“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson  

 The analogy which subjects the individual as a puppet or conjectures life as the ultimate stage and humans as amateur ‘un-rehearsed’ actors, though in its quote-like and melodramatic sense, leashes out to manipulate the perspective of many abstracted eyes. ‘The Moral of the Story’-based theatrical performances are designed to empower and educate the invisible universe–which is scientifically-acknowledged as the cerebrum and commonly known as the human brain–of young children and youth. As one is envisioning theatrical screenplays which illustrate ethical commandments while experiencing the vividness of their unconscious mind during REM, brown-feathered dream catchers mischievously steal these unconscious realities and resurrect them to life, thus forming — Otesha: A Reason to Dream. These dreamers are the beams of shining moonlight which secure the night sky and tower the building of Applewood Heights! These marvellous creatures used their theatrical talents and righteous doctrines to produce the longest-standing Otesha Project in Ontario. The ideology behind the club’s theme stems from the headquarters located in the nation’s capital, Ottawa. The Otesha Project is a youth-led, charitable, and non-profit organization that utilizes the essence of dramatic arts with the element of sustainability. As the character of the ‘good guy’ enters the skins of these performing-students and eliminates the monstrous-venomous negativities that were previously present inside the performer, the youth audience influentially learns to make sustainable lifestyle choices and consumer decisions. With the vision of The Otesha Project in thought: “…to see sustainable consumption and lifestyle choices enter the mainstream of Canadian culture. The project is founded on the idea that every individual has the power to make choices that affect that world. The idea that step by step, choice by choice, we can build a more sustainable future by building community, making conscious lifestyle choices and reducing consumption”, these performers attended weekly meetings to practice and learn new skits, and are guided by Mrs. McConnell and Ms. Austin. The positively-impacted youths incremented in roman numerals, as the club performed to many classes in Applewood, as well as, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton for Eco-Festival. The club members repeatedly performed a skit constructed by the masterminds from the Otesha headquarters, called “A Reason to Dream”, which inked images of calligraphy on stage, as it featured the story of a male protagonist exposed to the acid-raining negativities, present on Earth. The protagonist’s eyes engaged and marked the negative human-made impacts Earth was exhibiting, both environmentally and socially. Soon after, he decided to write a report on his strict views and concluded his theory by stating that that all individuals influence the world and most individuals are capable of making choices, therefore, we should revise our choices and make decisions which will make Earth more sustainable and a socially acceptable place to reside in. “A Reason to Dream” wasn’t only an entertainment-based performance enriched by the Otesha Project, these dreaming actors reacted the skit by resurrecting it into everyday life. The club members emphasized their grand baby steps by reinforcing environmental friendliness in their school. As the bell rang and the students clustered the busy halls of Applewood, they were intrigued by splashy papers nailed to the bulletin boards. The club members developed snippets of information which included small ideas that reflected how one can positively impact the society and the environment. Through the basis of their performance, both on stage and off, it is evident that an artist is not one who performs their art to be honoured with fame and fortune. A positive character is not commendable if played on stage and forgotten in the real world. A dreamer is not one who forgets their reason to dream while tasting the unenlightened possibilities of life. An artist, character, and dreamer scars the negativities in the world by enveloping their positive arms around the globe.

By: Ruchika Dalawari

Crefits: Mrs. McConnell and Innex C