To begin, I will say that I’ve never been anywhere. Anywhere that is deemed important enough to exclaim that one’s been there. The furthest I’ve come to ‘travelling’ or ‘exploring’ is going to Toronto or Niagara Falls. Travelling is never something I thought I’d be able to do. Not because I do not have the courage to go, but because I lack the funds. I came to Destination Theatre in the hopes I would be able to travel at least once in my lifetime and this would be my chance to do it with the support of the University. Travelling to London, to me, is much more than just travelling to London. This trip is a symbol of my academic accomplishment and self-driven success that will allow me to experience theatre and a city I always thought I would dream of. To say the least, I am very thankful for this opportunity to learn and immerse myself in a theatre culture that is much different than the one in London, Ontario.
In travelling to London, I want to wake up before the sun rises in the hopes of witnessing London in a way that tourists do not ordinarily see. I love photography and since it has been something placed on the backburner while I pursue my studies, I hope to be able to engage with it once again. For the two weeks I am there, I hope to capture some amazing moments that reflect the grand nature of London, England.
As I study Media, Information, and Technoculture, I am very interested in class struggles and power relations between institutions and the populations they oversee. During the trip, I’m excited to explore how architecture plays a physical role in encouraging or preventing certain classes from engaging with theatre. When developing spaces and real estate for theatre, developers usually benefit some individuals while putting others at a disadvantage (like most things). In this case, space and architecture can be political. This political nature of theatre, or the theatre space to be more specific, is what I’m interested in looking at most. Susan Bennett would describe it as the outer frame of theatre, all the cultural elements which create and inform the theatrical event.
Some of my fears of this trip relate to doing too much and doing too little at the same time. Like I have said before, funding, and my financial situation, is little to none, therefore if I do too much, I put at stake not being able to pay my bills over the summer. If I do too little, I’m missing out on experiencing and learning so much while in London, England, something I’m not likely to experience again (unless I do extremely well and find a great job, which is also unlikely).
While going to school here at Western, I never imagined that taking a second-year course in Theatre Studies with Margaret Jane Kidnie would push me to develop my theories in class struggles and relations through the experience and study of theatre.