In collaboration with industry professionals, No Strings Theatre aims to develop, empower and inspire the next generation of performing artists. Assuring an equitable space, we are committed to fostering anti-racist, non-biased theatrical practices while reducing socio-economic barriers. Our practices facilitate an inclusive space for community engagement in the arts.
MANY VOICES MANY STORIES
In re-imagining our programming and desiring to encourage a new and progressive 'look' on our future stages, we unveil our Many Voices, Many Stories - telling the untold stories of Canadian history through artistic expressions of workshops and productions and supporting the development of new works by New Generation (Emerging) Artists. The Development of Dario et La Diablesse: A Caribbean Musical is the inaugural season of this program.
The creation of Many Voices Many Stories arose from the collaboration of Scott Hurst and Denise Williams. Denise's masters narrative study, My Voice, Your Voice, Our Voices (2019), investigates the value of dialogues in gaining the understanding of best practices for musicians to share and adopt music of another culture, with more sensitivity to the misdoings of stereotyping and appropriation. It was Scott who coined the title, Many Voices, Many Stories upon viewing, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2009 TED Talk: The damage of a single story. “… show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.”
My Voice, Your Voice, Our Voices
No Strings Theatre program, established since 2005, was modelled after local and international training programs in opera, such as the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre in Toronto, and other such programs designed to provide professional artistic training by means of an intensive program outside of an institutional setting. The founding goal of No Strings Theatre was to create an all-inclusive, easily-accessible, program for students, ages 13 to 21, who were keen to develop performing arts skills but might not be ready for serious operatic training. We have now, through popular demand, extended our programming from Pre-teens (Tween Program) to Emerging Professional Artists (EAP program) as well as Adults in the general community.
Music theatre involves the integration of three areas of the performing arts: music, drama, and dance. To achieve in all three of these arts is an empowering accomplishment that earns the title "Triple Threat Performer". This is a marvelous stepping stone to further art forms - opera, theatre, dance - as well as directing, designing, and the production arts.
Even for the student who will not be choosing the arts for a career, study in this field promotes personal well-being along with heightened development of intellectual, emotional, and social skills. Music theatre inspires creativity, confidence, physical and mental coordination, teamwork, and much more.
Experiences in Musical Theatre have been found to encourage students to learn to trust one another, take risks, become a part of a larger community, learn to interact more effectively with their peers, form a deeper and more sophisticated sense of creative identity, and gain ownership over the creative process and product. Research shows that these benefits last a lifetime.
-Dr. Rena Upitis, Professor of Arts Education, Queen's University
Our Young Company (14-19) is designed to be a training ground for pre-college youth interested in growing their performance skills. Through workshops and intensives, the aim is to achieve the balancing of singing, acting, and dancing skills towards further studies in the arts or just for personal growth and enjoyment. Participants are welcome regardless of previous experience or skills.
Our Emerging Artists Program (19-35) invites participants who are studying or have recently graduated from a performing arts training program, to further develop their skills under the mentorship of experienced industry professionals. Participants in the program will be responsible for all aspects of the staging of a musical theatre production, including performance, stage and production management, design and directing, budgeting, marketing, and promotion. The program will also encourage exploration of new repertoire for musical theatre through table reads, workshops, and developmental projects. This program is appropriate for participants in post-secondary education, or those who are launching careers in theatre performance or production.
Two new categories In response to growing demand…..
Tween Prep (11-13)
Our Tween Prep program is designed to aid the young performer to get on the right path in establishing or refining triple threat skills and repertoire. The program will be offered alongside our Young Company programs.
Brand new for the 2020 season, and in response to growing demands, NST will be offering Acting Through Song and Music Theatre Intensives for adults who are not actively pursuing professional careers in the arts
WHAT MAKES OUR PROGRAMMING UNIQUE
No Strings Theatre's Young Company is positioned as the only pre-professional performance arts training program of its kind for the target age group. This and all our programs are led or mentored by professionals with vast experience in the international performance industry, directing and teaching. It is community-based and accessible to all, including students with physical and learning challenges. No prior experience is necessary, and audition is not a requirement. Our goal for our students is the process of learning from each other, development of personal and social strengths, teachers and students supporting students, and the fostering of friendship.
THE BENEFITS OF AN INTENSIVE LEARNING PROGRAM
The No Strings Theatre Summer Music Theatre Intensive is our signature program. This brings students together for a 4-5 week period to dedicate focused time to achieving the goal of a full-scale musical production. The day-long curriculum allows students to experience a variety of teaching techniques - including master classes, workshops with industry professionals, specific training in the triple-threat skills - while rehearsing for the production. This time together offers an opportunity for students to develop social and interpersonal skills, and to work together in a supportive skill-sharing environment. The intensive nature of the schedule also makes this program suitable for international students. The EAP spring program will model the same outcomes for emerging artists. Other programs throughout the season set the aspect of learning as a priority.