Tag Archives: Watermark Theatre North Rustico PEI

Chat With an Actor

A Chat With Actor Alexandra Montagnese

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Q: Tell me about the characters you’re playing this summer?

AM: I am playing Gabriella in Boeing Boeing the passionate, feisty yet forgiving, Italian flight attendant. She speaks a language of love through her actions and soon becomes protective when she starts to catch wind of the situation at hand. All Gabriella wants is calm sensual companionship in an otherwise turbulent lifestyle, hopping airport to airport without much time to lay roots.

In contrast, I play the social butterfly, Chick in Crimes of the Heart letting me dig in the deep rootedness of southern American family matters. I’m playing the cousin to the three sisters at the centre of the story. Every time we see Chick, she is coming from a meeting, or headed to another responsibility, always with an eye for scrutiny and decorum. She is sharp, ready to pounce, and will certainly fill any dead air with her extensively long sentences. She’s got this fast-talking, friendly manner of getting what she wants while tossing jabs here and there, if you catch them.

Q: Have you worked with any of the other company members?

AM: I was lucky enough to spend 2 years at York U with Hannah where we did our MFA together. And when I say together, I mean there were only 5 of us in the acting program, and we spent day and night, every single class, and rehearsals together. We even got to play sisters in Three Sisters as both of our thesis roles.

Q: Are you looking forward to spending the whole summer on the Island?

AM: This is my first time on PEI and I am just delighted to start the summer full of seafood and sandy beaches! I’ve made extensive lists of all the things I want to do while on the island but I am most excited to go on adventures and see things I’ve never seen before. I’ll be the one asking people where I should go on my days off. 

Q: How will you keep it fresh every night when you have such a long run?

AM: The wonderful thing about theatre is that it’s humans every night, and as long as I remain true and honest with where I’m at, it will be fresh and interesting and new. I really value the work my fellow actors do, and out of respect to them, I listen, and respond authentically to what they’re offering. To me, honouring the work stage management, direction, lights, sound, front of house, and all the folks working to put me there onstage keeps me motivated. I also like to dedicate each night to a new person in the audience, whether I know them or not.

Robert Tsonos Artistic Director

Watermark Theatre

 

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Off the Stage

A Chat With Actor Hannah Wayne-Phillips at the Watermark Theatre

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Q: How will you keep it fresh every night when you have such a long run?
HWP: The incredible thing about live theatre is, every night is different because every night we get a new scene partner- the audience. One of the wonderful things about working in an intimate space like Watermark is that as actors we can really be present with the audience and have an exchange with the audience. That relationship, or that exchange, is very different with different groups of people and that alone keeps the work fresh. Sometimes I also like to focus on one detail and see how it changes the action. So I might focus on how a certain memory from childhood, or a relationship with a character in the play, affects the character’s journey in the play.
Q: Are you looking forward to spending the whole summer on the island?
HWP: I am thrilled to be spending the summer on the island. I’m excited for many things about being in PEI this summer, but top of the list is getting to swim in the Atlantic Ocean everyday.
Q: Tell me about the characters you are playing this summer?
HWP: I am very excited about the two characters I will be playing this summer! In Boeing Boeing I’m playing Berthe, a Parisian maid, who already has me busting a gut at her bold and slightly cantankerous way of communicating with her boss. Amidst her boss’ chaotic lifestyle, Berthe applies her shrewd and exacting mind to holding the house together, and with great success (most of the time). Berthe runs a tight ship; she has a ubiquitous watch over her domain. I cannot wait to jump into the skin of this fiery, smart-as-a-whip, subversive, fretful, wonderfully dramatic Parisian.
I’m also playing Lenny in Crimes of the Heart. Lenny and her sisters have already captured my heart and imagination. Lenny is the sister who is the caregiver; she is reliable, and self-sacrificing. She’s very interesting to me, because at face value she appears meek, but just below the surface she has a depth of soul and an emotional life that is very intense and at times quite dark. When we meet Lenny at the beginning of the play her life is very hermitic. Yet, she yearns for a life that’s bigger, with more passion than she believes she is able to have. That internal tension and Lenny’s journey to becoming an active person is extraordinary to me. I am very excited to fall further in love with this wish-making, horse-riding, yearning, cautious, sensitive, intense, empathetic misfit.
Q: Have you worked with any of the other company members?
HWP: Yes! Alex Montagnese and I were in the same class for our MFA in Acting at York. We always hoped we would be able to share the stage again soon, and I’m thrilled that the opportunity has come again so quickly. Alex is a truly gifted artist and I can’t wait to jump into the ring with her and the entire cast this summer.

