raised his hand to tell us (in a tone of wonderment) “That was as good as t.v. I actually forgot I was watching something on a stage!” To which we responded that it’s even better than t.v, because characters on t.v can’t hop through the screen to visit the audience. Nobody expects that connection anymore in a technology-dominated world. The fourth wall is unbreakable in that world, enacting a separation that we mistake all too often for connection. But it’s the deeper connection we build through theatre – physically, emotionally, verbally – that makes the Tintamarrathon experience so incredibly, incomparably valuable, for actors and audiences alike.
An afternoon last weekend, brimful of sunshine and music.
Taking a driving break at Mastadon Ridge … what else can I say?
We’ll smile if you feed us!