Vancouver Playhouse and DAREarts join forces to ignite change

The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, Opus Arts Supplies and DAREArts, a non-profit charity that “ignites change” in young Canadians through the arts, are joining forces to create a series of academically-grounded lessons that are linked to the Playhouse’s production of The Fantasticks through dance, movement, drama, literature, and visual arts. DAREarts arrival in Vancouver has been made possible through a fundraising campaign sponsored by Opus Framing & Art Supplies. 

Each day during the week of October 18 (9:30am-2:30pm), Grade 7 children from Britannia Elementary Community School and their teacher (Justin Borsato) through the support of the Canucks Family Education Centre, will be examining language and its role in storytelling, as well as learning how dance, movement and the use of visual symbols can emulate one's deepest reactions to one's own emotions. The children will then create their own performance piece grounded in the script of The Fantasticks as well as painting four 4’x4’ murals that are accented by their self explored dramatic and artistic interpretation of the question "What is Love?" The performance piece and the murals will be showcased in the lobby of the Vancouver Playhouse prior to the 2pm performance on October 23.  

“The Playhouse is very excited to be working with DAREarts in presenting this program,” says Max Reimer, Playhouse Artistic Managing Director. “During the week the Playhouse Salons, Lobby and the newly opened Recital Hall will all be utilized; it will be a hive of positive energy, activity, and learning.”  

“We aim to encourage our students to respect themselves in order to have long term healthy relationships,” says DAREarts founder, Marilyn Field. “The Fantasticks provides a developed framework in which this question can be explored on many levels.”

“DAREarts chose The Fantasticks because of its timeless story,” says Joanna Hogan, DAREarts educator.

Geneviève Anthony,  DAREarts Head Educator added, “Structuring and cultivating healthy relationships has always been important; today is no different. The question of "What is Love?" is asked through the various relationships in the play, providing our students with a myriad of models to choose from for themselves.”

“DAREarts believes in Excellence in Education and the Playhouse’s overwhelming support for our students’ academic and artistic needs made the wonderful location and the play the obvious choice,” says Anthony. “We look forward to returning.”

FACILITATORS

Marilyn Field, M.S.M., B. Mus. A., B. Ed., OCT:  Founder and President

Marilyn worked for the Scarborough Board of Education as an elementary classroom teacher and music specialist for 12 years. During this time, she trained teachers and, among other events, coordinated a cultural festival for 2000 students called Arts Odyssey. After seeing the cuts to arts funding in public schools, Marilyn initiated DAREarts as an arts education program (targeting at-risk children in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods) to support and develop student creativity, self-confidence and leadership skills. A classically trained pianist, Marilyn has dedicated the past fifteen years to bringing the arts to children who are academically, socially, economically and emotionally at-risk, helping them to discover their own inner strength, creativity and passion. In 2003 Marilyn received the Meritorious Service Medal from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. 

Geneviève E. Anthony, B. FA., B. Ed., OCT

Geneviève has extensive classroom teaching experience from around the world, with a strong academic focus through the arts and their integration into the core curriculum through the International Baccalaureate and Middle Years Program. Geneviève is passionate about DAREarts and the academic, social and emotional benefits that the arts can bring to a child’s life and future. As DAREArts Head Teacher, Geneviève has come to education after working extensively in theatre, film and television.  At the heart of her philosophy is the belief that education must be highly stimulating in order to engage children who otherwise are hardwired to technology.

Joanna Hogan, B. FA, B. Ed., OCT

A Saskatchewan born, certified teacher and practicing visual artist, Joanna has extensive teaching experience both in Ontario elementary schools and North American cultural organizations. 

Joanna has worked as a Teaching Artist with Learning Through Art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, as an Arts Educator at the Art Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre and as a Fine Arts Instructor at Theatre Peace Educational Drama Workshops for Schools. As a member of the Ontario Society of Education through Art, Joanna is a teacher dedicated to providing rich and unique artistic opportunities to her students as a way for them to develop self-esteem and leadership skills.

Trisha De Luca, B.A.

Trisha comes to DAREarts with over eight years experience working with children in Vancouver Parks and Recreation programs including after-school programs for at-risk youth. She has taught children the essentials of acting and drama in a private theatre school and has more than six years experience in the film industry including a wide ranging knowledge of filmmaking in all stages of the production process.

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Drugs, violence and hopelessness are realities for many of today's youth. DAREarts builds courage and confidence in children, empowering them to become tomorrow's leaders by harnessing the core power of the arts - Discipline, Accountability, Responsibility and Excellence. Visit darearts.com

The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company is British Columbia’s premier regional theatre company, producing engaging plays of the highest calibre since 1962. Visit vancouverplayhouse.com.

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