Emerging Creators Unit

education programming supporter

What is the Emerging Creators’ Unit?

The Emerging Creators’ Unit offers an intensive, process-focused opportunity to develop your artistic practice and producing skills. This year’s unit is process-focused, and will conclude with a paid artist-led in-studio residency and the opportunity to share an artistic offering as a part of Buddies’ Queer Pride Festival in June.

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.

The unit is co-led by Tawiah M’Carthy and Philip Geller, returning for their second year. This year, the directors and participants will co-curate a pathway of learning and development that supports their unique and individual artistic voice. 

Questions about the program? Get in touch with Tawiah and Philip at ecu@buddiesinbadtimes.com.

2022 Participants

We’re excited to welcome Kalale Dalton-Lutale and Tan Vu as our 2022 Emerging Creators Unit partipants. They’ll be developing their own artistic practices alongside Tawiah and Philip, and co-curating the Emerging Artist & Producer Series, which returns for a second year.

Kalale Dalton-Lutale


photo by Maxime Côté

“I want to leave the ECU advocating for my own needs as an artist making performance work as well as prioritizing pleasure and experimentation in my practice.”

Kalale Dalton-Lutale is a Black queer playwright and performer originally from Tkaronto/Toronto. Her work embraces experimentation, mothers, loss and pop culture. Some of her plays include Pinky Swear (Geordie Productions, directed by Mike Payette, 2017), Crybaby (presented by Black Theatre Workshop and Playwrights Workshop Montreal, directed by Jesse Stong, 2019), and i am entitled to rest (New Words Festival, directed by Murdoch Schon, 2020). Kalale is a graduate from the National Theatre School of Canada.

Tan Vu


photo by Gaetz Photography

Coming to the Emerging Creators Unit, Tan hopes to move forward his Project PHOENIX, and other fragments gathered up along his journey traversing two cultures that he hopes to make whole.

Tan Vu is a Canadian artist of Vietnamese descent. A Fulbright fellow, Tan performed in theatre and opera in Saigon before moving to New York to train under a scholarship. He immigrated to Canada in November 2019, and has since worked with Cahoots Theatre, Talk Is Free Theatre, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Toronto Fringe Festival, and other arts institutions.

Tan is the recipient of career development grants from Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts, and of Buddies In Bad Times Theatre’s 2020 Queer Emerging Artist Award.

Emerging Artist & Producer Series

EAPS is a space for emerging artists and emerging producers to meet each other, share skills and ideas, and learn from established professionals in their field. This year’s EAPS will include hands-on workshops from established artist professionals and social events to further community growth. Learn more about the program here.

photo of Tawiah M’Carthy & Philip Geller by Dylan Mitro, styling by Vanessa Magic, hair and makeup by Robert Weir

Past Participants

2021 // Ajahnis Charley, Janis Mayers + Babe Waters
// Rochelle R, Gabe Maharjan + Merlin Simard
// Ophira Calof, Brock Hessel, Shohana Sharmin, Jade Walker & Kasden Leo Indigo
 // Rhiannon Collett, Erum Khan, Kwaku Okyere, Heath V Salazar
// Bilal Baig, Teiya Kasahara, François Macdonald, Sofia Rodriguez
// Marina Moreira, Joshua Middleton, Chase Lo, Monica Garrido
// 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, Mx. 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

Program Supporters

Education Partner:
TD Bank Group

Additional Program Support:
The NigE Gough Shine On Foundation at the Toronto Community Foundation