Emerging Creators Unit
“The Emerging Creators Unit provided a space for me to be unapologetically myself – I came to the program having never worked in a queer space, and through the program I was able to hold my own creative and queer identity in a way I had never before given myself permission.”
-Rihannon Collette, Emerging Creators Unit 2018
What is the 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 Queer Pride Festival.
The Emerging Creators Unit is an artist-driven, mentor-supported creative model; we look for strongly motivated emerging queer or trans artists who have an ability to work independently, are interested in creating original, text-driven, theatrical work and are ready to take their practice to the next level. The Emerging Creators Unit supports a wide definition of “performance”, and is open to a wide variety of themes, form or content. Proposed projects could be autobiographically or community inspired or entirely fictional, use conventional or unconventional theatrical forms, and could include a strong physicality although should also have a text base.
2019 Emerging Creators Unit
Our 2019 Emerging Creators Unit Participants are Ophira Calof, Brock Hessel, Shohana Sharmin, and Jade Walker and Kasden Leo Indigo. Read more about these artists here, and look out for sharings of their work in our 2019 Queer Pride Festival.
Application to the program is open to queer and/or trans identified emerging artists, age 30 and under, with less than three years of professional theatre practice. Selected participants meet bi-weekly as a group at Buddies, Monday afternoons, January through May. They are guided through a unique creative process that takes their project from idea to a performance-ready draft.
We welcome applications from either individual creator/performers, OR collective creations (of up to 4 people), OR projects driven by a writer/director who wishes to work with actors to achieve their vision.
Individual creators who will perform their own work will be paired with a professional director to stage the work for presentation; individual creators who will direct their work will be supported to engage professional or suitable actors; collaborative creations may include a director in their creative team, or be matched with a professional director.
The 2019 Buddies Emerging Creators Unit is offered in partnership with b current performing arts; it will be lead by b current performing arts artistic director Catherine Hernandez.
How to Apply
Applications are due annually in the fall and are reviewed by a jury. Short-listed applicants are invited to an audition/interview where they perform a short selection of their own work and discuss their project proposal in greater depth. Applications are now closed for the 2018-19 season.
- Applications open: September 7
- Deadline for Submission: October 19
- Auditions for Shortlisted Artists: November 19
2018 // Rhiannon Collett, Erum Khan, Kwaku Okyere, Heath V Salazar
2017 // Bilal Baig, Teiya Kasahara, François Macdonald, Sofia Rodriguez
2016// Marina Moreira, Joshua Middleton, Chase Lo, Monica Garrido
2015 // kumari giles, Faith-Ann Mendes, Andre Prefontaine, Brian Postalian
2014 // Jackie Rowland, Ramon Vitung, Rory Jade Grey
2013 // Sina Gilani, Shaista Latif, Aemilius (Milo) Ramirez, Katie Sly
2012 // Jamie Ebbs, Daniel Jelani Ellis, Michael David Lorsch, cassy walker
2011 // Meg Gennings, Olive-or-Oliver, Andrew Robinson, Evan Vipond
2010 // Cassandra Moore, Flerida Pena, Zita Nyaraty, Jonathan Schuster
2009 // Cole J. Alvis, Kim Crosby, Tawiah M’carthy, Rob Salerno
2008 // Jessica Michael Reynolds, Mark Shyzer, Alisha Stranges, Jordan Tannahill
2007 // Andrew Bathory, Shannon Curry, Waawaate Fobister, Dawn Nearing, Jay Stewart
Queer Youth Arts Program Supporters
TD Bank Group
Additional Program Support:
The NigE Gough Shine On Foundation at the Toronto Community Foundation
photo of the 2018 Emerging Creators Unit by Tanja-Tiziana