Robert Tsonos

Artistic Director
Watermark Theatre

 

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Watermark Music Series Fires Up

Classic Music Reignited 2019 Lineup

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Returning for its 6th season, Classic Music Reignited will once again be curated by Rob Oakie and have PEI artists presenting their interpretations of classic artists from the modern era.

The season kicks off July 21st with Queens of Country featuring the music of iconic female country artists Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. Their timeless classics will be interpreted by PEI songstress Teresa Doyle, Kim Albert & Faces and special guest Luis Anselmi on cuatro and keys.

Next up: August 4th is British 70’s Art Rock featuring the exciting and ground breaking music of The Moody Blues, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. This show presents two rising stars in PEI’s music scene, Calm Baretta and Jenni & the Hummingbird with special guest Claire Gallant on keys.

August 11th is a special children’s matinee that will feature readings from famed author Robert Munsch by PEI comedian and actor Dennis Trainor. The show will also feature a special presentation of fiddle and dance duo to teach the children how to step dance!

The final show of the series goes August 18th. Songs of Social Justice and Protestwill be a selection of songs about yesterday and today’s social issues, and a protest anthem or two, featuring a broad range of artists from Woody Guthrie to Crosby, Stills and Nash. The songs will be interpreted by Tara MacLean, Nick Gauthier & Tian Wigmore and Rob Oakie.

All performances are at 7:30PM except the one on August 11th which will be at 1:00PM.
All performances are $25 for adults, $15 for children and students.
Tickets can be purchased at ticketwizard.ca

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Learning the Ropes

Interns Start Work at the

Watermark Theatre

 

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Two weeks ago the summer interns started work at the Watermark Theatre and this year’s crop are an exciting mix of young theatre professionals from Atlantic Canada and those from further afield. This is the 4th year of the Mentorship Program at Watermark, which welcomes current theatre students and recent graduates to train back stage at the theatre all summer.

This year’s interns are Virginia Iredale (stage management), Mike Grdosic (carpentry / technical), Rachel Smith (props / scenic art), Claudia Groves (wardrobe), Lokki Ma (arts administration), and Meghan Riddell (wardrobe).

Virg Iredale was born and raised in Ontario and is currently based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. She graduated last year from Dalhousie University with a BA in Stage Design and Technical Theatre.  She has had the wonderful opportunity to work as an apprentice ASM at Ship’s Company, and Below the Salt. She is very excited to be in PEI for the first time ever in her life and have the wonderful opportunity to work with Melissa, our production stage manager, for the first time since high school.

Mike Grdosic lives in Toronto where he has just finished his first year at Humber College’s Theatre Production program, specializing in carpentry and scenic art. Mike’s interest in theatre production only developed recently after volunteering as a production assistant at Watermark Theatre the past two seasons. He is very happy to be back on the island working with the fine folk at Watermark.

Rachel Smith recently completed her 4th year of studies at York University majoring in Theatre Production & Design. She is currently working towards completing her degree with a minor in Visual Art. Rachel was the Set Designer for York University’s 2019 production of Orlando directed by Lindsay Bell and has previously worked as a Scenic Artist on Peter Hinton’s Dido: Queen of Carthage and David Di Giovanni’s A Dream Play. During the summer of 2018 she was the Exhibit and Outreach Coordinator/Archivist for the Arts and Heritage Centre in Warkworth, Ontario.  Additionally, Rachel was also the Curator for their exhibition titled Mary Hutchinson: Life on Main Street.
“Being able to learn and practice my craft on a beautiful island like PEI is a dream come true”, says Rachel. “I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity that Watermark Theatre has provided through the Mentorship Program.”

Claudia Groves recently graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre and Honours in Costume Studies. Her experience includes working at Mermaid Theatre in Windsor NS during the summer of 2017, as well as several years of theatre experience at Dalhousie. During that time, she contributed in varying ways to a number of productions, including Dante’s Purgatorio and a series of Moliere one-acts.

