Grand Valley Institution for Women

Theatre Workshops

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It all started when…

Theatre of the Beat is rooted in Restorative Justice principles that creates applied theatre pieces for and with individuals who might not typically be exposed to theatre, in an effort to positively affect both personal and social change.

In 2016-17, Theatre of the Beat's Education and Outreach Manger, Kimberlee Walker, created a pilot theatre program inside Grand Valley Institute (GVI). This pilot consisted of a variety of theatre workshops and rehearsals that culminated in The Identity Project, a half-hour play created and performed by participants at Grand Valley Institute. While the program was not explicitly offending-focused or clinical in nature, the program’s intent was to support reintegration through meaningful experiences of personal growth and reflection, contributing to the forging of a pro-social identity for participants.

As we continue our partnership with Grand Valley Institute we are constantly striving to meet the following goals and objectives:

  • To offer a higher number of participants the opportunity to experience the benefits of theatre programming stated in the goals of the project, by providing a variety of programming to meet the interests and schedules of participants.

  • To offer individuals the benefits of long-term engagement in an arts programming, since long-term stability and continuity of programs and relationships will provide greater opportunities for personal and artistic growth.

  • To provide education and experience in a rich variety of theatre techniques, potentially including but not limited to physical theatre, mask, improv, puppetry, dance, and theatrical forms specifically geared towards advocacy and social justice awareness.

  • To integrate theatre & performance into the cultural life of the institution, if this is desired by inmates and staff. TOTB can provide opportunities to explore theatre and performance as part of special events and assemblies such as during the holidays, Black History Month, Pride Day, Volunteer Appreciation events, etc.

  • To continually evaluate and evolve our work, responding with flexibility where necessary, based on input from University partners, participants, GVI staff, and TOTB facilitators.

  • To offer participants…

    • an opportunity to explore their own creativity & artistic self-expression

    • an opportunity to develop confidence & public-speaking skills

    • the benefit of being part of a collaborative group

    • the opportunity to contribute to a positive atmosphere in the institution.

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Facilitators

Along with Kimberlee Walker, the four year contract with The Grand Valley Institution would not be possible without our facilitators.


 

Johnny wideman

Johnny Wideman   Johnny Wideman is a playwright, short storyist, dramaturg, actor, facilitator, and the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for his work in Theatre from Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. Wideman received his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Waterloo, ON, and the University of Sussex, UK. In June of 2011, he founded the grass-roots social justice theatre company, Theatre of the Beat, of which he is now the Artistic Director. In 2012, Wideman’s first screenplay  GODART  was awarded "Best Low-Budget Feature Film" at the Toronto Independent Film Festival and “Official Selection” at the Polish Independent Film Festival. Wideman’s work has been performed over 260 times throughout the U.S. and across Canada, including:  This Prison or: He came Through the Floor ,  Gadfly: Sam Steiner Dodges the Draft ,  Forgiven/Forgotten ,  A Bicycle Built for Two, This Will Lead to Dancing , and  Yellow Bellies.

Johnny Wideman

Johnny Wideman is a playwright, short storyist, dramaturg, actor, facilitator, and the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for his work in Theatre from Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. Wideman received his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Waterloo, ON, and the University of Sussex, UK. In June of 2011, he founded the grass-roots social justice theatre company, Theatre of the Beat, of which he is now the Artistic Director. In 2012, Wideman’s first screenplay GODART was awarded "Best Low-Budget Feature Film" at the Toronto Independent Film Festival and “Official Selection” at the Polish Independent Film Festival. Wideman’s work has been performed over 260 times throughout the U.S. and across Canada, including: This Prison or: He came Through the Floor, Gadfly: Sam Steiner Dodges the Draft, Forgiven/Forgotten, A Bicycle Built for Two, This Will Lead to Dancing, and Yellow Bellies.

 

Nathaniel Voll

Nathaniel Voll   Studied Theatre and Drama Studies at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. Nathaniel is an actor, playwright and arts educator. He has developed theatre programs for children and youth as the Education Coordinator of Green Light Arts, and the Artistic Director of Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Theatre. He loves facts, poetry and his son's imagination. He lives in Kitchener, ON.

Nathaniel Voll

Studied Theatre and Drama Studies at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. Nathaniel is an actor, playwright and arts educator. He has developed theatre programs for children and youth as the Education Coordinator of Green Light Arts, and the Artistic Director of Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Theatre. He loves facts, poetry and his son's imagination. He lives in Kitchener, ON.

 

Michelle Kestle

Michelle Kestle

Michelle Kestle