New Alumni Company project

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure — that’s the idea behind “Made from Skratch”, CCPA’s Alumni Company summer project lead by Ryan Reid.

Ryan is a Canadian performer and puppet director based in Toronto. The CCPA alumni has donned many roles in stage, film, and television. But perhaps most notable here is his work with the acclaimed National Theatre Production War Horse. Ryan played the heart of one of the life-sized horse puppets in the Toronto production of War Horse. In 2013 Ryan moved to Germany to join the cast of the Berlin production of War Horse, where he was also the puppet director.

A committed environmentalist, Ryan is taking his passion for puppetry and the planet and teaching workshops in Victoria while his team of collaborators work to build a theatrical showcase based on Canada’s history as well as its current climate.

About the Project

“Made From Skratch” is a group of artists from all backgrounds and disciplines working together to create a show that looks closely at the habits and patterns of the local community. Their query: How can we build a show with no set concept and create a full scale one act play within a few short weeks? Their goal is to help the local community in as many ways as possible while gathering the information necessary to design and build on their Canada-wide production.

“Made From Skratch” has a mandate to build all puppets and sets from 80-90% reclaimed and salvaged items. The show will focus on habits, and patterns of consumption within our community and our daily lives.

So how does this group bring the puppets to the people? “Made From Skratch” has been touring Victoria with their puppetry workshops for the past few weeks visiting preschools, secondary schools, and seniors’ residences. The team also hosted a few in-house workshops for community artists and the Victoria Home Learners Network. The workshop has four iterations, each appealing to a different age range and, by extension, skill sets and life experiences.

After nearly a dozen workshops the team is winding down this discovery phase to reflect on the community’s input. Stay tuned as we follow the progress of this exciting project.


About the Alumni Company

We feel artists have an important role to play in the community. The arts can assist in encouraging creative communication, critical thinking and inspired imagination in our youth, and revitalizing and energizing our seniors. That’s why the Canadian Heritage Arts Society offers the opportunity for our alumni to create programming that can be presented to or in partnership with different sectors of the community. It is our hope to engage these community members, not only as audiences but as partner creators and artists themselves building performances based on their life stories and experiences.

Historically we have delivered this program in city centred high schools. We’d like to be able to get further afield into communities outside larger city centres, where getting access to this kind of programming is limited. Our vision is to make the arts accessible to all regions, including socio-economic and geographically challenged areas.