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Theatre Canadore takes the Spotlight

Mar 31, 2021 | Cindy Males, Public Relations and Communications Specialist

In 1620, April showers launched the Mayflower, bringing pilgrims to the New World. Four hundred years later, those same showers are launching Canadore College’s new theatre company - Theatre Canadore. Formerly known as Rep 21, the name change reflects the changing times. The Theatre Arts Program recently became the Acting for Stage and Screen Program.   

“With the creation of the Digital Cinematography Program, the Theatre Arts program evolved to combine film acting techniques with stage acting in equal measure,” said Rod Carley, Artistic Director of the Acting for Stage and Screen Program.  “The name Rep 21 no longer reflects what we are doing, so we needed a name change.  Theatre Canadore is the result.”

The program name may have changed, but the high-quality education students receive remains the same.  Many of the program graduates have gone on to successful acting careers.  

“Canadore taught me to forge my own path,” said 2011 program graduate Kelsey Ruhl.  “The most valuable aspect of the course for me was being taught how to self-produce, something I hadn’t considered when I decided to be an actor.  But, to be an actor, you must be a self-starter and be able to know what your next step is.” 

Ruhl has gone on to become an established film and television actor with many impressive credits including Letterkenny (2016), Unsettled, and Crossword Mysteries: A Puzzle to Die For (2019).  She is also the Artistic Director of the On-The-Edge Fringe Festival and the Sun Dog Theatre Festival in North Bay. 

“College is an important time in your life.  You figure out who you are; what you want; and what you don’t want.  I am so lucky to have gone to Canadore because, to be dramatic, it shaped my life.  And I love my life,” said Ruhl.

“Canadore’s acting program prepared me for my performance career in many ways,” said actor-writer Tim Murphy who graduated in 2007.  “It gave me the acting and writing foundations on which I have built 14 years of creating and performing my solo shows.”

“I wrote my first solo play in 2007 for the Acting Program’s Self-Producing course. Since then I have performed my four shows over 200 times in 25 festivals across North America to over 11,000 people!  My plays have won awards and critical acclaim.  I owe much of my success to Canadore’s acting program and its amazing instructors,” said Murphy.

2011 graduate Dave Johnson is pursuing a career in film and television.  Currently living in Los Angeles, he says: “There are some things about living here that nothing could have prepared me for.  That being said, Canadore’s program equipped me with a well-rounded understanding of acting techniques, and how to navigate the process of creating a character.”

“One thing I love about the program is how it encourages you to grow in your uniqueness.  Some acting schools will try to mold you into what they think will make you successful, when the real thing that will make you successful is being yourself,” said Johnson.  “Canadore does this exceptionally well.  The diverse teaching staff is beneficial, as well as the different professionals from the industry who are brought in to share their first-hand experiences.”

Under Rep 21, the graduating class would feature three different shows in repertory in July.  However, the graduating class now presents one production in April.  This year’s production is David Ives’ hilarious All In The Timing, presented virtually from April 21st to 23rd.

“Theatre Canadore marks the culmination of the acting students’ training,” said Carley.  “They have spent the past six semesters intensively training in stage acting techniques, movement, voice, speech, dance, singing, stage combat, and on-camera acting.  The theatre is always a celebration of becoming rather than being.”

And that tradition will continue with Theatre Canadore.

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