What, would you say, is your overall view of the importance of the arts?
Individually, art is an opportunity to practice empathy. My hope is that when a child steps into my class, or an actor enters the rehearsal hall, or an audience member sits down to watch the show, that they will be transported into a new world with the opportunity to travel on a journey that they might not otherwise encounter in their every day life. On this journey they will be forced to encounter obstacles and trials that are beyond the "everyday" and it is in this encounter that they are able to practice empathy and enlarge their perspective. It's easy for me to place situations, circumstances, and choices as black and white- good and bad. But through art, I have had the opportunity to discover that life isn't quite as simple as I think. I've found that I've become more gracious as a person because I've "walked in another person's shoes" for a little while. I not only see the other side of the story, but experience it as well.
For society, art can be used as a construct to facilitate conversation. It can be a springboard to discuss what is relevant and happening in our society in the moment. I find that the pulse of a community can be found on the stage. Even works like Shakespeare can be highly relevant in our day and age. In fact, the exciting thing about a play is that it will never be the same thing twice. Every audience will have their own experience with the work, and the work will be re-interpreted again and again depending on the players playing and the day and age of the story being told. Old can be made new, and everyone and anyone can have a voice and platform to speak.
What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in Theatre Performance from the University of Winnipeg. I also have my Certificate in Theatre Foundations from Rosebud School of the Arts and have apprenticed with both the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Rainbow Stage.
What is your history with Masterworks Studio?
Kim and I went to high school together and I would come and watch her dance recitals at Jubilee Place, never imagining that I would one day work at Masterworks. Kim contacted me three years ago because Masterworks needed a musical theatre teacher. The rest, as they say, is history!
What is your position with Masterworks currently?
I am currently the Assistant Director of Masterworks Dance Studio.
How long have you had this position? Do you have any other roles?
This is my second year in the position. I also run the musical theatre department and teach the acting classes here on Thursday nights.