Spring Lake students enjoy the arts at Stratford Festival

Stratford Trip students and chaperones prepare to enter the Avon Theater for "Shakespeare in Love."

by Ashleigh Higgs, News

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On September 16, twenty-one Spring Lake students set out with three brave adults in search of great theatre, delicious food, and memories that would last a lifetime. They were off to Stratford, Ontario and the Stratford Festival.

A trip that began 10 years ago as a treat for the thespians has shifted its focus in recent years. Among the 21 were not only theatre kids, but athletes, IB diploma students, and band kids alike. The opportunity to interact with an array of students in the independent environment that the trip offered, promised an experience that would leave a lasting impression. “It was an amazing trip to be independent and learn about the arts,” said senior Taylor Klein, reminiscing upon her first trip to Stratford. “Even if you don’t know much about theatre, you will learn a lot by being surrounded by intelligent art people.”

The group had the privilege of attending 3 shows: The Hypochondriac, A Chorus Line, and Shakespeare in Love. Each was unique, yet similarly hysterical with the comic relief. Some students came home with souvenirs from the theatre gift shop, while others desired a more local momento. During free time, those students wandered off to the local shops and cafes in pursuit of spending the Canadian money burning holes in their pockets.

The Hypochondriac had everyone in stitches with its immature toilet humor and mistaken identity, which was similar to that of Shakespeare in Love, which was a spinoff of Romeo and Juliet. Based on the award-winning film, the story focused on where Shakespeare got his inspiration for the storyline of the classic Tragedy. However, A Chorus Line offered a refreshing modern lens; this show tugged at heartstrings on several occasions and had the most relatable jokes by far.

Students on the trip enjoy a large amount of free time to explore Stratford, a European style town with quaint shops, bookstores, and restaurants. The town features a Shakespearean garden and a walking path along the river. The weekend of this trip happens to fall on the weekend of the Dragon Boat races, featuring creative longboats and a carnival-like atmosphere. On Saturday, between the matinee and the evening show, the entire group shared a meal at Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub.

Anja Hochhuth, yet another senior, recalled the trip as “the best part of high school” saying, “You become close to all of the kids and learn so much about everything.” The program, organized by Mr. David Theune, is looking for even further interest in the coming year in order to keep the trip alive.

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Spring Lake students enjoy the arts at Stratford Festival