6/11/11-11/11/11 – Ontario and Québec
It was time for Ontario to hook up with our plays so we drove out to the Gatineau/Ottawa area for a short but sweet visit. Aylmer was our first stop and the kids asked a lot of great questions. Then we were in Ottawa which was really exciting because some of our friends and family were able to come see our show. The next day we were back in Aylmer and had a very memorable experience. We were performing “The Story of Sadako” twice at the same school and when we were setting up we noticed tons and tons of cut-out fish coloured on the gym wall with messages written on them. They were dedicated to a boy named Dominic who had passed away from cancer the week before. We were nervous to perform with the subject being so close to home but the kids handled it well and it led to a really interesting discussion. We made a yellow crane for Dominic, his favourite colour, and it was placed with his photo that was displayed in the hallway. It was an emotional day and gave us all a greater appreciation for the message of hope that Sadako’s story carries. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. After a heavy day the tour continued and we made our way to Gatineau. The kids were very friendly and exciting and gave us a great rush of energy that we really needed. Then we headed to Namur where the students hung around to chat afterward and showed us cranes they had made in the past that were hung around their school. On Thursday we went to Île des Allumettes and the school was filled with friendly faces. Some of the drama students watched both versions of the play and stayed afterward to ask us more about the production. Friday was Remembrance Day and it was interesting to perform either right before or after Remembrance assemblies at the schools. The first group in Quyon was dressed in red and they listened very meaningfully and asked questions pertaining to the war. When we went to Shawville the gymnasium had red poppies all around and the students and staff were so supportive of the show. We appreciated being able to share the ideas of hope and consequence on such a meaningful day and we were once again reminded of what message we were spreading and how lucky we are to be living the lives we live. It was an emotional week but an educational one and we headed back to Montreal for a day to reset and head off for another leg of the tour.
13/11/11-17/11/11 – Québec
On Sunday we stopped for our first community performance in Dorval. We had never had kids watch with their parents before and it was very sweet. After we packed up we headed for the 6 hour drive up to Temiscaming. Our first show ran smoothly with the kids and we had a quick coffee break before the second show for their high school students. Right before it began however, Cassandre and Jennifer noticed that the origami paper box was still on the set but it was too late to do anything and luckily the Geordie crew is super talented and was able to improv through the situation. The box was cleared and the audience didn’t notice a thing – or maybe they did and just didn’t say so. Alas it was pretty funny and the gang now knows to triple check the set before performing! On Tuesday we were in
Rouyn-Noranda. These shows had some of the most intense question and answer periods we have ever had. They were amazing and one of the girls made us a crane for our set. Wednesday was a very special day in Val d’Or. Not only were the kids fantastic and asked many questions – but they provided us with a lunch and taught us how to make new origami creations. There is now a beautiful purple butterfly in our set which we can call Olivier named after the boy who made it. Thursday was Rapid Lake which was our last show before heading back home. It was the first big snowfall of the year and was beautiful outside but also very cold. Unfortunately the heating had broken in the space we were performing in so as the audience bundled up in their winter jackets, the actors stripped down to their costume and stepped onto the ice cold set barefoot. It was a very difficult task to perform without shaking but Mama and Sadako found a way to huddle in their shared scenes and the audience laughed and clapped for us as immediately after the bow we ran to get our socks and jackets for the question and answer period. The principal was very kind and made us coffee to warm up before heading back on the road. After a day back in Montreal we finished off the week in St-Lazare for an evening community performance. There was a group of boys in the audience who were in complete silence and awe throughout the show and were wonderful listeners. Outside was an amazing outdoor playground and Jen taught Cassandre how to play hopscotch.
21/11/11-25/11/11 – Québec
This week was rather short. We drove up to Thedford-Mines on Sunday and if you ever get a chance to go there we suggest you arrive at night as we did because as you come down the hill to arrive into the town you are greeted by a beautifully lit landscape. We spent the night in some darling cabins and performed both shows on Monday to a very respectful and kind audience. They asked us some questions we had never had before such as: “What have you learned about yourselves through performing this play?” It was a tough question and we all did our best to answer it but are still mulling about our responses. Monday night we drove to Ste-Foy where we stayed at a hotel with a waterslide, and the gang enjoyed a lovely night’s sleep and an even better morning off of sleeping in! Then they went to the famous Holland School in Québec where everyone is a big fan of Geordie Productions and did they ever show it! They laughed at absolutely everything and had wonderful energy. We performed a high school show on Wednesday in Québec and once again the snow was falling and guided us back home to a white Montréal. On Friday the gang joined some other members of the Geordie crew at the QPAT-APEQ convention and talked about the show with teachers and education workers from around the province. As much as we love to travel, there’s nothing like being back at home and we are all very excited for our upcoming local performances around the city.