Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

They are such stuff as teamwork is made on

Such Stuff Players, theatre troupe consisting of home-schooled kids, set to present A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  • Print

When Karen Ridd’s family decided on home-schooling, they were thinking about creating the best environment for the growth of the family’s two sons.


"It enables Daniel and Ben to really give themselves over to what their passions are," said Ridd, who lives in Ste. Rita, just east of Anola.


And while Ridd glows when she speaks about the benefits of home-schooling, she admits there are activities that don’t work so well when it’s only her family.


"There are certain things you need to do in groups," she said.


That’s where the Winnipeg Learning Centre comes into play — a network of home-schooling families that meet weekly at Church of Christ in St. Boniface to benefit from activities best done with others.


The families come from all over the map, including St. Boniface, the North End, the West End, West Broadway, North Kildonan, St. Norbert, and Headingley.


This month, the centre’s theatre troupe, Such Stuff Players — named for the famous Shakespeare line, "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," — will stage its version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Osborne Village.


The cast’s 22 actors range in age from two to 17.


"It has been pretty much the best play we’ve ever done," grinned 10-year-old Ben Ridd.


"Shakespeare is fun . . .  It’s a challenge," his mother added. "We also see benefits like increased confidence, public speaking."


The Winnipeg Learning Centre was established about five years ago after Marilyn Firth’s family moved to St. Norbert from Kitchener, Ont.


While Kitchener had a network for home-schooling families, Winnipeg did not — so Firth set out to fill that gap.


"The purpose is to get home-schooling kids together, so they can do projects together and socialize together," she explained.


Firth added it may surprise some that socialization is not the top priority, saying it’s a myth that home-schooled kids are isolated.


"I generally find home-schooled kids are out in their community so much they’re extremely socialized," she said.


Ridd agreed, saying other benefits of the centre come to mind much more quickly — such as exposing her kids to the strengths other families bring to the table.


"Different parents have different skills," she said.


And then there are the group activities, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream — which Ridd is co-directing along with Firth.


Working with a group is one of the things young Headingley resident Emma MacIsaac loves most about Such Stuff Players.


"I don’t have any brothers or sisters, so I like getting together with the others."


The precocious eight-year-old also noted the chance to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream at her age is a challenge directly tied to being home-schooled.


"If I was in school, I probably wouldn’t be doing Shakespeare," she said.


Caelyn Kwade, 14, said this is her first Shakespeare play.


"It’s a whole new experience," she said.


So, it turns out, is being home-schooled. Until this year, Kwade attended public school.


She said the learning centre has made a huge difference during her adjustment.


"It was just nice to meet a lot of new people who were home-schooled and get support," said the West Broadway resident.


North End resident Hannah Beynon, 14 — who plays fairy queen Titania — said being on stage is a great learning experience.


"I love acting, but I really enjoy the dynamics," she said. "Everyone has to work like clockwork to make things happen."


A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs Tues. April 17 at 7 p.m.; Wed. April 18 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Thurs. April 19 at 1 p.m.


For tickets, contact Kathie at 221-7468 or kathiemacisaac@mts.net.

facebook.com/TheLanceWpg
Twitter: @LanceWPG

arielle.godbout@canstarnews.com

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

How many Fringe shows have you attended or plan to attend this year?

View Results