Thursday, 27 September 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 training in directing with Eda Holmes at Canadian Stage in Toronto

(September 9, 2018)

A few days ago in rehearsal for The Children, I confessed to my mentor/director Eda Holmes that I was still trying to navigate when, as the assistant director, it was appropriate for me to speak up in the room and when it’d be wiser for me to just share my thoughts with her privately. “Be brave enough to look stupid,” she told me. Part of her job, she said, is risking saying the wrong thing.

That idea is perhaps what’s standing out to me the most when I reflect on our first two weeks of rehearsal (well, that and our Day 2 field trip to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station). And I’m remembering that it’s why I was interested in working with Eda in the first place: the lack of ego. Say the thing, risk getting it wrong, and move on to the next thing. I’m such a dweller—if I feel I’ve gotten something wrong it’s really hard for me to shake—but Eda’s words are really encouraging to me.

I have spent most of our time watching and listening. As an actor, it’s been an adjustment to spend so much of a rehearsal day sitting still and being quiet, but I truly love it. The Children is an exquisite play, and the cast is phenomenal: Laurie Paton, Fiona Reid, and Geordie Johnson. What a gift to be able to sit back and watch them work. And I am fortunate that they are genuinely interested in what I have to say, and what I might be able to offer. I have felt very welcomed and respected in the room.

I’m really looking forward to moving into tech at the end of this week. I’ve learned a lot watching Eda work with the actors in the rehearsal hall and I’m so interested to see how she layers in working with the designers and technicians as we transition into the theatre. It’s always such an exciting time in the process for me and I love that I’ll get to be in the house watching it all come together from the outside.

It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience so far. There is a lot of rigour in the work, but also a lot of laughter and joy. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.

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

Learn more about Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program

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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