Message from the Artistic Director

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Message from the Artistic Director 2017-05-24T12:56:15+00:00

Welcome to Carousel Players’ 45th Season.

This 2016/2017 Season is our 45th year of creating live theatre for young audiences! We will celebrate by sharing 3 new plays from a mix of emerging and established artists. In addition, I am pleased to announce that our play development program has grown this season to include 4 new works by 5 diverse and brilliant female creators!

Our 2016-2017 plays explore connections youth make in their communities and the power of transformation. The stories highlight themes of friendship, acceptance, gender, change, imagination, heritage and leadership.  

Our season opens with new partnerships. We are excited to be working on iChild, a site-specific, immersive theatre project, which will bring local and provincial artists together.  This partnership, in collaboration with Toronto’s award-winning immersive theatre company Outside the March, will animate our community partner Rodman Hall’s art gallery in St. Catharines. OtM’s Artistic Director Mitchell Cushman will join our team to co-direct the piece, and together we will engage 25 youth from Niagara in the creation of the piece. iChild is an exploration of our heavily digitized, mediated, screen-filled world, created by a demographic that has never known anything but. How does technology imprint itself on children? At home? In the school? How has technology advancement changed language arts for children? How has technology created gaps in how children experience land and heritage? We chose Rodman Hall to investigate the cross-section between technology, language, heritage space and contemporary art and their place in children’s lives.  The piece will be a workshop production, performed by professional actors and designers. Four free public performances will take place at Rodman Hall in October 2016, and will be a family friendly event. This project is made possible by the Niagara Investment in Culture grant.

Our first school production is Tick (Jan. 30- March 4), by Matthew Mackenzie. Tick encourages youth to acknowledge issues within their community and take a stance for positive action. The title character is a strong, intelligent, passionate young female who is a champion for literacy and youth leadership. The piece draws important parallels to real-life youth activist, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize award winner Malala Yousafzai. A Pakistani activist for female education, Malala is the youngest recipient ever at 17 years of age. She champions education for youth. Like Tick, she is a great example of how passion for education and vocal advocacy are keys to becoming active citizens.  In addition, to the importance of strong female figures in our community, Tick is the story of a single-mother and daughter who are navigating the changes adolescence brings to a home. Tick is for ages 11-14.

Our 2nd school touring production, and final show of the season, is Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures (April 10-May 5), by Mark Crawford.  Mark Crawford is well-known to Carousel audiences as a performer. BGOMC will be the first TYA piece he has written. The story follows young Simon on a quest to battle a fearsome dragon, with the aid of his new friend Abby. Along the way, Simon’s older brother resists the pair’s magical world and shares his discomfort with Simon dressing up to transform into “what he is supposed to be.” This playful and moving story speaks to how many of us search for a place to be ourselves safely, express completely who we are without judgement, and find out what we are made of with the support and celebration of our friends and family. With more and more schools raising the rainbow flag to support equality and compassion for all, we feel strongly this play will resonate deeply in our communities. BGOMC is for ages 6-10.

We look forward to sharing this exciting 45th Season with all of you. We hope it will ignite many wonderful discussions between yourselves and the children in your lives.

-Jessica Carmichael, Artistic Director

Jessica Carmichael, Artistic Director