Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Get to know the Youth Advisory Committee

By Marilee D’Arceuil and Sarah Siddiqui, Youth Advisory Committee Co-Chairs

Have you been at the Theatre Ontario offices and noticed the pitter patter of little feet and gotten a contact high from our creative energies? Chances are you came into contact with a YAC’er and (drumroll) we are contagious. “But who is a YAC’er and what is the YAC?” you ask with great suspicion. We are the new kid on the block, a committee of young voices, young insight, and lots of enthusiasm! Theatre Ontario realized that while much youth programming has been offered over the years there was a need to provide avenues for the views of youth. The vision and reality of youth experiences are necessary in shaping and defining the present and future of theatre. From this realization the youth engagement strategy was created and a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was born to help shape and guide the implementation of Theatre Ontario’s youth engagement strategy.

The Youth Advisory Committee: Julie Matheson, Alison Beckwith,
Marilee D'Arceuil, Sarah Siddiqui, Madeline Smith
(Not pictured: Rebecca Ballarin and Ray Jacildo)
The YAC consists of some amazing and enthusiastic students and theatre performers, all of whom are lovers of everything theatre. Us whippersnappers are in the process of finding the pulse of youth theatre by meeting with various theatre companies and arts organizations that offer theatre programming to youth, specifically marginalized youth. We hope to gain insight into the existing service gaps in theatre programming for marginalized youth, and fill those gaps with great collaborative projects, programming, and increased resource sharing across the province.

The sky is the limit for us as we explore alternative formats to traditional theatre and theatre programming, so watch out! Exciting things are to come, and if you have any dreams or crazy creative theatre projects, programming, or ideas that fit our mandate do share them with us. If you want to learn more about us and what we’re up to feel free to contact us. We’re always open to creative chats over coffee or tea. The more mentoring and insight we can get into youth theatre and programming the better. We look forward to working collaboratively with Theatre Ontario to inspire and support the next generation of youth to drive and define the future of theatre across the province.

Mairin Smit, Program Coordinator, is the Theatre Ontario staff liaison for the YAC at mairin@theatreontario.org or 416.408.4556 x.12.

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