PVA Theatre Arts
THE CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS AT CENTRAL MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL
Students coming to Central Memorial have the opportunity to study theatre arts in the general drama program or to audition for The Centre for Performing & Visual Arts (PVA). This enriched program is divided into the following components:
Every day, PVA Theatre Arts students work with a well rounded team of professional artist/teachers to develop skills required to confidently find success in performance work. Through a conservatory approach focused on specialized instruction, students are encouraged to develop strong acting, movement/dance, and vocal skills.
All PVA Theatre Arts students are involved in at least one major production every school year. In this work, students are given the opportunity to participate as either a performer or as a member of the tech crew. Production work requires commitment to an extended school schedule as rehearsals are either before or after the regular school day and performances are in the evenings. Production work is the central component of the PVA Theatre Arts Program. Please see our gallery for pictures of previous PVA productions.
PVA Technical Theatre Program
The PVA Technical Theatre Program is a practical learning experience that provides hands-on opportunities for students interested in development of skills, knowledge and experience in the technical side of the theatrical world. The experiences and skills developed in this program are directly transferrable to post-secondary technical theatre programs as well as preparation for exploration of technical work in broadcasting, motion pictures, stage and multi-media. Students will enroll in year-long tech theatre courses that include practical classroom exercises, theory instruction, design instruction, safety training and working roles that support school productions and theatre bookings.
Students will explore the following six components of technical theatre:
- Properties (Props)
- Management (Stage and Front-of-House)
Technical Theatre PVA students also have the option of participating in PVA Theatre Arts 10/20/30 & Musical Theatre 15/25/35 courses pending a successful audition/interview through PVA Theatre Arts instructors.
Complete an Expression of Interest Online Application indicating Technical Theatre as your selected program of interest.
Theatre Arts Events
Ticket purchase information will be available one month prior to the event start date by visiting www.centraltickets.net
Technical Theatre Instructor
Len Simon earned his B. Ed from University of Calgary specializing in the instruction of Secondary Drama. He has accumulated more than 25 years of educational and theatrical experience in the classroom, on stage, as well as working backstage in a variety of technical roles. Len teaches Drama and Technical Theatre to all grade levels, as well as serves as the department’s Technical Director, Set, Sound and Lighting Designer. Len enjoys working side-by-side with our aspiring technicians to meet the extensive technical requirements for all of the PVA productions.
Theatre Arts Instructor
Jennifer LeBlanc has always loved performing. She received her BFA from the University of Lethbridge and moved to Calgary where she discovered she also loves teaching, while instructing at Storybook Theatre. She received her BEd from the University of Calgary so that she could combine them both together! She’s been an educator for the CBE ever since and is a practicing theatre artist when she’s not teaching. Jennifer is all about the ‘play’ and the discovery, so it’s no surprise that improvisation and clown are two of her big theatre loves, along with physical theatre, sketch comedy, masks, and puppetry. She works in an ongoing way with the long-form improv theatre company the Kinkonauts on a handful of house teams, as an ensemble member of the Beautiful Young Artists under the direction of Denise Clarke, and creates puppet shows & films for the Calgary Animated Objects Society. She feels so grateful to work with creative young humans every day and can hardly believe it’s her actual job.
Theatre Arts Instructor
After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, and fifteen years working as a professional theatre stage manager in Calgary and across Canada, Kelly returned to school to pursue her Bachelor of Education at the University of Calgary, allowing her to combine her passion for theatre with her love of working with young people. Kelly worked extensively in the Calgary performance industry, most notably with Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, Vertigo Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Calgary Opera, Decidedly Jazz, and a variety of smaller independent companies during her career as a stage manager. As a long-time member of the Calgary theatre community, Kelly brings a relevant connection to the professional discipline to her work with students, as well as a passion for collaboration and creativity. Kelly is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the talented staff and students of the PVA program.
Learning Leader for Fine Arts and the PVA Program | Theatre Arts Instructor
Michelle Crimmins graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and began her teaching career outside of the public-school system as an acting instructor for The Company of Rogues Actor’s Studio and Calgary Young People’s Theatre. She later became a guest artist in residence for Central Memorial’s PVA Theatre Arts Program before deciding to complete her Bachelor of Education at the University of New Brunswick. Michelle has been an educator in Beijing, China, and has worked as a member of crew on film and television sets in and around Calgary. She was a CBE teacher at both Bowness and Western Canada High School before returning to the PVA Theatre Arts program at Central Memorial as a member of faculty. Michelle appreciates the opportunities to continually learn and grow as a teacher and artist here at Central and is excited that the PVA program can impact the lives of many young people who love the arts. Michelle is the Learning Leader for Fine & Performing Arts programming at Central, including the PVA program.
