No Strings Theatre’s mission is to provide opportunity for young people to develop their skills in all aspects of the music theatre arts—singing, dancing, acting, production—under the guidance of trained professional artists.
No Strings Theatre program, established since 2005, was modelled after local and international training programs in opera, such as the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre in Toronto, and other such programs designed to provide professional artistic training by means of an intensive program outside of an institutional setting. The founding goal of No Strings Theatre was to create a program for students, ages 13 to 21, who were keen to develop performing arts skills but might not be ready for serious operatic training. We have now, through popular demand, extended our programing from Pre-teens (Tween Program) to Emerging Professional Artists (EAP program).
Music theatre involves the integration of three areas of the performing arts: music, drama, and dance. To achieve in all three of these arts is an empowering accomplishment that earns the title “Triple Threat Performer.” This is a marvellous stepping stone to further art forms—opera, theatre, dance—as well as directing, designing, or the production arts.
Even for the student who will not be choosing the arts for a career, study in this field promotes personal well-being along with heightened development of intellectual, emotional, and social skills. Music theatre inspires creativity, confidence, physical and mental coordination, teamwork, and much more.
Experiences in Musical Theatre have been found to encourage students to learn to trust one another, take risks, become a part of a larger community, learn to interact more effectively with their peers, form a deeper and more sophisticated sense of creative identity, and gain ownership over the creative process and product. Research shows that these benefits last a lifetime.
—Dr. Rena Upitis, Professor of Arts Education, Queen’s University
Our Young Company is designed a pre-professional training ground for youth ages 12 to 21, taking in school grade levels 7 to 12 (middle and secondary schools) as well as college and university students. interested in growing their performance skills. Through workshops and intensives, the aim is to achieve the balancing of singing, acting, and dancing skills towards further studies in the arts or just for personal growth. Participants are welcome regardless of previous experience or skills.
Our Emerging Artists Program invites participants ages 21 to 30 with prior experience and a strong interest in music theatre to develop their skills under the mentorship of experienced industry professionals. Participants in the program will be responsible for all aspects of the staging of a musical theatre production, including performance, stage and production management, design and directing, budgeting, marketing, and promotion. This program is appropriate for participants in post-secondary education, or those who are launching careers in theatre performance or production.
Tween Prep (11-12) In response to community demand, our Tween Prep program, new for 2015, is designed to aid the young performer to get on the right path in establishing or refining triple threat skills and repertoire. The program will be offered alongside our Young Company programs — Audition Preparation for arts schools, March Break Camp, and the Summer Music Theatre Intensive — and participants will be eligible to be a part of the summer musical production.
No Strings Theatre’s Young Company is positioned as the only pre-professional performance arts training program of its kind for the target age group. This and all our programs are led or mentored by professionals with vast experience in the international perfromance industry,directing and teaching. It is community-based and accessible to all, including students with physical and learning challenges. No prior experience is necessary, and audition is not a requirement. Our goal for our students is not just the end result (production of a musical) but also the process of learning from each other, development of personal and social strengths, teachers and students supporting students, and the fostering of friendship.
The No Strings Theatre Summer Music Theatre Intensive is our signature program. This brings students together for a five-week period to dedicate focused time to achieving the goal of a full-scale musical production. The day-long curriculum allows students to experience a variety of teaching techniques—including master classes, workshops with industry professionals, specific training in the triple-threat skills—while rehearsing for the production. This time together offers an opportunity for students to develop social and interpersonal skills, and to work together in a supportive skill-sharing environment. The intensive nature of the schedule also makes this program suitable for international students. The EAP spring program will model the same outcomes for emerging artists. Other programs throughout the season set the aspect of learning as a priority.