Before Stratford And Shaw, They Trained At The Canadian College Of Performing Arts
Nationally renowned director/choreographer Jacques Lemay heads to Toronto this February to uncover Canada's emerging artists as part of the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA)'s National Audition Tour.
Toronto is no stranger to CCPA. Alumni are regularly featured in productions at Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival. Onstage you've seen established graduates Matt Alfano, Jeff Irving, Matthew Armet, and Alana Hibbert to name a few!
"It was at CCPA that I first had the courage to say: I want to be an actor! I want to be in musicals!" reflects alumna Hibbert, "I felt like I had found my people and I had my first taste of what it's like to be part of such a rich, generous and vibrant theatre community."
Back to celebrate the College's 20th anniversary year, co-founder Lemay will lead the auditions in Toronto on February 12 at 3:30 p.m. at Bad Dog Comedy Theatre (875 Bloor St. W.).
"We bring Canadians from all regions of our country to one place to work together and create together," explains Lemay, "As a result our students develop a national awareness of the Canadian theatre scene and create nationwide bonds with their peers which will assist them in their future careers."
CCPA believes in providing affordable education for deserving students. The College is owned and operated by the Canadian Heritage Arts Society (CHAS), a not for profit charitable organization. Canadian students receive a tuition subsidy from CHAS, totaling nearly half the cost of the training.
"Often students can't afford to travel to auditions," says Lemay, "so we travel to them. It also gives us the opportunity to meet our potential candidates in their environment and discover the wealth of talent in our country."
Lemay recalls one young man who auditioned many years ago: "He was at a career crossroads. The interview portion of the audition was essential to his decision to join the College. He decided to come, somewhat reluctantly, with the intention to complete just one year. Well," says Lemay, "he was so impressed by the quality and intensity of the program as well as the highly respected faculty that he stayed for the second year. He's now a professional actor and director. I recently had the great fortune of seeing him in a lead role in the Citadel Theatre's production of Shakespeare in Love in Edmonton."
Many other graduates have gone to Broadway, London, Toronto, Stratford, Shaw, and Charlottetown, and have done films, television, and recordings. Alumna Carly Rae Jepsen described her time at CCPA as one of the "best memories of my life."
CPA offers three intensive programs with high-calibre instruction that is aligned with the needs of the industry: Enriched Performing Arts Diploma, Performing Arts Certificate, and "Company C" Studio Ensemble Diploma. The curriculum is designed to give students a strong foundation for a career in the performing arts. "Company C" graduates may transfer to Douglas College for an additional year to complete a Bachelor of Performing Arts. Visit ccpacanada.com/apply to book an audition.