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Laureen F. Guenther

Times Contributor  

 

Rosebud School of the Arts (RSA) students took their annual theatre trips in February, with first-year students visiting Canada’s west coast, while second- and third-year students traveled to London, England.

“To see the transformation that happens with the students on these trips is incredibly rewarding,” said Paul Muir, RSA education director, who led the London trip. “I wish every person out there who supports not only our trip fundraiser ... but everybody who supports Rosebud by giving a donation or buying a ticket to the theatre ... I wish everybody could experience what I experience when I watch this transformation.”

First-year students spent 10 days in Victoria and Vancouver, taking workshops, doing a backstage tour of Belfry Theatre, and seeing shows in Victoria, Chemainus and Vancouver.

The second- and third-year students took workshops in London, and Edinburgh, Scotland, did backstage tours of London’s National and Globe Theatres, and toured Edinburgh Castle. In both cities, they saw shows together and independently, with some students seeing up to 15 shows in two weeks.

“There’s something about seeing world-class theatre,” said Muir. “That makes students go, ‘Wow! Okay! That’s it! That’s where the bar is!’”

Transformation also happens on another level.

The first-year trip is structured around group activities, but international trips have more flexible time, and students are expected to follow maps and use the London Underground.

“They figured out how to get half-price tickets, how to get last-minute tickets, day tickets, student tickets and then go and see the shows that they really want to see,” said Muir. “One of the most exciting things is to have a student say, ‘I can’t believe it, but I think I actually know how to follow a map now.’”

Hayley Rosenau, a first-year student, found the west coast trip even more transformative than most. 

“I’d never been on a plane before,” she said. “I had never been to BC before. I had never touched any of the oceans, so I got to jump in the ocean for the first time.”

But she grew most, she said, from constantly being with people. 

“Being with each other all the time and then being in huge cities surrounded by people, it was a bit of a struggle,” she said. “I found toward the end of the trip, it was starting to feel like a new normal. That’s going to be especially helpful in the career I’ve chosen.

“My strongest lasting impression would be how much I grew to love Vancouver. I never thought I could fall in love with a city,” added Rosenau, who is from Youngstown, Alta. “I texted my dad halfway through the week and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m coming back. I just love Vancouver so much.’”

That new love also brought her greatest lesson. 

“If you assume, you could actually miss out on an awesome opportunity,” she said. “My biggest thing I took away was, pushing your limits is good, and getting outside of your box is good.”