TENT: Theatre Entrepreneurs' Network and Training Program
2023 TENT (Theatre Entrepreneurs’ Network and Training)
TENT (Theatre Entrepreneurs’ Network and Training) was created in 2014 by The Toronto Fringe Festival to address a growing need in theatre training: how to actually make theatre happen.
Since its inception, TENT has served over 160 emerging artists by providing free, intensive training in the skills vital to making their work a reality (such as managing budgets, marketing, fundraising, and grant-writing), and by connecting them with some of Canada’s artistic innovators, leaders, and producers.
TENT invests in the future of arts and culture in Toronto by creating, training, and cultivating community. We equip emerging artists with the skills and human connections to empower them to create meaningful art from informed perspectives, and on their own terms. Participating in TENT will connect you to your peers, deepen your relationship to your work, support what you want to build, and clarify your understanding of existing systems.
WHO IS TENT FOR
TENT is for Toronto and GTA based theatre artists who wish to expand their skill set into producing and creating work opportunities for themselves and the greater community. Professional identities of TENT participants are most commonly: early-career producers, artists with a desire to self-produce, and aspiring arts leaders. This includes emerging artists but also artists with a more established artistic or producing practice who are interested in learning new skills to expand their professional opportunities.
TENT is for you if resonate with any of the following:
- You are an artist interested in gaining producing knowledge and tools
- You don’t identify as an artist but are looking to gain producing knowledge and tools.
- You want to build community and connect with like-minded peers
- You want to meaningfully contribute to the ecology of the Toronto theatre community
- You are looking to expand your resources for sourcing and building funding, facilities, and professional relationships
- You are interested in building a multifaceted career with intersecting professional identities.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TENT
TENT 2023 took place on Zoom and in person. There were 2-3 Zoom sessions on weekday evenings and one 8 Hour Saturday per week from June 24th to July 16th. The time commitment was 14-20 hours a week. All participants were required to attend all sessions unless previous arrangements are made with the TENT program director. Due to time commitment and scheduling, if you are participating in the 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival we do not recommend that you also participate in TENT 2023, please reach out to the program director if you would like to discuss this recommendation.
We are accepted 14 participants for the program. This year’s TENT included:
- Building peer relationships and connections with the TENT cohort, while also reflecting on and clarifying individual goals and trajectories.
- Workshops – Hands-on opportunities to learn in areas of interest to this year’s cohort, some past examples include; pitching, grant-writing, budgeting, creative practice, and working in non-traditional venues.
- Guest Speakers and Mentorship– Honest conversations with leaders and artists who can speak to the questions and considerations of this year’s cohort. Who are the leaders we want to hear from and learn from? What conversations feel necessary right now? Through this we aim to build connection between participants and artists and leaders in the Toronto theatre community.
- Build connections with companies involved in the 2023 Next Stage Festival and the opportunity to create and produce auxiliary programming for their shows during the 2023 Next Stage Festival.
- Free Shows – Rush access to all 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival programming at no cost.
- A $350 stipend was offered to each participant to help support them in dedicating time to the training
Is TENT accessible?
ASL interpretation is available upon request for TENT programming (and interviews). Live captioning will be provided for zoom meetings. The program can be made accessible for artists who are blind or low vision in mind (workshops that don't rely on visual aids, materials that are screen-reader compatible, and incorporating group practices such as providing visual descriptions and stating our names when speaking). The Fringe is committed to accommodating and embracing different learning styles and cognitive needs; there will be on-going communication throughout the design and delivery of TENT to support all participants in gaining meaningful training.
Applications for the 2023 program were due in April 2023. Applications for the 2024 program will open in Spring 2024.
Please email Tanya (she/her) at tent(at)fringetoronto.com with any questions.
The Selection Process
- Applications will be assessed by the Program Director on an individual basis, and with a view towards assembling a cohort who share some common goals while encompassing a diversity of perspectives and experiences.
- A shortlist of applicants will be interviewed by the Program Director. Interview questions will be provided in advance.
All applicants will be notified as to whether or not they’ve received an interview, and for interviewed applicants, whether or not they’ve been selected for 2024 TENT.
TENT gave me access to the hardworking people making theatre in Canada, and it taught me how I can be one of them.TENT Participant