My role at Theatre Alberta is fairly un-creative, which is a true divergent from my usual career forte. That doesn't mean I'm not passionate about it...it's just different not being in on the planning stages of events like...
ATRSTREK. A summer school for teens that explores the exciting world of theatre and theatre production. Or - theatre boot camp.
For one blissful week at the Red Deer College, Artstrek students discover acting, voice, movement, directing, sound/music, design, creation and collaboration. Whew! As many past participants attest, "Artstrek is the greatest place in the world."
Artstrek is NOT a talent-based program. For more than 50 years (50 years!), the program has welcomed all teens who are passionate about theatre and learning about theatre.
Well, all 300-ish teens that manage to register before the program sells out. Believe me, it does. For the past seven years, there's been a waiting list of 100+ young theatre enthusiasts...which is why Theatre Alberta will add a third week of Artstrek programming in 2013.
Each year, Theatre Alberta selects a different play of study and contracts a new team of theatre professionals to develop curriculum centered around that script. How lucky for this year's participants that we (well, not me...a committee of people) chose Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
If I could go back in time, I'd be in drama - and I'd register for Artstrek. Especially THIS year.
Standing up in front of a crowd has never been my thing. And before each author reading, I experience crippling stage fright. (Hey, some of those Grade 4 kids can be brutal!) Maybe if I'd gone to Artstrek as a teenager, I'd have more confidence.
Although frequently thought of as only entertainment, the imagined and enacted world of theatre is also one of the primary ways children can learn about life: about actions and consequences, about customs and beliefs, and about others and themselves.
From birth, children instinctively use pretend play as a means of making sense of the world. They observe and respond to their environment, imitate words and actions, create situations to play and assume roles, and direct one another. Children arrive at school with rudimentary skills as playwrights, actors, designers, directors and audience members.
Cool stuff, right?
I couldn't agree more.
The Theatre Alberta Society is a registered charity. Please consider supporting it through an individual donation, corporate sponsorship, or by becoming an Angel of Theatre so that this good work can continue. Every little bit helps.
The Book In My Bag Today: Rot & Ruin, Jonathan Mayberry