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  • Writer's picture9th Hour Theatre Company

'Coming Out of Crisis' Theatre Workshop

Exploring and expressing hurt and hope through physical ensemble theatre

The last few years have been difficult for most people, whether it be fractured relationships, loss of community and connectedness, canceled careers and opportunities, or a decline in health. We believe physical ensemble theatre can help you connect to your body, mind, and soul, as well as help to process what you've experienced.

What hurt you most about the last few years? What did you lose? What did you miss doing or being?

What do you hope for in the next part of your life? What do you find hope in?

Join a community of artists and others who will listen to and validate your story through theatre practices.

PREPARATION: Write out your answers to the above questions. Be prepared to share them during the workshop, and have them explored theatrically with the group.

PARTICIPATION: Any person 16 years or older. No experience in theatre is necessary. All are welcome. The space is fully accessible by wheelchair.

WHEN: Saturday, March 4th, 2023 (10am-5pm)

WHERE: Downtown Ottawa near the Rideau Centre

REGISTRATION: We're able to offer this full day professional workshop at a highly affordable cost of only $20 per participant (value $150). Space is limited, so to secure a spot, please register no later than March 3rd by emailing and tell us a bit about yourself.

Read further for more details about the company, workshop facilitators, and general workshop outline.

About Us

The company's purpose is to explore, examine, and express the big ideas and questions relating to faith, spirituality, and the human experience. Read More. The company defines physical ensemble theatre as working together to tell a story in which all performers take on multiple roles and are all equally essential in telling the story. The emphasis is on high touch, high impact, expressive sound and movement, often involving close contact.

Meet Our Facilitators

ERICA O'REILLY - As a spiritual counsellor, ordained minister (through the Sacred Stream Foundation; in Berkeley, California), and sacred storyteller, Erica's heart and soul centred work is grounded in creating sacred spaces where souls feel seen and heard. She believes in the embodied healing power of the human body and spirit; and that there is powerful medicine in storytelling. Website: | Instagram: @alight.wellness | Facebook: Alight Wellness & Services

We asked Erica a few questions about the workshop. WATCH WHAT SHE SAYS

GEORGE DUTCH - George has contributed to 9th Hour’s mandate since its inception as an actor, dramaturge, assistant director, and artistic associate. He studied Acting at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and taught a performance class for 3 years in a theatre program at Charles Darwin University in Australia. He has participated in and conducted 250+ group drama therapy sessions in Ottawa since 1992. He owns and operates a career counselling practice, has an M.A. from Athabasca University, and is a member of the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association. Website:

ESTHER SANGALLI - Esther has been captivated by the ensemble style of theatre that 9th Hour presents since her daughter had a role in Godspell in 2018. Fascinated by the collaborative creative process, Esther joined the company in a supportive role on the Board of Directors. Esther is an open and perceptive leader who sees deep into the heart and embrace the best in people, even at their worst. Certified by the Institute for Coaching Mastery, Esther expertly maps and navigated complex relationships, emotions, and connections between heart, soul, mind and body. She is a sharply intuitive coach, fearless explorer of the heart, and tireless champion of love, self-care, and harmonious relationship.

JONATHAN HARRIS - In addition to being 9th Hour's Producing Artistic Director, Jonathan is a versatile performing artist, athlete, director, writer, and musician inspired by stories that elevate our thinking and stir our souls, and devoted to seeing them imaginatively brought to life through the magic and collaborative practice of ensemble theatre. Jonathan has years of experience in youth work and LGBTQ issues, including youth counseling and youth ministry across Ontario with The Gathering House, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, facilitating youth leadership programs at Camp IAWAH, and volunteering with street engaged youth in the Innercity Arts Program for Ottawa Innercity Ministries.

Workshop Details & Outline

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Participants are responsible for their own lunch.

Participants should dress comfortably with clothing and footwear suitable for movement.

The workshop begins at 10am sharp and ends at 5pm sharp with a 1 hour lunch break at 1pm.

No experience in theatre is necessary and all are welcome to participate.

Contact to register.

Introductions & ensemble formation exercises (30 min)

Participation agreement, physical & voice warm-up (30 min)

Exploring & expressing hurt exercises in partners (45 min)

Exploring & expressing hope exercises in partners and group (45 min)

Group debrief: ideas and experience sharing (30 min)

Lunch Break (60 min)

Concept exploration as large group (15 min)

Theatre piece development in small groups (45 min)

Presentation & feedback as large group (45 min)

Theatre piece redevelopment in small groups (30 min)

Final presentations as large group (15 min)

Group debrief of entire workshop (30 min)

NOTE: The schedule above includes regular short breaks. It is a general outline with some details and times subject to change.

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