Theatre New Brunswick - Spring Grant 2019
Theatre New Brunswick’s Theatre School’s programs offer youth a safe place to be themselves and become a part of a community of generations of performers and theatre lovers.
“As someone who grew up getting to do theatre education and who works in it, I believe in it strongly and the power it has” said Sharisse LeBrun, the Director of Theatre New Brunswick’s Theatre School.
LeBrun fondly remembers her days attending the Theatre School and is still close with the friends that she made through the program.
She says the Theatre School is a place where kids can find a group of friends that they can really connect to.
The Theatre School guarantees partial or full bursaries for all students who apply. LeBrun says it’s important that money “isn’t a barrier for students”.
The Fredericton Community Foundation will help support this bursary program with a $4870 grant.
LeBrun says many students who attend the Theatre School are scared to even say their names on the first day but she’s seen them come out of their shells after just a few classes.
“They feel safe to be themselves and be silly and play” said LeBrun.
Some students move on to become performers, but many others become teachers and strong leaders in the community.
Many alumni of the Theatre School stay in the Fredericton area to be involved in and teach theatre. There are a lot of past students who now work in the school system who “bring what they’ve learned with them and offer school drama clubs or add things to their class” said LeBrun.
The lessons they learned from the Theatre School are passed on through the community and benefit new generations of students in the same way.
“We’re not just creating performers or artists” said LeBrun, “it’s about teaching kids how to be community members” and giving them the confidence to have their voices heard.
LeBrun says the bursary programs are important to have because it opens up access to everyone to experience what the Theatre School provides.
“If theatre is how kids learn and grow and speak then I want that to be accessible for everyone” said LeBrun.
*written by FCF Summer Student, Julia Pazzano.