Ellen Chorley – Albright Pact
Aaron Coates – The Astonishing Adventures of Awesome Girl and Radical Boy
Ethan Cole – The Astonishing Adventures of Awesome Girl and Radical Boy
Christian Goutsis – Other Worlds
Duval Lang – Faithless and James and the Giant Peach
Andrew MacDonald-Smith – Seussical
Kevin McKendrick – Our Town, West Side Story, Anything Goes and The Third Wave
Jane McFarlane – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Julie Orton – Shakespeare’s Dog
Reid Spencer – Little Women
Valerie Pearson – Peter Pan the Musical
Eric Rose – The Adding Machine Indivisible
Playwriting / Play Review Workshops
Geoff Simon Brown
Mask & Mime
Susan McNair (Theatre Calgary)
Theatre Arts FAQ
Q: Can I perform in a play or musical theatre production if I am A PVA student but not enrolled in PVA Theatre Arts?
All PVA Theatre Arts students are guaranteed a performing opportunity in one of our four annual productions. Ten spaces are made available to PVA students in other disciplines who wish to perform in a play or musical. If you are interested in getting involved in the technical aspect of our shows, participation outside of PVA Drama will be considered.
Q: What after-school time commitments are required from PVA Theatre Arts students?
All PVA Theatre Arts students are involved in at least one major school production every school year. Production work requires commitment to an extended school schedule as all rehearsals are either before or after the regular school day, during some weekends, and performances are in the evenings. Students earn credits for their production work and attendance is mandatory.
Q: Does attendance affect my mark?
Yes. Theatre Arts projects are primarily structured around group work thus requiring students to be committed to the program and in class every day. Theatre Arts classes are run during the regular timetable as well as after school and consistent attendance is required for each. All absences may affect student achievement and could compromise their enrolment in PVA Theatre Arts. All unexcused absences impact student achievement. In a given term, students who miss more than five (5) excused classes/rehearsals will also see their achievement impacted.
Q: Can I participate in two PVA programs simultaneously, for example Choir and Theatre Arts?
Due to the intense study and commitment required for one PVA program, it is difficult and challenging to complete two PVA programs during your high school career. Depending on academic course needs and schedules, participating in two PVA streams may be possible. Requests will be handled on an individual basis and should be discussed with teachers at the audition/interview.
Q: When do PVA Theatre Arts students take Professional Leadership in the Arts / Entrepreurial Artist 35?
All PVA students are required to complete either Leadership in the Arts 35 or Entrepreneurial Artist (Junior Achievement). These self-directed courses run outside the regular school day. Students will experience a combination of teacher-directed assignments/activities combined with student-directed and/or on-line projects and will learn about drama related careers, attend workshops and meet local artists. For PVA Theatre Arts students, this course begins in grade 10 and finishes at the end of grade 12 with a final exit interview and portfolio celebration.
Q: I am not good at either dancing or singing but I love to act. As part of the PVA Theatre Arts program, do I need to participate in vocal and dance instruction?
Our goal is to encourage young actors to develop a broad range of skills that include both singing and dancing. Instruction in these areas will be non-threatening and will provide a strong foundation for all students regardless of their previous experience or comfort level. In auditions, potential candidates do not need to be highly skilled at either singing or dancing.
Q: Do I need drama training/experience to apply to Central’s PVA Theatre Arts program?
Yes and no. We find that students, successful in PVA Theatre Arts are passionate, keen to develop skills, are willing to take risks, and are committed to their work. If you have these characteristics but lack experience, more than likely you will learn quickly and find success. That being said, many of our students come to Central with a background in theatre. Extra effort may be required for you to attain skills previously mastered by more experienced peers.
Q: Can I do Tech Theatre and perform in a main stage PVA performance?
The Technical Theatre course schedule includes all rehearsals and performances as well as occasional classes after school. These hours combine to meet the requirements of this 125-hour/5-credit course. Due to the extensive time commitment, every Technical Theatre student has the opportunity to negotiate scheduling conflicts. Each conflict will be considered on an individual basis. In special circumstances, there may be opportunities for students to establish an alternative schedule to meet a 75-hour/3-credit course requirement. This would allow PVA Theatre Arts students to perform during one semester and be enrolled in Technical Theatre for the other. These situations must be discussed and approved in September.
Theatre Production History
Click on these links to view galleries and more details about each production.
A fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza with our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo.
Shakespeare’s Dog is a play that explores how a young William Shakespeare got his start as one of the greatest playwrights in theatre history, with the help of his dog, Hooker.
