Friday, March 25, 2011

A Quick Thought on Touring Theatre in High Schools

Today I finished a four-week touring production of Hamlet for the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre that traveled to various high schools in the Philadelphia area. I must say it has to be the most demanding theatrical project I've ever undertaken.

My days were quite grueling. I usually awoke at five or six o'clock in the morning to drive into center city Philadelphia. After getting parked, the company would load the tour van with all of our necessary props and costumes, then drive to the school, set-up, quickly rehearse our sword fight, perform the show, have a 30 minute question and answer session, pack all the props and things back into the van, drive back to the theatre, and finally put the gear back into its temporary storage until the next day. We were usually done by 11:30 or 12 o'clock.

Let me tell you, there's nothing like beginning at 5am and not breathing until 12 noon to really wear someone out. I was usually no good at all in the afternoon.

Nevertheless, this has been an incredibly rewarding experience. It's a wonderful day when I can perform a play for a group of kids who may have never seen live theatre, or see it all the time, and discovering a mutual sense of inspiration and excitement. I've met some amazing kids during this tour and I'm proud to have been a part of this production.


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