As the year comes to an end at Riverfront, we celebrate in a couple of ways.
First of all, there was our year-end picnic, which we held on Saturday. Almost all the families made it out for a barbecue, some horsing around on a splash pad, a lot of eating and a fair amount of singing (somehow, they’re already getting started with Seussical sing-alongs!).
It was extremely hot, but the splash pad helped, and it’s always good to hang out with our group.
On Friday morning, over 70 parents, crew and cast members are heading up in a convoy to Stratford, Ontario, where we’ll be taking in a couple of plays and having a talkback with members of the cast of Treasure Island. This is becoming an annual tradition at RTC; it’s our third trip, and it feels like a well-earned reward for a season of hard work. (To be absolutely clear, this is a family-funded field trip, and no sponsorship money goes toward the excursion!)
We’ll be seeing Treasure Island and Romeo and Juliet this time around, and the kids are excited. We have a fair number of students who have been studying Romeo and Juliet this year at school, so it’s nice to see it afterwards. For a few, it’ll be their first Shakespeare play, and I’m hoping very much that they enjoy it because we did not have time this year to study it at all at Riverfront, despite my best intentions.
I expect there to be a lot of chatter about the two plays we’re seeing this week, on the drive up and back, and during our picnic and our day at Stratford. No doubt about it, they’ll have a lot of thoughts and opinions and reviews. It’s so much fun bringing theatre kids to a talkback at Stratford. They make keen observations and have a lot of interesting questions. The cast members tend to really love interacting with us, and ask us nearly as many questions as we ask them!
That said, I know that there will be a lot more chatter about next season at RTC, because these kids are heavily invested in their own company, and they’re very keen to discuss how things will be shaping up. I’ve already heard back from almost every one of them about their plans for next year, and almost without fail, unless they have to leave the country, as our two exchange students do, they’re returning. That’s great news for RTC – the programme is super-popular with its members, and they love it and don’t want to leave. It’s harder news for those on the waiting list. Our Senior Ensemble is already going to be very, very large, and we’ll be lucky if we get to grab even one or two from the Senior List. Those waiting on the Junior list will have better luck. Lots of our kids are moving up (another reason our Seniors are getting crowded). I should be able to take a fair number of Juniors from the list. But I’m afraid that it’s quite certain that anyone applying from this point on will already have to be placed on the waiting list for our 2018-2019 season. The main reason for this is volunteer-student ratios, and cast sizes. I could cram extras into every corner of the stage and try to make that work, but we really do want our students to have a good and productive experience and be able to do something that holds their interest. There’s only so big a cast can get before people don’t have a lot to do.