Colin Bruce Anthes’ path from Humber has led him to theatre and film work and multiple cities. But as the 2009 Theatre Arts – Performance grad told us via email, his passion for ensemble work remains constant.
As a director/artistic director of an ensemble company, I am about to present a workshop production of September Songs, an original devised piece examining the role of education in the age of neoliberalism. This project has emerged out of months of collective research, discussion, and physical creation, and I’m beyond proud of everyone involved. As an actor, I’m currently in rehearsals for Stolen Theatre Collective’s production of Daniel MacIvor’s House, which has been a dream role of mine ever since I saw MacIvor perform it during my first year of college. I’ll also be directing the Christmas bash for the Niagara Symphony Orchestra; it’s a special treat to jam with a full professional symphony.
The heart of my work has been as artistic director of Twitches & Itches Theatre, a physical ensemble company in St. Catharines producing a steady output of productions, workshops, and community arts projects. We started small as can be, but have grown to receive a dozen arts council grants, full houses in performing arts centres, and were recently honoured to receive a St. Catharines Arts Award as a collective. With my actor cap on, I’ve been privileged to work with over a dozen theatre and film companies in a handful of different cities, and these days I do a great deal of ambitious material with Stolen Theatre Collective. Through a very organic process, I’ve been surprised to find myself teaching everyone from young children with special needs to graduating university students. I’m lucky to have a number of collaborators who take my career in unexpected directions, a journey I’ve found deeply rewarding.
My training at Humber College is at the centre of all my work. The force of a physical ensemble training, creating, and growing together had a profound impact on my life both artistically and personally. I made a risky choice to try and build a new ensemble upon these methodologies in my home region of Niagara. The surprising success of that endeavour speaks as much to the values of the Humber program as it does to my own abilities. Since graduating from the department, I’ve had many other exemplary teachers and mentors, but I’m proud to say my artistic soul was moulded by the rigorous studio work at Humber. Several years later I still scour my school notes, and continue to learn from all I was given in that very special program.
Find out more about Colin’s work with Twitches & Itches on the company Facebook page
Photo credit: Jan DiMartino