Community Theatre in OVERBROOK

Building Community Through Theatre, A Manual: How a small Ottawa neighbourhood successfully co-created and staged a community musical – read the story of Overbrook The Musical by clicking on the link below:

Starry Nights draft general flyer letter

Notes d’OVERBROOK Diary

Community theatre is alive and well in Overbrook! Following the huge success of Overbrook the Musical/la comédie musicale, director Eleanor Crowder applied for and received one of four Arts Network Ottawa (ANO) Neighbourhood Arts Ottawa grants. This residency program is designed to build the capacity for arts throughout Ottawa through mentorship and arts activities.

Two theatre arts events are planned. Notes d’OVERBROOK Diary, performed in an intimate setting, features cast members singing and dramatizing songs through stories and dance that give meaning to their lives. Two performances only:

7:30 pm

Friday, 30 November &

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Drama Studio, Rideau High School

815 St. Laurent Boulevard

Tickets $15

Available at the door
or, to be sure, book your tickets at

Project X

The second ANO community theatre project (yet to be fully defined) takes place in the new year.

Now’s your chance to get involved and help shape this new production. Email to indicate your interest.



So sorry if you missed our performances!

It was a smash hit with almost 60 cast members acting, singing and dancing our Overbrook stories. Over 700 people were lucky enough to attend. The stories resonated with them and the songs touched their hearts — songs about pride of place (“Overbrookies”), going to high school dances (“Back in Time”), protesting the closing of our high school (“Stomping Mad”) and getting to know each other (“Neighbours or Strangers?”). All original songs!

Here’s a copy of the program. We hope to have a video ready in a month or two so check back here.

A Musical Quilt

Our project provides a unique opportunity to bring diverse groups together in a common cause – one that will engage them and portray their voices, stories and cultures. In bringing people together, we intend to break isolation and help residents take back their community through arts creation.

We will co-create using story-telling around history, culture and heritage, and hold workshops involving acting, singing, dancing, costuming. For many, this may be their first exposure to arts creation. By co-creating an Overbrook musical where we celebrate everyone’s cultural background, we’ll promote understanding and appreciation of the various cultural ‘threads’ that make up the fabric of our wonderful neighborhood. By encouraging everyone to help create this musical (from script writing to song composing), we’ll be making a musical quilt; every piece of fabric unique and meaningful, and coming together to show something wonderfully cohesive.

Who is involved in this project?

In October 2016, we put together a Project Team of Diewke de Haen, Wendy Dennys and Patrick Venier (supported by a number of consultants) who will be responsible for guiding the project. Early this year, we appointed three key members of our Creative Team: Eleanor Crowder, director;  Cleménce Roy-Darisse, scriptwriter, and Adam Reid, musical director.

Eleanor Crowder is an actor, a writer and a director who has worked professionally in Canadian theatre for four decades.  Her own devised and scripted work runs from first impulse in Family Stories with Kate Grier, to grand scale, with casts of 30 in The Chinese Bowl, GLEEbe, the Musical and Family in A Box.

For Bear & Co., Eleanor has directed Tis Pity She’s A Whore, an all-male Taming of the Shrew, The Glass Menagerie, The Tempest and Macbeth. For Salamander Theatre and Shakespeare Young Company, she has directed over 20 outdoor productions of Shakespeare. She was founding Artistic Director of Salamander Theatre from 1990 to 2001, winning a Tolgesy Award for her contribution to the arts in Ottawa in 2002.  She has taught at Concordia University and Algonquin College.  For 20 years, she led Salamander’s Shakespeare Camp, producing full-length productions outdoors with youth aged 10 through 18.

Clémence Roy-Darisse is a young artist passionate about words and theatre since the age of ten years. She is currently studying at the Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe theatre school for acting and taking drama classes to become a script writer. Her first play Profile will be played as part of the Carte Blanche at Espace René-Provost in the 2017-2018 season. For Clémence, theatre exists to be engaged and to relay social messages. She fundamentally believes in the benefit of the arts to change society, transform it and question it. Her passion is also Community Theatre because she tries to mirror a community, and in so doing gives voice and power. In the Overbrook project, the writing of the script will be strongly inspired by actors from the community itself, representing the diversity and the real and relevant issues of the community in question. Her mandate is simply to write to give them the floor.

Adam Reid completed both a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa. As a former member of the Opera Lyra Chorus, the Ewashko Singers, the NAC Pops Chorus and the Calixa Lavallée Chamber Choir, Adam has acquired an impressive singing background. He is also active in musical theatre as an actor, pit band musician and music director. While at University of Ottawa, he studied Choral Conducting with Laurence Ewashko and Orchestral Conducting with David Currie.

A distinguished educator, Adam is currently teaching musical theatre with Ottawa Children’s Theatre and Stagecraft. He has spent many years teaching private piano, voice, guitar and drum lessons, and is the former choir director and organist for two rural choirs in Lanark and Balderson, Ontario. He is frequently seen working as a substitute accompanist/coach for Ottawa choirs, theatre companies and private music programs.

Who are our Community Partners?

We would like to thank our community partners in this project who have been involved from the start.

Rideau-Rockcliff CRC
Ottawa Community Housing

Who are our major funders?

Who are our supporters and donors?

What is the timing for production of the Musical?

  • Story-gathering – January to June 2017
  • Gathering the Cast (auditions) – April  2017
  • Cast Workshops – June and July 2017
  • Song-writing workshops – July 2017
  • Auditions II – 13 September 2017
  • Rehearsals – Wednesday evenings from 20 September to 15 November 2017,  and Sunday 19 November from 1 to 5 pm
  • Technical Rehearsal – 22 November 2017
  • Dress Rehearsal – 23 November 2017
  • Performances – 7 pm, Friday, 24 November; 7 pm Saturday, 25 November; 4 pm, Sunday, 25 November 2017

Where will the Musical be performed?

In the Auditorium of Ottawa Technical Secondary School, 485 Donald Street

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