Kaleidoscope Theatre Productions Society

Creating theatre experiences that stimulate and inspire young people since 1974

The cast of James and the Giant Peach - Nov 2016Our Impact Why We Exist

Our history as a professional theatre company has been marked by artistic endeavours that push boundaries, innovate and explore diverse worlds for young people and their families. Whether it is the presentation of new works, or reimaginging the classics, Kaleidoscope works with local artists to create a world of imagination and wonder.

Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People was established in Victoria, British Columbia in 1974. Under founding artistic director Elizabeth Gorrie, the company played a significant role in the early years of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) in Canada, commissioning more than 100 new plays or original adaptations, and performing for hundreds of thousands of children at home, across the country, and abroad.

Current Artistic Director Roderick Glanville was appointed in 2011, after working with the company over a 25 year period as an Actor, Director, Playwright and Teacher. He has maintained the role of Kaleidoscope as a "full service theatre," with resident productions at the McPherson Playhouse, an annual Family Theatre Festival, outreach activities throughout the community, and, of course, theatre classes for young people ages two to 20, through the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Studio (KPAS). 

Our Story What We Do

Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People is the only TYA company located on Vancouver Island that provides a true theatrical experience, with all Main Stage performances being offered in the beautiful Edwardian-styled 800 seat McPherson Playhouse. We present two major productions each year that are attended by a general family audience, as well as organized school groups, and a major musical over the holiday period. In addition, we offer an annual Family Theatre Festival, now in its fifth year, which showcases our own work as well as that of other Vancouver Island theatre, music and dance artists. Our work features original scripts every year, as well as classic stories told with imagination and creative interpretation.

Our  2016/2017 season features productions of James and the Giant Peach, a musical, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and a bi-lingual (English/French) version of The Little Prince. As one of only a few professional theatre companies on the Island (TYA and non-TYA), Kaleidoscope plays an important role in the ecology of Vancouver Island artists, assisting in building the belief that an artist can live here and be successful. Kaleidoscope collaborates with many artists from a broad spectrum – choreographers, visual artists, composers, musicians, dancers, mask and puppet builders, and established and emerging playwrights. Through KPAS, we are also providing the opportunity for experienced industry professionals to share their craft with young actors. We serve a broad range of audiences and therefore provide a wide range of programming for these audiences. Our mandate/mission/artistic work is not targeted to a narrow bandwidth of the artistic spectrum. Being the only resident TYA company in a smaller urban centre, we respond by reaching out to serve the full range of ages and needs within the TYA umbrella.

Our Programs How We Do It

By moving our performances to the McPherson Playhouse, we have successfully reached out to a larger, more diverse audience, but this comes at a significant cost.

The fact that the facility itself is very expensive to use is well known within our community. This is due to a combination of factors, but at the end of the day, the McPherson is the best equipped theatre facility in the region and we are privileged to have access to it.

The size of the theatre and the stage presents its own challenges for our designers and performers. You can go into a school gym with a small backdrop and a couple of chairs. To perform on the stage at the McPherson requires complex scenary, elaborate costumes, subtle lighting effects and microphones for every performer (that's 25 for our annual musical!). We try to solve those challenges by using the community's resources as best we can. 

At the same time, we are committed to keeping ticket prices for our Main Stage and Family Theatre Festival productions accessible and affordable. We will also continue our program of free tickets to children from under-privileged backgrounds. One new innovation is getting a bus sponsor to make it easier for schools to get their students to our performances. While it is less expensive and easier in many ways to tour into the schools themselves, Kaleidoscope is committed to presenting the bulk of our season in fully equipped theatres.

What You Can Do

There are so many ways to help Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People:

* serve on the Board of Directors

* volunteer for one of our many committees

* make in kind donations (a locking legal sized file cabinet anyone?)

* sponsor a production (at levels from $1,000 to $10,000)

* make a personal donation



Marcus Handman`
Executive Director
Charitable Number: 118976885RR0001

Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 400,000