This week we hear from Stage Manager Sandi Becker about TYA touring life in Northern Ontario:
Moose on the loose!
Hello from chilly Thunder Bay! We’ve arrived back from our adventures in the north of the north. This past week, we’ve travelled to Red Lake, Balmertown, Ear Falls and Sioux Lookout. There have been many long drives on windy, somewhat nerve wracking highways, MANY animal sightings (including a HUGE moose just feet from the truck!), and a lot of great shows at wonderful schools.
Our first show in Sioux Lookout will always stand out in my mind. What an amazing privilege to bring a show to students who may have never seen theatre before at all. The school was welcoming and warm to us. But mostly I’ll remember that day because of one audience member. She was a grade 4 student, and she offered to help us set up. She wanted to know what everything was, how everything worked, and why we had chosen to do things the way we did. She was fascinated to learn about what a set designer does, and was a great help with the set up! Before the show, she even brought us some pussy willows to wish us a good show. Afterwards, I asked her how we did, and she declared that this was the BEST SHOW EVER!!!
Sometimes it’s a bit hard to be on the road. You get homesick and lonely, and you get tired and cranky sometimes. To walk into a school that is so welcoming and happy to see you, and to meet a young person like this child and know you’ve touched an imagination and made someone happy – it makes all the hard stuff worth it.
We are so lucky to do what we do.
For this weeks’ blog entry, we caught up with Daniel Krolik (Dib) to hear what his first Northern trek on a Roseneath tour was like. From wonderful audience members to snow in May to Finnish pancakes, it sounds like it’s been an adventure!
Daniel Krolik – Dob
What a week! From Toronto to Orillia to Sudbury to Lively to Blind River to Elliot Lake to Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay, and then on to Red Lake tomorrow bright and early. The show is at a great place right now. We’ve settled into the routine of performing so the jangled nerves of the first couple of weeks have settled, but the touring schedule and new and different audiences have kept our work alive and fresh. Our show at Elliot Lake was particularly special: the brakes on our van sputtered out on our way to Central Avenue Public School. As we waited for a tow truck, we were unsure if we could make it on time for our performance. The school was incredibly gracious and accommodating, and waited for us until our vehicle was brought to the school on a raised flatbed, with actors and stage management intact! Students and teachers alike reached out to make sure the show went on. One of the teachers even made an emergency breakfast run for us at the local Tim’s! There was such an incredible outpouring of goodwill and support that it made that afternoon’s show especially satisfying.
Thunder Bay has been great so far – despite the snow that creeped up on us on our drive north . All those Facebook pictures of our friends having sunny picnics in Toronto didn’t exactly help things either. Not to fear, by our second day there the cold was gone and we were treated to some beautiful weather. We also treated ourselves to some Finnish pancakes for breakfast this morning at the legendary Hoito House. I am so happy to be on team Dib and Dob, and I can’t wait to get back to performing the show later this week.
Snow in May in Northern Ontario. Dib and Dob and the Journey Home 2013.
Finnish Pancakes in Thunder Bay. L to R: Daniel Krolik and Sandi Becker.