Message from the Artistic Director

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Message from the Artistic Director 2017-06-01T01:38:23+00:00

Welcome to Carousel Players’ 46th Season.

This 2017/2018 Season will see a continued commitment to producing new Canadian work, with an emphasis on a celebration of female voices.  Our two school touring plays are works by established female creators, one of which is an adaptation of the Governor-General Award Winning Children’s Book Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault (Kids Can Press). We are happy to announce two special partnerships within our season: we will be working in association with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre this September to facilitate theatre for young audiences in their inaugural Celebration of Nations, and, in early March, we are presenting Young People’s Theatre’s One Thing Leads to Another, a play for infants and their caregivers. We are also very pleased to share our new play development program, which will include four new works by a group of established artists Sean Dixon, Kate Hewlett, Falen Johnson and Yvette Nolan. Our 2017-2018 Season highlights themes of Siblings, Friendship, Leadership, Perseverance, and Creativity.

Our Season opens in partnership with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.  We are excited to be working on Celebration of Nations, a festival that will bring together elders, leaders, artists and young people from diverse Indigenous communities, to celebrate the vital role Indigenous people have had and continue to have across Turtle Island/Canada by showcasing their significant artistic contributions and achievements. Playwright Falen Johnson (Mohawk/Tuscarora) will be engaged in the festival’s activities to workshop and share a staged reading of her new theatre for young audience play exploring her youth growing up on Six Nations.

Our first school production is This Will Be Excellent (Feb. 5 – March 2), by Jordi Mand. Jordi began developing her piece during her time as our 2015-2016 Playwright in Residence supported by the Ontario Arts Council. In This Will Be Excellent, Jordi tackles the issues facing youth when struggling at school. Jordi’s main character Daniel faces pressures of adolescence and begins faltering within his academic standings. Through Daniel, Jordi explores how individual students exist within school systems. The play asks is one teaching method appropriate for all students? What happens when a young person starts feeling like they can’t keep up in their work? Students struggling at school is not a new topic, but what makes This Will Be Excellent’s story resonate today is the relationship it explores between student, teacher, and parents as they look for alternative methods of learning to keep youth engaged in their studies while balancing their independence. This Will Be Excellent touches upon themes of Leadership, Friendship, Responsibility, Philanthropy, Creativity, Music, Math, English Language. The play is for grades 4-8.

Our second school touring production, and final show of the season, is Virginia Wolf (April 9 – May 4), adapted for the stage by Cole Lewis and Clelia Scala from the book by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault (Kids Can Press). Virginia Wolf won the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award. The story is loosely based on real life siblings author Virginia Wolf and painter Vanessa Bell. Cole and Clelia take up Maclear’s sweet and poignant imagining of the siblings’ childhood relationship to create a production that offers comfort to children while they deal with strong emotions. Virginia Wolf features themes of Siblings, Friendship, Feelings, Perseverance, Imagination and Creativity. For grades K-3.

Finally, Carousel Players is happy to present Young People’s Theatre’s award-winning show for babies.  Commissioned by YPT and created specifically for infants, One Thing Leads to Another transforms everyday objects into a captivating theatrical experience for babies and their carers. The play received 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Awards in the Theatre for Young Audiences Division for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Performance- Ensemble. We will tour One Thing Leads to Another to Niagara communities in March 2017. Performances will be held in six areas of Niagara- St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake, Welland, Niagara South, and Niagara West.  We hope many new faces will join our extended family through this accessible option to experience live theatre for the first time.

Our programming offerings engage young people critically and imaginatively in the art of storytelling. At Carousel we embrace the current and diverse narrative of young people’s lives, and are excited to share in their dreams, struggles, and joys this 46th Season.

-Jessica Carmichael, Artistic Director