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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Press release: Stratford Festival and Avon Maitland District School Board in new partnership for arts enrichment

June 2, 2015… The Stratford Festival is pleased to announce the launch of My Academy, an exciting new partnership with the Avon Maitland District School Board. My Academy will provide Stratford students with a once-in-a-lifetime integrated arts opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their knowledge of the performing arts.

My Academy will launch next February 2016, combining the rigours of onstage performance practices and behind-the-scenes craftsmanship to create an experience unlike any other. Students will be able to enrich their existing high school arts programming by learning from and working closely with a broad variety of Festival personnel, from actors and artists to crew members and administrative staff.

The depth of study has been shaped to include all aspects of the theatre world, including acting (text, movement and voice), costume and set design, lighting and sound design, and stage management. The program will culminate in an abridged production of one of Shakespeare’s works at the Festival's Studio Theatre in May 2016.

“We’re delighted to be able to make this opportunity available to students in Avon Maitland schools,” says Executive Director Anita Gaffney. “Not only will My Academy help participants develop new skills and gain insight into different theatrical careers, but it will also allow them to build important relationships within the theatre community.”

“We are tremendously excited about our new partnership with the Stratford Festival,” says Jane Morris, Superintendent of Education, Avon Maitland District School Board. “As our nation’s leading classical theatre, the Festival will help us to provide unique and enriching learning experiences for our students.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Avon Maitland on this unique opportunity for the students in our region,” says Resident Teaching Artist Edward Daranyi. “The Stratford Festival family of production crew, artistic personnel and teaching artists from the Education Department have all expressed enthusiastic interest in delivering this program.”

The program is made up of two parts: the first is an after-school program open to all registered, full-time Avon Maitland students in Grades 7 to 12. The second is a one-credit course, “Exploring and Creating in the Arts,” offered at Stratford Central Secondary School. The focus is to develop students’ acting and production skills while maintaining a focus on good citizenship, inclusion and positive character development.

The after-school program costs $750, but to ensure finances do not impede the ability of any student to apply, subsidies and grants will be available. 

The My Academy application can be found here:  


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