About Purple Carrots
Purple Carrots Drama Studio is an inclusive space which encourages growth in self awareness and social skills through the arts. Combining elements of drama, play therapy, dance, visual art and relaxation, we help our students explore their full potential in a safe, supportive and fun environment.
We provide the following services:
Year-Round Inclusive Drama Workshops: Weekly drama classes for all ages (2 to adult) that run for 8 weeks during winter, spring and fall culminating in a final performance for family and friends. These theme-based classes aim to improve self-awareness and social skills through: drama improvisation, movement, visual art, scene work and relaxation. Graduates of our adult drama classes are eligible to audition for The Purple Stage, an affiliated professional theatre company for neurodiverse actors.
With an 8 student maximum per class, each student is given individualized attention regarding their specific strengths and challenges. Teacher-to-student ratio is decided based on the needs of each class, though the standard ratio is two teachers per class.
March Break and Summer Camps: Week-long inclusive day camps for ages 6 to adult . These art-fusion camps are drama based and include guest professionals who teach: yoga, visual art, drumming, music/singing and movement. These theme-based camps aim to improve self-awareness and social skills through the arts and end with an open session for family and friends. Max. Class Size: 8
School Programming: Purple Carrots Drama Studio is an approved educational partner with the Toronto District School Board. We offer two types of programs for the TDSB and private schools: The Green Program for neurodiverse students, and The Orange Program for neurotypical students. The Green Program is play-based and similar to our year-round drama workshops- where facilitators respond to teachable moments that arise during the creative process. The Orange program explores self-awareness, empathy and conflict resolution through drama for students who are able to engage in higher level group problem solving.
Max Class Size: 30.
Expressive Arts Therapy: Private and group expressive arts therapy sessions are offered on request. Expressive arts therapy helps people of all ages with mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression, through both talk therapy and the use of various art forms.
What we do
Meet the staff!
I founded Purple Carrots Drama Studio in 2015 as a natural next step in my career as a speech-language pathologist, actress and drama teacher. Throughout the years of working with individuals with diverse needs I have been most inspired by witnessing how play can improve self awareness and social skills and provide a platform for meaningful friendships to be made and maintained.
My mission and that of this company is to provide an accepting and inclusive space where students can explore their creativity, self expression and social interactions through the arts. We empower our students by helping them recognize and develop their individual strengths and by valuing their unique talents.
I am truly grateful for my loving, committed staff and the many families who have been a part of this journey so far.
Mjaa is a graduate of Humber College, where she received a Bachelor of Music in Voice. Her theatre experience started in performance and expanded to teaching singing, music and drama for various companies including Purple Carrots Drama Studio. Mjaa has been a part of the Purple Carrots team for almost three years, where she has been lucky enough to experience the incredible and meaningful impact the arts often have on students and their families. She has a huge heart and is motivated by seeing personal growth in her students. Mjaa looks forward to many more exciting workshops!
Alana Perri is an Expressive Arts Therapy Practitioner located in Toronto, ON. Her life-long love for the Arts has led her to be a member of the theatre community since she was 8 years old, including 4 years of Improvisational theatre. Performance has offered her a platform in which to create something from nothing and she fell in love with the magical experience that is Dramatic Arts.
In 2013, she graduated from Brock University’s Drama in Education and Society program and in 2016 she completed her Expressive Arts Therapy training at The CREATE Institute of Toronto leading her to become a member in good standing with the Ontario Expressive Arts Association. Alana believes not everyone has been called on to be a professionally skilled artist but many individuals engage in artistic activities because they provide a sense of accomplishment, a greater sense of self, and an outer expression of the inner-self; something not always accessible with talk-based therapies. Alana is compelled to provide the Arts as a therapeutic tool to anyone willing to play, share, and explore.
Jordan is a queer performance artist and creator. He trained in physical and devised theatre at Humber College where he joined forces with classmate Maddie Bautista to form xLq; a body of POP ART performance based in physical training and contemporary ritual. xLq is currently developing VHS1 (July 2017) and 4inXchange (commissioned by Nightswimming). Jordan recently performed in the Youth/Elders Project at Buddies in Bad Times and is currently a part-time pirate with Pirate Life. Other favourite performance credits include: The Stranger (DLT, Daniele Bartolini) and The Clowns (Theatre Smith-Gilmour).
In addition to creating and performing, Jordan has always loved working with young people. He has worked for over 10 years as a camp counsellor, creative collaborator, director and facilitator to tons of creative young people in various contexts such as summer camps, after school programs and workshops.
