What is Artstrek?
Theatre Alberta’s Artstrek is a summer theatre school for teens that offers professional learning opportunities from practicing artists and educators in a collaborative space. Artstrek students leap into the depths of theatre appreciation and embrace the creative process through five daily classes: Acting, Devising, Design, Voice & Singing, and Movement & Dance.
Artstrek places an emphasis on creative exploration where each student receives an equal opportunity to participate and contribute. Once they become part of the Artstrek community, students develop lasting relationships and skills that will accompany them throughout their lives.
Artstrek is not an audition-based program. Artstrek is all about serious fun, growth, and development.
How is Artstrek put together?
Theatre Alberta recruits leading theatre educators and professional artists from across Alberta to teach at Artstrek. Our instructors bring extensive practical and academic knowledge to the program and connect participants directly to the theatre community in Alberta.
Artstrek supervisors are responsible for students during free time. They ensure that students get to their classes on time each morning and get to sleep each night. Supervisors will also lead students in fun and engaging activities each evening. The supervisory team is made up of Artstrek alumni who have been away from the program for at least one year and are 20 to 25 years of age.
The curriculum for Artstrek is developed around a play of study. Each year, a different play is chosen to be the central focus of the program. Each class at Artstrek takes inspiration from the selected play of study and will explore elements of the play in the context of the class being taught. Students will not perform the play in its entirety; instead the emphasis is on skill-building and exploration of the creative process.
We have operated Artstrek since 1995. Artstrek is a uniquely Albertan program that was founded in 1960 as the ‘Olds Drama Seminar.’
Prior to 1995, various arts and culture branches of the Government of Alberta operated the school. Its history in the province includes five years in Olds; 17 years as the Drumheller Summer Drama School (1965 to 1981); two years in Fairview, when the name Artstrek and the curriculum model used to this day was introduced (1982 to 1983); 13 years in Vermillion; and now 23 years at Red Deer Polytechnic.
While Artstrek has evolved and changed locations over the decades, its focus on providing opportunities for teens from across the province—many of whom do not have access to formal theatre training—to learn performance and creativity skills in a safe and inclusive environment has resulted in more than 10,000 alumni who champion the program across the country.