PEI is home for Lokki Ma, who grew up in Summerside and moved to Toronto after graduating from Dalhousie University with an Honours degree in Technical Theatre. For the past 13 years she has lived and worked in various theatres across Toronto and the Maritimes. She was the 2010 recipient of the Pauline McGibbon award, Props Coordinator for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in 2015 and will be returning for a seventh season as the Head of Props at Young Peoples Theatre this Fall.
“After more than a decade of working in the production side of the industry I was ready for another perspective. One that provides a 360 degree view of how theatre is made on Island” says Lokki. “I feel lucky that I get to gain that perspective from Andrea and Robert as the arts administration intern this summer. I hope to come away from this experience understanding how theatre serves our communities, engages its audience and shapes the culture of the Island. And if I’m lucky, a path forward, one that may lead me home to stay.”

Meghan Riddell is from Milverton, Ontario and is excited to be joining Watermark Theatre as part of her Wardrobe placement. Meghan is currently attending Fanshawe College for Costume Production and is trilled for the opportunity to be apart of this year’s season.

Watermark Theatre is a perfect training ground for aspiring theatre professionals – small enough to nurture and large enough to have processes and policies in place. All sets, costumes and props are realized on site and production standards are high. Though there are many theatre training institutions in Canada there are very few internships available. Hands-on experience and training under a good mentor is one of the best ways to learn and grow.

The program is generously sponsored by the Joan & Regis Duffy Foundation, the RBC Future Launch program, and Skills PEI. Meghan Riddell joins the company through the Fanshawe College Costume Studies Student Placement Program.

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Dressed to Kill

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“Just let the wardrobe do the acting.”  Jack Nicholson

“This is my first time doing an internship like this, and it’s inspiring to be working in the field and getting the experience in an actual theater,” said Rachel Farmer.

It was last May last year and Rachel was starting as the new kid on the block at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico on the north-central coast of Prince Edward Island. A local girl – “I was born and raised on PEI” – she participated in musical theater with dance umbrella throughout high school, and two years further on was studying costume design at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Watermark was her first young foot in the door.

“I did most of the smaller tasks,” she recalled six weeks later as the summer season at the playhouse got underway with “Dial M for Murder.”

“I tried to do some of the dirty work, but it is a rite of passage,” explained Julia Hodgson-Surich, Rachel’s supervisor and mentor, about the labors of internship.

Interns used to be apprentices, although it amounts to the same thing, working at an occupation or trade for little or no pay in order to gain experience. Getting involved, not necessarily cracking the books, is often the best way to get the hang of things. The professional is an amateur who didn’t quit.

“It is an intern’s job to go for coffee for anyone who asks, delivering it hot and cupped in your bare hands,” Kurt Braunohler, the host of podcasts on the Nerdist Network, said about learning the ropes.

There are several imperatives interns have to follow. When uncertain, always ask, be a team player, keep a notebook, and be early, not just on time. You don’t have to be the last to leave, but don’t be the last to get there, either.

Pay attention to everything the big cheese says. Don’t complain, ever. Just don’t.

“I was Julia’s right hand,” said Rachel. “She tackled the main important stunning pieces. I worked on the suspender buttons.”

“I did manage to get her to sew all of the suspender buttons on the pants,” admitted Julia. “I’ve done that thousands of times myself. It’s how she’s going to learn to do it perfectly.”

“The handsome costumes do much to recall the postwar boom years,” wrote The Guardian in its review of “Dial M for Murder,” which sold out for most of its run.

When actors are getting into character, they are often soaking in what they are turned out in. They become what they are wearing. If you are wearing a banana suit, you become a very funny barnstormer on stage. There is no getting around it.

“She didn’t just shove me into the deep end,” said Rachel. “She helped me through everything.”

“I’m not as evil as some designers,” explained Julia. “I went easy on her for the first fitting. It was only after that that I expected perfection.”

Even though internships are often a chunk of paycheck short of real jobs, interns have to show their commitment and go the extra mile, doing everything to a T. It’s the small things that make up perfection, and perfection is no small thing.

“She assisted me,” said Julia. “When I needed a stage pin, she had it. When I said, these pants need to come in three inches, she wrote it down and got it done. We made sure everything fit immaculately.”

