On Saturday November 15, the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) hosted Bridging the Gap—a multi-format Think Tank event that was a culmination of a year of work.
The idea for this event came after our Provincial Youth Forum, back in May. At our “Face to Face” component of the day (which took place during Theatre Ontario’s AGM), we hosted a multi-generational discussion in which the older, established members of Theatre Ontario got a chance to connect with the youth attendees of our workshops during the day. Many different generations got a chance to share what they wanted the future of theatre in Ontario to look like. Both the older and younger generations felt that sharing each others experiences was a refreshing experience, and also expressed interest in more conversations like that. This past September, one of our satellite committee members, Jillian Bjelan, who is based in Huron County, hosted her own Satellite Face to Face event.
In hosting Bridging the Gap, we wanted to help youth feel supported, members of the older generation feel appreciated, and to try and flesh out the topic of the day as fully as we could. We were lucky to have had the Annex Theatre generously donated to us by George Randolph, as well as a wonderful set of facilitators, who will be named throughout this piece. The event was emceed by YAC member, Madeline Smith.
|Bridging the Gap: Icebreaker|
|Bridging the Gap: Forum Theatre|
|Bridging the Gap: Keynote Address|
by Philip Akin
After breaking for lunch, the group was split into two groups to participate in our two workshops of the day. Our workshop on “Education, Training, and Experience” was facilitated by Kerry Boileau (program coordinator, SKETCH) and William Webster (resident artist, Soulpepper), and “Access (and Lack of Access) to Resources” was facilitated by Natasha Mytnowych (General Manager, Artscape Youngplace) and Brian Postalian (Communications Manager, Paprika Festival). While I found myself floating between both workshops as an observer, two of my colleagues sat in on both and can attest to them in greater detail. Rebecca Ballarin, who participated in “Access (and Lack of Access) to Resources noted that: “Brian and Natasha talked about…how they got where they are today. In their stories they talked a lot about the importance of making and maintaining connections with people, and also talked a lot about just diving into positions and roles in order to learn as much as you can.”
|Bridging the Gap: Workshops|
|Bridging the Gap: Panel Discussion|
Closing remarks for the day were given by George Randolph, who relayed his own personal story. Like many of the panellists, he had to actively seek out his own performance training, and carve his own unique path that ultimately led to his career as a professional dancer, and much later on, the creation of the Randolph Academy and its triple threat program.
|Bridging the Gap: Theatre Ontario's Youth Advisory Committee|
Catch up on tweets from Theatre Ontario's Bridging the Gap on Storify
Apply to join Theatre Ontario's Youth Advisory Committee