In case you missed it, Shannon Harrigan’s Director’s Notes in the program summed up the show quite nicely – why the play was chosen and what it took to pull off. It was a five month labour of love…we hope you enjoyed the show:
Choosing a play is like planning a trip: you need to decide where you want to go, how many people you want to include in the adventure, and what kind of experience you want. Departures and Arrivals was chosen as YHS’s 2013 production because it completely fit our trip plan. First, we wanted to stay local, and the play, written by the talented Canadian author and playwright Carol Shields, allowed us to do just that. Second, the multitude of characters in the play allowed us to include absolutely everyone who wanted to join us on the journey. Finally, this “comedy with edges” gave us the exact kind of experience that we wanted: one filled with laughter, camaraderie and a sense of accomplishment. The fact that Carol Shields’ granddaughter is a York House student was a lucky coincidence that we didn’t discover until the plans were already in place: divine providence at its best.
Set in an airport, the play consists of a series of 22 vignettes that explore the notion that life is a combination of comings and goings in both a literal and figurative sense. Shields said she had wanted to “ignite in [the audience] moments of recognition and toss out a handful of provocative questions at the same time.” There is no doubt that her play achieves both of these objectives, as there are moments that will make you laugh, make you cry, inspire thought, and most importantly, smile with recognition at either the characters or the situations.
Like the daily operations of an airport, it took many, many dedicated people, both in front of the scenes and behind, to make this production happen. Students and adults, from the York House community and beyond, banded together to build sets, create and print posters and tickets, portray different characters on stage, design the lighting and sound, compose original music, instruct actors, collect props, and just generally contributed to making the entire experience a trip of a lifetime.
We are glad that you have joined us on the tail end of our five-month journey. Now please sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the show.