Burning Passions Theatre Launches Exciting New Online Theatre Courses for Fall 2021

The award-winning Burning Passions Theatre – which produced the Classic Theatre Festival in Perth for over a decade – has announced a new series of free online courses for those interested in set design, video design and stage management for the theatre.

“Taught by some of this country’s leading theatre artists, these accessible classes are an outstanding opportunity to learn the basics with innovative, award-winning artists who inspire with their passion for the trade and are encyclopedic with their knowledge of what makes theatre work well,” explains Artistic Producer Laurel Smith. “As we gear up for what will hopefully be a return to live theatre soon, there is no better time to get involved and learn from the comfort of your own home. And with concerns about a 4th wave, there is nothing more pandemic proof than online learning.”

All courses are free of charge, and participants are chosen based on their application. Courses are for anyone interested in furthering their theatrical skills and knowledge base, or as a refresher course. The company is strongly encouraging applicants from the Ottawa and Ottawa Valley areas but are open to all applications.

“For folks familiar with the Classic Theatre Festival, you’ll probably recognize some of the names of the teachers of our courses,” Smith continues. “Audiences and critics alike were wowed by our productions on many levels, including the brilliant lighting designs of Wesley McKenzie, the beautiful set designs of Holly Meyer-Dymny, and the always smoothly-helmed shows with stage manager Jennifer Stobart.”

The first course, Introduction to Video Design, will allow participants toexplore the history of video in entertainment settings; develop the skills needed to produce their own video content; discover methods of projecting content through 3D space; and learn how video helps to encourage narrative and theme in storytelling. It is taught by Festival veteran Wesley McKenzie and runs every Wednesday from September 15 to October 20, 6 to 9pm EST. Deadline for applications is Monday, August 23.

Holly Meyer-Dymny’s Introduction to Set Design will give a broad overview of the process of designing a set for live entertainment. It will touch on technical process, drafting, and model making, and have a strong focus on developing a collaborative holistic process as a designer. “It will also explore visual communication techniques and why we use them,” Meyer-Dymny says. “This course will push participants to work with openness and flexibility, to grow your voice as an artist, and explore options in how you build your life as a working artist.” It runs every Thursday from September 23 to October 28, 5 to 8pm EST. Deadline for applications is Monday, August 30.

One of Canada’s leading stage managers, Jennifer Stobart – who is teaching Intro to Stage Management – explains that, “Stage Managers are integral to the live plays they work upon. There is no detail in a production which they do not need to comprehend. Yet most people do not know what a stage manager’s job actually entails. After all, if SMs do their jobs correctly, an audience will never know they are there. This course attempts to pull back the curtain and let you see behind the scenes to begin to understand the scope of the position of a theatrical stage manager.” It runs every Saturday from October 30 to December 4, 10am to 1pm EST. Deadline for applications is Monday, October 4.

To apply for these free courses, send a resumé with contact details, as well as a letter indicating why you’d like to take one or more of these courses, to: info@bptheatre.ca.

Instructors Wesley McKenzie, Holly Meyer-Dymny and Jennifer Stobart

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