Arbor Theatre Company Profile
Arbor Theatre's current mandate is to promote, develop, and advance interest in and the study, appreciation, and performance of live theatre and music. These productions primarily will take the form of Canadian plays for young audiences and their families.The mandate also empowers the organization to create programming for education and instruction and to provide employment and skill development opportunities for local theatre artists.
The company's mission is to develop and present original, affordable, curriculum-linked, primarily Canadian historical plays for young audiences which are of high artistic standards. The focus of these works are local characters caught up in important national historic events. Furthermore, we seek to produce works which entertain, educate, and provoke dialogue and reflection. We seek to present this work in a politically responsible and culturally sensitive manner and to accurately reflect the viewpoints of First Nations Canadians, francophones, women, and people of colour.
The Arbor Theatre Company is dedicated to the production of innovative and passionate Canadian history plays primarily for young audiences which are relevant to their lives and which promote a better understanding of their place in Canada and the world.
We are a fiscally responsible organization which is committed to keeping administrative costs at a minimum in order to subsidize ticket prices for our young audience patrons to the fullest extent possible and to ensure that the remainder of our financial resources are used to directly support the artistic vision.
We are committed to finding new and innovative approaches to funding both the companyís artistic vision and to subsidizing our ticket price.
We are committed to fair labour practices and to paying professional fees and salaries to our professional artists for their work While acknowledging that we do not always receive sufficient funding to be able to negotiate the contracts advocated by artist unions, we respect the intent of the contracts and rates of payment advocated by the Canadian Actorís Equity Association (CAEA), the Playwrightsí Guild of Canada (PGC), the Associated Designers of Canada (ADC), the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), and the American Federation of Musicians of the United States & Canada (AFM). We commit ourselves to making every effort to meet the contract demands of these organizations and to increasing our knowledge of this work.
The Artistic Director of Arbor Theatre, he began in 1995 when he was asked to direct “The Secret Garden”. From there, he emerged as a prominent figure on the Peterborough theatre scene as a director of numerous Arbor Theatre children’s productions including 2014′s “Cinderella - The Dancical” at Showplace Performance Centre.
He is the creator and producer of the 24-Hour Playwriting Project and The High School Alternative Theatre Festival.
Since 1995 he has directed over 30 productions for Arbor and received 3 Civic Awards for his Cultural contributions in Peterborough.
In 2007, Ray was inducted into the Adam Scott Collegiate “Hall of Honour”.
In 2008 he began “Impros Vs Joes” with the late, great Paul O’Sullivan. Through that he has shared the stage with some of Canada’s greatest Improv Artists such as Linda Kash, Colin Mochrie, Peter Wildman, Adam Cawley, Jack Mosshammer, Kathy Greenwood, Bruce Hunter, Lisa Merchant, Patrick McKenna, Jan Caruana, Ashley Botting, Marcel St. Pierre and Derek McGrath (with whom he also shared the stage in New Stages production of Courageous).
In 2009, with a boost from Paul O'Sullivan, Ray put together the Citiots Improv, alongside Dan Smith and Luke Foster. The Citiots Improv family is his passion and he savours every moment shared with his cast mates and audience alike. He directed 3 of the Citiots in “The Compleat Works of Willm Shkspr” in February, 2013.
Beverley Breedon ,General Manager has been a dedicated employee of Arbor Theatre since the mid eighties. During her long association with Arbor, Bev has worked her way through its ranks, becoming intimately acquainted with all aspects of its operation. Beginning as a computer technician, Bev went on to hold the positions of book-keeper, office manager, administrator, director of staff training, producer, and ultimately General Manager. She is the backbone of Arbor.
As of 2015, Ray and Bev are celebrating 20 years of working together at Arbor Theatre.
The "New" Arbor Theatre
In 1995, Ray Henderson was approached to direct "The Secret Garden" for Arbor Theatre. Up until then, Arbor had been a "Repetory Theatre Company", putting on the usual "Classics", as well as new Canadian works. From 1995 and onwards, Ray and Bev Breedon began shifting the company's focus towards Educational and Young Performers presentations.
For the last 20 years, Arbor has presented 19 December "Classics", featuring adaptations of Classic Fairy Tales and/or Literature pieces, entertaining throngs of school groups and featuring casts of 50 or more. Their fusion of Comedy and Choreography (and in some cases, video) have been a huge hit and a tradition for thousands of attendees (over 4300 students attended the 2014 adapatation of "Cinderella"). 2015 will mark the 20th year and 20th play in this series.
In the early to mid 2000's, Arbor and the Peterborough Museum & Archives produced a joint project seeing several Historical productions being performed outdoors at the Museum, and was followed by extensive school tours of 45 minute productions.
Other works have been presented, such as "On Golden Pond" in 2013, in conjunction with Showplace Players, and Ray has been conducting workshops in various schools for several years.
Ray and Bev continue to produce new works and new memories for all ages as their journey with Arbor Theatre grows on and on.
Madison Sheward (2014 to ?) Jessica Burrett (2012 to 2013) Rebekah Houpt (2009 to 2011)