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Home Arts Broadway North youth theatre program set to return in fall 2021

Broadway North youth theatre program set to return in fall 2021

Broadway North youth theatre program set to return in fall 2021
The full cast and crew of Bugsy Malone Jr., Broadway North Theatre Company's last fall program production in 2019, pose for a photo.

The Broadway North Theatre Company will take a deep dive into a beloved Disney hit when their youth musical and educational program restarts this fall.

Registration for the 88 open spots officially began on Friday, July 9. Cara Stelmaschuk, the marketing and events coordinator at the E.A. Rawlinson, said the response has been overwhelming so far. In fact, some age groups filled up so quickly they’re looking at re-evaluating how they separate students into groups.

“We have a couple of ideas,” Stelmaschuk said. “I can’t really say too much about it now because we are looking at it, but we do really do try our best to accommodate all the kids who want to be in the program.”

As of Friday afternoon, all 30 spots for seniors students (ages 12-18) were already full, as were 16 of the 30 intermediate (ages 9-11) spots. The junior category, which features seven and eight year olds, has six of 10 spots filled, while the technical program has six students registered, with a cap of 10.

“We’re just trying to make sure everyone gets registered, but of course we are limited,” Stelmaschuk said. “We really can only have so many people in the program, so it’s kind of sad when you know somebody forgot, or they just missed it or they registered in the wrong group.”

Stelmaschuk encouraged parents to get their children on the wait list if they’re interested in joining the program. She said they sometimes have students who drop out right before they start. When that happens, organizers call the first name on the list.

Students involved in the 2021 fall program will present Disney’s Frozen Jr., a show that mixes in new songs with familiar favourites from the Disney movie.

Stelmaschuk said it’s a popular movie with a great message, which made it an easy pick for a stage production.

“It’s a much-loved show, and we knew that when we announced what the show was going to be, it was going to be just insanity,” she said with a laugh. “We were not surprised by that in the least, and it was good to see that the families that put their kids in these programs every single year were just as excited to have it back as we were.”

As part of the production, students will learn basic theatre skills like dance, drama and voice. The technical program will give participants a chance to learn stagecraft, like proper lighting, set design, and sound.

Stelmaschuk said St. Mary, Carlton and PACI all do a good job of introducing their students to drama, but there’s not much for anyone who wants to get involved before high school. She’s hopeful this program will help fill that niche.

“You can play hockey at three, and then you have a lot of time to decide if you want to keep doing it…. whereas with drama, I didn’t find it until high school,” she explained. “It’s a little bit of a way to get that expressive art into the lives of kids. They may not like team sports. They may not like individual sports. But, maybe an artistic expression activity is something that brings them out of their shell, gives them a sense of belonging, gives them some self-confidence, and helps them find that thing they’re really good at.”

The program costs $375 per child. Parents who wish to register their child, or get more information about the fall education program, can visit www.earc.ca/youth-company. The fall program runs from Sept. 11 to Dec. 11.