Thursday, 10 November 2016

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Jane Spence

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

Jane Spence training in artistic direction with David Nairn at Theatre Orangeville.

The Ghost Island Light at Theatre Orangeville
(October 18, 2016) It has been an incredibly busy month, in fact, I am writing this during our cue- to-cue dinner break for The Ghost Island Light. Assisting Derek Ritschel on this project has been an enlightening experience. Mr. Ritschel comes very prepared with a clear vision and directs with great specificity yet allows his actors room to play and explore. Though this is primarily a remount, he allowed for new discoveries and used every opportunity to fine tune each moment. He has been very generous in sharing his insight and wisdom, while encouraging development of my own unique process. He made me feel my contributions were valued as he did with each person on his team. It was very useful to witness how he collaborated with his lighting designer and stage manager. As most of my career experience has been as a performer I am especially grateful for the information I garnered on the process outside of rehearsal.

During this time I have also been shadowing Artistic Director David Nairn. I attended casting sessions, board meetings, staff meetings, council meetings, fundraising committee meetings, and classes. We are currently in the process of programming next year’s season. In the next six weeks I am looking forward to participating in two workshops for new Canadian plays that will be premiered next season. I will also be assisting Mr. Nairn on Miracle on 34th Street, and continue to examine what it means to be an Artistic Director.

I have been welcomed and supported by everyone on staff and I feel very grateful to have this opportunity to have an in-depth exploration of the functions and responsibilities of each position. I am inspired and overwhelmed (in the best of ways) by all of the fabulous information this program has provided me and I am excited for what the next phase will bring.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2017.

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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