Since 1989, almost one million young audience members have been introduced to classical music through Platypus Theatre. After more than 500 performances with more than 60 orchestras worldwide, Platypus has established itself as one of North America’s premiere music education theatre companies. Original and engaging storylines are presented in an intelligent and interactive way, with music always taking the lead role. Children laugh, sing and empathize with the characters while learning musical concepts, styles, and much more. In 2006, one of Platypus’ most cherished productions How the Gimquat Found her Song was produced for TV and went on to win several awards including Best Children’s Program at the prestigious Banff World Television Festival. In 1991, Platypus was the subject of a nationally broadcast documentary on CTV, followed by a PBS full-performance broadcast in 2000. During its 25th anniversary year, Platypus will premiere its eighth original production, Latin Beats, Heroic Feats, in partnership with four orchestras across Canada. Other Platypus Productions include Emily Saves the Orchestra, Rhythm in your Rubbish, Bach to the Future, Charlotte and the Music-Maker, Flicker of Light on a Winter’s Night, and Peter and the Wolf.
Peter Duschenes - Writer, Director, Actor
Thousands of young classical music fans have Peter to thank for introducing them to symphonic music. He co-founded the Platypus Theatre touring company in 1989 to make orchestral music accessible for youth, and more than half a million concert-goers have benefitted from his creativity. As an award-winning playwright, Peter’s writing credits include - among others - all eight Platypus productions, the television adaptation of How the Gimquat Found Her Song which won Best Children’s Program at the prestigious Banff World Television Festival in 2008. In addition to his roles in Platypus shows, he has also acted and directed with companies across Canada and the United States and is a recent recipient of a Chalmer’s Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council. When Peter isn’t busy helping the Gimquat find her song, he and his wife Sarah are helping their children, Magda and Theo, find their socks.
Amelia Griffin - Dancer
Amelia is one of the more graceful platypuses in the puddle, although she plays one of the most fearsome characters: THE MONSTER, Cacopholous, (and Timpy and Melody) in Emily Saves the Orchestra, as well as the Bird, Duck, Cat, Custodian, and the big bad Wolf in ‘Peter and the Wolf’. One of her favourite memories is seeing a young boy post-show, introducing herself as the monster, and seeing the look of amazement and confusion pass over his face. Outside of her work with Platypus touring company, Amelia dances professionally for Dorsale Danse, Tara Luz Danse, Théatre Dérives Urbaines, and Propeller Dance, and regularly presents her own choreographic work around Ottawa, including at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. She is also a certified Ashtanga Yoga instructor, and Yoga Therapist.
Mélissa Roy - Dancer
Mélissa is the most recent platypus to enter the puddle. She mostly plays Peter in Platypus Theatre’s newest production Peter and the Wolf, but is also sometimes a cop or a cat or a bird. There are a lot of crazy costume changes in that show. Since graduating from the professional contemporary dance program at the School of Dance in 2010, she has developed her craft as a dancer and choreographer with a number of prominent companies in Montreal and Ottawa Ontario and Quebec. In Peter and the Wolf, her favorite part is the duet between Peter and his duck. The kids in the audience always burst out laughing, and it reminds her why she loves to dance. Mélissa is also a certified Body Harmonics Pilates teacher.
Visit Platypus Theatre at http://www.platypustheatre.com