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Ottawa theatre representing North America on international stage

Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre's Artistic Director expects it to be an amazing educational experience for her group of students. 

Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre will travel to the 15th World Festival of Children's Theatre in Lingen, Germany this June.

More than 80 theatres from around the world applied for 18 spots at the festival, and the Ottawa theatre was the only North American one chosen by an international jury. 

The eleven actors and actresses being sent overseas by the theatre range in age from 10 to 15. Artistic Director at Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre Ekaterina Vetrov said some of her pupils joined the company's junior program when they were as young as six.

What sets their theatre apart from others, she explained, is the hours each student spends each year getting feedback from international directors. Not only that, but the children get in depth voice, speech, movement, and dance lessons.

"They [also] get technical theatre experience, so they put on productions in all aspects -- they learn how to build the model of the set, create the set on stage, how to make a sketch of a costume and then actually sew the costume," said Vetrov. "And then those students in our senior class, they get to travel and participate in our international projects."

During the June festival, the Ottawa students will stay with German families, see three theatre shows a day, and attend workshops. It all adds up to about 12 hours a day spent on theatre and education.

"Throughout the event, we will be attending different workshops and talking to local children about our country," added Vetrov. "Then we perform our show and we perform other pieces and dances related to Canada on local stages around the town."

The Canadians will also be performing their production 'Lucid Dreams,' and getting feedback on their performances from an international jury.

Vetrov called the festival is a "very strong educational project."

Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre performed at the same international festival when it was held in Canada two years ago. 


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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