Photo of Matthew Venner

Matthew Venner

M.A. Candidate, Theatre Creator.

Degrees:B.A. Honours in English, Concentration in Drama Studies (Carleton University), Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (University of the West of Scotland)
  • B.A. Honours in English, Concentration in Drama Studies, Minor in History. Carleton University, 2014-2018.
  • Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, Secondary – English. University of the West of Scotland, 2018-2019.

Matthew Venner is a theatre creator and educator, currently pursuing his Master’s in Theatre at the University of Ottawa. His research focuses on applied theatre, climate change theatre, and experimental theatre pedagogies. He is passionate about providing new platforms for young, emerging artists.

Matthew is the co-founder of Two Kind Boys Theatre, which won Outstanding New Creation at the Prix Rideau Awards in 2016 and Best Director at the Halifax Fringe Festival in 2017. He has also served as Artistic Director of Sock ‘n’ Buskin Theatre Company, Senior Producer of Ottawa’s Youth Infringement Festival, and more. Notably, all of these opportunities came about through connections initially made at Carleton.

I look back at my time in the Drama Studies Concentration as the assembling of a toolkit. The Concentration allowed me to explore the skills and joys of theatre creation, ranging from acting workshops to directing opportunities, while remaining consistently committed to the text and grounded in the tools of critical textual analysis. I was trusted to explore my own creative voice, while being provided with effective mentorship and support, every step of the way.

This approach to Drama Studies bolstered my confidence and my curiosity, particularly a curiosity in how these toolkits can be shared more widely. As a result, I chose to pursue my teaching certification in Scotland, to compare pedagogy styles, and I am currently researching experimental theatre creation techniques for young people as part of my master’s thesis.

I’ve always loved Carleton’s campus and the sense of community you can find there, and this sense of community was never stronger than my time spent with Sock ‘n’ Buskin Theatre Company. Founded in 1943, Sock ‘n’ Buskin is entirely student-run and student-produced, recently celebrating their 75th season at Carleton. I started out as an actor, eventually becoming a stage manager, director, and finally, artistic director.

These varied experiences were foundational to the development of my own creative vocabulary and were also invaluable steppingstones into the local theatre community. I learned about the many demands of bringing a play to its feet, and, perhaps most importantly, I was able to be a mentor for others. All in all, I love how Carleton’s extra-curricular opportunities allowed me to flesh out my interests and deepen my resume.