About us

Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre is Ottawa theatre for the young audience that was founded by Ekaterina Vetrov (Shestakova) in 2008. The theatre opened its doors for the first time on January 17th, 2009 with the production of the play by Eugene Shwartz The Two Maple Trees, directed by Ekaterina Vetrov.

The theatre became home for young professional artists (actors, choreographers, designers, composers) who work on either of tree languages, English, French or Russian, as well as many volunteers who enjoy theatre experience and wish to help in various areas of production.

Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre unites people of different cultural backgrounds to produce an unique work that merges artistic experiences of diverse cultures. Our main purpose is to raise interest and passion in Canadian children and youth towards the art of theatre through professional theatre productions for the young audiences and educational programs.  OUK Theatre produces work that attracts a wide range of young audiences as well as adults, as we believe in creating productions that are equally interesting and artistically satisfying on different levels to children and adults. OUK Theatre produces plays and offers programs for children and adults that are built on the best European and Canadian traditions of the theatre.

Our educational programs include: various theatre classes for children and youth, such as acting, dance, music, set design, costume design, make-up design, lighting design, stage management, theatre criticism and more; international children’s theatre exchange programs; educational seminars and workshops for theatre instructors; workshops for theatre practitioners who are interested in creation of children’s theatre.

We invite the young audience and adults to our plays and classes. Also we will be glad to see in our theatre those who want to participate in creation of the productions and work in the studio. We will be happy to accept in our team actors (audition is required), designers, and instructors. Any participation is very welcome!

Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre is the Associate of INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR THEATRE ASSOCIATION (AITA/IATA).

Explore theatre with us!

An Artistic Director of Once Upon a Kingdom Theatre, Ekaterina Vetrov, received a BA degree with Specialization in Theatre and Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing from the University of Ottawa. Ekaterina started practicing theatre from the young age, studying acting in different theatre studios in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, among which the most important was the studio of the professional theatre Over the Black River. She took a course of Art Administration in the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. At the same time she was a Director of the theatre studio, working with children in the local school. After her arrival to Canada she was working in The Curtain Club Theatre (Lighting operator) in Richmond Hill, and Shakespeare for Kids Summer Camp (Assistant Director) in Toronto. Some of her credits in Ottawa (outside of OUK Theatre) include Assistant Directing for Tartuffe (Third Wall Theatre, 2008), starring at Life As We Know It (Youth Infringement 2010), Assistant Directing Princess T (Drama Guild, 2013). Her MFA Thesis directing work, Princess Ivona by Witold Gombrowicz, had tremendous success in Ottawa community. Ekaterina has over 10 years experience of teaching theatre to children of various ages, and she directs 6 to 10 shows with her students every year.
Ekaterina’s work has been recognized by:
- Orpheus Musical Theatre Society Scholarship (2009, 2010)
- Magna Cum Laude (2010)
- The Dean’s Scholarship (2013)
- BEST PRODUCTION (Student) for “Princess Ivona” from Capital Critics Circle, Ottawa. (2013)
- BEST DIRECTOR for “A Girl With Star Eyes” from International Festival of Russian-Speaking Children’s and Youth  Theaters in Washington, DC. (2014)
- Nomination for 2015 Pauline McGibbon Award (Director)
- Director of the show “The Legend of Parvana Lake” that was selected to represent Canada at the World Festival of Children’s Theatre, Stratford ON (2016)

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