Kids on stage in blue shirts singing in a line  and colourful logo in white circle with text that reads Drayton Entertainment's Youth Academy


"You have taught me so much about theatre and life. I felt really lost and insecure before the first day because I never felt like I truly belonged, but this program showed me I do."

Step 1

Building A Strong Foundation

Introducing our new Youth Academy

Drayton Entertainment produces and presents over 800 performances annually on seven stages throughout Ontario, issuing over 400 artist contracts and employing 65 full-time and part-time staff, and over 100 seasonal workers. With current facilities operating at capacity, space is limited for the expansion and development of new programs geared to youth.

Bricks & Mortar

Transforming an industrial building into a theatrical arts incubator and community hub for youth will require renovations including relocating walls, replacing windows, upgrading electrical and mechanical infrastructure, and installing proper finishings.

Demolition
The current interior will be stripped back to reimagine its purpose in meeting the needs of youth today, and the generation to follow.

Installation
New internal walls will define space and maximize the floorplan, while new windows and wiring will bring the building up to code and meet safety standards.

Accessibility
The installation of an elevator, exterior ramp, accessible washroom, and hallway reconfigurations will ensure barrier-free access for everyone.

Enhancements
Sprung dance floors, mirrors, lighting, and performance instruments will create a professional arts environment in which to learn, experiment, and perform.

Academy Infrastructure

Performing Arts Facilities

We will attach a learning opportunity to every aspect of creating theatre that strengthens core competencies. Aspiring performers will focus on the four basic elements of time, space, body/presence, and the relationship between the artist and audience.  Creators (directors, choreographers, stage managers) will learn how to develop a rehearsal schedule and refine rehearsal techniques, gain experience working with text, actors and movement, and effectively communicate with design and production departments.  By emphasizing learning through practice, youth will be immersed in the complete creative process.

Rehearsal Halls
Four rehearsal halls will be created for group class instruction. These halls will enable the delivery of a variety of musical theatre classes including movement, singing, improv classes, ice-breaking activities, script readings, and discovery.

Studio Classrooms
Smaller, individual classrooms will be used for one-on-one instruction in acting, music theory, diction, monologue, scene study, character building, and more.

Music Room
The Music Room will allow for instruction in vocal technique with a focus on harmony and choral work, and by extension, collaboration and teamwork.

Technical Arts Facilities

Building on our existing and developing relationships with area schools, we will provide opportunities, resources, and encouragement for youth to explore their interests in the technical aspects of live theatre.

Production Centre

The Youth Academy will benefit from its adjacent proximity to Drayton Entertainment’s new consolidated Production Centre, allowing young people to receive multi-disciplinary, hands-on instruction in the various components of producing live theatre.

This includes:
 - Set Construction
 - Lighting
 - Sound
 - Wardrobe
 - Paint
 - Props

Instruction will be provided by industry professionals working on Drayton Entertainment productions, providing current, real-world knowledge transfer between generations.

Other Facilities

Green Room     
This communal space, complete with comfortable seating and refrigeration for storing snacks, will be available for youth to congregate and socialize before or after class. Desk stations will enable youth to complete homework and assignments (such as journal writing) relevant to particular programs.

Change Rooms
Gender specific change rooms and universal change rooms – all of which will be accessible – will create a welcoming environment for all young people.

Instructors’ Area
A multi-use area for meeting, sharing ideas, and planning among staff and guest instructors will be conducive to ensuring that a broad spectrum of lived experience is represented.