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Commotion

Monday April 18 at 7 pm (Zoom event)

Carousel Players will close out our 50th Festival celebration with a virtual screening of the inspiring documentary Commotion directed by Gillian Raby (2016, 31m28s).  

This film showcases the importance of collaborative arts education with and for young people. The Commotion program showed Carousel Players’ founding values in action: the impact and importance of theatre for young people, the value of theatre in education, and the essential role of the artist-educator as a facilitator of young people’s creativity.

“Commotion is a partnership of creativity researchers, professional theatre artists, high school drama teachers and youth from Niagara, Canada. We formed to discover the ‘best practices’ that would enable students to find their voice and create their own theatre. Over Commotion’s twelve-week program, guided by team facilitators, the youth weave the moments into one-act plays. This film documents ninety young creators at work, our ten original plays being made, and the twelve key exercises that we used.”

After the 30 minute screening, stay for a talkback with Commotion creators and facilitators Gillian Raby, Pablo Felices-Luna, and Caitlyn English.

This event is for anyone who creates theatre, works with creative kids, or is a creative kid themself. We hope you can join us on April 18!

Please RSVP to by Wednesday April 13, 2022 to receive the event link.

Festival Launch Events

50th Festival Opening

April 16 | 10am

Join us for the official Carousel Players 50th Anniversary Festival Launch, just behind our office in the parking lot of Silver Spire Church.

Swing by to enjoy the sounds of the wonderful PK Hummingbird Steel Orchestra, and hear from our Artistic Director Monica and Mayor Sendzik as we reflect on 50 years and get ready for a great weekend!

50 Years of Carousel Players Display

April 8 | 11am-1pm

Discover the rich history of Carousel Players at the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canals Centre.  Carousel Players are hosting a display opening gathering on April 8.  Join us for light refreshments as we gather to reflect on five decades of theatre for young audiences in the Niagara region.

RSVP to by April 1.

Sidewalk Stories

Sidewalk Stories is an interactive adventure, leading families on a sidewalk journey between the centre of downtown St Catharines – Carlisle & St Paul Street – and Carousel Players’ home at Silver Spire United Church!

Children and their families follow a story through a series of guided adventures marked on the sidewalk. The story unfolds as families interact with the painted paths, instructions, and built environment of the sidewalk and sides of buildings. There are two journeys to be explored – one in each direction!

Encouraging imagination, sensory play, and physical activity, Sidewalk Stories allows families to interact with St Catharines in new, exciting, and imaginative ways.

Have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

Sidewalk Stories will be in place

Saturday April 16 from 11am to 4pm

Sunday April 17 from 12pm to 4pm

Creative Team

Sidewalk Stories is a creation of Jocelyn Adema, Artistic Direction Intern

Artist’s Note:

I am passionate about dramatizing urban spaces, and the possibilities of theatre to allow us to reimagine our city spaces. I see Sidewalk Stories as an opportunity for families, children, everyone, to interact with their urban environment in a fresh, exciting and imaginative way. To do this, I have created a sensory path (a series of guided movements for kids to follow, shown by markings on the ground or walls) that follows a dramatic adventure leading from the Performing Arts Centre to Carousel Players.

This idea grew out of questions like:
What if we re-imagine what our city spaces could be? How can we reimagine our interactions with our city spaces? What stories can we tell that allow us to observe and interact with the other kinds of life that share our city spaces with us?

Design & Direction: Jocelyn Adema 
Dramaturge: Monica Dufault 
Production Manager : Grace Labelle-Scott
Sidewalk Image Design: Jana Bergsma 
Associate Production Managers: Whitney Braybrook-Byl & Ryan Mahon 

Story Guides: Sarah Rowe, Abby Malcolm, Nathan Rossi, Cooper Bilton 

Drama Playground LIVE!

Creativity at Play!

The Drama Playground is an introductory drama lesson for kids ages 5 to 7. Explore creativity, imagination, and play in a fun, supportive, and socially distanced environment.

This class is part of a virutal classroom drama curriculum created by Carousel Players that has been used in elementary schools across Ontario. In Drama Program LIVE! the original artist-educators return to Carousel Players to teach the first lesson in person.

This event is offered free of charge, but registration is encouraged as class size is limited.

Have questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions Page.

St Catharines

Date & Time
Saturday April 16 at 11am

Venue
Central Library Branch
54 Church Street

Accessibility Notes
This branch has accessible parking and washrooms. The building can be accessed by ramp from James and Church Streets, and by an elevator from the lower parking lot.

Niagara Falls

Date & Time
Saturday April 16 at 1pm

Venue
Niagara Falls History Museum
5810 Ferry Street

Accessibility Notes
The Museum is accessible by wheelchair with reserved wheelchair parking and ramps at both front and back entrances. There is a family washroom on the main floor which is wheelchair accessible.

Niagara on the Lake

Date & Time
Sunday April 17 at 2:30pm

Venue
Niagara on the Lake Community Centre
14 Anderson Lane

Accessibility Notes
The Community Centre is wheelchair accessible.

West Lincoln

Date & Time
Monday April 18 at 12pm

Venue
West Niagara Agricultural Centre
7402 Mud St. West, Grassie

Accessibility Notes
The Agricultural Centre is wheelchair accessible.

Dragon on the Hill

Once upon a time, in a place not too far from here, there lived a dragon…

Dragon on the Hill is an interactive drama workshop that combines dramatic play and performance.

Our arts educator performers will help the audience warm up their bodies, voices, and imaginations (just like actors do!) so they can help tell the story of the Dragon on the Hill.

The audience will use their imaginations, learn a song, make sound effects, and with their help, the Dragon will discover what it needed all along.

Did you know that the Dragon puppet we use for our workshop is 20 years old? The puppet was originally made for Carousel Players’ production of The Hobbit in our 2001-2002 season, and traveled across Ontario and Quebec.

Questions About Dragon on the Hill

What age group is this workshop suitable for? This workshop is suitable for children ages 4 and up.

What is the maximum number of participants? The maximum number of participants is 40 people.

What is the duration of the activity? The workshop itself is 20-30 minutes long, depending upon the number of participants. We can offer 2 workshops in a booking, so long as they are 30-60 minutes apart.

What does my group need to provide? Please provide chairs for adults / parents to sit on, a 6′ table for our sound equipment, and access to power.

What are the space requirements for this workshop? This workshop requires an open space approximately 20ft x 20ft with chairs set up on two sides and seating in front of the chairs on the floor for children.

How long will you be at our event? We will need access to the space where the workshop takes place before and after the performances. Load in and set up time is 30 minutes, and load out time is 30-45 minutes.

How do I book this workshop? For more information and to book this workshop at your event, fill in the booking form. Bookings can be made for

  • Public events
  • School events open to the public
  • Community activities
  • Festivals

What is the cost per workshop? The cost is $200+hst per session. The artist-educators can run the Dragon on the Hill activity twice during that time.

Bring the Dragon to your event!

13 + 11 =