Recently, Food Allergy Canada created a bursary program to send two students to the Young People’s Theatre Drama School in Toronto. The bursaries are in honour of Sabrina Shannon, an alumni of Young People’s Theatre who passed away due to an allergic reaction at the age of 13 in 2003.
Sabrina was an incredible advocate for people with food allergies, raising awareness in many ways, including a popular podcast she did for CBC Radio at age 11. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Sabrina’s Law, which mandates all publicly funded schools in Ontario to have measures in place to protect students at risk of anaphylaxis. It has served as a model for similar protective legislation in Canada, the US and the world — and it has saved countless lives.
Over the fall and winter sessions, the YPT scholarship students have been working with their teachers on mastering their fundamental drama skills and learning about the process involved in creating a play, including character creation, storytelling, vocal skills, mask work and scene building.
“They have also been working to find confidence in their own creative voices through the process,” notes Marjie Chud, Interim Drama School Director at YPT.
Now that the spring session is about to begin, the students will be bringing it all together to create their very own original performance. Their plays will be performed in June at Young People’s Theatre as part of a special Drama School presentation weekend.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the feeling of performing their own work on a professional stage in front of an audience,” says Chud. As a mentorship program, it also prepares them for new projects and fosters their potential to become future teachers and leaders in the community.
A big thanks to YPT, the young actors, and especially to Sabrina and her family for making this all possible. Watch our blog in June for updates, reviews and photos of the performances.