Students and teachers from Coleman’s Horace Allen School co-created a production with professional artists from Trickster Theatre, culminating in a final performance March 31.
Trickster Theatre, a non-profit based in Calgary, offers fun, engaging and effective learning through physical theatre to schools across Alberta.
Trickster runs with a theme selected by each school, creating shows with students and staff through physical theatre styles.
Through Trickster’s main residency program, HAS students and teachers worked with a team of professional artists for a full week to create an original show.
“Our theme is Stronger Together, so that’s just about coming together again after Covid and being able to work side by side again,” says Myrna Dembicki, assistant principal at Horace Allen.
Each class at Horace Allen worked with an artist to figure out what their performance piece would be in the final show.
“We’ve got themes for each performance piece, from helping animals in the forest, to a wedding disaster in Tunisia, to working with a local fire department,” says Dembicki.
Students worked with the artists to create movement patterns, then developed context around those patterns and created the story and dialogue.
In total, eight classes from kindergarten to Grade 3 and a group of teachers made up the nine performance pieces featured in the show.
“It has been wonderful to have this opportunity to work together again as a school community, strengthening relationships inside the school and wider out into our community,” said Elaine Garner, principal of Horace Allen, in a message in the event program.
While the student and staff performers were the main stars of the week, none of this would have been possible without the parent volunteers who gave their time to help organize and set up the performance.
“An amazing crew of volunteer parents” were on-site throughout the week, “helping unload equipment from vans, making costumes, props and so much more,” Myrna says.
“The volunteers being here really defines our Stronger Together theme that we chose for our performance.”
The residency was made possible through a grant provided by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. The grant covered 75 per cent of the cost of the residency for the school. Additional funding came from HAS and its school council.