A lot has changed around the world since we last sent out a Story Theatre Co. newsletter. We hope you’ve been feeling healthy and safe. Our staff has been operating slowly behind the scenes while remaining highly focused on caring for ourselves and loved ones. We’re now feeling ready to expand our work practices and share our ideas for the 2020-21 Season!
Announcement of Artistic Producer
The Story Theatre Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Erica Petty as Artistic Producer. Erica served as the General Manager for the Company for the past two seasons and then transitioned to her new role weeks before the Pandemic sent us into isolation.
Under a new strategic direction, the Company is moving away from the traditional leadership position of an Artistic Director. Theatre for Young Audiences has evolved tremendously over the Company’s 40 year history, especially in relation to the work we do in Elementary schools. In a time when nuts and bolts change is needed across many global systems, Story Theatre Co. aspires to create new administrative practices that will improve our ability to champion emerging artists and foster relationships with diverse playwrights.
Read on to learn a little bit about Erica (she/her):
Erica Petty is a theatre artist, educator, and arts administrator based in Victoria, BC. She has 15 years of professional experience working in the Theatre for Young Audiences sector, with a specialty in devising new plays. In her own artistic process, she has taken care to hone a collaborative craft for writing plays alongside youth to honour their voices and perspectives. Recently appointed as Story Theatre Company’s Artistic Producer, Erica is now using these collaborative skills to commission and produce new Canadian plays. Erica has worked for companies Theatre SKAM, Kaleidoscope Theatre, Intrepid Theatre, Greater Victoria Shakespeare Society, and artsREACH. As a Teaching Artist, she has taught hundreds of storytelling and drama workshops and has provided Artist Residencies for elementary schools across BC and AB. Erica is the co-creator of The Twims, an immersive baby theatre production currently in development. She and Co-Creator Barb Biggs were awarded Impulse Theatre’s Performance Lab Artist Residency (Jan2020) to explore this project. Erica is also the mother of two young children, Harrison and George. Recent credits include: Theatre SKAM's Grown Ups Perform Plays Kids Wrote #1, #2, & #3 (Director and Lead Artist); Story Theatre's The Very First Circus (Producer); Story Theatre’s 1,000 & Two Nights (Producer); SKAM School's ... And Then She Was Gone (Playwright/Director); SKAM School’s The Bellis Perennis (Playwright/Director).
Arts Education for British Columbians
As a touring company that often reaches 30,000 children across the province in a school year, we’ve been putting our heads together about how we can best support parents, educators, and children. Creativity is important for our individual and community health and we think we can help! Keep your eyes wide for the launch of The Story Club - Interactive Storytelling Kits delivered directly to your home.
All Touring Performances have been postponed until Spring 2021. In the meantime, our goal is to continue to employ artists and freelancers on a variety of COVID-careful projects. We’ll be offering fun digital content and educational resources on our website and social media channels. Follow along!
Anti-Oppression Education and Practices
Consultation on Anti-Racism, Anti-Black Racism, Anti-Ableism and Decolonization practices are a well-budgeted line item in our 2020-21 season, as well as key items in our (soon to be published) 5 year Strategic Plan. Story Theatre looks forward to engaging with IBPOC professionals to learn new ways of being, to document cultural procedures, and to expand our capacity to be a safe workplace for all.
Special Thanks to our Funders
This is a difficult time for everyone, including for those of us who work in the arts. Story Theatre is grateful for the COVID Emergency Funding we received from:
The Canada Council for the Arts
The Community Response Fund, supported by The Vancouver Foundation, Vancity Credit Union, United Way Lower Mainland, and the City of Vancouver.
& The Government of Canada
With Thanks for Operating and Program Support From:
The Capital Regional District Arts Committee
& The Province of BC
The Story Theatre Team:
Erica Petty, Artistic Producer
Golnaz Zad, Communications & Office Manager