“The costumes by Julia Hodgson-Surich were classic and functional, with smooth lines and fabrics audience members will want to touch,” wrote Jane Ledwell in her review in The Buzz.

“We did fittings with each actor for each costume,” said Julia.

Seamstresses and costumers work with everyone from the actors to the director. The show has got to look real. Otherwise, it won’t feel real. Theater might be make-believe, but it’s got be in the flesh to make believers of the audience.

Would Superman even be Superman without his cape and costume? Would anyone believe him if he said he was Superman? No, he would just be Clark Kent, just another Joe behind a pair of glasses.

The costume department at all theaters is responsible for the purchase, design, manufacture, fitting, continuity, and care of all the costumes. They create the look and mood of much of what is seen on stage. They need to be able to draw their designs, know how to translate creative vision into something more than the king’s new clothes, and know their fabrics and how to render and integrate them into the visual style of the play.

“Dial M, 1950s, everything was tailored, and some were handmade, some vintage pieces,” said Julia. “We had to order hats from England. Rachel did the alterations on the blue dress that’s at the top of the show. We made it fit like a glove. The actor could still breathe, but barely.”

At the Watermark Theatre they swap with other regional theater warehouses, since they don’t have the time or budget to make everything from scratch, and period pieces in the first and last place are hard to find.

“We go to thrift stores, looking, all the time,” said Julia.

“Seeing an actor’s face light up when we show them what they are going to wear is great,” said Rachel. “It’s the thing that makes them feel confident and in character and ties everything together, the props and set and story.”

This year’s Costume Designer at the Watermark Theatre, Julia was last year’s Head of Wardrobe. She is a designer, seamstress, and textile artist based in Toronto. “I use a lot of what I’ve learned in weaving and knitting, dying fabrics, and textile art,” she said.

She collaborates with the Cactus Sewing Studio and designs her own line of handmade clothing.

The theater runs in her family.

“I started as an intern, when I was 14-years-old, working in wardrobe at a theater my mother was a production manager at,” said Julia.

It was the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario.

Although her father, Bill, was born on Prince Edward Island, she grew up in southwestern Ontario. Her mother, Andrea, has long worked in live theater. Her father fabricated sets for theaters across Canada before becoming a metal sculptor. His installation ‘Trees of the Carolinian Forest’ is in downtown London. A display of his Christmas sculptures is set up every year in Victoria Park in the center of town.

“I started as a sewer, and when I was done with high school, at 18, I started working as a professional. I was promoted to cutter.” She’s been working ever since. “My journey has not been with school. It has been entirely apprenticeships.”

Julia Hodgson-Surich’s contract last year expired as the season at the Watermark Theatre was starting. She was making ready to be on her way. “I don’t have anything on the horizon, but if it comes up, OK, let’s do it.”

Theater professionals are always on the move, looking for their next opportunity. What makes them professionals is knowing how to cope with not knowing where their next paycheck will be coming from. In the meantime, they keep their noses to the wind, staying in touch with what productions are going on and where.

She had been working on the new season’s shows at the Watermark since March. “We talk on Skype, have production meetings in Toronto, so that we’re all on the same page. I did sketches, collected things, came to PEI, met Rachel, and basically, ‘Let’s go!’”

When she took leave of the theater, she left Rachel in charge of the costumes and the dirty work for the next eight weeks.

“She’ll do the repairs, because after every show something is broken. She’ll do the laundry. She’ll be the dresser, making sure the actors look the way they’re supposed to look every single night. It’s a lot of work. I appreciate that I don’t have to do it.”

“I came into it thinking I was a fish out of water,” said Rachel.

She had been a fish out of water not long beforehand, but she was a quick study.

“I was originally planning on going into acting,” she said. “But I realized watching movies and plays, what I loved were what costumes were being worn, and I should probably just go into costumes, so I did.  When I got to Dalhousie, though, it was intimidating, because I had six month’s experience on one outfit, and all my classmates had been sewing since they were 4-years-old.”

If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called learning. There wouldn’t be internships. There wouldn’t be mentors.

At the Watermark Theatre the costumers work in the basement. “It’s a tiny little room at the end of a hallway,” said Julia. “We have a window, but it looks out underneath the deck.”

“I love making things,” she said. “We get to sew, work with our hands. I wanted to do it since I was small. I grew up in a theater family. Babysitting was me sitting in a lightbox watching a show. I didn’t understand it, although I just loved costumes.”

