Thursday, 24 January 2019

Theatre Ontario Celebrates 25 Years of Showcasing Emerging Storytellers

Theatre Ontario staff welcoming
the industry to Showcase
By Raeburn Ferguson, Professional Theatre and Education Manager

On January 13th and 14th, Theatre Ontario welcomed 300 students and 150 industry professionals to the Theatre Passe Muraille for our Next Generation Showcase. This was the 25th Showcase and we could not be more thrilled with the outcome. Between the incredible new talent on stage and the wisdom and expertise of the guests in the audience, we were blessed with two days that were full of one thing: passion for live performance and its creation.

Between Days One and Two, 19 schools in total had the chance to perform. We also welcomed seven “New Faces” that consisted of performers who were new to the area. Some were from out of province and several were new to the country, it was amazing to offer these talented performers a way to show off their talents and have their voices heard. Once the performances were done each day we went up to the Passe Muraille’s amazing cabaret space for our industry meet and greet. Our first meet and greet was sponsored by Sheridan TDS/UTM and the second night by Sheridan Musical Theatre. It was heartwarming to see connections being made and new friendships forming. A piece of advice heard consistently over the two days was to connect and make friends in the industry with your peers as they are the ones who are going to help you the most throughout your career. This advice is absolutely true and in these meet and greets you could see it being put to use. Both evenings also hosted panel discussions where the students could ask questions and gain insight into the casting world and how to navigate the industry. 

Next Generation Showcase Panel Day One
Our panels that were sponsored by Meridian Artists were moderated by Andre Newell, Theatre Ontario Board member, Agent (Carrier Talent) and Executive Producer of Monologue Slam Canada. Our “Business of Casting” panel on Day One consisted of Tovah Small (Agent, Meridian Artists), Jesse Griffiths (Casting Director, Jesse Griffiths Casting), Andrea Scott (Actor, Writer, Produce and Director), Matthew Willson (Actor, Director and Producer), Bryan Misner (Agent, The Characters) and Ron Leach (Casting Director, Producer and Director). Our Day Two panel on “The Blueprint of Business” hosted Brandon Antonio (Actor), Paul Beauchamp (General Manager and Producer, The Musical Stage Company), Evan Buliung (Actor), Rebecca Burton (Membership and Professional Contacts Manager, Playwrights Guild of Canada), Kevin Frank (Artistic Director, Second City Training Centre) and Amaka Umeh (Actor.) Both evenings were full of important questions and thoughtful answers. Watching various generations of theatre practitioners in one place learning from one another really distills what I believe this event is all about. 

This was my first Showcase and really my first big project as Professional Theatre and Education Manager and, like any show you work on, it seems so crazy that is it over in the blink of an eye. I could not be more thrilled with the way our 25th celebration turned out and want to thank all of the industry members and schools that joined us. This is truly a special event and one that is unique in nature. I look so forward to planning next year’s event…after some more coffee and rest. 

Related Reading

No comments:

Post a Comment