Get to Know Us! MCT’s Ambitious, Theatre-Loving Intern

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Travis interned with Mixed Company Theatre from the end of February to mid-May. He’s thrilled with how much he was able to learn during his internship, and intends to continue to turn to MCT for advice as he develops independent projects.

We’re glad we got to know Travis, and loved his enthusiasm for his work. We hope you enjoy his story of inspiration and aspirations as much as we do.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m a 23 year old theatre student from York University. I was born in Toronto, but my parents are Jamaican. Singing is one of my favourite hobbies. I’m actually in a gospel group called United. Singing is a big part of me, and if I wasn’t in theatre, I’d probably be pursuing a career in music. My goal in life is to release at least two projects. Right now, I’ve started to write my own play.

2. How has your experience with MCT been so far?

I haven’t been at MCT for very long, but it’s been an enriching experience. The staff are eager to teach me what I want to learn, which I think is the coolest part. It’s not just a job where you’re told what to do. It’s really an educational experience.

3. What do you intend to gain from being an intern at MCT?

I’d like to get more experience working at a theatre company, and gain transferrable skills for my own company, which I’m planning to start soon. I also want to establish a really long working relationship with MCT.

4. What exactly drew you to MCT?

I learned about Forum Theatre and MCT over the summer. I wanted to figure out the kind of programs I’d like to implement with my own company, and a friend suggested that I check out MCT. I looked at their website and saw that they were offering internship opportunities. I was interested, so I reached out to Kristin, the Artistic Projects Manager, and now here I am.

5. Can you tell us more about the company you’re starting?

Right now the company is called Get It Together. It’s a working title, but the idea behind it is that as an at-risk youth, you’re always being told to “get it together,” but nobody has ever told you how to do that. So what I want to do is give youth the opportunity to do just that – learn how to develop the life skills that allow them to “get it together.” The life skills that will enable them to make a change in their own communities. This is something that I’ve wanted to do since high school, but I didn’t have the resources or knowledge to start at that point. I only started planning the launch of my company in May of 2015.

6. What inspired you?

I was inspired by my experiences in theatre and experiences in high school. During high school we had the opportunity to participate in the Sears Ontario Drama Festival. Our student troupe was able to share our story with audiences during the competition, and made it all the way to the regional round. It was great! It changed our perspective, the way we saw ourselves. I want to help others have that experience.

7. Finally, what do you like about theatre?

I love being able to go on stage and be a totally different person. You can grab people’s attention and convey a message without directly speaking to them – creatively addressing an issue. There’s also the feeling of camaraderie. Working in theatre is like being on a sports team, except without all of the competition. All sorts of people come together to create one collective piece. I think it’s also important to create art with meaning. Creating art for art’s sake is fine, but I think it’s great if your work of art can mean something to someone. I want to make a difference.

Senior Production – Kristin’s 2 Cents

Voices Final Performance

What a roller coaster ride; we shared our stories; talked about who we are, where we’ve come from, what are some of our greatest achievements and some of our greatest challenges. “If you could write a letter to your older self what would it say? What kind of advice would you give yourself?” Together as an ensemble, we weaved those pieces of ourselves into the production Voices of Toronto Seniors.

Personally, I have learned that it is never too late to try new things. We can create a minefield of reasons not to, but sometimes it’s as simple as saying “Why not? What do I have to lose?”

What I appreciate the most is my new-found friendships! I am excited to hang out with Pat and whip up one of her Expert Martinis, to sit with Tom and hear more about sailing the 7 seas, to jam with Aidan, to listen to some tunes with Fred, and of course to see Maureen on the stage playing a role in a Noel Coward play!

I love you all and I am forever grateful for your hard work and dedication!

Kristin over and out… for now!

Kristin Bartlett is the Bilingual Projects & Communications Coordinator at Mixed Company Theatre. She spearheaded “Voices of Toronto Seniors”  and starred in multiple roles. Kristin was essential in creating and producing MCT’s first senior production.

Philippe’s Tales of the Great North

posted in: Projet Actif | 0

BullWhat inspired me was the personal experiences of a student from our Hanmer tour whose intervention with my character was also an open confession of how he himself understood ‘Rick”s problems; because quite simply, he had lived through these issues himself. He sympathized with my character’s experiences and tried warning me of terrible pitfalls when it came to consuming drugs and alcohol. “You’ll end up regretting it. Trust me. Problems with the law, your friends, your family. Trust me. You don’t want any of that. I should know, because it’s all happened to me.” These were statements of true sincerity that made my character see the world a little differently and with a little more hope. I opened myself up to him by revealing ‘Rick’s’ feelings of depression. In this he definitely felt akin and assured ‘Rick’ that he wasn’t alone. This was incredibly encouraging to ‘Rick’ and obviously a pretty successful intervention.

Afterward, Mattawa in Ontario was nothing less then relaxing and picturesque. Having experienced beautiful views of the large river banks from the Valois Motel, we nestled our heads for the evening; but not before I indulged my taste-buds to a homemade sugar pie, a piece of true Canadiana.  We also spotted a Newfoundlander dog whose size was almost akin to a full grown bear! Yikes!

Lastly, in Mattawa we visited the birth of a school, which opened a mere 2 months ago for their inaugural scholastic year. You could smell how fresh the painted walls, the linoleum floors and the varnished gymnasium was. This beautiful bright school with an even brighter future dubbed our show the very first show performed inside the new building. Mixed Company Theatre having been chosen for this sacred spot in its future history, wishes nothing but the best for its faculty members, students and all families associated with this institution.

Enjoy our future blogs and follow us everywhere on the social media Trans-Canadian highway. YOLO! 🙂

– Philippe Poirier actor playing ‘RICK’ in Projet Actif!

Adventures up North… Janie

posted in: Projet Actif | 0

In the little town of BlindRiver, on a snowy morning, we….“la gang du Projet Actif” bought our daily Tim Hortons timbits, ate and were on our way to the beautiful Jeunesse-Nord school.

The cast and I were all relieved to have survived the spooky Halloween night in this tiny unfamiliar town and to finish the week with a group of 70 students. The quiet, though attentive group reacted well to the 1st part of the presentation and one student in particular surprised me during the interventions. Improvising with the students, I’ve heard many similar phrases or tactics in order to help Shona with her eating disorder, the one student pointed out something new! Shona’s character was comparing herself to stars like Taylor Swift or models in her Seventeen Magazine and clearly stated that she NEEDED to become as slim as them. The student answered with complete confidence and simplicity saying “Well Shona, have you heard of Photoshop? Everything in your magazine is photoshoped and unrealistic!!”

It brought me great joy to know that teens out there are aware of this and this was a wonderful moment for our joker, Cassandra, to elaborate on! Later …. We listened to MJ the whole way to Sudbury, MAMA SE MAMA SA MAMA KUSA!

T’was a lovely day indeed!

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