The end of tour is always bittersweet. On one hand you’re saying goodbye to long hours, long drives, and way too early mornings. But on the other hand, you’re saying goodbye to the wonderful students, the most precious towns, and this show that you have lived with for 3 and a half months. This is life in the theater. Learning to say goodbye to one good thing and embrace the next. So even though, I am going to miss it, I can walk away knowing that this tour has made a difference. There were so many amazing moments that reaffirmed why I do what I do. Idaho Shakespeare Festival does such an incredible thing with this tour and I’m not just saying that because they give me a paycheck. My tour mates and I have witnessed first hand what tour does. I feel like the greatest testament to this is during almost every load out when we have one or more students come up to talk to us. They want advice and, I think, someone who they can relate to. Someone who is doing exactly what they want to do. And that is a precious thing to have, especially in high school and even more so in high school in Idaho. So I wanted to include a list of my favorite moments, in no particular order:
- Students recognizing Dakotah and being very upset that he changed his hair.
- Noah experiencing his first time teaching a workshop, and being so inspired by the kids that he wants to teach more.
- During a talk back a girl said that she didn’t want to watch because Shakespeare is boring, but then she found herself really enjoying the show.
- All the schools that made us signs welcoming us. Especially the sign that said “Thanks Shakespeare for revealing me to me”
- All the students who came up to us to tell us how inspired they were
- “The Luke Crew”, as we call them, which are the students who have seen Luke each year through high school. Especially the one who said that Luke was the reason he got into acting.
- All the workshops
- Holding a baby goat in a gas station
- Every girl wanting Sarah’s cool hair
- Autographing backpacks, shoes, and arms. (I’m sorry to the moms about that)
- Working with my fabulous tour mates
- Working with Sara Bruner. (Enough said)
- Seeing all that this state has to offer
- Performing “Macbeth”
- Being Lady Macbeth!
- And lastly, and maybe most importantly, feeling the energy in the room when we know that a group of high school kids are actually engaged in Shakespeare. It’s a wonderful feeling and one that proves that this tour makes a difference.
Well, that’s it for me! It’s been a great ride! Thank you to the schools, the teachers, and the kids that make my job so wonderful!
–Veronica Von Tobel