PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, THE HEART OF THE WORLD! This island I hold quite close to my heart. It is where I spent the summers on my grandparents oceanfront property since I was born. I hadn't been here since the summer of 2010, and I have finally returned, with my own caravan of actors and close friends. Located close to Nova Scotia, PEI is the land of mussels, farmland, golf, and cows. Its charm is found in its kind people and fields of wild flowers. I'm so happy to be back.
We made it up to Prince Edward Island after driving through Bangor, ME to see Jenny's family and surrendering the pepper spray to the Queen at the border into Canada. PLEASE NOTE: Don't bring weapons to Canada, they will be confiscated and you will be curtly questioned. Leading to the island, you must drive across an 8 mile bridge, which has its beauty accompanied by concern. It's just so long. With no land in sight.
The drive to our house in French River takes a good hour from getting on the island. We drove up the grassy driveway and went straight to bed. The next morning, we started rehearsals for our fringe festival show. It's been hard to stay focused when you see the ocean from your rehearsal space, so we've been taking plenty of breaks to go swimming and collect wildflowers. Still, it's a great group of people and we're focused enough to get this show up and running.
On one of our many breaks, I put my tour guide hat on and guided us to COWS, the best ice cream on the planet. I had a few scoops of Messie Bessie and Wowie Cowie. I guess I haven't been up here in a few years, but bringing my friends up and walking the grassy roads where I learned how to golf and play croquet, I'm realizing how much this place connects me to my childhood and my family. I'm so lucky to have this place. It's always up, and unless the cliffs erode at a rapid pace, I will be coming up here the rest of my life.
We got our show together in 6 rehearsals and ended up selling our venue out every night! We performed at The Haviland Club, a beautiful and historical social club in town with definite ghost activity, turning its main room into our 'found space' set. Once getting settled into the groove of our show, the stress faded and we just started enjoying ourselves. Charlottetown, PEIs capital, is where our show was held. We went to a handful of the other fringe shows, ate a lot of lobster, and even attended a PEI “kitchen party” also known as “a house party”. We danced the night away with help from some island elixir that I never want to try again, but it definitely added to the experience.
Spending a lot of time in Charlottetown, we found the best coffee at Receiver Coffee Co., lobster rolls at Water-Prince Corner Shop, and people everywhere we went. We met a group of kids who work as the Confederation Players in Charlottetown, where they wander the streets in 1864 garb and discuss the history of the island in that time.
The support from Charlottetown and the other fringe artists was a nice confirmation that we actually pulled everything together. Phew. I'm sad to be leaving PEI, but am ready for the trip ahead: driving from the East Coast to the West for the next 20 days.