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Theatre & Cross Creativity 2024

Creative Rehearsal Period

May 6 - 18, 2024

Orillia Opera House

Calling Youth with a Story!

Arts Orillia is looking for five Youth artists who are passionate about collaboration, leadership, and theatre. We are inviting you to join us at the Orillia Opera House for a two week creative process from May 6th - 16th from 4pm to 8pm. You will work collaboratively with Artistic Director, Simon Malbogat of Mixed Company Theatre, and participate in daily workshops to create an original "Forum Theatre" script and performance score that centres on current Youth issues. At the end of the two weeks, this project will culminate in two general public presentations at the Orillia Opera House on Friday May 17th and Saturday May 18th at 7:30pm. 

Artistic Director

Simon Malbogat.jpg

Simon Malbogat

Simon Malbogat has been a key player in Canada’s popular theatre scene for over 25 years. He has studied with the greatest contemporary theatre practitioners (Augusto Boal, Jerzy Grotowski, Eugenio Barba, Yoshi Oida) and blended Forum Theatre with his Masks of Manipulation for an innovative theatre and teaching approach.


As MCT’s Artistic Director, Simon has worked extensively in engaging communities including street-involved youth, children, seniors, educators, parents, mental health professionals and artists through Forum Theatre and the interactive arts approach. His vision has been to create positive social change through community-engaged theatre across a wide range of social themes including mental wellbeing, education, HIV awareness, intergenerational relationships, diversity and inclusion, as well as relationships. Simon’s recent successful community-engaged productions have been Out of the Illusion (2015), Day on the Shore (2015), Shelf Life (2016), The Golden (C)age (2017), Breaking the Cycle (2018) and In Your Head (2019).

During the pandemic Simon developed a methodology to create forum theatre presentations virtually for communities and schools such as Culture Clash and Consent Matters. Simon directed the virtual FT plays The Code Blue for the University of Saskatchewan and healthcare organizations dealing with harassment. He directed Two-Sided Mirror exploring the theme of depression and I Carry With Me looking at the theme of race and privilege in 2023.

Simon has provided workshop creation, direction and facilitation for young people ages 14 to 18, resulting in over 40 theatre forum plays. Other youth group projects have involved the Community Initiative Project, Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club, the East End Community Health Centre, the Sears Drama Festival for Youth, the Social Planning Council of Peel and the Toronto West End Community. International workshops for youth have taken him to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Ukraine on three separate occasions.

Simon has directed and acted in over 50 new Canadian works, many of which many are now seen as important benchmarks in the development of Canadian theatre. He has played key roles in numerous plays by the Chalmer’s award winner Rex Deverell; David Fennario’s On The Job, Nothing to Lose, Banana Boots which won the Montreal Gazette’s Best New Play and Joe Beef which won the Pauline Julienne Award.

Teaching credits include The University of Toronto, York University, Humber College, Queen’s and Brock University. In 1997 Simon created The Ripple Effect: 8th International Festival of the Theatre of the Oppressed which presented 450 artists from over 22 countries. He also produced The Open Stage Toronto Theatre Festival, The Canadian Popular Theatre Alliance Festival and From the Ground Up: The National Festival of Canadian Theatre.

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