The small room in the basement is where most of the mentoring goes on.

“Mentoring cuts into my work,” said Julia, “but it’s worth it. It’s rewarding. I prefer someone I can talk to, tell them what I’m up to, because then I’m talking it through. Sometimes I find out that I’m actually not doing the right thing.”

Talking things through, getting another’s perspective, often helps you to see issues more clearly, and gets your own thoughts off the same old track.

“I don’t want anyone to suffer, either. If I sense someone is having trouble with a hem, or a machine isn’t working and they’re rethreading it over and over, I will help. I won’t just let them flounder.”

“I’ve gotten so much out of it, and the Watermark is a wonderful theatre,” said Rachel.

”Everybody feels like they are a close-knit family here. You feel like everything you do has significance, like you’re not being swallowed up by the whole production, and you matter in the great cog scheme of things.”

This summer’s shows at the Watermark Theatre are the classic farce “Boeing Boeing” and the Pulitzer Prize winning play “Crimes of the Heart.” Even though “Crimes of the Heart” is premised on a murder, it has been described as “an evening of antic laughter.” The wardrobe department may not be getting the actors dressed to kill like they were in “Dial M for Murder,” a spine-tingler rather than a laughfest, but they will still look their part in their new parts.

In the middle of the fun on stage this summer they will be dressed to kill.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Showcasing Island Playwrights

Plays Announced For Play Reading Series Featuring PEI Playwrights

428e642d-77a7-4541-9ce3-9a5826a09fb1Three PEI playwrights will have their plays read at the Watermark Theatre this August as part of the theatre’s Play Reading Series. The three plays are “Two Monkeys, One Grape” by Kent Stetson, “Round An Island” by Emily Cann, and “The Ginzie Piece” by Malcolm Murray. This is the 2nd year that the theatre has featured new plays by PEI playwrights in their Play Reading Series. “It’s important to provide an opportunity for playwrights to hear their plays read allowed before an audience”, says Artistic Director Robert Tsonos, “the experience really helps the writer see what the next steps might be in the play’s development”.

Kent Stetson‘s play “Two Monkeys, One Grape” is described as an evening of Fraud, Fake-News, Slapstick, Torture, Music and Merriment in two acts. The play’s suite of six twenty-minute plays crack wise, snap selfies, weep and laugh, lament and exalt the human condition. Its two comedies, Tiger Warning! and Bawdy Parts, two dramas, Dead White Males and Torture: A Love Story, plus the Grand Guignol/Baroque comedy/horror show, Androgynous Student Devoured by Rats and closing musical, Jouissance: Five Simple Songs explore things outrageous, jittery, tragic, curious and comedic. Kent, a Marshfield PEI native, is a Governor General’s Literary Award winner, Member of the Order of Canada and Canadian Author’s Association Award Laureate for Drama. Kent was the inaugural laureate for Heritage Prince Edward Island’s Wendall Boyle Award for his outstanding contributions to the cultural history of Prince Edward Island. He is best known for the plays “Warm Wind in China”, “As I Am”, and “The Harps of God”. His other plays include “Queen of the Cadillac”, “Just Plain Murder”, “Sweet Magdalena”, “The Eyes of the Gull”, “New Arcadia”, and “Horse High, Bull Strong, Pig Tight”. He has also published two novels, “The World Above the Sky” and “Meat Cove”.

Emily Cann‘s play “Round an Island” tells the story of a PEI family the summer their second oldest daughter returns home from university. At its core, it is a play about choices, but it is also a play about love, family, forgiveness, and what it means to come home. Emily was born and raised on PEI. She has a BA in English from Acadia University and a MA in English from the University of Guelph. She’s currently working on obtaining her MS from Columbia University in New York City. Emily has been writing poetry for years, and last year received third place in the Island Literary Awards for her short story “Whatever’s Next.” This is her first play.

