7:30 a.m., Oct. 15)
Orléans-based theatre school rebrands to reflect recent growth
By Fred Sherwin
first step towards Orleans Young Players rebranding as
the Ottawa School of Theatre (OST) was taken in January
2004 when the school’s artistic director, Kathi Langston,
launched the school’s first adult class.
for a school now offering four adult classes, getting
its first older students was “like pulling teeth,” Langston
recalls. She persevered, based on her firm belief in the
value of theatre.
Ottawa School of Theatre’s first adult class
production was The Little Bird on June 4,
2004. In the years since, a number of adults
have explored their inner thespian at the
east end theatre school. File photo
really does help in your ‘real’ life,” Langston told the
150 people gathered at the Sept.16 rebrand launch.
first Orleans Older Players (OOPS) production, “The Little
Bird” had a cast of nine, made-up of board and staff members,
parents of OYP students, as well as a few teachers from
a daycare centre with whom OYP shared space on Tompkins
they did it, they loved it and the word spread,” says
can also participate in the school’s family productions.
in 2006, there are now two all-ages full-stage productions
each year, with casts as large as 90. This year’s first
production will be “The Mrs. and the Elves” at the end
of November. Auditions will continue into early October.
school, established in 1989 with one class of 16 students
aged nine to 11, has continued to expand and now offers
classes for home-schooled students, a full-range of French
language classes and popular genres such as musical theatre,
improv and acting for camera. The nearly 300 students
enrolled this year, aged pre-school and up, come from
a wide geographic area.
of the reach of the school is new student Chantal Burtt,
who recently moved from Toronto to Cantley, QC. She signed
up for two weekly adult classes, laughing that the 40-minute
drive isn’t as daunting when you are from Toronto. She
chose OST because it offered several programs that interested
felt really inspired to hear that some members of the
group are in their 15th production with the program,”
she says. “Clearly, OST/OOPS are doing something right.”
the expansion of its student demographic and geographic
reach, the board of directors decided it was time to remove
“Orléans” and “Young” from the school’s name.
kicking off the new school year with our new name, we
hope to broaden our attraction to the larger Ottawa community,”
explains OST board president Barry MacDonald. “We are
not just a recreational theatre school and the goal of
our rebranding is to change that perception,”
as a new name and logo, OST will be launching a new website
in the next few months. Visit www.oypts.ca for more information.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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