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22 Mar, Wednesday
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Montreal Families

Bursary program supports free theatre education

In an effort to be more accessible to youth across Montreal, Geordie Theatre School is providing bursary scholarships to children from lower-income households.

In 2016, the theatre company introduced a financial support program that has since benefited 30 students. The bursary fund is offered to six to eight children and covers the cost of registration to the 12-week program, as well as a Geordie T-shirt, tickets to all mainstage shows for the children, and tickets to the final performance for each family of the bursary recipient.

Geordie Theatre produces English-language theatre for youth and also offers acting classes, workshops and more for 6- to 17-year-olds.

“My boys love the program and they look forward to going every Saturday. I don’t have to force them,” says Tanya Ferguson, a single mother of 10- and 8-year-old boys who received bursaries.

Ferguson says the financial support has been a big help as she would not have been able to afford the program on her own.

“It’s a good way for them to experience something different that’s outside of school and sports,” Ferguson says. “They learn to express their feelings and meet new people.”

During class, kids learn the three Cs of performance: confidence, creativity and craft. They are also taught how to create characters,  work in an ensemble and contribute to the final show. Each child gets a say in which role they play and they get to help decide the end-of-year show theme.

To be eligible for the bursary fund, students must fill out the online application form explaining why they are interested in taking courses, and they have to provide a letter of support from a teacher, principal or someone in the child’s community. Parents must provide some financial information.

No acting experience is required. Registration for the winter semester is open until January 21. Students will be selected and contacted at the end of the month.

Geordie needs to raise $2,000 by the end of December in order to provide children with these bursaries. To donate, contact GTS Director Jessica Abdallah at 514-845-9810 or jessica@geordie.ca.

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