[Administrator’s Note: This blog post was written by our excellent summer student, Kevin, to whom we wish all the best as he and his trumpets head off to school in Toronto this fall, and whom we would also gladly have back next summer if he returns to Nova Scotia.]
I’m nearing the end of my second summer working for Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, and I’m still just as astounded by what happens here as I was when I walked in the door in July 2010. Walk down the streets of Windsor, Nova Scotia, and you will never suspect that an organization such as a world-renowned children’s touring theatre is quietly nestled on Gerrish Street. You might not immediately notice the pockets of culture that pervade this town, but once you discover them, you will find that they are as captivating and illuminating as anything you might find.
Some summer students are tasked with keeping shop while everyone is on vacation, or sitting at a desk doing nothing for three months. Over the past two summers, that has rarely occurred for me. The wheels are constantly turning at Mermaid, and there is seemingly always something that needs doing. My list of duties has grown and grown to include all sorts of odd and wonderful things. Here is an idea of some of the jobs I have been given over the months:
- give tours
- load/unload sets, props and puppets
- answer phones
- clean the office
- fetch and deliver mail
- perform office inventory
- set up puppet displays
- answer email
- help make props/sets/puppets
- make phone calls
- compile tour books
- compile contact information
- compile press kits
- compile tour schedules and itineraries
The list goes on and on and on to the point where I can’t even remember half of the things I’ve done. Some of these tasks may seem fairly pedestrian, but I can always feels as though there’s some greater good I’m helping fulfill. The amount of work that goes into organizing and funding all of Mermaid’s tours, as well as their entertainment series, is mammoth. The staff here is productive and efficient, and they are devastatingly good at what they do. The town of Windsor may be small, but the operation and reach of Mermaid Theatre is huge – more so than I had ever imagined before I worked here.
The staff here isn’t just hard working, they’re also very friendly and helpful. I’m always happy to help with whatever they need, and they always treat me, and each other, with the utmost respect and amity. Some of them have been working here for a very long time – some even since the theatre’s inception – and yet they are still as happy and dedicated as ever.
After I leave for the school year, the wheels here will keep turning, and the staff will keep working, and the shows will keep going out on tour, just as they have been for 40 years. I’m grateful to have worked here for two summers, and I’ve certainly learned a lot about the ins and outs of theatre and production. Being at Mermaid Theatre is a lot of fun, and I’m glad that so many people around the world have been able to experience it.