Young, Queer, Creative?

Education Partner TD Bank Group

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Leelee Davis // Youth Program Coordinator

About the Queer Youth Arts Program

Get free tickets to Buddies’ shows, see post-show talks with our artists, get on stage at an open-mic night, or learn how to create your own show. There’s something for everyone.

Our youth program engages queer youth and supports the development of early-in-craft artistic voices. We create artistic space for all youth and strive to celebrate, cultivate, and prioritize the diversity of Toronto’s queer community by encouraging the development of BIPOC queer voices inclusively. We work with 2-Spirit, queer, trans, and gender variant youth who have an interest in theatre, performance, the creative process, and may have no prior theatre experience. The offerings of the youth program at Buddies are available to persons 15-25 (not exclusively) years of age. 

Free Youth Programming Every Wednesday Night

Free Tickets

Want to see a show? Buddies offers free tickets to queer youth for many of the shows in our Mainstage Season. All youth shows are followed by a post-show talk-back with the artists. Tickets are limited to one per person. First come, first serve. Sign up for our newsletter to get info on all upcoming free shows.


QueerCab is our monthly youth open mic.  Anyone can attend and support, but the stage is reserved for queer and trans* identified youth age 25 and under to perform. We give you 5 minutes. We’ve got a bare stage, a microphone, a cd player, a video projector and a piano – and you’ve got the talent! Come show us what you can do.

Every month is a different show, depending on what you bring to it. Music, spoken word, monologues, dance, drag, songs, scenes, stand-up, burlesque, videos, magic tricks, performance art, juggling, rants…we’ve seen it all at QueerCab. QueerCab is a great place to try out something new, showcase your stuff, get inspired, and to meet other young queer artists.


These skills building and sharing workshops are open to queer youth of all experience and skills levels and is your chance to learn new skills for Buddies staff and guest artists. Come to all of them, or pick and choose the ones you like. Sign up by emailing or simply show up! Workshops can be attended on a drop-in basis. All workshops run from 6-9pm

Emerging Creators Unit

The Emerging Creators Unit offers an intensive opportunity to develop your artistic voice through the creation and performance of your own 25-minute show at Buddies. Artists who receive training are paired with either a professional director or actors in preparation for a presentation of their work at the annual Rhubarb Festival.

For information on how it works, when it happens, and how to apply, visit the Emerging Creators Unit homepage.

Our Mission Statement

Buddies in Bad Times’ Youth Program engages our youth community in queer cultural exchange. We support the development of early-in-craft artistic voices. We work with queer, trans, and gender variant youth who have an interest in theatre, performance, and the creative process. Our programs offer space for artistic risk where youth can develop their creative voices. We offer opportunities to access Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s productions and professional theatre artists to nurture the next generation of artists, audiences, and community. We facilitate collaborative artistic exchange amongst and across our divergent individual identities. Together, we navigate the tensions that inevitably arise when our differences collide.

Program Director // Leelee Davis

Leelee Davis is a transgenderqueer, Canadian-born multimedia performance artist. They are of African/Trinidadian/Indigenous and French descent. Davis has a passion for working with artists across milieus. Having trained across Canada in dance, sound, voice, acting, Bouffon, improv, installation, and Butoh, Davis possesses a unique culmination of innovative skills and cultivated knowledge. Their training in facilitation, creative process, workshop creation, and lighting design, informs their artistic practice and collaborative spirit.

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photo of the 2015 Youth Ensemble by Greg Wong