Why Not Theatre, in partnership with the National Arts Centre, is excited to announce the 2022 iteration of ThisGen Fellowship, a national initiative that supports BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Women and Non-Binary performing arts practitioners get to the next stage in their careers through training, mentorship, hands-on work placements, and peer-to-peer connection.
We are passionate about creating a future where BIPOC Women and Non-Binary people have support, are celebrated, and have the resources and networks they need to thrive in the arts sector. By making connections to institutional leadership, enhancing valuable skill sets, and building a network of peers, ThisGen is a launchpad for Canadian cultural leaders.
“I felt deeply affirmed during my time in ThisGen. I have come to the realization through my work with these incredible women both teachers and peers, that there is space for our work, and not only that, we have the right to make it.”
Natasha Mumba, 2021 ThisGen Fellow
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Deadline to apply is Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST
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About the 2022 Fellowship
Eight Fellows will be selected as part of the 2022 cohort, and applicants may apply to participate in either the Directing Stream or the Producing Stream. The program will begin in late-April 2022 and run over a two-year period (exact dates of activity TBD).
The Directing Stream is designed for applicants interested in developing their skills as stage directors, while the Producing Stream is designed for applicants interested in developing their skills in arts leadership, including as producers and arts administrators.
Running over the course of two years, ThisGen Fellowship kicks off with an in-person residency in Ottawa hosted by the National Arts Centre. This will be followed by a 17-week paid digital training program featuring a faculty of internationally renowned arts leaders.
The Fellowship will then transition into one-on-one mentorship, pairing each Fellow with an experienced industry professional. ThisGen will culminate with each Fellow receiving a paid work placement in their field.
Timeline (exact dates and times TBD)
Late-April 2022: NAC residency, National Arts Centre (Ottawa)
May to August 2022: Training seminars (1 per week, 17 weeks), online
September 2022 to August 2023: Mentorship sessions
September 2023 to May 2024: Work placements
Past ThisGen mentors and faculty members have included:
- Dawn Walton (Founder of Eclipse Theatre, England)
- Josette Bushell-Mingo (Head of Theatre Department at Stockholm University, Sweden)
- Julie Nagam (Artistic Director of Nuit Blanche Toronto, Winnipeg)
- Latiana Gourzong (Technical Director at American Repertory Theatre, USA)
- Leslie Ishii (Artistic Director of Perseverance Theatre, USA)
- Madeline Sayet (Executive Director of Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, USA)
- Nataki Garrett (Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, USA)
- Nicole Brewer (Acting faculty at Yale School of Drama, USA)
- Rachael Maza (Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Australia)
- Rachel Chavkin (Tony Award-winning director, USA)
- Syrus Marcus Ware (Visual artist and political activist, Toronto)
- Ty Defoe (Core Member of Indigenous Directions, USA)
- Weyni Mengesha (Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto)
- Yvette Nolan (Multi-award winning playwright & director, Saskatoon)
Past ThisGen mentors have included:
- Akram Khan (Olivier Award-winning choreographer, England)
- Amrita Ramanan (Director of Lit Development at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, USA)
- Antoine Hunter (Director of Urban Jazz Dance Company, USA)
- Crystal Pite (Olivier Award-winning choreographer, Vancouver)
- Elisheba Ittoop (Acclaimed sound designer, USA)
- Julie Fox (Dora Award-winning set designer, Toronto)
- Kama La Mackerel (Multi-disciplinary artist, Montréal)
- Kirsty Housley (Tony-nominated theatre director, England)
- Lily Shearer (Co-Founder of Moogahlin Performing Arts Inc., Australia)
- Lisa Fa’alafi (Co-creator of the international smash hit Hot Brown Honey, Australia)
- Marcus Youssef (Siminovitch Award-winning playwright, Vancouver)
- Mimi Lien (Tony Award-winning designer, USA)
- Peter Lyne (Technical Director of Indigenous Theatre at the NAC, Ottawa)
- Pitseolak Kilabuk (Director of Operations of Inuit Broadcasting Corp, Iqaluit)
- Ramesh Meyyappan (Multi-award winning theatre artist, Scotland)
- Wesley Enoch (Past Festival Director of Sydney Festival, Australia)
All applicants must:
- Identify as Women and/or Non-Binary* ;
- Identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Colour);
- Have a practice in the performing arts with a focus on either Directing or Producing; and
- Be available between April 2022 and May 2024 for Fellowship activities (exact dates TBD).
* Note: ThisGen Fellowship is a Trans-inclusive program.
- Application Form
- Deadline to apply is Thursday, January 13th, 2022 at 11:59 pm EST
- Applicants will be notified by February 2022 if they have been successful
If you have any questions about the program or the application process, email producer Tom Arthur Davis.
ThisGen Fellowship 2022 is supported by Kingfisher Foundation, RBC Foundation, and the ThisGen Leadership Circle.
ThisGen Fellowship 2020 and 2021 were supported by the Government of Canada.
ThisGen Fellowship 2022 is produced by Why Not Theatre in partnership with the National Arts Centre.
About Why Not Theatre
Good isn’t good enough.
At Why Not Theatre, we’re out for better.
We shake up the status quo to make the world we want to see.
A world where everyone can achieve their full potential. We question everything. Rethink how stories are told. And who gets to tell them. We believe in art. It’s how we make change.
We MAKE great work that takes chances, and tours all over the world. We SHARE everything we have, because more artists mean more stories. We PROVOKE change because we believe art should be for everyone.
We push boundaries, build community, and find new ways. We represent Toronto, at home and on the world stage.
Founded in 2007, we are growing rapidly, led by Ravi Jain, Kelly Read, and Miriam Fernandes.