I am thrilled to be a part of Shakespeare in Action this season, interning at the wonderful office at 570 Shaw St. Walking through the halls of Central Toronto Academy, I became nostalgic from the memories of volunteering with the company a few years ago assisting in their Teen Summer Camp. We put on As You Like It with a wonderful bunch of students, one’s in which inspired me with their sense of play, excitement and passion for the arts. Little did I know that a few years later I would be here again taking a new role in the company by honing new skills in administration and education.
I have been a theatre artist for quite some time working with different companies as an actor and director. I have learned many things along the way from many brilliant artists and am now looking to take a new perspective in how a company begins to get the production to the audience.
In taking this new position in the arts, it has really opened my eyes to the amount of team work and creativity that is involved behind the stage reaching out to educational institutions, companies and other organizations to get them involved and excited not only in what this company does but in the arts in general.
The reason for my craving for this administrative knowledge is due to the evolving trend in audience outreach. The tradition of the relaxed patron coming to sit in their seat and calmly watch the drama unfold, letting it wash over them, like they are watching a moving painting, are out dated.
Audiences seem to be searching for more engagement, more involvement and being a part of the production from the moment they walk in the theatre and even after they have gone home. How can we stimulate, engage and include them as part of the production on a more effective level?
A great start is seeing how the Shakespeare Meets Hip Hop program unfolds and how engaged the kids can become with this brilliant idea. Taking a medium that they are familiar with and educating and comparing the works and language of Shakespeares with that of modern poetry is such an exciting endeavor to see how the students become stimulated, engaged and involved.
Glad to see be a part of this new outreach!!