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Upcoming events


MUSIC TRIVIA NIGHT at the Orléans Brewing Co., 4380 Innes Rd. from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Short answer, multiple choice, sound clips and picture rounds. Come in as a single player or as a team, it's free to play.

MUSIC BINGO NIGHT at the Orléans Brewing Co., 4380 Innes Rd. from 8-10 pm. Come out and test your music knowledge. $5 per card. Funds are split 50/50. One of the three winners of the evening will get a chance at the 50/50 amount. Call to reserve your spot -- 613-830-8428.

BLACKBURN CHRISTMAS MARKET from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Blackburn Hamlet Community Hall eaturing a variety of local vendors offering services and wares.

LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY MARKET hosted by the Stray Dog Brewery,
501 Lacolle Way in the Taylor Creek Business Park. from noon to 4 p.m. Come on down to the brewery and support local artisans. There will have mulled beer, live music and plenty of good cheer to get you into the holiday spirit.

CORO VIVO OTTAWA presents 'Christmas Under the Stars', a holiday concert at Orléans United Church, 1111 Orléans Blvd. Tickets : $25 for adults; $20 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under are free. Available online only at https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/coro-vivo-ottawa-8064734718.


 

School of Theatre artistic director passes the torch after 20 years
Fred Sherwin
March 17, 2022

For the past two decades, Kathi Langston has been the face and the inspirational heart of the Ottawa School of Theatre.

Langston took over the role of artistic director from David Hersh in 2002. At the time the school, which was formerly known as the Orléans Young Players Theatre School, shared space with a daycare in the Cumberland HUB building on Tompkins Boulevard, and they only offered programming in English.

At the time, they had fewer than 100 students. By the time the COVID pandemic swept across Canada and around the world, the theatre school’s annual registration had grown to over 600.

Much of that growth was due to Langston’s efforts to take OST from it’s recreational community roots and turn it into a truly professional theatre school.

“It was pretty much a recreational school at the time,” says Langston. “It didn’t provide a serious theatre education, but it was lots and lots and fun. What I did was keep the fun aspect and make it more of an educational experience.”

The theatre school really took off after the Shenkman Arts Centre opened in 2009 and OST became a resident partner.

“It enabled us to offer our students a truly professional experience,” says Langston. “It also gave us the opportunity to offer a lot more classes, which meant we could offer a greater variety of classes in both French and English which was always a goal of mine.”

Langston had originally planned to retire in December 2020, but then the pandemic hit.

“I couldn’t walk away in the middle of the pandemic. I just couldn’t,” Langston says, recalling the decision to stay on.

As a result of Langston’s leadership and innovation, the OST has been able to weather the pandemic by offering a variety of virtual classes through ZOOM. Registrations have fallen off by 40 per cent over the past two years, but the theatre school is already starting to see a resurgence, especially for their spring and summer classes.

With the future looking brighter than ever, Langston is more than ready to hand the reigns off to the new incoming artistic director, Megan Piercey Monafu who has a background as a playwright, director, pro-ducer and facilitator.

“It’s time for the school to have a new, fresh, young injection of energy and crea-tivity and Megan is the perfect person to do that,” says Langston.

Monafu will officially take over in June. In the interim she will be learning the ropes from Langston, who plans to spend some quality time with her three young grand-children after she exits stage left.

She also plans to continue on in her role as the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association representative in the Ottawa region, and she hopes to get back on stage at some point, proving that you can take the actress out of the theatre, but you can never take the theatre out of the actress.

 
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