Ladner lads liven up Bard in the Yard

After a successful first session of Bard in the Yard youth drama camps, the next session is set to start later this month.

Bard in the Yard founder Jim Martens is thrilled by the response of the community and is equally thrilled to be working with so many talented young actors in South Delta.

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“One of the best things about running a youth drama camp is working with youth! Some people would say, ‘Isn’t that obvious?’ But I’m not just referring to the kids who come to camp—which is great in itself—but the young men and women who are recent secondary school graduates and are now pursuing their own arts’ dreams in post-secondary programs. I have been fortunate to hire them as my co-instructors,” said Martens.

Recently, the Optimist highlighted the talented Laura Marenych who is instructing at this year’s Bard in the Yard camps. Two other instructors joining Marenych and Martens are well known to Delta audiences: Michael Kirk and Thomas Schultes.

Kirk is currently attending Vancouver Film School and Schultes is at Capilano University in the Musical Theatre program. While their programs now are different, they have much in common.

Both young men are graduates of Delta Secondary. Not only did they finish high school together but they also were part of the same theatre program at DSS, danced with Studio West, and performed many times with Delta Youth Theatre (DYT).

At DSS they both performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Aladdin, Urinetown, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. For Studio West they were seen in Shrek and Seussical, the Musical. For DYT they both were in Beauty and the Beast, Willy Wonka, Annie, and Mary Poppins. Their next DYT musical together is in Music Man coming to Delta Aug. 14 to 16.

“This is not an exhaustive list of all they do in our community,” added Martens. “For the past two years, they have attended the first two years of Bard in the Yard helping in any way they can: getting the “yard” in Bard in the Yard ready, building sets, and encouraging younger students to do their best in improvisation, monologues, and scene work through their example.”

During the week of Aug. 17 to 21— their third year — they are official members of the Bard in the Yard staff.

“I am thrilled that they are joining me again. Bard in the Yard is a better day camp because of Michael and Thomas’ involvement,” said Martens.

Want to read more about Bard in the Yard? Go to Want to register for Bard in the Yard 2020? Go to

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