Staff Profile – Farwah Gheewala, Education Manager
How long have you worked at Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what your job consists of lately.
I’ve been at Soulpepper for almost 7 years working in the Education/Community Department, first as coordinator and currently as manager. We are a small, but very busy department offering theatre-based programs to the youth of our city throughout the year. We work with hundreds of kids each year, through our school programs, on-site outreach programs and community partnerships. We are currently gearing up for three programs that begin next week – a March Break one-week intensive, Curtain Up, a program through which city youth work with an artist on a specific discipline (acting, design, improvisation, etc.) and then see a Soulpepper show, culminating with a private talkback with cast members, and finally, an Alumni Program to graduates of our youth program. This program is very close to my heart because I love seeing kids come back to their Soulpepper home and keep our community vibrant with their energy and enthusiasm.
What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in outside of work?
Outside of work, I am currently finishing a Certificate Program in Community & Social Services. I took this program so I could learn more about the types of community resources and organizations that are out there. Through this training, my hope is to be able to have a better understanding of how to reach out to more members of our community and to develop the necessary tools to be able to interact with various participants and manage our relationships appropriately and effectively.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
I became a Canadian Citizen last year which gave me access to the Cultural Access Pass for a full year. I have used this pass as an opportunity to visit museums, go to concerts and the theatre throughout the year, for FREE! I recently went to Ottawa and visited the Canadian War Museum using this pass. It has been a culture-filled year and I am thrilled to have been exposed to so many cultural activities that I would not ordinarily have access to. Other than that, I am a big “Crafts Nerd” these days – making hand-made cards, bookmarks, and other fun quick crafts that help me relax after a long day at work.
What do you love about working at Soulpepper?
For me, Soulpepper is not just a place of work – it’s a community, a family. Besides managing and delivering arts-based educational programs, I have the privilege of working with some of the best artists, teachers and colleagues at Soulpepper and I am inspired by them every day. Above all, I have worked with hundreds of young people from this city through the years, which has had a deep impact on me –the way I perceive learning. I have learned SO much from the younger people in this city – about art, about openness and about being raw and real – which sometimes we lose as adults. Soulpepper embraces all artists, young and old, emerging and seasoned, and I feel so privileged to be part of such an organization.
Photo: Nathan Kelly