Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Christine Horne

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

Christine Horne begins training in directing with Eda Holmes at Canadian Stage in Toronto

(May 1, 2018) Yesterday I had my first meeting with my mentor, Eda Holmes, as well as a gathering at the Theatre Ontario offices with other participants in the PTTP program. It was an exciting, inspiring day.

I’m going to be assisting Eda when she directs The Children by Lucy Kirkwood at Canadian Stage and The Centaur. I’d worked with Eda as an actor on her production of Tom at the Farm at Buddies a couple of years ago and really loved the experience. I was knocked out by Eda’s rigour, preparedness, and towering intellect. She also ran a room that was open, fun, collaborative, and egoless. I mentioned to her at the time that I’d be very interested in shadowing or assisting her one day, and I’ve been waiting for her to come back to Toronto to direct again ever since so I could pursue this opportunity.

As I age and mature as an actor, I find I am less interested in my own character’s journey through a story, and more interested in how that journey can serve the bigger story. And I’m interested in how all of the other elements are serving that story, too. I don’t know if I want or am suited to be a director (though I hope through this process I discover that I am), but I do know I want to understand more about what everybody else is doing so that I can be the best, most effective collaborator I can be. I love making theatre, and I want to be better at it.

The most valuable thing I took from the meeting last night at Theatre Ontario was something Marjorie Chan said. She reminded us that this is a mentorship, not a job placement. What I can sense is going to be successful about this mentorship with Eda is that while she is already assigning me jobs and tasks (“Can you find a good explanation of nuclear fission?”), she is also very interested in what I hope to get out of this experience, and how she can fuel and foster that. For me, that is the perfect combination. I want to work, I want to contribute and be useful, but I also want to learn. I want to do whatever task she needs me to do, but I also want to know why it’s something that needs to be done. And I feel very comfortable asking Eda those questions.

I can’t wait to get started. I can’t wait to know the play inside and out. I can’t wait for design meetings, and the first day of rehearsal, and tech. I can’t wait to see what happens when the whole thing moves into a new space.

I am so grateful to Theatre Ontario for this opportunity. What a rare, extraordinary thing this program is.

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 1, 2018.

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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