Fifth and final in a series of blog posts by Apprentice Artistic Director Camilla Fitzgibbon
I remember graduating from theatre school 2 years ago in the summer of 2019 with all the idealism of youth despite then clocking in at 30 years of age.
My physical body numerically dates itself as such, but my brain is on another time-space continuum in its attempts to hold on to what remnants there are of my childhood dreams of a life in the theatre.
I began my apprenticeship with Tableau D’Hôte Theatre a few short months after receiving my degree from John Abbott’s professional program – a kind of reverie-turned-reality in itself. To work in any capacity as a sapling in a cutthroat industry is all one can ask for. I often wonder what trajectory my career would have taken had I not been generously embraced by Mathieu Murphy-Perron and TDHT, and owe the company much for the springboard opportunity that it so often gives to emerging artists.
COVID turned upside down and inside out my held views of what donning the hat of an artistic director meant. Cancelling shows, applying for funding, and figuring out the logistics of pandemic theatre-making made for an unexpected 18 months of hands-on training. Might I hypothesize, though, that learning how to run a theatre company in the worst of times may perhaps be the best foundational training. I feel my time here has given me grounding in a world of fantasy, where work is play but play is also work and we need people who are both dreamers and doers to make magic happen.
I am excited by and proud of what Tableau D’Hôte has accomplished in these past seasons in spearheading ’spontaneously created, socially distanced’ theatre in Canada. I am grateful for the safe space has been provided for risk-taking and experimentation and boundary-pushing, and cherish the lessons learned from the mistakes and successes of ambitious attempts. Among the many teachings, I today conclude my apprenticeship with the trust that yes – this career and this community are for me, that I have a voice within it, and that my passion lies in spawning opportunities not only for myself but for others to thrive within it.
Creating and curating Class of 2020: Voices from the Pandemic has been a full circle moment in that regard. May the next generation continue to dream childhood dreams as we enter a new era of theatremaking – one that carries within it limitless realms of possibilities as we rebuild from ruins and reorder from chaos.
Thank you Mat and Tableau D’Hôte for nurturing mine. I close this chapter on a note of optimism, and look forward to novel adventures ahead.
Image from a rehearsal of the first cohort of Class of 2020: Voices from the Pandemic. Courtesy of Masha Mariia Bashmakova
We work under CAEA approved contracts, with CAEA members, and are proud members of the QDF, ELAN and PACT.
Tableau D’Hôte Theatre wishes to thank the following agencies and foundations for their continued support, which allows us to carry out our artistic activities.
Tableau D’Hôte Theatre is located on the Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Tiotià:ke (known as Montréal) has existed as a meeting place of many First Nation peoples, including but not limited to the Abenaki , Anishinaabeg (Algonquin), and the Huron-Wendat. We extend our deepest respect to the elders of these nations and to all Indigenous peoples who carry the history of this island’s land and waters. We also call upon all levels of government to adopt and implement the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation commission.