I joined the Drama Club in Grade 11 when I was 16. I was starting to take charge of my life and my personal development. I wasn’t a joiner of clubs but this one seemed right for me. The drama coach, an experienced director and the diverse group all shared a love of theatre. I felt at home. Casting calls brought out my shyness again and when I had to read onstage I found that my voice didn’t carry. I couldn’t project to the back rows. (When I said I had lost my voice in an earlier blog, I wasn’t kidding!) Though disappointed, I was content playing bit parts with a group speaking lines. Part of the thrill was being in the group and working with the director to produce a successful play. We took “The Devil and Daniel Webster” all the way to the finals in the Simpson’s Collegiate Drama Festival in Toronto in 1958. I loved dressing up and the thrill of performing. I tried to project as best I could and was never criticized in my bit roles, which later included “Julius Caesar”. I helped out backstage for other plays. Acting onstage gave me more confidence in my everyday life where I wasn’t good at small talk.
At this time I had more friends and enjoyed a more balanced social and academic life. I still wasn’t dating anyone and didn’t have a regular boyfriend. I didn’t see the need for one. My Latin and Ancient History teacher was my home room teacher and I enjoyed his dry wit and intelligence. I gave up the team sports activities and concentrated on my studies and the drama club. In Grade 12, I won Second prize for “This He Believed”, an essay I wrote about loss, hope and new beginnings.
After I graduated from Grade 13 in 1960, I thought I was going to study modern languages at University of Toronto. Instead I went into an Honours Arts course and majored in Anthropology. Another chapter began.