EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS… Young Company

The Blyth Festival Young Company is a summer drama intensive which provides young people aged 14-19 the opportunity to learn from experienced theatre professionals as they create and prepare a play for production. The Young Company program begins July 16, with performance dates August 16 to 18. There are no registration fees, and all interested individuals are welcome. For more information, please call 1.877.862.5984.​

For the 2018 season, the Blyth Festival Young Company is creating HC Kid.

HC Kid will be an original creation, entirely devised and realized by the participants. Working from local rumour, history, myth, and sheer reckless speculation, teens involved will be encouraged to engineer a story as completely familiar and totally implausible as any they have ever heard told growing up in Huron County. Through the use of interviews, local research, and unabashed imagination, HC Kid gives the delightful and dangerous answer to the all-too-common question: what’s it like growing up in Huron County?

The Blyth Festival Young Company is open to youths aged 14 – 19. It is FREE to participate. Creativity begins July 16. Performance dates are August 16, 17, and 18 (subject to change).​

Young Company Alumni

Realizing young dreams

Severn Thompson – After spending many summers as a member of the Blyth Young Company, Severn went on to perform in three seasons at the Blyth Festival. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and Stratford’s Birmingham Conservatory and has performed in various theatres across Canada including several seasons at both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. Severn was back at the Blyth Festival, directing Beyond the Farm Show in 2013, starring in Seeds in 2015, co-creating and directing The Pigeon King in 2017 and 2018, and co-creating and directing Wing Night at the Boot in 2018.

Geoffrey Armour – A Goderich native, Geoff has completed his training at George Brown theatre school, has studied at Lécole International de Théatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and has travelled the world creating, teaching and performing. Geoff was the director of the Young Company in 2015.

Kendra Fry – Kendra learned the professional ropes as a stage manager. Past General Manager at Theatre Passe Muraille, Kendra is now the General Manager of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church.

Sam Sholdice – Starting on stage with The Outdoor Donnellys, The Young Company and The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, Sam is now a rising composer, musical director and sound designer, working with companies across Ontario. Sam debuted his first musical, PROGRAM, at the 2011 Summerworks Festival in Toronto. Sam was Sound Designer for Blyth’s Beyond the Farm Show and studio series production, Falling: A Wake in 2013 and wrote the music for 2015’s Fury.

Lisa Hood – Lisa graduated from the University of Toronto/Sheridan and was the General Manager for the Livery Theatre in Goderich. Lisa was the Marketing & Publicity Coordinator at the Blyth Festival in 2013. Lisa now teaches drama at Central Huron Secondary School.

Heather Thompson – Heather began at the Blyth Festival on stage with The Young Company, The Outdoor Donnellys and 2005’s The Thirteenth One. She became an apprentice stage manager at the Blyth Festival and is now a professional stage manager, having worked with the Shaw Festival, Factory Theatre, Opera Atalier, Theatre Smith Gilmour and others. Heather was Assistant Stage Manager for Beyond the Farm Show and Garrison’s Garage in 2013 and Production Stage Manager in 2017.

Summer drama day camps for kids ages 8 – 13

Campers are set to explore the world of theatre in fun one-week summer drama day camps run by the Blyth Festival.
The camp, designed for youngsters aged eight to 13, will lead them through exercises, theatre games, improv, and practical training, with the goal of building self-esteem, creating community, enhancing performance skills, and gaining valuable social and theatrical knowledge.

Camps will run from July 23 to July 27 and from July 30 to Aug. 3.
“Engagement in theatre, as opposed to other activities, helps youth to learn the public discourse that lies at the heart of democratic life – building listening skills, negotiation skills, empathy, education, and literacy. With its active and involving learning format, theatre training brings people together influencing the way we think and interact with others,” said Shannon Hughes, summer drama camp instructor. The Listowel native is a well-known educational theatre artist living in Toronto where she is working on a PhD in Theatre and Performance.

Hughes’ work, largely focused on educational and social theatre, has taken her across the globe and has appeared in several publications. She is a teaching assistant in Acting, Theatre History, and Applied Theatre at York University, contract faculty in the Dramatic Arts Department at Brock University, and an alumni of the University of Windsor’s BFA in Acting Program as well as the University of Cape Town’s Applied Theatre Program.  She has taught, directed, and acted in plays across North America, Africa, Central America, and Asia and she brings with her a plethora of acting techniques and pedagogical approaches to theatre.
“Not only will the camp be an active, fun-filled opportunity for youth, it will also help to build social and educational skills making it a unique and beneficial experience for all. Campers can expect to leave the camp with new friends, greater confidence, and a love of theatre,” she said.

A one-week camp run out of Blyth United Church from July 23 to July 27, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with drop off from 8:30 a.m. and pick up until 4:30 p.m. Register by calling 519.523.9300 or toll free 877.862.5984. Cost: $160 per week.

Blyth Festival 2018 Summer Drama Day Camp is generously supported by IODE Maple Leaf Chapter.