To kick off 2nd semester of 2012-13, we’re inviting you and your class to spend a week creating new work in our Mainspace with the guidance of professional artists. Imagine connecting your students to independent artists who will assist in their process as they develop a new play in only one week. The program is geared towards engaged teachers who are looking for a galvanizing creation-based experience for their students in collaboration with a professional arts organization.
At Theatre Passe Muraille, we work with local and international artists to create diverse work that reflects our interest in social justice and marginalized voices. These artists are often independent or emerging, and it is through this integration that we ensure the art on our stage is current, engaging and reflective of contemporary practices. TPM is dedicated to increasing meaningful interactions between our communities—that means ensuring that school participation and educational programs are more than ticket sales. Student Creation Week is our next approach to engaging students alongside artists in a positive learning environment.
:what: Student Creation Week is all about inspiring students to think creatively and collectively, starting off their semester with a new project tied directly to all levels of the secondary drama curriculum. Classes (and teachers) from up to six schools will spend one week developing a new piece of theatre, created as a collective. Each class will receive a professional artist mentor, someone who will guide them throughout their week of creation, as well as at least four other workshops from artists with varying backgrounds. The week will end with a public presentation of all six pieces in the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.
:who: Participating students will work alongside their classmates, creating a unifying shared experience to start off their semester. Similarly, each participating teacher will be fundamentally involved in supporting and facilitating the creation process. Artist mentors will work alongside the teacher to guide the process throughout the week, but will never direct or write on behalf of the students. To help catalyze creation of many diverse styles, each class will also receive up to three one-off workshops with other professional artists. The program is ideal for students in Grade 10 and older.
:where: Depending on final numbers and availability, some rehearsals, workshops, and technical sessions would take place throughout the week in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue—Queen and Bathurst) in the Mainspace. Additional creation/rehearsal time (with or without artist facilitation) would happen at each home school. Some schools may need to make use of other venues or locations for research or development, depending on the nature of their work. The specific weekly schedule will be available in early January.
:when: Students would need to be released from all other classes for the week of February 25 – March 1. While some of their time will be spent in their home school, the entirety of the week will be devoted to creation of a new collective piece, for public presentation of the evening of Friday, March 1.
:why: Offering students an opportunity to create new work with a short timeline and with a certain level of focus and intensity allows for a shared experience which can galvanize a class, with each other and their teacher, early in the semester. Additionally, partnering with professional artists as well as professional arts institutions creates credibility for the arts amongst student populations and develops a sense of welcome that can inspire a class of independent theatre-goers. There is nothing quite like the chance to perform on stage at a major Canadian arts institution.
Perhaps the most exciting reasons to participate in this program are the ones that impact your school community directly. Primarily, this program is designed to cover several areas of the secondary drama curriculum, both in theory and in creation. Additionally, teachers will have the opportunity to design an appropriate follow-up to the program, ensuring that reflection and evaluation is a part of the process. Students will be exposed to a diverse array of methodology, both in creation and in production of new work by connecting with professional artists. Each class will leave the week intensive with a new play to consider for future development into a potential Sears Festival show, or to use for in-school opportunities such as assemblies and evening arts celebrations.
Finally, and most importantly, the students will have a blast exploring their own potential as emerging theatre artists. This sort of experiential education can break down social barriers, inspire collaborative behaviour and ultimately encourage positive group dynamics that will transfer directly to the in-school environment. And since Theatre Passe Muraille will look to engage these students in socially relevant and important dialogue, there is a good chance that this art will have more impact than a traditional piece of theatre. In short, participation in Student Creation Week would make a difference.
The total cost for the program is $1200.00 per class plus HST. This includes all technician fees, box office fees (for the public performance), facility costs and artist facilitation. We have gone out of our way to make this program affordable. We are also seeking to connect with school partners beyond the GTA, so if your school is looking to be a host for an out-of-town school in an exchange-style, please specify that with your interest.
For more information, or to register your school, please contact:
Associate Artistic Producer
Theatre Passe Muraille
416.504.8988, ext. 2144