Light of Christ students to participate in artists in residency program

LAKELAND - Students at Light of Christ Catholic School will watch their creativity come to life as they participate in Theatre Prospero’s Artists in Residence Program next month.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in performance-based projects that will involve drawing, singing, filming, editing, storytelling, and so much more” said school Principal Carmen Semeniuk. “It is a unique platform for our students to showcase their creativity.”

This endeavour was made possible through a $15,000 grant offered by Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA), the remaining $5,000 was funded by the school.

“We are so grateful to AFA for their donation, which is allowing our students to participate in a program they may not get to otherwise,” Semeniuk said.

Through the program, three artists work with students to build on various creative skills. The intention is for all students to participate in some form, whether they help create the set, write the script, brainstorm choreography, or make costumes.

The theme of the residency is Spring, and all the season represents, such as rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and regrowth.

“We want to allow students to creatively explore and play within their natural world, letting the land and creatures that inhabit it to inspire the stories that they write, sing, dance, or draw about,” the grant application described.

Students will work both inside and outside of the classroom with the artists, who will facilitate the creative process by giving story prompts. In addition to engaging students in English Language Arts, the program also incorporates aspects of drama, physical education, and art programming.

The residency also aligns with the school’s commitment to Indigenous teachings. For example, students will be encouraged to take inspiration from the natural world, incorporating materials from the land in their presentation and creation of the production. Portions of the program will also be experienced         outside, utilizing the woods and lake within walking distance from the school.

The first week focuses on the creation of the stories students want to tell and what is needed to tell those stories. Students will experiment with improvisation around a directed prompt, work on writing and acting out a story, soundscape exploration, creative writing exercises, and other activities.

The focus shifts in the second week, which is more about the final production.

They will be working more pointedly on their story, creating murals, sets, costumes, music, and food preparation.

Once the two-week residency is finished, students will perform their final production.

“This is completely written, designed, choreographed, and performed by the students under the guidance of the artists,” outlined Semeniuk. “Even the food prepared for the main event will be cooked by the students.”

She continued, “This is going to be a chance to see our students truly put themselves and their ideas out there. We cannot wait to see what they come up with.”