2017 Champions for Education! Thank you to Greater Essex County District School Board for recognizing Chris Rabideau and ACT as one of 10 Champions for Education 2017! We are truly honoured to receive one of these awards.
Chris Rabideau – Arts Collective Theatre
There has been a great deal written about the redemptive power of theatre. In fact, there have been a number of plays written about how being in a play has redeemed the souls of the characters as well as the audiences. Chris Rabideau knows, personally, the redemptive power of theatre and he has passed that on to hundreds of students in the Greater Essex County District School Board through his Arts Collective Theatre.
For a number of years Chris and ACT have worked in partnership with us, using the arts as a vehicle to promote social justice. The focus of the Social Justice Project each year is bullying prevention, inspiring positive, healthy relationships – giving students a voice to share their own unique stories, thoughts and feelings and acknowledge their own challenges. Some examples include “Inside the Burden”, highlighting acceptance and support for newcomers and refugee students and their families; “Interrogation”, about a transgender teen who is a victim of a hate crime; and “Intake”, featuring the struggles of young people with mental health and homelessness. The scripts for these plays were written by students.
Under Chris Rabideau’s direction students also mount the production and perform for hundreds of their peers and members of the public. Community partners also participate in “talk back” sessions, frank and dynamic conversations with the student audiences. Teacher lesson plans are then developed and shared to ensure that the benefits of the experience last longer than the day.
Through the Social Justice Project, Chris Rabideau has helped create an atmosphere of acceptance for all and made a lot of young people believe in themselves. Many of them have been rescued before they have fallen. Chris Rabideau and Arts Collective Theatre have performed admirably and earned the honour of Champion for Education.
Greater Essex County District School Board
Champions for Education Awards, April 18, 2017