I first saw the travelling troupe when they were still called the Shenandoah Shakespeare Express and I was an English undergraduate at the University of Ottawa. That was about 20 years ago. I had read A Midsummer Night’s Dream in high school but had no idea how funny it could be until I saw the SSE perform it and my cheeks hurt from laughing. That’s the performance from university that stands out for me.
Last March, my husband, 10-year-old daughter, and my in-laws visited Staunton. We saw all three plays: Julius Caesar, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Henry VIII. I’ll never forget the look on my daughter’s face as Caesar was ‘killed’ right in front her. She’s hooked.
I had such a great time that I went back in April for a teachers’ weekend. It was the best Professional Development of my teaching career. I’ve shared what I’ve learned with some colleagues and built it into my classes. The ASC’s techniques make Shakespeare’s characters and plots come alive – even in a classroom.
The closest place the travelling troupe gets to my house is Canton, N.Y. We’ll be making the trip to see them as often as we can.
– Tania Meldrum