Journal Categories
Journal Tags

Entries in theater (28)


Days 241-244 in 2019 (Stratford!)

Stratford is a tradition in our family. This adorable city in Ontario, Canada, is home to an annual, summer-long Shakespeare Festival that is just really great theater (sorry, theatre). My one high school trip and a couple of childhood trips of Jon's nontwithstanding, we first attended the festival in 2012. That year Calvin and I tagged along when Jon gave pedagogy lectures in New York and Ontario. Along the way we took in sites like the Christmas Story house, Niagara Falls, and, for our last trick, a showing of The Pirates of Penzance in Stratford. Calvin was six at the time, and he loved it. They had booster seats for the kids and wine in sippy cups for the parents, and the show was wonderfully engaging and professional. We were hooked. 

In the years since we have discovered a favorite family-owned motel (As You Like It Motel), and a favorite place for ice cream (Jenn and Larry's). We have enjoyed countless pool days, walks along the river, strolls through the city shops, and dips into the small Saturday art show. Though we started with just one show a year, that quickly became two, and then graduated to three. After the Pirates of Penzance; we have seen Romeo and Juliet; A Midsummer Nights Dream; Alice Through the Looking Glass; The Sound of Music; As You Like It; The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; Treasure Island; The Tempest; The Music Man; and To Kill a Mockingbird. We have attended some pre-show family meal entertainments (like lunch with Alice), and even once received a very special, very private, backstage tour of the Festival Theatre.

Obviously, we love our annual trip to Stratford, but this year there was even more to love when we got to share the experience with more of our family. And because it was the big family experience, we did more days, more plays, and had more fun altogether. We were gifted with beautiful weather, luck with parking, and really great seats for really great shows. 

Day 241: The Neverending Story and The Merry Wives of Windsor, plus pizza by the pool

Day 242: Billy Elliot (perfect for our dancing boy), plus ice cream after dinner

Day 243: an afternoon in town, followed by an evening of Othello

Day 243: Henry VIII for some of us, pool and play for the others, followed by dinner in town


Photos 180-182/365 (series: Stratford!)

One of our favorite places to visit: Stratford, home of Canada's annual Shakespeare Festival. This is another family tradition going on seven years now, including the best old style motel with pool, Shakespeare and musicals, and ice cream every day from the sweetest little shop in town. This year the weather was perfect for swimming, and that's about it, other than seeing shows inside an air conditioned theater, that is. With a daily heat index in the triple digits (yes, even in Canada!), we weren't doing much of our usual wandering around town. Our 2018 line up? Shakespeare's TempestTo Kill a Mockingbird, and Music Man. 


Photo 138/365

Opening night of Calvin's shows is my favorite date night of the year (sorry anniversary, birthdays, and all the other usual culprits). It's the culmination of months of work, weeks of blood, sweat, and tears, and a very emotional, very exciting moment truth. They always pull it off, it's always wonderful, but the natural nerves before the show add to the intensity of the evening. Many backstage parents love to work the opening night, to be there in the midst of the jitters it brings, but for the me the evening represents a sigh of relief; my hardest part is over, let's celebrate with a dinner for two and tickets to a show with a very special performer (our very special performer)! It feels indulgent. It feels decadent. It's my favorite date night of the year.


Photo 134/365

The long stretch of tech week begins...

I never imagined I would become a theater parent, or rarely think about what that means, or if it means anything, in fact. But it means something. It means hours and hours of work, not just on Calvin's part, and not just the driving to and fro—even though it definitely does mean that, and dinners in the car between events and rehearsals, and meal planning, vacation planning, event planning around rehearsal times—for me it means hours of designing and sewing, and redesigining and resewing. For other parents it's set design or hair and makeup. Whatever suits their fancy, it means hours and hours of it. And then the tech week rehearsals, with theater call from 4:45 to 9 at night, and an earlier start if something needs stitching or patching or fixing in some way. It means organizing rides to and from, and meals for the family member left out at home. It means dropping into bed at night exhausted and not being able to sleep because your head is still ringing with the sound of children's voices. And I'm an introvert.

But it also means something else. It means supporting my son in a very tangible, very obvious way in doing something he loves, and it means sharing that time, those moments, that love with him. And for that I am eternally grateful, even if it did interrupt Mother's Day. 


Photo 69/365