“Theatre is fun. It’s flexible. You can use it to develop vocabulary or to build self-confidence. It’s really a powerful learning medium that allows us to develop life skills such as focus, critical thinking and creativity.” Lydie Dubuisson, Black Theatre Workshop

ELAN’s ArtistsInspire Grants program is bringing Theatre Arts into classrooms across Quebec virtually and in-person. With the goal of making theatre enjoyable and accessible to youth, Theatre artists help students gain an understanding of the various elements of the Performing Arts, including acting, design, costume and lighting through interactive games, roleplay, comedy improv and more. 

The Theatre Artists profiled on our website include actors, playwrights, designers, comedians, puppeteers, and directors. All of our Artists are vetted for their professional work as well as their experience engaging children and youth in theatre activities. Our current Theatre Artists include: 

Antonia Leney-Granger, Black Theatre Workshop, Daniel Hickie, Dyan Jameson, Elise Timm-Bottos, Geordie Theatre, Laura Teasdale, Living Arts Center of Hudson, Maggie Winston, Milva Franzini, Miranda Handford, Oren Safdie, Snowglobe Theatre, The Other Theatre, Tina Tucker Bye, Trevor Barrette, Youtheatre

Theatre is known for both its playfulness and its ability to dive into serious issues. As Kieran Dunch of Geordie Theatre points out, “Whether it is as simple as acting like monkeys on Zoom, or creating masks face-to-face for a performance, theatre gives students the chance to make fun from scratch!” In the process of ‘making fun from scratch’, Theatre also helps students develop valuable skills in communication, teamwork and problem solving while developing imagination, creativity, and insight to understand the emotional, intellectual, and technical aspects of storytelling. 

The exhilaration of thinking outside the box, engaging in physical play, and having an outlet to creatively express themselves helps students build self-confidence and, importantly, the opportunity to connect with each other. As Theatre Artist Daniel Hickie says, at this time “when people are really isolated, I think theater has to offer connection and group bonding and community building in a way that’s so needed.” Puppeteer and community-engaged artist Maggie Winston agrees, stating that theatre is “about being open to new ideas and it’s about doing something together… I think that’s the important thing for teachers to still keep in mind – the art learning and creative learning is what’s important to continue to have.” 

Through learning and creativity comes the opportunity to tackle some of today’s most challenging issues, such as those addressed in Black Theatre Workshop’s offerings: social justice, inclusivity, individual empowerment, and systemic racism. As Lydie Dubuisson says, Theatre is truly a powerful learning medium.

For more information, see: