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Courageous Voices

A transformative educational experience for middle school students.


“Not your average school play”, “Something every student should be part of”, “A life-changing experience”

Courageous Voices is a transformative learning experience that honours people who have fought for social justice and have made a difference in the world. It is about telling the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. By sharing these stories their wisdom and teachings are passed along to inspire the current generation.

Education today is calling for transformative learning that inspires as it develops empathy. Courageous Voices is fundamentally about stepping into another person’s shoes, attempting to understand their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to change the world.

For students it is a perfect blend of education, the arts, social and emotional growth, anti-bullying practices, focus, teamwork and fun. The creation of the production dovetails perfectly with curriculum and culminates in a theatrical presentation that amazes and touches teachers, other students, parents and administrators alike.

Middle school is a critical time in a student’s life – a time when they are idealistic, often keenly aware of injustice in both their world and the world around them and ready for an opportunity to act passionately. It is also a time when bullying can arise, anxiety can surface and knowledge of the problems of the world grows. Courageous Voices shows how hero/ines around the world have confronted these problems and fought passionately to develop compassionate and creative solutions.

Students come away from this experience confident independent learners with historical knowledge spanning eras and cultures, essay writing and research skills, artistic and musical growth, confidence and poise when presenting publicly and, perhaps most importantly empathy and understanding for each other and all people.


The Process

The project begins with a study of fantasy and the hero quest based on Joseph Campbell’s seminal book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Students choose a real-life hero/ine and work to prove that that person has completed the hero’s journey through a formal persuasive essay that is shared with teachers and peers. They then develop a collection of important and memorable quotes from their “Courageous Voice”. The final performance is based entirely on the actual words of the people the students have chosen. The possibilities are endless, fascinating, challenging and engaging!

The result shatters the idea that middle school students are self-centered and immature. The students rise above their age and stage in a spectacular fashion weaving together dialogue and music into a powerful, thought-provoking and moving performance featuring some of the greatest words ever written, spoken or sung.



“The students put on the play in a stripped-down, purist form. No costumes, just black clothing. No scenery, just the black-and-white portraits each student had crafted of their chosen hero. The 13-yearold students are so passionate they become their heroes, and soon I don’t see the little blond girl, hair tied into a tight ponytail. I see Gandhi.”
Catherine Porter, The Toronto Star

It was an absolute pleasure to witness such a powerful presentation, about so many incredible heroes, from extremely committed and passionate students. It was indeed magical!”
-Mary Jane McNamara, TDSB Superintendent of Education

“Courageous Voices taught me empathy, understanding, respect, gratitude and most of all the importance of using our voices – this is something you do not get from textbooks and lessons.”
-Student Participant 2018
“The show was over-the-top fantastic. My parents visiting from out West could not believe that this is what is being taught in Ontario! They said that the world would be a much better place if all young people were taught to have a courageous voice – I agree!
-Parent 2018

“It’s about the inclusion of every single student, from shrinking violet to superstar extrovert and I would challenge anyone by the end to be able to pick out which were which. And most importantly, it’s about the long-lasting effects of having participated in such a project; all of us have been touched in a profound way by the words spoken and the lives lived.”
-Jane Barbeau, TDSB Retired

About Trinity

Trinity provides experiential and integrated learning using the arts and intergenerational interactions to foster peer leadership, personal development and community resilience.

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Volunteer & Career Opportunities

Trinity is currently recruiting Retired Educators, Career Counsellors, & Education Workers to volunteer as Trainer/Facilitators in our high school programs. Read more.


  • So happy to be able to bring to you, for the first time, Trinity’s art publication! The magazine is a collection of beautiful art, poetry, and pieces created by the #leadershiplab2019 team. We are immensely proud of the work we have been able to put out. Link to magazine in bio.

#torontoartists #artmagazine 
  • And that's a wrap on this summer! Thank you to every single member of Trinity Theatre for putting in your hard work, dedication and passion into your projects this summer. It's not actually over- we have a lot of things to change in our communities to better them, and each team will be carrying on their projects into the school year. Also, look out for new projects featuring members of the team coming soon! 
Also, thank you to Christeen Awad for the beautiful illustration! Check out her page at @shadowqueencreations.
  • New episode alert! In this episode of "My Neighbourhood," we talk about mental health- there's this misconstrued understanding surrounding mental health, and in this episode, we’ll be denouncing that. We will be sharing with you the history of how mental health issues have been treated in Canada. Also, we will speak with many people at Trinity Theatre about their experiences with attitudes towards mental health and how to improve mental health facilities in our communities.

We hope this episode can enlighten you.

This episode features Riya, Fiza, Charu and Ambuj. Thank you so much for being part of the podcast!

Listen to it via the link in our bio, or copy paste this link into your browser; 
  • The art episode is now out on the podcast! This is the first part of the art episode and it features our very own members of the communications team, Chantelle and Ariane. 
Some of topics discussed in the episode are about their inspirations, what it means to be an artist and more. 
Listen to it via the link in our bio, or copy paste this link into your browser;

www.soundcloud.com/trinitytheatretoronto/ the-art-episode-part-1
  • Trinity Theatre's podcast, My Neighbourhood is now out! 
If you want a little slice into people's opinions and experiences with mental health, art, history and more, have a listen! It's a very informative yet touching podcast, full of personal stories and detailed research. 
Go to the link in our bio, or copy-paste the link here into your browser to listen. 
We hope you all enjoy!
  • Finally, congratulations to team Malvern on their amazing walking tour! We would like to thank all the special guests, and everyone who contributed to the success of each walking tour. It has been an amazing summer, and we are so proud of everything our teams have accomplished.

#leadershiplab2019 #community #development

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