Theatre never seems to end up in my life on purpose, and the Destination theatre course was no different. It is not that I avoid theatre, more that it always appears where I am least expecting it. When I first toured my high school back in grade eight for instance, I did not expect to be convinced in a few short sentences that drama was the art course to take and I certainly did not expect that theatre would become a mainstay of my high school career. However, after a phone call home and being paged to the drama office twice, I knew I could not escape theatre- but then again why would I ever want to do so?
Skip forward five years from the day my drama teacher told me I would be crazy not to sign up for grade ten acting class. I am sitting in my room, checking my Western school email for no particular reason. Sitting in my in box is a message from the English department. I always wonder why, as a science student, I am constantly getting emails from the English department, but nonetheless I decide to read the email before deleting it.
“Students in Theatre Studies 3900G will explore the performance culture of a contemporary world city in a hands-on, intensive way”, reads the first line. Having spent the summer writing a play I do not know what to do with, theatre studies caught my eye and I continued reading. After several minutes of imagining myself immersed in theatre at the Globe and marvelling at the sites of London, I turned off my phone. I knew I could not take the course. My schedule was full, I was too busy, and theatre was not even close to my educational focus. Yet, for whatever reason I did not delete the email.
In September school continued as usual and it was not until November that Destination theatre would return to my mind. I am not a social media person, and as such my mom has taken to sending me anything she sees on Twitter that she thinks might be relevant. So one Saturday afternoon, when I was at the mall with my friend Faith, my phone buzzes and a link to the destination theatre page appears. I would have probably ignored it but Faith asked me what it was, and so I told her about the email from the summer.
Thus with the words “We should so do it”, the two of us were enrolled in the course within a week. Theatre had once again found its way back to me, even as I sought to evade it. Finally, now that I am here I could not be more excited!
As I mentioned, I spent the summer writing a play, for no reason other than I had an idea and thought I could do it. As I participate in this course I know I will gather invaluable information for making my play better and perhaps I will even find an avenue to put it on a stage one day. I love that theatre is something that always comes to me through spontaneous action. I always fear not being prepared for every contingency. There is something about theatre, however, that sets me free from this inflexibility, something about knowing the script but also knowing that improvisation is always an option. While I worry that I may have to face the homesickness that often seems to plague me and I know I will worry about everything coming together ‘perfectly’, I hope this mindset allows me to let go of these worries and enjoy England as it comes. I do not know what England has in store for me, but I do know it is an adventure that I will never forget, and one that will, in whatever small or large way, shape the rest of my life.