TALES FROM THE ROAD : WEEKS TWO & THREE
Well it’s been quite a whirlwind of a tour these past two weeks: lots of driving back and forth all over the North East. On any given day, we have crisscrossed 4, 5 and even 6 states and all the while, while trying to avoid any heavy snowstorms. Unfortunately, because of the weather, we have had one school that had to cancel. But we have kept our spirits up (with spirits!)
We have gotten to perform in Rochester (NY), Hanover (NH), Long Island, Wayne (NJ) and Wilkes-Barre (PA). We have been treated so kindly at each theatre venue we enter.
While performing the show in different cities and venues is exciting, I think we are always eager to hear how the students respond after the performance. In particular, at the Hopkins Centre at Dartmouth College. On Sunday, we had an invited public and received overwhelming support. Many people came up to us after the performance and wanted to know why we weren’t performing in “such and such city” and how this play needs to been seen all over the USA, especially the White House! Well, I don’t think any of us would pass up that opportunity.
Then the following day we performed for over 500 students from all over New Hampshire. They were a fabulous audience, really listening and taking in every scene. Afterwards, with prior approval from the college, the students were set up in a roundtable discussion to further explore the themes and topics of the play. Each actor sat and chatted with the students and talked about their personal experiences and how important they felt the play was in our current times. It was so special to be able to listen to teenager’s open up and respond to some hard-hitting topics. That evening, we even relocated across the campus and got to perform excerpts of the play for college and high schoolers who weren’t able to attend earlier. Once again, after the show, we got to sit, have dinner and chat with the audience about their experiences and some of the students shared their personal stories with us.
A few days later, we headed over to the Shea Centre in Wayne, NJ. Once again, the students and faculty were eager to engage with the story. At first, they were being shushed by their teachers for fear of making too much noise, but these kind of semi-participatory outbursts are something that really makes this show come alive and give it energy. In no time at all, the students were taking sides, laughing hysterically, and rooting for their favorite character. The talk back provided some of the best questions we have ever received. “What is one thing your character regrets doing in the course of the play?” “Have you had different reactions to the show between Canadians and Americans”? “Do connections to the subject matter in the real world affect how this play is presented now?” Moreover, one male student slowly approached Mariana after most had left and told her, “I didn’t think I was going to like this play at first, but I found myself springing out of my chair at the end. Do you know important the work you are doing is?” Comments likes these make our day.
But all work and no play make us cranky actors. So for our days off, we decided to take a little trip over to the Big Apple and treat ourselves to great food, impressive museums and fantastic theatre (And 17 dollar cocktails!). Collectively we saw 9 Broadway shows and hit over 100,000 steps! Not even the rain could stop us!
– David, Mariana, Aris and Kevin