Malcolm Murray‘s play “The Ginzie Piece” is about two small-time art sellers who buy a big-time sculpture for their gallery. All they have to do is assemble it. The comedy touches upon many philosophy of art questions, but focuses mainly on the vexing question: who owns art? Malcolm is a fiction writer and philosopher. His collection of plays, “The Philosopher: One-Act Plays” was recently launched at UPEI. His produced plays are “Art of Posing”, “The Abettor”, “The Philosopher”, and “Chop Wood, Carry Water”. His short stories have appeared in the collections, Victoria Review,  Snow Softly Falling, and Riptides, as well as in the journals Galleon and Fiction Fix. His philosophy books are “Morals and Consent”, “The Atheist’s Primer”, “The Moral Wager”, “Liberty Games and Contracts”, and “Critical Reflection”. Malcolm teaches Philosophy at the University of Prince Edward Island.

The dates and times of the plays are:

August 7th 1:00PM – “Two Monkeys, One Grape” by Kent Stetson
August 14th 1:00PM – “Round An Island” by Emily Cann
August 21st 1:00PM – “The Ginzie Piece” by Malcolm Murray

Tickets are only $10 and can be purchased by going to the company’s website www.watermarktheatre.com

For more information, or to set up an interview with any of the playwrights please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Drama Festival Comes to the Watermark

This weekend, Watermark Theatre will host the National Theatre School of Canada’s Atlantic Drama Festival at their theatre in North Rustico.

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The Festival, which runs from May 17th to 19th, brings together high school students from throughout the region to view, discuss and enjoy each other’s creative efforts, under the guidance of an experienced adjudicator. Participants also take part in acting workshops with local acting teachers. The Festival facilitates and inspires a love of theatre, teamwork, problem solving, originality and entrepreneurship.

The Atlantic Drama Festival is part of a trio of Drama Festivals, the other two are in Ontario and B.C. all now under the umbrella of the National Theatre School (NTS).

Earlier this year, NTS announced a new partnership with TD Bank Group as the national presenting partner of the National Theatre School Festival. The agreement and sponsorship, which began this year, will support thousands of high school students, in hundreds of communities across Canada, who will create and present shows in their schools, regions and provinces.

“We are thrilled to welcome TD in this leadership role” said Gideon Arthurs, CEO of the National Theatre School of Canada. “The Festival is an almost 75-year-old tradition that has touched the lives of thousands of young Canadians. With TD’s support, we can ensure the festival will thrive and continue to grow. The Festival is a vital happening that builds future generations of artists and arts lovers, while fostering respect, inclusiveness, excitement, empathy and entrepreneurship in our youth. TD is truly a model corporate citizen, making a difference in over 300 communities across Canada through this program.”

“At TD, we recognize the importance of programs, like this one, that unite communities and amplify these voices. That’s why, through The Ready Commitment, TD’s corporate citizenship platform, we are proud to work with the National Theatre School to help young Canadians build confidence and thrive in a changing world, one community at a time,” notes Andrea Barrack, Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group.

“It’s an exciting time for both students and teachers alike to take part in the NTS Festival,” said Wayne Fairhead, Executive Director, NTS Festival. “TD’s new partnership with the NTS Festival will provide ways to lead, build learning opportunities and develop practices.”

About the NTS Festival
The NTS Festival showcases secondary school theatre productions in their respective provinces and convene thousands of drama students to perform and share their talents and passion in a friendly atmosphere. Formerly known as the Sears Drama Festival, founded in Ontario in 1946 by the late Ken Watts, it is Canada’s oldest theatre festival. The Drama Festival started out with just three plays, and now has over 400 annual entries spotlighting spectacular performances and productions – including the addition of Festival offshoots in British Colombia (2009) and the Atlantic provinces (2011). The Festival helped launch the careers of numerous actors, directors and production professionals, including actors Margot Kidder, Rachel McAdams, Yanna McIntosh and R.H. Thomson, as well as movie director David Cronenberg.

About TD Global Corporate Citizenship
TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment.

About the National Theatre School of Canada
The National Theatre School (NTS) is a school for the arts open to all. Since 1960, it has trained artists, in English and French, in all of theatre’s trades and professions. Many of its 2100 alumni are among the most active and recognized actors, directors, designers, writers, and production professionals in Canada and around the world. NTS is committed to solidifying community and breaking down the walls that separate us. NTS now offers workshops for anyone aged 15 to 115 who wishes to discover the power of theatre as an instrument of social as well as personal growth.

Watermark is thrilled to host this remarkable event and look forward to inspiring the next generation of theatre artists.

For more information, or to set up an interview with any of the participants please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse