The month of December was a busy one that flew by and before we knew it, the first half of the Geordie School Tour was over and the holidays had begun.
28/11/11-2/12/11 – Montréal (ish)
Monday was a fun start to the week with a laughter-filled and energetic show in Montréal North followed by an excellent question and answer period in St-Lazare. On Tuesday we were back in Montréal at two different schools and met some very sweet students and staff. We had one teacher tell us that there were a few students that were having problems in school but they were actively involved in our show and participated in the talkback afterward. He said it was the best behaviour he had ever seen from them and that it changed his perspective on those kids. Experiences like that are so nice for us to have because it shows how different kids respond to the arts and that everyone deserves the chance to be heard. The next day we were in Hampstead and it was so cool to learn that the principal had been to Japan and saw millions of cranes in Peace Park. Cassandre also had a hilarious encounter with a little boy who kept challenging our choices in the show regarding the microscope. Perhaps he’ll grow up to be a director or designer. On Thursday we went to FACE in Montreal and performed both versions of the show. The students were amazing and asked really great questions. There were a group of girls that were obsessed with the “Boom, I mean, Boom.” line in the show and kept repeating it and laughing. The talkback had to end due to school being done for the day but many students stayed behind to ask more questions. We finished off the week at a French school with a theatre and then we were back at Miss Edgar’s for a second time where the people were just as kind as always. Some lovely students helped us strike the set and it was a nice lead into the weekend.
05/12/11-09/12/11 – Québec
The next week we were in Deux Montagnes in a high school theatre. We had some trouble with the lights but the audience was supportive and cheered when it was finally figured out and we were ready to start the show. Our luck with performing in theatres continued as the next day in McMasterville we were in another one with incredibly respectful and kind students in the audience. On Wednesday we performed at a community centre for a school in Coteau du Lac and they were so excited for us to come. They had discussed the story beforehand and had made tons of artwork about peace and the story of a thousand cranes. We had a big day on Thursday with three shows at Collège International Marie-France in Montréal. Our artistic director, Dean, and the Director, Micheline, came to watch the first show which was lovely. We missed having them around! Each of the three audience groups reacted so differently to the show. A question many people ask us is how we perform the same show so many times and a day like that was a good example of how we do it – through the audience. They decide what’s funny, what’s moving, what’s stimulating and what energy is required for that show. It helps us keep the show fresh and so far, so good! On Friday we went to the École d’Éducation International de Laval which was amazing. We did two high school performances and they were laughing their heads off and were so connected to the show. Some students hung around after to talk about drama and theatre and during lunch they had a dance celebration in the hallways. The energy of that school was magnificent.
12/12/11-16/12/11 – Québec
The preparation for Montréal’s Wildside Festival began this week as our crew was a part of the QDF Calendar Launch on Monday evening. It’s always exciting and nerve wracking to perform amongst other artists. It went well and ended up being a very fun evening. On Tuesday we were in Kahnawake at a really nice school with excited students who participated and called out throughout the whole performance. Then we were in St-Bruno de Montarville with even more loud and excited kids who asked a lot of questions about the cranes and the bomb. They had huge cranes decorating their Christmas trees in the hallway and Jen saw an old friend from Concordia who worked at the school. On Wednesday we returned to Kahnawake much to our pleasure and this school presented us in English and Mohawk. They made us a few cranes to add to our set and were unbelievably kind and funny after and during the show. We then drove out to Laval for an even louder show (the kids seemed to be excited this week) with more excellent questions and then we were off to drive to Québec for the evening. We woke up to a city with so much snow and went to an older part of town which was beautiful and huge. It was at this school where a “bug” infiltrated our crew again and we added a fifth member to the Geordie crew: her name is Oil of Oregano. Friday finished off in Ste-Foy with a bit of trouble since our set wouldn’t fit through the door but we managed to figure it out and have a nice performance in the end. We drove back to Montréal grateful for the weekend so our bodies could rest and get their health back!
19/12/11 – 22/12/11 – Montréal (ish)
Our last week before the holidays was filled with energy. On Monday we performed two shows in St-Lambert at a beautiful French school where they treated us to lunch, showed us the thousand cranes they had made, and their Japanese theme library filled with Sadako’s book! On Tuesday we were in Deux Montagnes with loud and hilarious kids and then we were in Joliette in the afternoon where the high school students loved Cassandre’s voice so much they chanted “Sing! Sing!” after the show for some more of her talent. On Wednesday we went to Hillcrest Academy and performed two shows for some very nice audiences. We finished off the week a bit early on Thursday in Laval with freezing rain and slippery sidewalks. Luckily our shows were not cancelled so we were able to perform for pyjama wearing kids, eat some holiday snacks and have tea, and enjoy all the decorations and festivities before driving home to enjoy a much needed break. We could not believe the tour was more than half over and the New Year was on its way!