The historic Gibson Cultural Centre has enriched the community with arts and cultural programs, and expanded to embrace visual arts, drumming, culinary arts, group piano lessons, and painting.
The theatre school started 10 years ago, and today has a four-week program of theatre games, song and dance, and improv – ending with a full-scale musical production.
At the end of July, the theatre school will put on a performance of “Robin and the Sherwood Hoodies” following a 4-week program. Chandra Pepper, Theatre Director, works “incredibly hard to ensure that these children not only learn about the theatre and all of the aspects of theatre but again to encourage their maturity, to encourage self-confidence, to encourage the inclusionary environment that we have here at the Gibson Centre,” says Fortin.
“We are the cultural arts hub of New Tecumseth and South Simcoe and we’re dedicated to providing a nurturing environment for kids so that they can get the experience and confidence that you get when you’re in theatre,” says Jennifer Fortin, executive director.
Their aim is to provide a creative journey and encourage participation in the arts, with Fortin describing it as “a place to learn and grow”. Some 45 children join each session.
“We have an overwhelming success and return rate, so children that have participated tend to come back year over year,” said Fortin.
The theatre program has expanded into the March Break and Fall Season due its success in the community, and offers a discounted early bird registration fee.
“This is a centre that not only provides opportunities for children through their theatre production but it’s also home to different artist organizations like the Spinners and Weavers and the Artists at the Gibson,” explains Fortin.
The Centre will also run weekly camps in August, gallery exhibitions, live performances and pub events. For information, visit: www.gibsoncentre.com.
(Pictured above: Theatre Director Chandra Pepper guiding the Fall/Christmas Performance of Elf)