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.
This week’s Dib and Dob and the Journey Home cast member post comes from Colin Doyle, who plays Dob.
Daniel Krolik (Dib) and Colin Doyle (Dob). Photo by Mark Seow.
Character is found many different ways. Through the physical (movement, character body, costume) and internal (thoughts, feelings, words the character speaks). There are things that have come out when I play Dob that I wasn’t even aware were in there. During a couple of the question and answer periods in the schools, the kids have asked about our ‘voices’. Some of that has to do with the actual language that we speak (DibandDobanese as I call it) and some of it has to do with where the voice is actually pitched. For some reason Dob comes out a little higher than my normal tone and a little bit more animated. It was fun to find it again in the mask work we did in rehearsal with our Assistant Director Teodoro Dragonieri.
There is a great costume piece in the play where a lot of my character work comes from and it’s Dob’s hat. I joke with the cast and crew when I call the hat ‘my character’ but it really is important to me. Both brothers have hats. I have come up with a story around it’s importance for my character. Just looking at it, it reminds me of the great ‘Dob’s’ of the silent film era like Charlie Chaplin or Stan Laurel, or even the silliness of Monty Python, that makes my work all that much easier because of this wonderful costume piece. It’s very much intentional that for me internally, when (spoiler alert!) Dob gets eaten and goes to save his brother, that his hat gets chewed up and then spit out by the monster. For me I imagine that when the hat gets spit out, that part of Dob is no longer; that he is the fearless leader brother who wants to save his older brother. The hat never gets put on again after that.
It’s a lot of fun playing the younger brother because I am an older brother myself. It has been a pleasure seeing it from what I imagine my younger brother’s point of view was. I am grateful for the excellent set that helps put us in the world, my acting partner who I get to bounce these feelings and ideas my character wants to share, the crew who were there to help us rehearse and then make sure that things run smooth on the road, and I am really grateful to Karyn McCallum, our set and costume designer, for Dob’s hat.