You see, I have never been abroad. Prior to college, I had only ever been to Disney in Orlando, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts. All of the history in that city left me at a loss for words. I adore architecture and history and so the historical district was like a gold mine to me. Then this summer, I got to travel west for the first time to Illinois with my family to see my brother during his internship with State Farm. Travelling to new places is becoming one of my favorite things, especially now that I have my Canon to capture photographs and videos. I’ve never been out of the country, that is until this fall.
In October, I got the chance to be one of about 15 Lycoming College Theatre colloquium students to attend the Shaw Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario with a pit stop in Corning, New York and at Niagara Falls.
The Shaw Festival is dedicated to George Bernard Shaw, a progressive playwright that lived from 1856 to 1950. In honor of Shaw’s imprint on the progressive theater, the Shaw Festival was born in 1962 to perform Shaw’s works and other progressive and notable works of the time period. Performances begin in the spring and end right at the tail end of October. The shows we got to see amazing performances of were (and in order of my personal favorites):
“A Woman of No Importance”- Oscar Wilde, a classic from the tail end of the 19th century
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” – Patrick Quentin
“Our Town” – Thornton Wilder, a whole life in 3 acts
“Alice in Wonderland”- Lewis Carroll, adapted by Peter Hinton who turned Wonderland into a spectacle that none of us have ever seen before.
More information about the Shaw Festival can be found here
All in all, it was wonderful. I got to travel to Canada with a theater family that I have come to love, see phenomenal performances and the Niagara Falls, eat new food, and of course bring back some authentic Canadian maple syrup complete with a maple leaf shaped bottle. Also, Nigel Barnes, Callie Miller and I had a run-in with Marcus Nance - who played Judge Turpin from Sweeney Todd - at the Starbucks near the theater. Interesting things happen when you decide to sit in a coffee shop for a long while.
If you get the chance to travel during your college years, take it. I promise, you will not regret it.