Homegrown Business: JP Thibodeau of StoryBook Theatre

StoryBook Theatre is a volunteer-driven theatre which also has a Theatre School program for children and their families. We spoke with Artistic Producer JP Thibodeau to learn more about what they do.

StoryBook Theatre
The Lightning Thief

What is your business called and what does it do?

StoryBook Theatre is the largest volunteer-drive theatre for families in Canada. We have been delighting children of all ages for more than 46 years with our performances and talented pool of actors. Every season we bring together professional artists and volunteers to create incredible stories to tell on our stage. We also have an incredible Theatre School program that serves more than 20000 children and their families.

What made you want to do this work?

As a child, I was used to singing in choirs and one day I was asked to perform a solo. From there I found my love for performing and the stage. A community theatre in my hometown of Elliot Lake Ontario was where I really found theatre and knew that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

As a young artist, I remembered not knowing how to make a career in theatre and wanted to make StoryBook a place for young artists to bridge the gap between the professional and amateur worlds.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our main demographic is families of all ages. We are the ideal outing for families to sit, enjoy and share quality time together seeing quality theatrical productions. All our shows have something for everyone.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We sell tickets to all our programming and productions. Patrons can purchase tickets and programs online and over the phone.

Where in the city can we find your profession?

We are located in Calgary’s NW, Beddington Heights.

StoryBook Theatre
Legally Blonde The Musical

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

“How do you pick the shows you present?”

We spend almost a year reviewing potential scripts, listening to shows, finding the best shows that go together with a selected theme and most importantly a show that we know the audiences will love.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part about what I do is watching others push themselves to their growing edge, be it performing for the first time or behind the scene designing the set or costumes.

The worst part is knowing how hard all our volunteers work and knowing that the general audience will never know that the one prop or set pieces they are seeing fly across the stage for less than 10 seconds took someone a few weeks to create and make happen. The true amount of work that goes into creating live theatre will never truly be understood.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Maybe not my favourite but a fun one “An actor I knew fell through the floor recently. Turns out, it was just a stage he was going through.”

Where can we follow you?

Website |Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

Hannigan’s Paint & Décor – they have been long-time supporters of our organization.



About Demian Vernieri 535 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.