Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Aug. 8


 

Posted June 9

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



 

 

 



(Updated 4:30 p.m., June 22)
Rag & Bones offering unique summer camp experience

By Heather Jamieson
Orléans Online

Shakespeare Camp director Rose-mary Nolan played the role of Angelo, in the camp’s 2005 production of The Comedy of Errors. Photo provided by Rag & Bones

The vision of the Shenkman Arts Centre as a place “where the arts will thrive” is abundantly clear with the benefits it has brought to the Orléans-based Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre.

Established in 1978 by Kathy MacLellan and John Nolan, before the Shenkman Arts Centre opened in 2009, Rag & Bone was primarily a touring children’s puppet theatre company, performing at venues and events organized by others, such as children’s festivals, theatres and schools.

“When we saw the Shenkman being built in our own neighbourhood, we were inspired to create our own series of performances,” explains MacLellan. “We’d be able to work closer to home, build our own audiences and develop more projects with other artists.”

Now incorporated as a non-profit organization, Rag & Bone took full advantage of having an artistic hub within their community.

“With the expertise of the Shenkman Arts Centre staff and the support of AOE Arts Council, we successfully applied for municipal and provincial funding to strengthen our organization and its capacity,” she says. “We learned how to book a venue, publicize a show, run a box office and develop audience-building collaborations.”

From its first self-presented performances in a small Shenkman studio, Rag & Bone is now able to hire support staff and present its programming in the 150-seat Richcraft Theatre. It has also expanded to perform in venues across the city, including the GCTC, Centrepointe and the Nepean Creative Arts Centre.

For the first time, Rag & Bone performed at the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival.
MacLellan also gave back to the arts community by serving for seven years on the board of directors of AOE Arts Council, three of them as president.

Other opportunities for growth became available with the closure of Salamander Theatre, a Theatre for Young Audiences company, including the administration of the long-running three-week Shakespeare Camp at Billings Estates.

John and Kathy’s daughter, Rosemary, first attended the camp when she was 10.

“It was a perfect fit for her,” recalls MacLellan. “She was a shy, bright, imaginative child who loved language and theatre. At Shakespeare Camp she found a place where she felt she belonged and she loved spending time each summer with a group of fantastic, like-minded peers.”

Now a university graduate, Rosemary was mentored by the camp’s founding director Eleanor Crowder, and is returning for her third summer as camp director. The camp, for 10 to 18 year olds, runs from July 4 to July 21, and will conclude with three performances of Two Gentlemen of Verona.

“We were really happy to take over the camp because it is such a fantastic experience for young people,” says Kathy.

Unless bad weather forces them to work under a tent, camp participants rehearse and perform outdoors, as was done in Shakespeare’s time. “It is a great way to escape technology and be outside – screen free – for three weeks,” adds Rosemary.

For more information about the camp, or to register, visit www.ragandbone.ca/Pages/shakespeare_camp.html or call them at 613-824-5972.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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