Julie Miller says that when she first started running theatre workshops in the Richmond area, it was so that her own children would have access to a creative outlet. Faced with a variety of sports options but very little in the arts, she draw on her own background in the theatre to help offer an alternative. Today, the Ulverton-based “It Takes a Village Theatre/Le théâtre Ça Prend Tout un Village,“ has a mandate to offer bilingual classes in drama and theatre to the youth population of the Val-Saint-François area. “I have been giving theatre lessons to kids in Richmond off and on for years now,” said Miller, explaining that it is only in the last two years that the work has been centered in Ulverton. Although she now spends her days on the family farm, the theatre founder explained that she was once very involved in the Montreal theatre scene including as the founding director of the annual Shakespeare in The Park performances. According to Miller, the programming of the children’s theatre follows the school year, starting in the fall and winter by offering children eight to twelve years old the opportunity to discover the world of theatre through a series of workshops intended to work on voice, movement, memory, creativity and improvisation one night per week. “We do a lot of games,” she said, explaining that the focus is on having fun, building connections, and developing technique. After a break during the holiday season, the group returns to prepare a springtime production with more focused rehearsals and a final public performance. “It’s a lot of work.”Miller said, adding that all the workshops and the final production are bilingual in an effort to foster openness and understanding between both English and French speaking kids, and to reflect the linguistic diversity of the region. “We try to (be bilingual) as much as possible without repeating everything,” the theatre founder said. “That can’t happen because it would just be too cumbersome.” Fitting in with the theme of the group that “it takes a village,” Miller explained that on top of trying to offer young kids an opportunity to express their creativity, the group also has a mandate to offer employment opportunities to older youth. At the moment, for example, the group is benefitting from the services of Isaac Allan-Letarte for set design and painting. See full story in the Friday, April 27th edition of The Record.