Jun
29

Guest Post: Shawn MacDonald, Program Director of the LEAP Playwriting Intensive

Shawn MacDonald, Program Director of the LEAP Playwriting Intensive. Photo by Mark Halliday

Shawn MacDonald, Program Director of the LEAP Playwriting Intensive. Photo by Mark Halliday

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about LEAP (Learn Early About Playwriting), a program that has just completed its 9th year at the Arts Club Theatre Company and which it has been my great privilege to lead for the past eight. This program is important because it helps foster a love for theatre in young people. To me, its real and lasting value lies in the program’s approach to creativity and the way that it strives to empower young, creative writers to be fully in command of their work and to move confidently toward adulthood.

So far, the program has mentored about 200 young people and its impact is immediately evident in our community. During our public play reading events and festival, the students show exponential growth in their understanding of how plays work. Seeing them react to an audience’s response to their play is gratifying—they learn so much about their work through this process. The thing that excites me the most about being a part of LEAP is bearing witness to the development of the young artist. Students arrive with little or no experience as playwrights, but this program provides them with a very simple and basic process by which to connect with their own creative impulse and a safe and supportive environment in which to do so.

Students of the LEAP Class of 2015. Photo by Mark Halliday

Students of the LEAP Class of 2015. Photo by Mark Halliday

As the years go on, LEAP has begun to create a community of young playwrights that learn from each other, network, and join forces to create their own work. We also have begun connecting young writers with theatre companies looking for new scripts. Some of our students have continued to forge exciting careers as playwrights, going on to study playwriting at NYU or screenwriting at USC. Many more have gone on to study Creative Writing at the university level here in Vancouver. Still others are now established theatre artists in our community.

LEAP deserves support because it is an essential presence in the local theatre culture. It is important that the program continue to be available at no cost to the participant, and for that to remain a reality, ongoing support is crucial. LEAP is filling a need in our community by inspiring a generation of young people to become creators. It not only generates a population of playwrights, but even more essentially, it teaches young people that they are in full control of their work and that they already have the skills and tools to be creative. That is a gift that will stay with them as they flourish into adulthood.

The cast of the LEAP 2015 reading series. Photo by Mark Halliday

The cast of the LEAP 2015 reading series. Photo by Mark Halliday

To support LEAP, donate to our Matching Campaign by August 7 and you’ll double your impact!

Posted in 2014-2015 Season, Community Engagement, Guest Post, New Words, New Works, Youth Tagged , |
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Jun
26

The gospel of glamourama

The Arts Club never feels more full of energy, music, and talent than when we have two large cast summer musicals happening at once! The Granville Island Stage was packed on Wednesday night as the company of Godspell celebrated Opening Night with many from the company of the upcoming Les Misérables in attendance. It’s a rare treat to have so much talent in one room and the celebration will continue throughout the summer on our stages.

Enjoy some photos below and view the full album on our Facebook page. All photos by Mark Halliday

Director Sara-Jeanne Hosie and Music Director/Cast Member Danny Balkwill. Photo by Mark Halliday

Director Sara-Jeanne Hosie and Musical Director/cast member Danny Balkwill with a photobomb by Andrew Cohen (Judas).

The company of Godspell. Photo by Mark Halliday

The company of Godspell.

Sara-Jeanne Hosie and Jennifer Copping (Jesus). Photo by Mark Halliday

Sara-Jeanne Hosie and Jennifer Copping (Jesus).

"The

The ladies of Les Misérables and Godspell Lindsay Warnock, Kaylee Harwood, Katrina Reymolds, and Jennie Neumann

Executive Director Peter Cathie White and Props Assistant Robyn Volk in their festive best. Photo by Mark Halliday

Executive Director Peter Cathie White and Props Assistant Robyn Volk in their festive best.

Godspell is on now until August 1 at the Granville Island Stage. Tickets start from just $29! Buy online or call our box office at 604.687.1644.

Posted in General, Godspell, Les Miserables Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
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Jun
24

Godspell opens tonight!

Day by day we’ve waited, and the time has finally arrived! Tonight we celebrate with the opening night performance of Godspell. This exuberant pop musical about Jesus (Jennifer Copping) and the apostles is sure to raise your spirits with ultra-catchy songs that you can’t help but sing along to, including “Learn Your Lessons Well” and “Turn Back, O Man.” Director Sara-Jeanne Hosie has brought a fresh perspective to this musical theatre mainstay that will make you rejoice!

Watch the trailer below for a sneak peek at this joyous musical sensation!

Happy opening to the company of Godspell and best wishes for a successful run!

Godspell is on now until August 1 at the Granville Island Stage. Tickets start from just $29! Buy online or call our box office at 604.687.1644.

Posted in 2014-2015 Season, General, Godspell, Opening Nights Tagged , |
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