DEADLINE TO APPLY: February 27 at 11:59 PM

We are thrilled to announce that our call for applications to participate in the HOTTEST YOUTH THEATRE PROGRAM EVER – is now open!

What is it?
Electric Innovations is a 12-week theatre program for folks between the ages of 14–18. This unique opportunity was created by Suitcase in Point in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada in order to recognize the powerful, thoughtful, and undefined magic that exists in young people in and around the Niagara region.

This amazing program provides young people with the opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the best theatre makers, artists, and professionals from across Turtle Island, and offers a chance for young people to work together to devise a brand new piece of theatre to be shared at Suitcase in Point’s annual In the Soil Arts Festival.

This is a challenging and fun experience that is transferable to real world skills, and an opportunity for YOU to learn things about yourself, your artistic practice and the art you want to put out in the community.

Why is this theatre program SO FIRE!?

  • It demystifies what it means to choose a career in the arts;
  • It provides you with a real life, hands-on theatre devising process led by professional theatre artists from across Turtle Island;
  • It provides you with the tools and opportunity to collaborate on the creation of an original performance that they themselves steward;
  • Who YOU are – YOUR interests, curiosities and impulses are at the forefront of the process and the final creation that YOU will share at Suitcase in Point’s annual In the Soil Arts Festival.

The Deets:

When: Every Saturday from March 18 – June 3, 10am – 2pm. The program will conclude with a public performance at In the Soil Arts festival on June 10 and an end-of-program celebration on June 11, 2023.

Where: In the state-of-the-art studio spaces of the Department of Dramatic Arts in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University in downtown St. Catharines.

Who: Applicants must be between the ages of 14-18 and live in or near the Niagara Region. We believe theatre is more interesting when it is created by a group of exciting, provocative, curious, folks that come from different walks and will aim to reflect this in our selection process. Priority will be given to BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ applicants. A maximum of 8 people will be selected to participate. (For info on our Lead and Guest Artist Mentors – see below!)

How: The application process is fun and easy! You will be asked to answer a few short questions and asked to submit a short video clip, telling us about yourself. PLEASE NOTE: You must have a Google account (gmail email address) to submit your application through our online form. If you do not have a Google account, please email dienye@suitcaseinpoint.com for an alternative submission process. We are happy to accommodate an alternative method to apply.

Cost: There is a program fee of $250 / participant. Selected participants will be notified and offered a spot in the program. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced. PLEASE NOTE: We do not want the cost to be a barrier for any interested participant and so 100% bursaries can be made available. If you would like to apply and request to waive the fee, please email dienye@suitcaseinpoint.com and arrangements will be made.

Additional Info:

  • Transportation assistance can be made available by request.
  • Light snacks and refreshments will be provided at every Saturday session.
  • Participants must be available to share what they devise at a public performance during in the Soil Arts Festival. This performance will happen at the fully equipped theatre in the Marylin I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
  • All participants will be invited to close the program with a fun Arts Day on June 11, 2023. This day will consist of seeing arts performances, checking out cultural spaces in downtown St. Catharines and sharing in a celebratory meal.

If you have any questions about the application or program, please contact our Artist Mentorship Program Coordinator at dienye@suitcaseinpoint.com.

Thank you to our program partners: National Theatre School of Canada, The Department of Dramatic Arts in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. 

The 2023 Electric Innovations Lead and Guest Artist Mentors

Lead Artist Mentor

Cole Lewis

Cole Lewis guest artist mentor Electric Innovations 2023

Duration of the Program

Cole Lewis (she/her) is a theatre artist, educator, and Mom. She specializes in creating live performance from design ideas, exploring new modes of storytelling, and fusing technologies to the stage. Her practice includes directing, playwriting, and the design of moving image works. She is the Co-Artistic Director of Guilty by Association and Director of the Acting Program at TMU.

Twice-nominated for Dora Awards, Cole’s practice uses humour, design, and technology, to explore notions of violence, expose questions of bias, and unsettle standard conceptions of ‘truth’. Select credits: Writing/Directing/Performing the Dora-nominated moving image performance of 1991 for Why Not Theatre’s RISER Projects. Adapting Kyo Maclear’s Virginia Wolf for Geordie Theatre. Co-writing/originating the Direction of the Dora-nominated Keith Richards: The One Woman Show. Directing Canada’s largest wearable art show, STRUTT. Devising/Directing Redshift Music Society’s immersive experience Still Life Continuum at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre. Upcoming: Seed commissioned by Stratford to write Untitled Nurse Project. Disparate, divergent, and wide-ranging, Cole’s works question received ideas about identity, violence, and systems of oppression to explore alternative futures. 

Cole will be at every session and workshop, helping the participants develop their own original creation throughout the 12-week program. 

