“Grow with Us”
Superior Theatre Festival’s Youth Initiatives for 2019 focus on performance skills and design. In our fourth year, Superior Theatre Festival is focusing on offering Master Classes in acting, puppetry,, music composition, musical theatre and theatre design (Set & Costumes). These workshops will be 3 hour Master Classes or a full day to give students an opportunity to try out many areas that they might not have explored before. They will be able to sign up for any number of workshops they choose.
Since our season in 2019 centres around the theme of “growth” students will look at how they can take risk, explore and dig into new territory. Superior Theatre Festival is interested in our Northern Perspective and Northern Voice. How can students access the power they have in their own stories and share those with others around them? How does where they live influence their perspective? What materials are in their midst that they can use for design elements? These and other questions will be explored in our workshops.
The initiatives will happen during the month of July. We are very committed to reaching as many students as we can and we hope the Masterclass series will open up the space for more students to take part this year.
Superior Theatre’s summer youth training project was conceived of by Donna Marie Baratta who grew up in Thunder Bay and who always had a desire to give back to the community in a way that was centred around theatre. When Donna Marie lived in Thunder Bay full-time, she taught at three dance studios and in a high needs high school (Westgate CVI) and would witness every day the transformative nature that the arts had on young people. She has seen the arts give students purpose and fulfill them in immeasurable ways.
This program aims to create positive and healthy opportunities for youth to become involved in the community and learn in a supportive environment. We know that this kind of work takes time, but we are committed to building slowly and as students get involved in positive projects like this, they will respect their neighbour’s differences and connect with love and support. Superior Theatre Festival wants to give youth an opportunity to learn and harness their own potential. Our philosophy is that students should learn a variety of approaches to the material and be exposed to teachers that are masters in their art area.
Sound pedagogical practices are important because a student learns better when the teachers are focused not just on what they are teaching but how they are teaching it. It is important to Superior Theatre Festival that our artist/educators have experience teaching youth in a variety of settings.
Our summer program will focus on skill building and mentorship; we want the students involved to be integrally involved with the festival and also to build a bridge from drama as an educational tool and form to the understanding that drama can indeed be a professional pursuit.
Through our summer theatre program we aim to mentor youth and foster their potential to be involved with the festival in the future and create the possibility of youth mentoring other youth. Our aim is to build our students’ character which is very difficult to measure quantitatively. Qualities such as self confidence, creativity, risk taking, an ability to communicate and a real desire to be inquisitive about the world around them are what we aim to foster in our students. The festival Artistic and Managing Director and board members understand the importance of sharing knowledge and experience in the arts as a way of cultivating creativity and imagination to create learners who can be creative in all aspects of their lives whether or not they pursue theatre as a career.
In the fourth year of the festival,, our hope is that students will look to the variety of offerings and join us and take a risk on something new in a workshop setting.
Desired Outcomes of the Project for Students:
- Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Cooperation and Group Work
- Critical Analysis Skills
- Appreciation of various art forms
- New Skill Building
- Network of like-minded individuals
- Communication skills