Trent Arterberry is an internationally travelled performing artist and director of the soon-to-be world-famous West-Mont Montessori Mime Club. Trent has conducted sixteen artist-in-residence programs for elementary, middle and secondary students on Vancouver Island. Trent's residencies involve working with a group of students for two to six weeks to create and stage a show performed in a school or community setting. Sourcing material from Shakespeare and Dickens, contemporary Canadian and British playwrights, student writing, and children's books, Trent works to create a safe, inclusive and respectful atmosphere that encourages students to bring out their best. Trent has used themes such as environmentalism, historical figures, great women inventors, twisted fairy tales and the underdog character to engage students in using their voices, bodies and imaginations to create enriching and entertaining shows. Students develop literary skills, physical and vocal abilities and the self-esteem that results from a well-received performance.
His touch with the students was, at times, almost collegial as they worked toward a shared but always negotiable vision. He managed to get the best out of them as performers by modeling, well-earned praise or simple firm direction when time proved pressing. The whole project was best summed up by an experienced, but known-to-be highly critical colleague, after the show. 'Now that,' she cooed, 'was just superb.' I really cannot recommend Trent highly enough. Phil Duchene, Instructor of Drama Education, University of Victoria
Trent taught students theatrical skills, which included mime and drama to interpret stories focusing on the theme of the underdog. Trent's mentorship encouraged participants to use their voices and bodies in a bigger, more creative way. Students loved transforming into butterflies, bulls, bees, frogs and buffalos! His teaching process inspired them to collaborate, to improvise, and to take on characters and roles that enlarged their empathy and point of view. I highly recommend Trent Arterberry. Laurie Gitzel, Literacy Support Teacher, Journey Middle School, Sooke
I see all the co-creation, co-operation and empowerment - a chance to speak up and be heard and seen and praised for that. The play (Shakespeare's Greatest Hits) was vibrant and playful and it felt like the kids had lots of fun with it. I love how Trent taught the kids with so much kindness and purpose. Laura Simul, Parent, Frogsong Farm Waldorf School, Cobble Hill
Trent wrote an original reimagining of the Dicken's classic featuring Ebenezer Scrooge as a corporate polluter. With over forty student performers and faculty-provided live music, this was a rousing and touching performance for an audience of over two hundred school community members.
A collage of great scenes from several of Shakespeare's plays woven into a coherent production. We used Pyramus and Thisbe from Midsummer Night's Dream as the anchor piece along with scenes from MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, several sonnets and live music, to create a very satisfying production.
The heart of this project was a desire to inspire students who often feel unsuccessful in school. Students diagnosed with learning disabilities (LD) struggle with reading and writing skills, which undermines their self-confidence. By using gestural, visual and other modes of literacy, the project empowered LD students to represent their learning in new and exciting ways. By creating a playful and safe learning environment, Middle School students were encouraged and were able to perform and very successful production to younger students.