SOLDIERS IN THE ARTS (SITA)

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Our Program, Soldiers In The Arts, uses Theatre to address traumatic stress and related problems encountered by veterans and their loved ones. Working closely with actors, directors, producers, dancers, writers, poets and artists the SITA creates opportunities for participants to fulfil their artistic potential. The program aims to give Veterans and their families new skills and experiences they may have never considered before. It will help participants improve their own confidence, self-awareness, and motivation to support their individual recovery and the transition into civilian life.

The objective of SITA is to provide arts based training in order to further the healing journey for veterans and their families. Through arts based workshops we look to bridge the gap between the veteran family and the arts world. This will foster creativity and help bring to light suppressed emotions, in an inclusive and supportive environment. Art therapy is an evidenced based approach to the healing process of PTSD and has shown to be beneficial to veterans and those who support them at home.

ACTING OUT WAR'S INNER WOUNDS

Physical injury soldiers will heal., but post-traumatic stress is more difficult because people don’t see it. We believe that acting and the arts have the ability in healing of inner wounds.

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ACTING CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS

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Soldiers In The Arts Fall Theatre Workshop #5

When: 28 September 2022 19:00 - 21:30 EST

Where: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 001/042

243 Coxwell Ave, Toronto, ON M4L 3B4

Open to all veterans of the CAF, their spouses and adult children (18+)

Soldiers in the Arts Fall Theatre Workshop #6

When: 15 October 2022 12:30-3:20 EST

Where: Kingston, ON TBA

Soldiers in the Arts Fall Theatre Workshop #7

When: 22 October 2022 12:30-3:20 EST

Where: Toronto, ON TBA

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Participants will fall under the tutelage of Michael J Gellman. Michael is an actor, writer, director, producer and teacher and is a founding member and current Senior Faculty Member of Second City training center and served as the creative director for the Toronto location . He brings decades of performing experience to the table and fosters a unique perspective on the healing power of the arts.

RYAN HAWKYARD
Program Coordinator

Ryan served with the regular force (RCR) for twenty years. He completed three tours of Afghanistan (2003, 2006, 2010) and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This diagnosis led to his release from the forces. Based on a recommendation from a mental health professional, Ryan started taking acting lessons to augment his treatment and quickly began to see benefits on his healing journey. He now advocates for the use of performing arts for trauma-related illnesses.

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Our programs are unique to the wellness aspect for our veterans and families,

making healing and group dynamics at the forefront of Soldiers In The Arts.

TESTIMONIALS

Summer Theatre Workshop 1

A.L.

I've never tried any type of acting before, and I really enjoyed the SITA   Summer theatre workshop! Michael was a fantastic and inspiring teacher. Taking part and trying something new, where "failure is impossible", was an amazing experience. 

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Z.P.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived for the workshop, and I was pleasantly surprised by the reception. The group was warm and welcoming. The workshop consisted of a series of exercises which allowed me to learn about the idea of “acting” they were fun and varied, which took me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to explore myself.

 

The workshop was for veterans, and you can bring your significant other or children over 18. I plan to bring my significant other the next time. Thanks again to everyone involved in this project!

MISSION: Soldiers In The Arts will create opportunities for veterans and their families to explore their creative potential and discover a path to training in the arts. In our inaugural Workshop, participants will be introduced to basic principles of Creative Play.  We will use group exercises, fun games and a supportive environment to explore the basics of Improv theatre as it’s used throughout the world.

Modern-day Improvisation began as a playful method of training actors by developing their spontaneity, imagination, and cooperation.  You don’t have to be an actor to explore Improv. Today Improvisation is used to train educators, people in business, medicine, students pursuing everything from theatre to law, as a tool in therapy and of course training people interested in the Performing Art.

We will focus on:

Creative Play and being present in the moment.

Gain confidence in your own abilities

Connection to others

Trusting ourselves

Discover the joy in Improvisation

Use principles of:  Yes And…, less is more and better communication

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