Thursday, 16 June 2016

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Elizabeth Thomas

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Elizabeth Thomas trained in directing with Tanja Jacobs at Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company in Toronto

(June 7, 2016)  A list of things I have done in order to procrastinate writing this final reflection:

  • Moved into a new house
  • Cleaned my new house
  • Began crocheting a new blanket (in the middle of May)
  • Read an entire young adult fantasy series
  • Renewed my visa
  • Wrote this list
I have been very actively avoiding this final part of my grant. It’s not so much a desire for the process to continue; projects end, contracts expire, and we move on. I’m used to this part of the job, and I kind of enjoy it. The novelty of a new project every eight weeks hasn’t worn off just yet.

My procrastination comes from my lack of words. I don’t know how to describe the experience I’ve had. I haven’t yet been able to quantify or qualify my six weeks with the Harold Green. I’m worried I might never be able. I certainly learnt a lot during those six weeks, things I know I’ll be using long into my career. But when I step back and try to see the shape of what I’ve accomplished, I still can’t make it out.

There are two lessons that kept coming up during my time with Harold Green. The first was being in the space, and letting that be enough. Sitting and observing without measurable results was incredibly difficult for me, more than I realized it would be. The other lesson was to trust my instincts. I don’t know when I learnt not to trust those instincts, but it was repeated to me again and again. Trust my instincts, you are doing enough. 

I have sat at my computer for the past week and stared at a blank screen. I have fought this feeling, not recognizing it for what it is. I can try and force something, something that is half baked, not quite true. Or I could learn to trust my instincts, and let myself be with my experience, without forcing something untrue, something that I can’t quite qualify or quantify. This is a lesson I am still learning, a week away out from this experience. I believe it is something I will have to learn throughout my life.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 3, 2016.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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