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2015 FELLOWSHIP Participants 

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Meet ISPA's 2015 Regional (Canada) Fellowship Program participant Natalie Ackers! 

Natalie Ackers

Canada

Managing Director, Roseneath Theatre

Natalie is the Managing Director of Roseneath Theatre, a theatre for young audiences company based out of Toronto, Ontario that has toured North America for 30 years. Respected as one of Canada’s foremost companies, Rosneath’s plays address provocative issues relevant to today s youth encouraging them to reflect on themselves and their place within the community. Passionate about creating theatre that explores and reflects the stories of and challenges in the lives of children, Natalie has managed 50 tours in her role at Roseneath and throughout her career history as Company & Touring Manager at Green Thumb Theatre (Vancouver, BC) and VP of Touring at Kids, Entertainment (Toronto). Natalie currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Alliance for Performing Arts and serves on committees of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and the International Performing Arts for Youth showcase.

ISPA:
Natalie, What are the three adjectives that describe you? 
Natalie: 
Purposeful, friendly, Canadian!

ISPA:

What’s your favorite city in the world?
Natalie: Today I will say Rome, because I have had enough of winter and I want to be somewhere warm. Rome, to me felt like a living, breathing museum, and a hot and sunny one at that! However, my answer would usually be New York City because of the massive amount of theatre being created there and the city's vibrant energy.
 
ISPA:

Can you tell me the name of the life-changing performance that you either watched or participated in?
Natalie: My career path in the arts changed the day I saw the Roseneath Theatre's touring production, "Danny, King of the Basement" by David S. Craig. This was 8 years before I came to work at Roseneath and at the time I was running an outdoor Shakespeare festival. "Danny" is a play for children ages 7 - 12 about child poverty. It is smart, funny, heartbreaking and a very special piece of theatre. When I saw "Danny", it was like a light bulb went off. Theatre for Young Audiences can be all of these things?! Yes. It can be artistic, challenging, engaging, life changing. And I realized how important that was to me. How important it is to reflect the lives of children on the stage, do it well, take risks and respect them as an audience. Fourteen years later, I am lucky to work among and be a part of a network of people who celebrate children and youth as an audience of TODAY, not just about training them to be an audience when they are adults (although we hope that they continue being audience members for life!).

 


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