Globe Theatre offers one-on-one sessions during pandemic

Greg Ochitwa (left) celebrates his student Clara Biancelli’s (right) excellent monologue during a one-on-one Zoom session. Globe Theatre School

Improve your artistic skills from your bedroom

While stages are dark, the pandemic has given Regina’s Globe Theatre a much broader reach – it is offering virtual one-on-one sessions with theatre artists, available to anyone in the world.

One student is from London, England. Another student recently moved with his family from Regina to Cincinnati, Ohio. 

“The family assumed that was the end of the relationship with the Globe Theatre. I reached out to them at the end of the summer after the first pilot project. They were so excited about it. Their 15-year-old son signed up and wanted to build an online episode,” said Greg Ochitwa, Artistic Associate with the Globe Theatre.

The 10 sessions have a broad focus and are based on what each person is willing to pay. People can work on singing, choreography, stand-up comedy, script writing, finding work in the industry, preparing grant applications and even get career advice. If those ideas don’t apply to them, people who sign up can also make their own suggestions about what they want to work on. The Zoom classes can be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

The Globe Theatre’s website describes these sessions as “sort of creative gymnasium where you can bounce around all of your artistic thoughts and concepts.”

There are currently two instructors available: Tahirih Vejdani is an actor, singer, music educator, songwriter and choral conductor who is based out of Toronto. Munish Sharma is an actor, writer and dancer who is based out of Vancouver. Both are originally from Saskatchewan. Both attended the University of Regina.

In July 2020, the sessions started as a pilot project. The one-on-one sessions could be customized to each of the students’ needs, whether it be preparing for monologues or putting together an audition package while doing so in their own homes. 

Not being able to teach Globe Theatre classes in person was a challenge for students and instructors.

“It was really heartbreaking for me as a teacher and a leader. It was also hard for students. I firmly believe in the value of arts programming, but I didn’t want to be promising people things that would maybe be cancelled,” said Ochitwa.

He has been teaching at the Globe Theatre for the past 10 years.

One-on-one sessions can help high school or university students looking to brush up their resumes or work on their monologue pieces. But while students learn or hone skills, the sessions are more about providing space for them to connect with others. 

“It’s been the most confusing year that we humans had to face in a long time. We’ve had so much taken away from us and our comforts and our routines and everything this year. So just to have that hour every week, that’s your time,” said Ochitwa

More importantly, students looked forward to these sessions because it was a safe space to get in touch with other people.

“It’s the connections and the friendships and the bonds that you make with the other humans. And that was my main goal with designing this program.”

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