Green Thumb Theatre creates and produces plays that explore social issues relevant to the lives of children, youth, and young adults. We provide theatre that celebrates the language and stories of today’s generation and culture to stimulate empathy, debate, and critical thinking.
To produce excellent material that is rewarding for artists and audiences alike by valuing youth engagement and artistic integrity, and by presenting content that is reflective of youth’s lived experiences.
Green Thumb Theatre was founded in 1975 to develop original Canadian plays for young audiences. Since that time, Green Thumb has emerged as one of Canada’s leading theatre companies for young people, producing exceptional and engaging material for audiences and artists, and contributing to the growing body of work evolving in this field. Green Thumb demonstrates a new excitement and potential for theatre for children, youth, and young adults. With more than four decades of quality award-winning productions, Green Thumb Theatre is still at the forefront of the Theatre in Education movement, using the emotional impact of live performance to educate and empower young people. We challenge our audience to re-examine their beliefs and prejudices, and to define their feelings and aspirations. Green Thumb believes that young Canadians face the same scope of issues, problems, concerns, and interests that adults do; however, many young people are disempowered from effectively confronting difficult or complex situations, a result of societal, systemic, or cultural beliefs and discriminations. As Canadian society diversifies it is more important than ever that people respect each other and each other’s differences.
In the fall of 2021, the General Manager, Artistic Director, Green Thumb staff and Board of Directors entered into the development process of the new Strategic Plan. The process was in-depth and focused. Key areas of exploration included building on the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) work Green Thumb has been undertaking for the past two years, continuing to foster artistic excellence, and ensuring financial stability during a time of intersecting global challenges. Since 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Green Thumb has built on decades of creating socially conscious theatre for young audiences by strongly committing to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and reconciliation at the organizational level. Throughout the pandemic, many significant changes took place within the organization. With the appointment of Rachel Aberle as the third ever Artistic Director of Green Thumb Theatre, extensive EDI training and policy implementation, and the continual pivoting of programming to provide a safe environment to operate in during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has faced many great challenges and even greater successes. With a deep commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression practices, Green Thumb has focused on several areas to ensure the organization is and continues to be a safe and equitable place for everyone. With the roll out of our Anti-Oppression and Anti-Harassment Policy, annual Accountability Report, and commitment to continued EDI training, Green Thumb will continue its commitment to this work, as laid out in the Strategic Plan. With digital programming being one of the largest programming pivots during the pandemic, Green Thumb successfully live streamed three full scale productions and one play reading. While the continuation of digital programming is not a strategic priority, it is something we will continue to investigate as necessary over the next three years. As the world continues to shift, Green Thumb will shift and grow with it. The priorities set out in the new Strategic Plan speak to a commitment by the organization to ensure continued financial growth and sustainability, the evolution of our business model, continued EDI, accessibility and reconciliation work, and an awareness of our impact on the environment. As we enter into our 47th season of touring live professional theatre for young people, we look back on the challenges and successes of past decades, and look forward with inspiration and steadfastness to take us into to our 50th season. The past two years have been a journey, and we sincerely thank the staff and Board of Directors for their support and insight during this exciting process.
Breanne Harmon | past General Manager
Rachel Aberle | Artistic Director
Green Thumb Theatre’s core priorities remain the commissioning, development and touring of exceptional theatre for children, youth, and young adults. Additional priorities are educational workshops and rental opportunities at our facility at the Schoolhouse.
Over the years, Green Thumb has identified three areas of the organization as ones that need to be continually monitored and maintained considering the guiding principles, listed below:
Green Thumb Theatre’s Board of Directors reflect a diverse array of community members. Largely a governance board, there are long standing members who have a historical knowledge of the organization and are able to share that knowledge with newer members. The board is collegial and dedicated to the work of Green Thumb Theatre.
Green Thumb Theatre’s staff brings real life experience working in live theatre and in the arts and culture sector to the organization, with specialization in touring, producing, commissioning and education. Green Thumb is actively implementing and supporting emerging leadership in all facets of the organization.
While we will continue to explore additional programming and activities as laid out in our strategic priorities for the coming three years, our core live touring programming remains the cornerstone of the organization.
We have identified four key areas of the organization’s work requiring further development over the next three years. These key areas are intrinsically linked to one another and support all aspects of the organization. Development in these areas will be integral to maintaining a sustainable organization for the decades to come.
Strengthen the company’s financial position by continuing to diversify our revenue sources
Adapt and evolve our business model to respond to the current needs of our audiences and stakeholders
To continue work in these areas to ensure the organization follows equitable practices and is a leader in the sector
To fully utilize the facilities of the Schoolhouse buildings for programming and rentals, and to become aware of our impact on the environment and make appropriate changes to how we produce our work
1.) Retire the capital deficit on the Schoolhouse Project by continuing the longterm plan to pay it down
2.) Focus on potential areas of fund and revenue development such as planned giving, while continuing to increase monthly donors, and long-term funding relationships with corporate and private partners
3.) Continue the commitment to maintain a long-term sustainable balanced budget within the revenue and expenditures approved by the board Green Thumb Theatre | Strategic Plan 2022-2025
1.) Look for opportunities to make secondary schools shows more accessible by formalizing a subsidy program
2.) Extend the impact of our work by developing and piloting educational initiatives
3.) Develop and strengthen relationships with local communities in order to support connections to the benefit of both the organization and community at large
4.) Explore the revenue opportunities of public performances Green Thumb Theatre | Strategic Plan 2022-2025
1.) Produce programming that reflects the diverse social location* of British Columbia and Canadian audiences
2.) Expand models of new play development and production leadership to make space for diverse ways of knowing and working
3.) Work to create reciprocal relationships with the Indigenous communities whose lands we tour to and operate on in order to ensure best practices
4.) Create and roll out the Racial Equity Advisory Committee, led by Green Thumb leadership, board and community members for the purposes of creating organizational accountability
5.) Commit to further annual EDI and accessibility workshops and training for staff and board
6.) Continue to prioritize artist and contractor wages above industry minimums, and to support advocacy of fair and equitable wages across the sector
7.) Continue to make Green Thumb’s facilities fully accessible to all members of the community
* Social location is an all-encompassing term to reflect age, disability, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, Indigenous versus settler, nationality, gender, gender orientation, intersectionality.
1.) Continue providing market rentals within the theatre community, and seek out new rental clients from other sectors
2.) Fill unused rental weeks with rental subsidy for qualified applicants
3.) Build and finance a maintenance schedule to protect the long-term use and condition of the buildings
4.) Continue to develop our relationship with the Vancouver School Board as Green Thumb’s landlord
5.) Increase awareness of the environmental impacts of our work, and create a plan to reduce our carbon footprint