Click here to read the speech made by Frédéric Dubois, Artistic Director of the French section

*This speech was delivered on the morning of September 8, during a zoom session with the 2020-2021 first year students.

Hello everyone and welcome,

I’m Alisa Palmer. I’m the Artistic Director of the English Section and Director of the Acting and Directing Programs.


Bonjour et bienvenue,


Je m'appelle Alisa Palmer. Je suis la directrice artistique de la section anglaise et la directrice des programmes d'interprétation et de mise en scène.


Je tiens à vous souhaiter la bienvenue et à vous féliciter de votre présence ici. Vous avez travaillé très dur pour arriver à ce moment, chacun d'entre vous.


Bravo et Bravo!


I want to welcome you all today and to congratulate you on being here. You’ve worked very hard to get to this moment, each and every one of you.




I also want to acknowledge the incredibly hard work the staff, leadership, teachers and program directors have done in order to welcome you here today.


It means the world to us to be able to open the school to you and to support you in pursuing your love of theatre.


That’s why we’re here. You’re why we’re here.


We recognize that these times are indescribably difficult and that this deeply affects each and every one of you.


We’re here to support you, to listen and to learn alongside you as we chart this complex path together.


We’re here to accompany you as you challenge yourself to fulfill your potential.


And we’re here to explore what theatre can be.


To be true to theatre and to make a theatre that is true, we can’t shy away from complexities and challenging experiences.

But we can take care how we proceed.


This moment more than ever, demands that of us.


So this year, this year of so many unknowns, let’s take the opportunity to slow down so we can share our spaces mindfully, share our time carefully and share our art and our hearts with awareness and with compassion for one another and for ourselves.


In this way I believe we can overcome the obstacles that this strange time presents, together, and create theatre that speaks to the here and now; and that can inform and maybe even transform, our shared future.


There is so much that awaits each and every one of you. Even amidst all the restrictions and protocols, there is so much opportunity.


I wish you all the very best as you step forward into your time here. I invite you to lead with curiosity, compassionate curiosity. I invite you to try everything; to fail, to flail and to ultimately, to fly; to carve a path that will be your path, messy but uniquely you.   


And I look forward to meeting each of you along the way.