Expressions Theatre Festival Spotlights Prodigious, Young Talent with Diverse Showcase
Arts Umbrella is proud to announce the 2017 Expressions Theatre Festival, an annual event celebrating the next generation of gifted young artists from the organization's Pre-Professional Theatre Program, running May 18 to 27, 2017, at Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. From the witty satire of Urinetown: The Musical, to the playful compilation The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), this year's program offers an array of diverse and thought-provoking works, including the emotionally-charged world premiere Living In My Skin, a fearlessly student-written play about confronting teen anxiety.
While developing their presentations for the Expressions Theatre Festival, Arts Umbrella students have the opportunity to collaborate closely with professional directors and designers. Before staging each production at the Festival, the Junior, Senior and Laboratory Theatre Troupes will have toured their works to schools across the Lower Mainland, learning the important logistics involved in mounting and producing technically demanding works, while honing their acting craft for the professional stage.
"The Expressions Theatre Festival is our chance to display the tireless work and unwavering passion our young actors have been putting into their productions for the past four months," explains Paul Moniz de Sá, Artistic Director of the Theatre & Music Program at Arts Umbrella. "The program sets up a safe space to communicate and share without judgement, which is essential for producing compelling art that takes risks and pushes boundaries. Audiences will undoubtedly be stricken by the openness by which our actors tell their personal stories. As a result of the growth they experience in the process, many go on to pursue professional theatre careers across the country and internationally. We can't wait to present this latest cohort of inspirational young artists."
The 2017 Expressions Theatre Festival Lineup includes:
Living In My Skin
May 18 & 26
The world premiere of this ensemble piece features a series of relevant, relatable and poignant scenes about the difficulties of dealing with teen anxiety. Intense emotions, peer pressure, insecurities, perfectionism, and worries about the future can conjure feelings of uncertainty and loneliness. Talking about anxiety is the first step toward healing, and the students behind this show hope to start the conversation.
Urinetown: The Musical
May 19 - 21, 23 - 25 & 27
In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides that he has had enough and starts a revolution to lead them all to freedom.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
May 18, 20 - 21 & 26
Witness all of Shakespeare's 37 plays in one night! An irreverent, hilarious and fast-paced romp through the Bard's catalogue. Join the Senior Theatre Troupe as they attempt the impossible - to barrel their way through all of Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride.
May 20 & 21
The stage adaptation of the classic story about an irresistible young pig named Wilbur, his miraculous spider friend Charlotte, and her campaign to save Wilbur's life. This sensitive, funny, and intelligent play about friendship will enchant audiences of all ages.
Theatre and Music Showcase, performed by Theatre Intensive Program students
One of the highlights of the season, the Theatre and Music Showcase reveals the polished and dynamic talent of the Theatre Intensive Program students through a kaleidoscope of short musical and theatre performances across a range of genres.
About Arts Umbrella (artsumbrella.com)
Art can change the lives of children in incredible ways, which is why Arts Umbrella helps young artists cultivate creativity and grow self-confidence through dance, theatre and visual arts. Since 1979, the not-for-profit has opened the doors for all kids ages 2 to 19 to find and explore their artistic voices. More than 20,000 students discover the magic each year - with more than half participating at little to no cost to their families.
About The Arts Umbrella Pre-Professional Program (artsumbrella.com/theatre)
The Arts Umbrella Pre-Professional Theatre Program consists of the Junior Troupe, Senior Troupe, Laboratory and Musical Theatre Troupes, and a Young Directors Program. The program is intended for youth who are ready for a larger commitment to the art and craft of theatrical and musical performance. Students work with industry professionals to develop the on and off-stage skills with an emphasis on teamwork, discipline, process, creative input and cooperation.