Odyssey Theatre is renowned for bringing the magical experience of Theatre Under the Stars to Strathcona Park, but the 32-year-old company is going beyond its borders with two new community projects that will foster Ottawans’ creativity and leave a green legacy. The company believes that art is possibility, a vehicle for contributing to the community, and for everyone.
Part of AOE Arts Council’s Neighbourhood Arts 150, an official Canada 150 and Ontario 150 community-engaged arts project, Odyssey’s Spreading Roots is joining diverse groups from all corners of Ottawa with professional artists to create performances that celebrate the trees in our neighbourhoods and the contribution they make to healthy and livable communities. The groups will plant trees at the end of each performance to add to the city’s urban forest.
Stittsville: Workshop: Thursday, Sept. 14, 5:30-8:00pm, St. Andrew’s Church, 2 Mulkins St.,
Stittsville Performance: Saturday, Sept. 16, 2:00pm, St. Andrew’s Church & Alexander Grove Park
Led by theatre director and educator Rebecca Benson, Spreading Roots invites Ottawa residents to express themselves through free arts experiences and to perform in celebration of beautiful, healthy neighbourhoods. Workshops to develop the performances were held throughout the summer, led by professional artists, including storyteller Jacqui Du Toit, composer Venessa Lachance, and choreographer Allison Burns, and covered a variety of creative practices and processes including mask, dance, singing and acting. Performances in the communities will take place throughout September.
But Odyssey isn’t stopping there! Through Branching Out, the company also aims to equip youth who are passionate about theatre with knowledge that will help them pursue their creative goals and skills that will be beneficial to them throughout their lives. Directed by Eleanor Crowder, the program extends Odyssey’s celebrated apprenticeship program to form an ensemble of young artists who will honour Canada 150 by collectively creating their own new play focusing on our relationship to trees. The ensemble will perform alongside the groups from Spreading Roots throughout the Ottawa region and, in the process, plant trees as symbols of our past and future. Says Branching Out participant Justin Jay, “We’re learning a lot … I think that will be helpful for me to know not just for theatre but in my day-to-day life.”
Spreading Roots and Branching Out will join forces to bring engaged and heartfelt performances to Ottawa. Interested participants who may have missed the earlier workshops can still get involved, as one more workshop/rehearsal will be held in advance of each performance.
Other locations include:
- Carlington: Workshop – Sunday, Sept. 10, 1:00-4:00pm, Alexander Community Centre, 960 Silver St., Ottawa Performance – Sunday, Sept. 17, 2:00pm, Alexander Community Centre & Alexander Park
- Carson’s Road: Workshop – Thursday, Sept. 21, 5:30-8:00pm, Carson Community House, 710 Carsons Rd., Ottawa Performance – Saturday, Sept. 23, 2:00pm, Carson Community House
- Greely: Workshop – Wednesday, Sept. 6, 5:30-8:00pm, Greely Public Library, 1448 Meadow Dr., Greely Performance – Saturday, Sept. 9, 12:00pm, Greely Public Library
- Orleans: Performance – Sunday, Oct. 1, 2:00pm *workshop date & performance location to be confirmed
- Strathcona Heights (Sandy Hill): Workshop – Tuesday, Sept. 19, 6:00-8:00pm, Community Room, 430 Wiggins Pvt., Ottawa Performance – Sunday, Sept. 24, 2:30pm, Garden, 430 Wiggins Pvt.
- Westboro: Workshop – Thursday, Sept. 7, 5:30-8:00pm, Dovercourt Recreation Centre, 411 Dovercourt Ave., Ottawa Performance – Sunday, Sept. 10, 6:30pm, Dovercourt Recreation Centre
For more information or to get involved, contact email@example.com or visit www.odysseytheatre.ca.
Follow the project @150ArtsOttawa #150ArtsOttawa www.150ArtsOttawa.ca.