If your creative kids are looking for fun classes to keep them busy indoors over the Winter/Spring months, look no further than  Great Big Theatre Company dramatic arts classes. GBTC teaches acting, drama and theatre arts for young people throughout the school year, in locations across the Greater Toronto Area and into Southwest Ontario, from London all the way to Whitby!

All kids can benefit from drama training, including developing imagination and empathy, learning cooperation and communication skills, feeling emotional stability, and of course, having fun! Students are encouraged to fully express themselves and support each other, so it’s great for those who love to sing, dance, pretend and participate in all kinds of art. Furthermore, the enthusiastic and caring staff, made up of young theatre and film school students and recent graduates, creates a warm and supportive environment so the children can really get their creative juices flowing.

Programs include plays, mime, improvisation, theatre games, musical theatre, work with simple sets and costumes, and a concluding public performance. In selected programs, they also offer specializations such as storytelling, mask-making, rap, comedy, stage combat and video.

The GBTC Theatre Arts Program: Winter/Spring 2023 Classes

GBTC’s Theatre Arts Program offers performance-oriented theatre and musical theatre programs for students from ages 6 through 14 in 13-week sessions on weekdays or on Saturdays. Be sure to register early as there is a class size limit of only fourteen participants per class.

Each Great Big Theatre Company program covers new, exciting and challenging content in each session. Classes provide an excellent, graduated approach to developing skills and confidence in young actors and performers.

Level 1: Let’s Act and Sing! — Ages 6 to 8

Young students (ages 6 -8) develop basic drama and self-presentation skills through voice, movement, simple songs and choreography, traditional stories, legends and folktales, and costume elements.

Activities include:

  • Storytelling — Children learn to think creatively, as well as learning to empathize with and gain an understanding of others. Experienced coaches guide them in exploring their imagination and in expressing feelings through drama.
  • Role-playing — Students work on acting out short stories and plays based on diverse age-appropriate themes.
  • Movement and Music — Short movement routines set to music help develop physical coordination and also introduce children to music and listening skills.
  • Vocal exercises and Song — Students learn to speak with clarity and gain in overall personal confidence, contributing to the growth of public speaking and leadership skills.

Level 1 classes are a fun one-hour introduction to the dramatic arts. Programs include work on short plays, songs, movement, storytelling, theatre games and exercises. The final class of each session consists of a 40-minute dress rehearsal and a 20-minute presentation for parents and friends.

Level 2: Acting Up! — Ages 9 to 14

Next, intermediate-level students (ages 9-14) continue their development through scripted and unscripted work, playwriting, improv, blocking, stage presentation elements, character development and the basics of musical theatre.

During rehearsal sessions, everyone joins in the excitement of getting ready to share their efforts with an audience. All show costumes and props are provided to best meet their character’s needs.

Activities include:

  • Producing and Performing a Play — Through this active involvement in scripted plays and dramatic scenes, students form strategy and problem solving skills.
  • Role play and Characterization — Stage presence is built through the use of such tools as tableaux, positioning, stage blocking, direction and vocalizing. Also included are improvisation, reader’s theatre and musical theatre.
  • Technical Terms — Students learn the appropriate theatrical terms in order to communicate ideas in dramatic context.
  • Movement — Participants learn routines, free-style improvisations and dance choreographies set to music.
  • Vocal exercises and Song — Vocal spontaneity and clarity is expressed through song, such as choral pieces and vocal exercises.

Level 2 classes are 1-1/2 hours long and are a great way for older participants to express their creative side, have fun and meet friends. The program includes work on short plays, playwriting, improvisation, movement as well as character development.

Finally, a presentation for parents and friends takes place at the last class of each workshop session. This consists of a 60-minute dress rehearsal and a 30-minute presentation.

Great Big Theatre Winter

Great Big Theatre Company Winter Classes

When: Winter-Spring 2023 Sessions run for 13 weeks between February & May (Dates vary by location)
Where: Locations in Brampton, Brantford, Burlington (2 locations), Cambridge, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton (2 locations), London, Markham (2 locations), Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill, Toronto (5 locations), Waterloo, Whitby (2 locations)
Website: www.gbtc.com

Don’t forget to check out all of our information on Lessons in Toronto!