The iSTORM Children's Theatre Company seeks to explore three different relationships between children and theatre:
Young Actors Program
One kind of drama program that we offer for kids is our Young Actors Program. This program runs alongside an adult-acted production. The children meet once a week, for six weeks, and create a short prologue or after-piece to complement the main production. This short dramatic piece is built out of the real-life experiences of the participants themselves, in relation to the central themes of the production.
The program director leads the group through a creative process that uses dramatic exercises and games to reach the discovery and discussion of the children's own ideas and experiences. Throughout this process, the children learn drama skills and explore a variety of theatrical options such as the use of masks, puppetry, and mime.
The Young Actors Program also includes hands-on tutorials concerning the various areas of theatre production. Among other activities, the young actors help to make posters, build props, find costumes, and paint the set. In addition, once the children are in rehearsal of their dramatic piece, the adult actors of the main production become mentors for the young actors and provide acting tutorials and advice in such areas as annunciation, projection, script analysis, and use of stage space.
Theatre Production Apprenticeship Program
The Theatre Production Apprenticeship Program also runs alongside a main production. This program invites children to become an apprentice in the area of theatre production that interests them. Children may wish to learn about lighting, sound, set construction, stage management, publicity, costumes, or stage props. For example, a child may assist the lighting operator and actually run the lights for the performance.
The iSCTC strives to provide high quality adult-acted theatre productions for a family audience. We seek writers with unique voices, plays that are relevant to our community and our children. We promote Canadian writing and endeavor to create new work with the young people of Kingston. We enjoy producing those rare plays that are both entertaining and enlightening.
Our productions are generally less than an hour in length, as most children's playwrights understand that, no matter the quality of the play, children cannot sit still for too much longer (and neither can most adults). Beverages are available for purchase in the lobby and, not to worry, washroom facilities are handy. We feel strongly about the importance of keeping ticket prices low, and offering financial assistance to those in need, so that everyone can attend our shows. Performance spaces must be wheelchair accessible before we will even consider them and we do our best to provide American Sign Language and assisted listening devices when needed.
There is something very special that happens at a children's theatre production. A warm and fascinating relationship develops between our young audience and the performers. The children see themselves in the characters lovingly portrayed before them. The performers are reminded, in the laughter and wide-eyes of their audience, of the children they still are. Energy flows from heart to heart through the theatre and it is magical. The lights come up and the children are transported with the whole-hearted belief that what is happening before them is something extraordinary.