March 2017: Bethany Lister
March's Featured Artist is Bethany Lister, a Brantford-born actress who has been performing for as long as she can remember.
Lister has wanted to be an actress since she was a child, noting that in fourth grade she was "outraged" that she had to wait until grade 6 to be allowed to audition for her school's Christmas play. She was so adamant about being included that she and some friends stayed in during recess to develop their own production, which was performed for their grade 4 classmates. She was cast in the school's production as soon as she was able to audition.
Lister enjoys working in many different aspects of theatre production, including costume and lighting design, directing, acting, and teaching, and this flexibility has given her the chance to grow her craft from the ground up. "Being able to experience every aspect of theatre gives a unique application for the entire process," she notes. "We are putting on an entire experience and if you want to do well in one aspect you need respect for all parts."
She emphasizes that the one person who really inspired her was her high school drama teacher, Mrs. Townsend. "Before high school," she says, "I loved acting and I loved theatre, but I really didn't understand or appreciate it. [Mrs. Townsend] taught me everything I know. She showed me that a show is so much more than its actors, and that you can't just be handed a script and be expected to act."
As a performing artist, Lister encourages other creative people to never give up. "I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. If it is something that you are passionate baout, you will find a way to make it happen." Most recently, Lister worked with ICHTHYS Theatre on their production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. You can see her next in ICHTHYS Theatre's production of The God Committee on June 16-18 and 23-25 at Banbury Heights School. She praises ICHTHYS Theatre for welcoming her with open arms, "You are not always so lucky to find a theatre company that is so welcoming to new talents... they are truly open to everyone, and when I came to audition, I was met with enthusiasm. They are an amazing company."
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