I have always liked the way language and gesture function in human relationships, and that’s why I am in Film Studies and English Literature. I am fascinated by the way we interact with each other and how each interaction triggers different reactions and emotions. Each word and each gesture matter in sending a message to the other person. I think it is fascinating the ways people on screen play out real life society. Every film has its way to present the highlights of society in a certain period. Similarly, a book has the ability to reflect society at a certain time and it takes us to that moment when we choose to emerge ourselves in a book. Having said that, theatre is an art form that performs reality in the most realistic way. It is different from a movie, since a play depends more on the actors’ interactions and improvisations with each other. It is also the interactions with a room of their audience. A play is like a time machine that takes you along to a specific moment of time.
I was fortunate to take a theater course called “Toronto Culture and Performance” last semester that allowed me to see different plays in different theatre locations around the city of Toronto. From that course, I learned that what goes into a play does not solely lie in the production but also in the distribution. A play’s location and surroundings are just as important as the script materials and the actors’ performances. That course gave me a great background on performance in theatre and the economical value that goes with each play. Therefore, when I saw Theatre Studies 3900G, Destination Theatre, a course that primarily takes place in London, England in late June, I know it had to be the best decision of my undergraduate years. The French novelist Gustave Flaubert said, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” People interact differently everywhere, and we depend on each other to run this world. Therefore, I see theatre performance not only as an art form, but as an essential reflection of our lives: what we do on a day to day basis that works or that does not. And taking Benedict Anderson’s point on the imagined community, theatre has a similar effect to print culture in that it forms a community among people watching a play and aware of others doing the same. When I heard of this opportunity to go to England for two weeks, I knew that I wanted to go. But it could not have happened without the support and encouragement of my friends Megan and Ferd, who are going to be on this trip as well.
Besides my excitement for the trip, there are a few things that still get me thinking. I am unsure about this new culture that I will be living in, and I don’t know if I will have enough time to adjust and maximize my experience. I also worry that I might be uncomfortable where we are staying, and I worry about the transit there and back. Nonetheless, although I know there will be hardships of getting familiar with my new surroundings and getting along with everyone on the trip, I believe the experience that goes with all the difficulties is priceless. I think having people I am comfortable with on a trip abroad will help a lot with my travel anxiety and my overthinking habits.