June 17, 2019 — BIG NEWS! The Company of Adventurers won the Awesome Foundation “Awesome Ottawa Award” in May. We are thrilled! The award is given to initiatives and projects that offer a unique and inspiring contribution to the community. For years, my dream was to direct a play for local kids as a way of bringing what I do in the English Lit classroom to the public. In 2011, at the “now-or-never” urging of my eldest daughter (then 10 years old), I decided to start a children’s theatre group in Ottawa. We gathered a group of local Old Ottawa South children to put on a production of “Macbeth,” and it was a roaring success! The children did a fabulous job, and seemed to have no difficulty with the language or ideas once we got going. In fact, during rehearsal breaks they took to writing their own Shakespearean prophecies to complement the witches’ curses in the play. There was no turning back after that! It was my belief then, and it certainly is now, that we underestimate what kids are capable of. Shakespeare is not hard or scary. Our young actors revel in the poetry, humour, and social insights of Shakespeare. As each production develops, we see their creativity, self-expression, community spirit, and confidence build. Our goal is to nourish the creative talents of local children and to offer them access to a genuinely enriching cultural and theatrical experience. We try to bring out the inner confidence and creativity of children and youth by working very cohesively as a team. We also foster the talents of the actors by using music, dance, gymnastics, and other abilities that the actors bring to the group. And through our productions we try to instill in young people a sense of community outreach and responsibility. Each year, our shows are presented as fundraisers for a local charity. We pass a hat after each show and donate all of the money raised to the designated charity for that year – which is chosen by the children. What a gift to be able to do this each year! Thanks so much to the Awesome Foundation for supporting us!