Eliza is a Toronto based actor, writer and arts educator. She has had the privilege of working and volunteering with children and youth for ten years - having worked in overnight camps, day camps, childcare centres, tutoring programs, outdoor education centres and drama programs. After working as the Program Director of YMCA Camp Belwood for two years, Eliza began to work for the YMCA in Toronto, as an ECA in the Childcare Centre of a TDSB Elementary School. Eliza worked for three years in the Early Learning Program (Kindergarten) and ran a drama enrichment program for the preschool classes. Eliza has volunteered for companies such as Children's Arts Theatre School and Young People's Theatre. At present, Eliza continues to work in Early Childhood Education for the Y, and for Shakespeare in Action as an Actor-Educator. Eliza has also created and launched her own arts education initiative: Queen Bees Arts Education.
Eliza works as a professional actor and has written and workshopped two one-woman shows: O (2014, 2016, 2017) and Harvey & The Extraordinary (2017). Eliza is an alumna of the 2013 Hangar Theatre Lab Academy in Ithaca, New York, and a graduate of the Theatre and Drama Studies program at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College (Theatre Specialist, English Major). Eliza is thrilled to be working with Purple Carrots, knowing how impactful, inspiring and transformative arts education can be.
Micahela is a singer-songwriter, sound therapy practitioner, yoga teacher, storyteller, and arts facilitator. She is honoured to hold space for self-discovery and imagination to be explored and nurtured with people of all ages and abilities. Michaela is a passionate advocate for the arts as a tool for fostering stronger community, communication, self confidence and holistic wellbeing.
Michaela hails from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, where she worked for two seasons as an actor with the Shaw Festival Theatre. She had the joy of growing up with the theatre community and learning life lessons such as self expression, body awareness and active listening. Michaela completed her BA from the University of Toronto in English, Drama and Music, with an emphasis on musicology and community health. She is a certified yoga teacher and sound therapy practitioner offering regular yoga classes, sound baths, and community wellness gatherings across Toronto for youth, elders, and everyone in between.
Michaela believes all humans have a unique gift and story to tell. She is so happy to be a part of the Purple Carrots Drama Studio team, supporting the development of inclusive spaces where everyone is welcomed to unleash their innate super powers within a safe and supportive community circle.
Alicia is a Creative Arts Therapist and arts facilitator with a passion for movement. Her love of teaching children was sparked in her teens when she began teaching at her dance studio in Barrie, ON. Alicia deepened her relationship with movement, choreography and pedagogy at York University where she earned her BFA in Dance in 2006. Between 2003 and 2011 she produced/co-produced and choreographed seven multidisciplinary performances in Toronto, including the dance/theatre production of an original feminist fairy tale called “Ella and the Rat” (2011). After university Alicia coupled her penchant for teaching with her desire to travel, spending two years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, where she infused her lessons with dance, music and play. Her belief in the transformative and healing power of the arts led her to study Drama Therapy at Concordia University and earn her Master’s degree in 2016. Alicia is thrilled to be a part of the Purple Carrots team, where she continues to witness the power of using the creative arts as a platform for learning, self expression, and human connection.
Steph Crothers is a graduate of both internationally acclaimed clown school Ecole Philippe Gaulier and Humber Theatre Performance Program. She is an enthusiast of theatre, aerial skills, attempting to be musical, laughter, the outside, magic, all things 80's, and making stuff with her hands. She is a camp girl at heart having worked and attended both Camp Gay Venture and Camp Oconto. A proud Slytherin and believer that, though the world is a big place, it is the stories we share with strangers we meet that make it seem small. When Steph is not working as an actor or educator she is the proud co-producer and host of Girl Gang Cabarets; an unboxed and/or feminist variety show.
Who will most benefit from our program?
will benefit from improved: social skills, self expression, language, communication, body awareness, confidence, imagination, abstract thinking, creativity and team work
want to explore the magic of drama
or just want to make new friends
... these classes are for you!
During our initial meeting, we will decide together, whether private or group drama classes are most likely to benefit the student. This will depend on whether the student appears ready for the demands of a group class.
Purple Carrots drama studio creates a joyous community for children, youth and adults.
Thank you to the following donors, friends and supporters for playing an integral role in sprouting Purple Carrots:
Cailleah Scott-Grimes www.cailleahscottgrimes.com
Michelle Oliveira www.marketingyourbusiness.ca
Nancy Bent & Alicia Xavier @ Geneva centre for autism http://www.autism.net
Stacey Brookes @ ldat www.ldatd.on.ca
Clara & Pascual Mangone
Susan Scott http://susanlscott.twohornedbull.ca
Ron Grimes http://ronaldlgrimes.twohornedbull.ca
Bryn Scott-Grimes www.brynscottgrimes.com