Emerging Creators Unit
“I knew coming in that I had a lot to learn about the creative process, about my own writing, and how to breath energy into its performance. I can honestly say that learned much more about the above in the YCU than I did in my four years at theatre school.”
-Michael David Lorsch, Young Creators Unit 2012
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 Rhubarb 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.
Application to the program is open to queer-identified, emerging artists, age 30 and under with less than three years of professional theatre practice. Selected participants meet weekly as a group with the Emerging Creators Unit Director and Buddies’ Company Dramaturge (Monday afternoons, October to February) and are guided through a unique creative process that takes their project from idea to a performance-ready draft.
Individual creators who will also 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.
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.
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 // Tyson James, 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