Our spring productions, The Horse and and His Boy and Anne of Green Gables were cancelled due to Covid 19.
Our fall play production, the classic Shakespeare play, is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595/96, portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta (the former queen of the Amazons).
A wedding, a Greek island, 3 possible fathers, and ABBA!
A collection of free-verse epitaphs of the dead townspeople of Spoon River, a fictional small town in Illinois.
Adolescent orphan Oliver Twist falls in with a group of street criminals led by the Artful Dodger and masterminded by the notorious criminal Fagin. When Oliver’s intended mark, Mr. Brownlow, takes pity on the boy and offers him a home, Fagin’s henchman Bill Sikes plots to kidnap the boy to keep him from talking. Set in Vancouver’s downtown east side, this modern twist on the classic tale exposes the gritty underbelly of child and youth homelessness and the role community plays in defining who we are.
April 2018 – Tales of the Uncanny, the Unusual, and the Unheard of
Directed by Paul Mulloy
A musical based on the animated 1989 Disney film and the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen about a mermaid who dreams of the world above the sea and gives up her voice to find love.
by John Mariani, directed by Michelle Crimmins
A play by John Cariani, comprising nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine.
A 1970 rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, sung through with no spoken dialogue.
Directed by Paul Mulloy
A romantic comedy musical, largely based on the Gershwin songwriting team’s 1930 musical, Girl Crazy, but incorporating songs from several other productions.
PVA Theatre Arts Alumni
Many graduates of the PVA Theatre Arts Program have gone on to post-secondary theatre programs or are currently pursuing professional careers. Alumni include:
– Los Angeles
- Acting – Sarah Swerid
Alberta Theatre Projects
Michael Dobbin Apprenticeship Program
- Griffin Cork, Quinn Contini, Sophia Schledt
Amercan Musical and Dramatic Academy, New York
- Victoria Kemp
Circle in the Square , New York
- Acting – Maddie McIvor
Company of Rogues Acting Studio
- Acting – Sean Allen, Bianca Caroca, Zach Forner, Kiera Janzen, Logan Lawrence, Issiah Sanghera, Kiana Wu
Guildford School of Acting, Guildford, UK
- Acting – Keelan McAuley
Mount Royal University
- Theatre Arts – Simon Tottrup, Robyn Ord, Samantha Braitenback, Shilo Clark, Amanda Davis, Steven Levy, Hannah Kerbes, Sydney Johns, Lindsay Mullen
- Tech Theatre – Kurtis Jones
National Theatre School
- Theatre Arts: Lauryn Allmany
New York University
- Elijah Dela-Rosa
Otterbein University – Westerville, Ohio
- Musical Theatre – Quinn Lazenby
Randolph College – Toronto
- Musical Theatre – Sophie Brown, Ali Froggat, Tessa Johns, Daniel Rousell
Seattle Pacific University
- Lauren Kelm
Sheridan College – Toronto
- Musical Theatre – Danica Dorais, Izaha Cochran
Southern Alberta Institute
- Broadcasting – Ward Minty, Darcy Waters
St Mary’s University
- Psychology/Acting – Danielle McDougall
- Maddie Arnason, Nolan Brown
Simon Fraser University
- English/Theatre – Raitoning Petherick
- Choreographer – Jayme Ingram
University of Alberta
- Theatre – Claire Sonmor
University of British Columbia
- Drama – Jordan Johnston, Allison Gill
- Creative Writing/Acting – Kately Nikiforuk
University of Calgary
- Drama – Gabby Velasquez, Ahad Mir, Mark Kazakoff, Lyall Miller, Courtney Keene
- Drama Education – Sierra Hood, Andrew Simon
- BFA/Music and Drama – Amanda Dickson
University of Lethbridge
- Drama: Jesara Nichol
- Arts Education: Emma Norris
- Education/Drama: Sean Gillies, Tyler Grier, Jillian Poulin, Katie Winston
- BFA /Drama BED/ Drama Ed: Keifer Jennings
University of Utah
- Musical Theatre – Jill Bauer
University of Victoria
- Theatre: Kasia Brytan, Hannah Faber, Grace Fedorchuk, Parker Feenstra, Taylor Holding, Graham Miles, Becky Miner, Alex Moorman, Rachel Myers, Alex Plouffe
Vancouver Film School
Sam Armstrong, Trinity Chase
La Crosse, WI
- Musical Theatre – Gordie Beingesner
York University – Toronto
- Drama: Heather Love, Ali Froggat, Jayme Ingram
Vancouver Film School
- Acting/ Film BFA: Olivia Tarkovski