Despite the pandemic and being inactive this season, Stone Fence Theatre is maintaining its tradition of recognition and support for local high school graduates who have been active in the performing arts.
The company, which has been "putting the Ottawa Valley onstage" since 2003, donates to four local high schools - Equinoxe, Fellowes, Madawaska Valley, Opeongo - which select bursary recipients.
"Our company recognizes the incredible work students across the county‚ have given to the arts," said Chantal Elie-Sernoskie, Creative Director of Stone Fence Theatre and a cultural animator at Equinoxe in Pembroke. "From step-dancing, to piano, to musical theatre, Renfrew County is blessed to enjoy and nurture their passions. Stone Fence Theatre recognizes and is thankful that so many volunteer students have brought vitality and energy to the company."
This year's bursary recipients are Maddy Baird (Fellowes), Jordan Amo (Equinoxe), Luna Nordholt-McPhee (Opeongo), and Andrew Sernoskie (Madawaska Valley). Maddy plans to attend Queen's University for Visual Arts. She has been in competitive dancing with Atyeo's Dance Studio for many years and has taken visual arts and photography at Fellowes .
Jordan, Luna and Andrew have all been active with Stone Fence Theatre productions. Luna has played roles with the company since 2012, as well as acting at Opengo High School and with Ottawa theatre companies. She plans to attend Randolph College in Toronto. Jordan, who has enjoyed playing onstage and being a comedian at Equinoxe, has worked as a technical assistant with Stone Fence Theatre and will be attending Algonquin College in Pembroke. Andrew has drummed in groups around the Valley and volunteered with Stone Fence Theatre . He will also be attending Algonquin College in Ottawa. "We hope to continue helping students engage in the company through volunteering in the kitchen staff, box office, assistance to the technical team and, of course, onstage," said Ms. Elie-Sernoskie.
"We know it is not an easy time for these graduates or any students," she said. "We know, however, that we will need their energy and intelligence to sort things out, and we wish them the best."