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

posted in: General | 0

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.

Old Age Ain’t for Sissies – Opens Tonight!

Mixed Company Theatre’s Old Age Ain’t for Sissies opens tonight at the Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, On). Don’t miss this chance to see this brand new production created in consultation with over 150 seniors across Toronto and the GTA.

Show Dates & Times
Nov 27 @ 8:00 PM – $20 per ticket
Nov 28 @ 8:00 PM – $20 per ticket
Nov 29 @ 8:00 PM – $25 per ticket
Nov 30 @ 8:00 PM – $25 per ticket
Dec 1 @ 2:30 PM – $20 per ticket

How to buy tickets?
Online: https://tickets.tarragontheatre.com/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent379.html
Phone: (416) 531-1827
In Person at the Tarragon Box Office: 30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto, ON, M5R 1X3

About the production
The Cline couple will experience all the pitfalls and frustrations which confront older adults in their retirement years. Will they negotiate the shoals and reefs successfully? Will their marriage survive? Will they survive? The play begins with a retirement party. For some the party heralds a glorious new era of freedom and adventure. For others it sounds a peal of doom. The drama is punctuated with songs resonating with the determination of seniors who want neither to be dismissed nor forgotten. The production stars older actors with an array of backgrounds and experiences. If you’ve never experienced a piece of forum theatre, this is your chance to see how it works. This interactive play invites the audience to come on stage, take on the role of one of the characters and explore possible options to the issues presented.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our senior programming, please call (416) 515-8080 or email info@mixedcompanytheatre.com. You can also check out our website MixedCompanyTheatre.com.

Intro to Forum Theatre, a Reflection by Dweepesh

posted in: Workshops | 0

I attended the Introduction to Forum Theatre workshops with Mixed Company Theatre on Friday, July19th. It was a two-part workshop series that ran through the entire day. Forum Theatre takes the specific problems of a community and creates a universal story, where all of the participants of that community have a stake in the play which will be created. I was really excited and slightly anxious about attending this workshop since my only acting experience has been in a couple of high school plays.

The fun begun as the games flowed. We got to know each other well, learned about one another and just immersed ourselves to learning about these specific Forum Theatre techniques. The games that we played had a surreal effect on me – I learnt more about myself, my fears and contemplated about my past experiences through different lenses. I particularly enjoyed the ‘Sculpting’ exercise where we were given a theme and we had to feel the emotion and mould the body of our partner into a shape or ‘statue’. Coming from a business background with limited knowledge of theatre, this exercise was particularly enticing because I had to create a piece with non-verbal cues.

How is a Forum theatre play created? A forum theatre play is developed through the use of ‘play’. Carefully selected exercises allowed us to explore the issues discovered amongst the group and with the guidance of Simon Malbogat, Artistic Director of MCT, we presented improvised scenes.

We ended with improv sessions where we transformed from actors to ‘spect-actors’ and learnt how to intervene and analyze the issues presented within each of our scenes. As the day wore down, our energy levels dropped but our Joker made sure that we stayed enthusiastic and not a single minute passed with any diversions from the learning and play. Thank you, Simon!

Want to know more about Forum Theatre? This is a style of theatre which is developed with professional artists or with the community dealing with that particular social/political issue, for example, alcoholism, AIDS, drug abuse, etc. This is a theatrical technique for analyzing and exploring alternatives to systemic power and dynamics within society.

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Call for Multi-Disciplinary Artists—Mixed Company Theatre’s Emerging Artist Program

Are you a multi-disciplinary artist looking to develop and create a collective creation with a professional theatre company? We are interested in using an artistic lens to dissect the boomerang phenomenon as well as other issues facing Generation Y’s ability to succeed. Project Boomerang—MCT’s first Emerging Arts Program will be investigating some of the following questions:

• Are today’s post-grads expectations unrealistic?
• Where is the line between paying your dues and being exploited?
• Are these young adults lazy and ungrateful?
• Is staying or returning home a sign of failure?
• Does a degree hold any weight in the search for employment?

MCT is looking to cast 8-10 artists. There will be an honorarium for all participants. Artist must be able to commit to the following:

Rehearsals –Will take place at Mixed Company Theatre once a week from 6:00-9:00PM, Sept 3rd to Jan 31st, 2013.
Public Reading—Thurs, Nov 28th 2013.
Gala Performance—Perform in a showcase at the MCT Gala, date TBD, the week of Dec 3rd-7th, 2013.
Workshop Performance—A workshop performance during the week of Jan 26th-Feb 1st, 2014.
Festival Submission—There will be a post mortem in Feb 2014, at which point MCT will look into the possibility of participating in festivals.

Additional rehearsals will be expected during the week of the Reading, Gala and Workshop Performance. Please do not submit if you are unable to commit to these dates.

Audition/Interview Information
We are looking for versatile artists who are interested in developing a collective creation. We are looking for artists who have experience in: Writing, performing, directing, producing, designing, stage managing, dance, video, multimedia, or music.

Please come prepared with a 5 min piece that showcases your artistic abilities and talents. It could be a monologue, poem, movement piece, song, or sample of your writing —something that highlights your creativity! Do not feel bound by our description; we encourage all artists who are looking to work collectively to apply.

Please send a photo and resume to info@mixedcompanytheatre.com. Those selected will be contacted for an audition/interview which will take place during the week of August 19th 2013.
Submissions close Aug 9th, 2013.

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