Traveling to a new country with some of your best friends over March Break, what more could a student possibly ask for? Through much fundraising and support from everyone in the school, this past March Break the cast and crew of ‘A Comedy Of Errors’ traveled across the pond to Germany. Twenty of Ridley’s theater students – I included – had the privilege to perform, travel, and form strong bonds!
When finally landing in Berlin after an eight hour flight, everyone was tired and ready to settle in, though the minute out of the airport the mood changed and we were filled with excitement. When looking around at my fellow cast members and friends during the first bus ride to our hotel, we were astonished at how far we had come, literally and with the play itself!
Throughout our time in Germany we performed five different shows, at a school, churches, and theaters. Each show was filled with it’s own unique aspects, ranging from how the audience participated to how the actors started to pick up, and interpret the show. Our magnificent director and drama teacher Mr. Sweeney even said to us before one of our performances, “there is a point during a show where the director can no longer help the actors, he can only be a mentor, and as sad as it is, it also pleases me to be able to pass this show on to all of you, it is your show now, and you may run with it, and make it your own.” At this moment of the journey we all knew that we had the ability to make the show the best it could ever be. I found that as the shows went on, we all relied on one another more and more. There were times when if someone missed a line another would pick it up, and if someone else was to try a new way to move on stage, others would move and act around them; making the whole show completely our own. While the shows that were put on by the cast and crew at Ridley had their own feel to them, the ones in Germany had a much greater feeling of “freedom”.
Now, even though the purpose of our trip to Berlin was to perform what we had worked so hard on, we had a wondrous amount of time to actually see the country we traveled to! Visits to museums, the Charlottenburg Palace and the Sachsenhausen concentration camp gave us a new respect for history. Traveling via train, and foot we all got used to our surroundings, and used to hearing “Ridley this is us!!!!!” by our very own Ms. Fournier each time the trains would arrive. Many of us tried new foods as well, most of us took a liking to “currywurst und pommes” (German sausage and french fries) which is a favoured snack in Germany. As a way to say thanks to everyone we had a last (large!) meal together as a company. All of us enjoyed the true German feel at the Hofbrauhaus restaurant, with much thanks to the Gordon family for the opportunity for such a meal. It was a wonderful way to end the trip, there was great food, laughter and dancing!
Along with great performances, amazing sightseeing, and new food there was more to the trip that wasn’t quite spoken about, but felt. All of the actors on the trip – by the end – had a new understanding and appreciation for teamwork. Many times while touring I would catch a cast or crew member helping out a fellow actor, or teacher. Not necessarily grand gestures though enough to bring us all closer together. We all gained so much from being together on this trip. Many thanks to everyone who was a part of it.
As told by Carrie Houston ’14