Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Characters of Crossing, Part V: What If

  "What If"

 The final part of a series exploring the history and characters behind Signature’s world premiere of Crossing, by Matt Conner and Grace Barnes.

If you missed any of the other characters, follow their journeys here:

The World of 2013: The Backpacker

"And I’m on my way.
I’ve got a million places I’d like to stay!
I can’t wait another day,
‘Cause all I need is a bed and breakfast, my backpack and me."

Our journeys in the 21st century have been revolutionized by the technology we use. With our smartphones and iPads we can change our destination to another flight in a matter of seconds, skim a travel blog, or calculate a location and time on Google Maps while we’re on the bus to somewhere else!  However, our constant connectedness to the virtual world can sometimes prevent us from appreciating the world around us. The Huffington Post stated that resorts and lodges without wi-fi, such as Little PalmIsland Resort & Spa in the Florida Keyes and the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge in Alberta, Canada, are becoming a travel trend. Although vacationers took a few days to readjust to the electronic-free life, they discovered a new sense of connection with their family members and nature, and returned to work rejuvenated.

The Backpacker, played by Christopher Mueller, is the epitome of the optimistic, technology-dependent 21st century traveler.  He is part of an increasing number of young adults going abroad. Education motivates many college-aged people. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) reports that international student travel has increased fivefold since 1975, with 4.1 million students studying abroad in 2010. For others, it’s a matter of expanding horizons and challenging themselves. 

The Unknown Woman crosses paths with The Backpacker (Chris Mueller). 
Since the recession, many people have been discouraged from traveling by the costs, but backpacking can be a great way to see the world without breaking your bank account. By eating from street vendors, staying in hostels, and booking your transportation in advance, you can “eat, pray, and love” across Europe for less than $100/day. 

Travel Tips for the Intrepid Backpacker
  1. Pack light! It will save room for things you want to buy when you get to Europe. Leave the heels at home and invest in a few pairs of lightweight walking shoes instead
  2. Get a Eurorail Pass. It can save you hundreds of dollars.
  3. Don't spend so much time taking pictures that you forget to experience the world around you.
  4. Take advantage of free tours in cities.
  5. Talk to everyone! That's the best way to pick up on the language and culture of a place. As the Unknown Woman tells The Backpacker in Crossing, “What if the person sitting next to you on the train is someone who could change your life? 
 Chris Mueller describes his the exciting journey of working on a musical.
directed by Eric Schaeffer 
music and lyrics by Matt Conner
book and additional lyrics by Grace Barnes 
October 29-November 24

  For more information, including ticketing, click here



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