Carousel Theatre

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Carousel Theatre
Carouseloutside.jpg
Carousel Theatre's administrative offices on Granville Island, Vancouver
Formation 1974
Type Theatre group
Purpose Children's theatre
Theatre for young audiences
Location
Artistic director(s)
Carole Higgins
Website http://www.carouseltheatre.ca

Carousel Theatre (also known as Carousel Theatre For Young People) is a professional theatre company for young audiences located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[1][2][3] The company stages plays for young people, families and educators at the Waterfront Theatre and Performance Works on Granville Island and tours to elementary schools across British Columbia[4] and Canada.[5] It was also the first Canadian theatre company to offer signing during its performances for the hearing impaired.[5] Carousel Theatre is a member of PACT, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres.[6]

History and productions[edit]

Carousel was founded in 1974 by Elizabeth Ball, who served as Artistic Director until 2001,[3][7][8][9] when she stepped down and was replaced by Carole Higgins.[2] In its early years, Carousel garnered attention for its adaptations of Shakespeare in modern dress.[2] Later, it shifted its focus to adaptations of classical stories and new works by Canadian playwrights.[2] Carousel first mounted its productions in Vancouver playhouses such as the Arts Club Theatre Company’s old Seymour Street theatre and the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.[2][3] In about 1993, it relocated to Granville Island, where it has administrative offices and three rehearsal halls.[3] Its administrative and rehearsal space is located across the street from the Waterfront Theatre, which Carousel helped to build and is where it mounts many of its productions.[2][3] Since Higgins took over as Artistic Director, Carousel Theatre has rebranded itself as Carousel Theatre for Young People, in order to signify its focus on children and youth.[3]

Carousel has mounted premieres of several productions, some of which it had commissioned and developed.[2] Currently, a typical mainstage season for Carousel consists of four or five productions.[3] It offers public performances on weekends and matinees, primarily for schools, during the week.[3]

Notable Canadian plays that premiered at Carousel Theatre include A Christmas Carol - The Musical by Mavor Moore (in 1998),[10] Dying to be Thin by Linda A. Carson (in 1992),[11] and Basically Good Kids by Mark Leiren-Young (in 1993). Carousel also mounted an original production of Pierre Berton's fable The Secret World of Og, adapted under commission by Governor General's Award-winning playwright Kevin Kerr.[12] Other Carousel productions have included Seussical[13] and Kim Selody's adaptation of The Hobbit.[14] Many notable Canadian theatre artists, including Roy Surette,[15] Teryl Rothery,[16] and Anna Cummer [17] have worked for Carousel Theatre in the decades since it was founded.

Other activities[edit]

In addition to producing and staging theatrical performances, Carousel operates a theatre school for young people from the ages of 3 to 17 years old.[2] The company also operates a "Teen Shakespeare Program" for young people aged 13 to 17 during the months of July and August, culminating in a production staged by the teen actors.[2][3] Artistic Director Higgins herself got her start in theatre through this program.[3]

Awards[edit]

Carousel Theatre and its artists have been honoured with a number of awards.

"Jessie" Awards[edit]

Over the years, Carousel theatre received numerous Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and nominations,[18][19][20][21] including:

  • 2011
    • Outstanding Design, Theatre for Young Audiences - Heidi Wilkinson, Bird Brain
    • Outstanding Artistic Creation, Theatre for Young Audiences – Carole Higgins, Bird Brain
    • Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences, Bird Brain
    • Significant Artistic Achievement, Theatre for Young Audiences, Design Team, Pharaoh Serket & The Lost Stone of Fire
  • 2010
    • Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences, A Year with Frog & Toad
    • Outstanding Performance, Theatre for Young Audiences, A Year with Frog & Toad
    • Outstanding Design, Theatre for Young Audiences - Heidi Wilkinson
    • Outstanding Artistic Creation, Theatre for Young Audiences - Gordon Roberts (Musical Direction) A Year with Frog & Toad
  • 2008
    • Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences, Seussical (awarded with the Canada Council Prize for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences)
  • Outstanding Artistic Creation, Theatre for Young Audiences - Steven Greenfield, Musical Direction, Seussical
  • Outstanding Performance, Theatre for Young Audiences - Allan Zinyk, Seussical
  • 2007
    • Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences, The Odyssey (awarded with the Canada Council Prize for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences)
  • 2006
    • Carole Higgins, Outstanding Artistic Creation (direction), The Big League
    • Alexa Dubreuil, Josh Dickson, Nathan Schwartz, Chris Van Hyfte, Significant Artistic Achievement (acting ensemble), The Big League

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swortzell, Lowell (1990). International Guide to Children's Theatre and Educational Theatre. Greenwood Press. p. 35. ISBN 0-313-24881-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Centaur Theatre Company". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lederman, Marsha (2012-12-21). "Carousel Theatre: So magical it will even make kids sit still". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved February 18, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Artstarts in Schools". Artstarts. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Carousel offers theatre for families - What's Going On: Theatre". Performing Arts & Entertainment in Canada (Fall 1993). September 22, 1993. Retrieved 2008-06-02. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Professional Association of Canadian Theatres - Who's Who". www.pact.ca. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  7. ^ "Councillor Elizabeth Ball". City of Vancouver. Archived from the original on 2008-07-12. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  8. ^ Robinson, Red (August 20, 2007). "B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame". Vancouver Sun. 
  9. ^ "Local candidates schooled in silver screen", The Georgia Straight, November 17, 2005
  10. ^ "Mavor Moore". Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  11. ^ "Linda A. Carson". The Plawrights Database. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  12. ^ Electric Company
  13. ^ Birnie, Peter (2007-12-05). "Kids will love this colourful Seussical". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  14. ^ Derdeyn, Stuart (2008-04-10). "Hobbit: Baggins, dragons and all". The Province. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  15. ^ "Centaur Theatre Company". www.centaurtheatre.com. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  16. ^ "The Official Teryl Rothery Website". www.terylrothery.com. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  17. ^ "Touchstone Theatre". www.touchstonetheatre.com. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  18. ^ Vancouver Sun
  19. ^ "Seussical big winner at Vancouver's Jessie Awards", CBC News
  20. ^ "The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards Winners and Nominations since 1982". Jessie Richardson Theatre Award Society. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  21. ^ "Arts Club, Carousel Theatre, Pacific Theatre win big at the 2011 Jessie Awards", The Georgia Straight

External links[edit]