Creative Music and Theatre with Claire is a program for kids to produce and star in their own original musicals!
I have been teaching musical theatre for 20 years and by far my favourite part, as well as my specialty, is harnessing the creativity of the students and turning their ideas into real shows. Having directed the same shows over and over (Annie, anyone?) I felt I needed to open a school to put NEW musicals into the world - ones made by the people they're for! They tend to be ensemble shows rather than have one lead, and they're usually queer centred, forward thinking, and inclusive.
With a focus on student progress rather than product, and valuing the students' well-being above all else, this program is unique from the others I've taught. With the kids in charge, we collaborate to create what they want to work on. With all the usual benefits of theatre - confidence, spacial awareness, vocal techniques, language skills, movement, etc - the kids experience leadership, teamwork, trying on hats they wouldn't normally wear, finding their strengths, working in the "real world" both on and off stage. And all while developing an extensive body of work!
We are so lucky this term to have found the Jam Spot, a band rehearsal space with a small stage and great sound and lighting equipment. Not ideal for a huge musical, but so wonderful for the classes I currently teach!
We have an Elementary class (6-10) who are workshopping a show about superheroes in training, and an Intermediate group (11-16) who are creating a unique, interactive, site specific fictional murder tour. Both groups have been writing songs and scenes, creating characters, and planning sets, props, and costumes - and we've only had 2 classes so far this term!
The Elementary group is on its second term and still finding their hilarious stride.
The Intermediate group have created 3 shows already and are thrilled to have a space to suit their weird and wild plans.
Funded by Newmarket, ON (October 2023)