Watercourse Theatre explores innovative ways to creatively and theatrically share the stories of individuals and groups in our society whose voices are often not heard.
The company stages powerful, compelling and empowering stories through the creation processes and presentation styles that most effectively convey them.
Watercourse Theatre’s work focuses in two areas: creating and staging original plays for professional productions; and community-engaged co-creations.
The company’s professional theatre has explored a wide range of topics including: homelessness and gentrification (Dead Cat Bounce), youth anxiety (Half Full), sexuality and older adults (Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance), human drug-testers for pharmaceutical companies (GuineaPigging), Ontario’s child welfare system (Thistlepatch), and domestic terrorism (Homegrown).
Our theatre productions co-created with communities are increasingly central to our mandate as we have learned the power and transformative impact of this work on participants, communities and ourselves. These co-creations also invite the opportunity to work with other groups, weaving together connections between people and organizations within communities.
Watercourse Theatre’s first community-engaged project was Our Voices, funded by a New Horizons for Seniors project grant in 2014. The organizational partner for Our Voices was Eramosa Eden, an eco-ecumenical retreat centre in rural Wellington County.
The Our Voices group of older adults has now produced two stereotype-busting shows about the realities of their lives today. The script for Our Voices: Senior Selfies has now been published by Art Age Publications, and Our Voices group members share the royalties equally.
Since then, Watercourse Theatre has participated in a project on Six Nations Reserve, and been commissioned by the Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington-Dufferin to create and tour a new work about hope and resilience for people whose lives have been impacted by suicide.
Our community-engaged co-creations are developed through listening to participants, rather than any pre-determined project template. Each group determines their creative process, with respectful encouragement and support from the facilitator.