Young, Gifted, and Black Program
Applications are now closed.
unique lens on theatre
growth without the need to mute
Young Gifted, and Black is a paid, national training program to support Black artists in non-performance disciplines. This program will explore the Black aesthetic through skill-based masterclasses, individual mentorship, practical work placements, and ensemble creation.
Young, Gifted and Black seeks to support and uplift artistic leaders. This is an opportunity to create a future where Black designers, directors, dramaturges, stage managers, producers, and production managers aren’t in low supply and high demand, but overflowing and enriching our theatre community with their talents.
About the 22/23 Cohort
Young Gifted, and Black will support 5 up and coming leaders and changemakers in Canadian theatre. Through this program, we seek to interrogate the Black aesthetic and develop the Black voice to foster Black excellence. Starting July 2022, this program will help to build and develop each artists’ skill set as an ensemble member while enhancing their individual aesthetic specific to their discipline.
Over the span of 14 months, the first Young Gifted, and Black cohort will build a holistic knowledge in their own discipline through 5 months of masterclasses and ensemble sessions led by industry professionals followed by paid work placements in their respective fields ending with the creation and presentation of an ensemble showcase.
Exact dates and times TBD
Masterclasses and Ensemble Sessions
July 2022 – December 2022
January 2023 – May 2023
In-Person (Toronto and National)
Ensemble Showcase Creation and Presentation
June 2023 – August 2023
In-Person Toronto, ON
Weyni Mengesha Rachel Forbes Mike Payette
Artistic Director Set & Costume Artistic Director
Soulpepper Designer Tarragon Theatre
Daniel Bennett Lisa Codrington Luke Reece
Technical Director Writer & Actor Associate AD
The Grand London Playwrights Unit Soulpepper
LaMeia Reddick Mel Hague
Executive Director Associate AD
2b Theatre Canadian Stage
This is a paid program.
To apply, you must first:
- - Identify as Black (all intersections of Blackness are welcome)
- - Seek to explore a non-performance theatrical discipline (directing, producing, design, dramaturgy, stage management, etc.)
- - Be available between July 2022 and September 2023 (exact dates TBD)
- - Be 20 years and older
Please note: If you are interested in playwrighting or developing a script, please apply to our Playwright’s Unit.
- - Applications closed on Saturday, April 30th 2022
- - Successful applicants will be notified for a follow up interview in early May 2022
Meet our Young, Gifted & Black Program Director
Jay Northcott (They/Them) is a multidisciplinary artist; director, playwright, burlesque dancer, and producer. Jay works to decolonize their art and practice through storytelling, movement, gesture, and joy to create the fundamentals of their work.
They continue to grow and make it their mission to uplift projects that put BIPOC Queer artists in the spotlight. Their goals: to make you cry and laugh at the same time, they want to bleed, break, grind, make money, fight and blow some stuff up. Inspired by pop culture, lived experience, and finding truth. They work to develop techniques and experiment with aesthetics to answer the question: Why is theatre still relevant?
Young Gifted and Black is generously sponsored by:
Obsidian Theatre’s Season Sponsor: TD Bank Group;
Program Sponsors: Catapult/Rideau Hall Foundation, Scotiabank, Toronto Arts Council Strategic Fund.