The Salt Spring Youth New Creatives (SSYNC) Festival is a new annual summer arts event that showcases original scenes, written and performed, by young people aged 13-18. It will take place on Salt Spring Island and is open to students on Salt Spring Island, Vancouver Island, Vancouver, and beyond.
The festival provides a mentorship opportunity for young writers and actors to create and receive feedback from professional playwrights/dramaturges/actors/directors in a workshop environment. Students will develop acting/writing skills, build confidence, learn the elements of playwriting/ character development, and explore topics, themes, and issues that are important to them. At the end of the week-long experience, a showcase will occur at ArtSpring Community Arts Center, where youth actors will bring the playwrights’ words to life in a public performance.
Mentors include acclaimed industry professionals Natalie Meisner, Jeffrey Renn and Karen Lee White, who will teach storytelling and performance through her Indigenous lens.
The Salt Spring Youth New Creatives Festival (SSYNC) is a collaboration between SSYNC & Graffiti Theatre, in partnership with ArtSpring Community Arts Centre.
August 14-19, 2023 | 10am -4pm
Public Performance | August 19 | 2pm | $5 + optional donation.
Tuition is $200 +gst, with three bursaries for families who, without this bursary, would be unable to attend.
Spaces are limited to 8 playwrights:
and 16 actors:
A pre-workshop form will be emailed to you by the organizers.
Christina Penhale & Christie Roome
Email Address: email@example.com
About the Mentors
Natalie Meisner is a playwright and poet from the Mi’kma’ki /South Shore of Nova Scotia and Calgary/ Mohkinstsis 5th Poet Laureate. Her work combines survivor comedy with hopepunk in the service of social change. It Begins in Salt (2023) and Baddie One Shoe (2019) are perforance/ spokenword poetry. LEGISLATING LOVE: THE EVERETT KLIPPERT STORY is based on the true story of the beloved Calgary bus driver instrumental in decriminalizing homosexuality. SPEED DATING FOR SPERM DONORS was a hit at Lunchbox & Neptune. Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family topped non-fiction lists and My Mommy, My Mama My Brother & Me is her children’s book about a two-mom biracial family finding community. She is a wife, mom to two great boys, and a Prof at Mount Royal University. She is at work on a new play about extractive industries (fish, oil) and a new book about chosen families for kids.
Jeffrey Renn is an actor, director, teacher, clown, and – always – a master storyteller. He is an alumnus of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, where he studied acting and has an MFA in Directing from the University of Victoria. Jeffrey was a member of the acting companies at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and has also appeared on Broadway in Moliere’s The Miser and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
An acclaimed Director and Acting Teacher, Jeffrey taught Acting and Movement at The University of Victoria, The Gastown Actors Studio, George Brown College, Queensland University of Technology, Bond University, and the Lismore School of the Arts in Australia. Jeffrey currently teaches private acting classes, coaches actors and is a frequent guest lecturer at Douglas College, University of Victoria and The Canadian College of Performing Arts.
He was honoured to work with the Kickstart Disability Arts Organization and to be the interim Artistic Director of Realwheels – a Vancouver-based, professional theatre company that produces performances that deepen the audience’s understanding of the disability experience.
At present, he resides on Salt Spring Island building a summer Shakespeare program for local theatre company, exitStageLeft Productions, and continues to work on his next instalment of, At Your Service – the story of the life of Robert Service.
Karen Lee White, Indigenous Writer, founded ‘Frybread Productions’ in 2015 when her juried play ‘Satan and Jesus do Chinatown’, sold out with an all-Indigenous cast, Intrepid Theatre Victoria, BC, Karen playing Raven. One-woman show commissions followed: ‘Mohawk Air’ (2017) Belfry Theatre. ‘Great-Aunt Intrepid Theatre (2017). ‘PTSD, Baby’ Kickstart Disability Arts Vancouver, (2017). One of ten playwrights chosen for readings of New Work Playwrights Webinar Readings (Playwrights Guild of Canada/RBC Emerging Playwright Prize), 2016. A seasoned Actor, Karen has joined touring companies and professional runs of acclaimed musicals in Whitehorse. More recently she has delved into applied theatre with Dramatek, Victoria.