Risk Taking & Play

Guest Artist Mentor to be announced soon!

Saturday March 25, 2023

Stay tuned for workshop details and our special guest artist instructor!

Self & Original Creation

with Yolanda Bonell

Yolanda Bonell guest artist mentor Electric Innovations 2023

Saturday April 8, 2023

Creating from your heart and your voice

It is important for the youth to learn how to use their voices in a world that tells them to be quiet. I think that self and original creation is one of the first forms of creation that young artists should learn. Centering your voice and your story is a gateway into a broader spectrum and way of creation. In the industry, it is difficult for some to hear and see stories that are self representative. Offering creation tools such as writing exercises and creation exercises offers young artists a road map on how to storyboard, put things together and create their own work.

Yolanda Bonnell (She/They) is a Bi/Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe, South Asian mixed storyteller. Originally from Fort William First Nation, ON, her arts practice is now based in Tkarón:to. She is Co-artistic leader of manidoons collective, that she runs with Michif (Métis) artist, Cole Alvis. In February 2020, Yolanda’s four-time Dora nominated solo show bug was remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille while the published book was shortlisted for a Governor General Literary Award. In 2022, her play White Girls in Moccasins, was produced at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as well as at the frank theatre (“Vancouver”). Yolanda has taught/facilitated at York University and Sheridan College and proudly bases her practice in land-based creation, drawing on energy and inspiration from the earth and her ancestors. 

Select theatre performance credits include: Narrator/Bear son in Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/ Gállábártnit (Signal Theatre/Soundstreams – Dora nominated), Valerie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women (National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre), Ipruq/Atugauq in The Breathing Hole (Stratford Festival), Fanny/Roberta in Treasure Island (Stratford Festival), Theresa in The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre)

Theatre Ecology & Structure

with Marcel Stewart

Marcel Stewart guest artist mentor Electric Innovations 2023

Saturday April 22, 2023

Demystifying a career in the arts

There are interesting questions being asked about where theatre is headed. Is it enough to go to the Royal Alex anymore and sit in the dark and watch a play for two hours when there is a whole world accessible through your phone? What is the way in which we as people attend theatre? What is the experience of going out to the spectacle of theatre? In the age of social media what is the impact of new media theatre? What is Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat theatre? How do we create environments and performances? What is the relationship to space and the things being done in the space? How do you conceive a whole story on stolen land?

Marcel Stewart is a father, artist, facilitator, and arts administrator who loves smoked gouda. Marcel serves as Artistic Director of bcurrent Performing Arts and as an Artistic Associate for SpiderWebShow Performance. Marcel also sits on the Board of Directors for Essential Collective Theatre. He has worked with Soulpepper, Factory Theatre, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Obsidian Theatre, The Theatre Centre, The Blyth Festival, Festival Players, Studio 180, The Grand Theatre, Persephone, Theatre Direct, Carousel Players, Theatre SKAM, and Atlas Stage. For three years Marcel worked at Suitcase in Point as Outreach Director, co-founding the Nest Artist Residency and Electric Innovations. When Marcel is not creating theatre, he is an arts educator who has facilitated programming to community youth groups, professional actors, students in university, high school, and elementary. He has taught classes at the National Theatre School, Brock University and Sheridan College. Inspired by the teachings of d’bi young anitafrika, Marcel often returns to the questions: Who am I? How am I? How did I get here? Who have I lost? What is my purpose?

Innovation & Design

with James McCoy

James McCoy guest artist mentor Electric Innovations 2023

Saturday May 13, 2023

Using design elements and technology to tell stories

Learning about theatre design and technology, participants will find new ways to incorporate the audience and themselves within the telling of stories, while taking an opportunity to try new and unusual things. Participants will connect words, meaning and story to visual media. Beginning with an exploration of the most basic elements of design: shape, colour, levels, intensity and movement, participants will go on a journey of design, from the inception of an idea to reality. In the process the participants will learn the balance of keeping the dream alive despite budget and time constraints and pull everything together into a feasible project that nurtures the dream idea.

James McCoy (he/they) is a queer theatre artist working in the Niagara region. A graduate of Brock University and the National Theatre School, James specializes in all areas of theatrical tech, design, and management. He also enjoys teaching and mentoring emerging designers and technicians, looking forward to when he can work alongside them. James has worked with a variety of companies in a variety of positions. Credits include Lighting Designer for “Nobody’s Children” (Yellow Door Theatre Projects), Projections Designer and Video Editor for “Fever/Dream” (Brock University), Video Designer and Editor for “ARKangel (Hypothetical Bad Idea), and Technical Director for Suitcase in Point. James is currently working on combining their love for games, story, and performance by designing experiences similar to escape rooms or murder mysteries.

Electric Innovations 2022

2021 Electric Innovations Alumni

Thank you to our partners and funders!