May’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Cynthia Sugars to support The Company of Adventurers, a young people’s Shakespeare company in Old Ottawa South that performs in a neighbourhood back yard.
“For years my dream was to run a summer theatre program for local kids to bring what I do in the classroom to the public,” says Cynthia, a teacher of English and Theatre at the University of Ottawa. “It is my belief that we underestimate what kids are capable of. Shakespeare is not hard or scary. Our actors revel in the poetry, humour, and social insights of Shakespeare. As each production develops, we see their creativity, self-expression, community spirit, and confidence build. They are an inspiration!”
“Our goal,” Cynthia continues, “is to nourish the creative talents of local children and to offer them access to a genuinely enriching cultural and theatrical experience. No prior acting experience is necessary, and we accept children from ages 10-19. We try to bring out the inner confidence and creativity of children and youth by working very cohesively as a team. We also foster the talents of the actors by using music, dance, gymnastics, and other abilities that the actors bring to the group. We are also trying to instill in young people a sense of community outreach and responsibility,” says Cynthia. “We present our shows as fundraisers for a local charity. We pass a hat after each show and donate all of the money raised to the designated charity for that year – which is chosen by the children.”
The company’s show for 2019 is Shakespeare's As You LIke It. “We choose a different play each year,” explains Cynthia, “and rehearse all summer, two nights a week, presenting our shows on weekends in September.” To learn more, and to attend a show this fall, visit companyofadventurers.ca.
Funded by Ottawa, ON (May 2019)