Calls for Artists: Next Stage

Applications are now closed for the 2022 Next Stage Theatre Festival

Thank you to all who applied. 

ABOUT THE 2022 NEXT STAGE FESTIVAL
The 2022 Next Stage Theatre Festival will present a hybrid series of in-person and digital productions. The festival will take place January 19-30, 2022 and be presented at Daniels Spectrum’s Ada Slaight Hall.

Ten productions will be presented in total: six productions in the Theatre Performance Series and four productions in the Digital Performance Series.

The selection jury commits to reserving at least 50% of production spots for artists who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Colour. In late 2020 The Toronto Fringe underwent an EDI Audit conducted by Where You Are Consulting. In light of their findings and preliminary recommendations we are implementing this 50% minimum guarantee as a step to directly address some of the imbalances and gaps that exist in the demographics reflected on Fringe stages, live or digital.

Theatre Performance Series
• Six indie artists/companies will be selected to produce a fully staged production in rep at the Ada Slaight Hall
• Each company will be offered up a performance run of up to 6 performances; seating capacity 70-150 depending on public health guidelines. Ticket prices will be set between $18-$25
• There is no fee to participate in the festival; the box office will be split 70:30 in favour of the participating company (70% revenue to you, 30% retained by Toronto Fringe)
• Performances in this category can be up to a maximum 90 minutes (though it doesn’t have to be as long as 90 minutes in order to be eligible)
• Applications will be considered of either fully realized productions with significant production value that are ‘ready to be picked up’ and seen by presenters and programming theatre companies OR full productions of work that is distinctly in development, or being workshopped
• There will be the option to livestream one performance to a digital audience

Digital Performance Series
• Four indie artists/companies will be selected to produce a digital performance production delivered through fringetoronto.com with web ticket or paywall policies in place
• Applications will be considered of either live, virtual performance concepts OR productions that are designed to be pre-recorded in advance and streamed to a closed audience
• Ticket prices will be set between $18-$25. Capacities will be set to be proportional to the Theatre Performance Series
• There is no fee to participate in the festival; the box office will be split 70:30 in favour of the participating company (70% revenue to you, 30% retained by Toronto Fringe)
• Performances in this category can be up to a maximum 60 minutes (though it doesn’t have to be as long as 60 minutes in order to be eligible)
• Applications will be considered of either fully realized productions with significant production value that are ‘ready to be picked up’ and seen by presenters and programming theatre companies OR full productions of work that is distinctly in development, or being workshopped.

WHO ARE NEXT STAGE ARTISTS
• Next Stage offers experienced indie producers a platform to showcase theatre and performing arts creators, writers, directors, performers in order to elevate a production or artist to a next level of recognition and/or development
• Theatre Performance Series companies must reside in Toronto or the GTA. This is an exception for 2022 due to continued travel and accommodation restrictions that we anticipate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Digital Performance Series companies do not have to be permanent residents of Canada
• Applicants can submit new works, reworked projects and original adaptations and remounts of productions in order to significantly advance a project’s development. Productions of work by notable playwrights or of the ‘classics’ are not eligible.
• The selection jury commits to reserving at least 50% of production spots for artists who are Black, Indigenous, or Persons of Colour. Eligibility requirements must be met by the INDIVIDUAL APPLYING, unless otherwise specified. This person is referred to as the MAIN ADMIN CONTACT, and is considered by the Fringe Festival to be the primary producer of the show. They enter a binding agreement with the Festival upon acceptance of a slot.

HOW TO APPLY
Applications closed on June 14, 2021. Thank you to all who applied. 

ADJUDICATION PROCESS

A 5-member jury will review all applications and select the series of 10 productions. The jury will consist of the Executive Director, the Managing Director and three established sector peers. These are selected practicing artists and/or arts professionals that are recognized as artistic leaders by our sector, with a view to be representative of Toronto’s arts community and striving to contribute to fostering the ongoing diversity of the independent performing arts sector.

Submissions will be assessed for:
• The readiness of the project and its participants to take advantage of the professional opportunities offered by the festival
• The artistic content of the project with a view towards clarity of vision
• The level of potential production value
• Viability of the project after a presentation in the festival, or perceived contribution this presentation will have to the development of the project
• The diversity of the creators and project members’ lived experiences

Round 1: All submissions in each series will be divided into 5 groups randomly. Each jury member will be assigned a group of submissions to review and score in the assessment categories before meeting to discuss all applications. This discussion session allows each juror to propose the submissions they have scored highest that will advance to the second round. Discussing the applications as a group gives jurors a more rounded understanding of the work, and provides the opportunity to reconsider their initial scores.

Round 2: All submissions in this round will be read by all five jury members and independently evaluated before meeting to discuss them all together. The jury will select productions that strongly align with the festival’s criteria, and which form a series which is diverse in creators, genres and artistic vision. In this stage, we are considering the work as it will be situated within the entire festival, and striving to showcase the depth and breadth of work in the sector and representing as many genres, disciplines, subject matters, and creative voices as possible. Historically the festival has programmed at least one musical, one dance piece, as well as theatre, solo storytelling, improv, comedy, and everything in between.

TIMELINE
Final deadline to apply: June 14th, 2021 at 11:59PM
Selected productions will be informed by the week of July 19th at the latest.
TAC Theatre and Dance Projects grants deadline: August 3rd, 2021
OAC Theatre Projects grant deadline: August 5th, 2021

JURY

Laura Paduch, Toronto Fringe Managing Director
Lucy Eveleigh, Toronto Fringe Executive Director
Derrick Chua, Entertainment Lawyer & Theatre Producer
Marjorie Chan, Artistic Director Theatre Passe Muraille
Leah-Simone Bowen, Writer, Producer, Director