Electric Innovations Youth Theatre Program is a 12-week theatre program for youth aged 14–19. Participants will be offered a weekly creative outlet to train, create and perform under the guidance of renowned Canadian theatre artists.

This year Electric Innovations Youth Theatre Program will kick off in March 2023 and culminate in a showcase of participants’ work at the height of Suitcase in Point’s flagship multi arts festival, In the Soil in June 2023. 

Registration will open in January 2023 and OPEN TO ALL aged 14–30. 


Risk Taking & Play

with Miriam Fernandes

Tuesday July 12

Join Miriam Fernandes, Co-Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre, for a physical creation session based in movement and improvisation. You will be exploring the idea of “play” and how movement in your body and voice can directly impact how a story unfolds.

Miriam Fernandes is the Co-Artistic Director of Toronto’s Why Not Theatre and has worked as an actor, director, and theatre-maker around the world. She trained with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, and is a graduate of Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. Directing and creation credits include Nesen, (MiniMidiMaxi Festival, Norway) The First Time I Saw the Sea (YVA Company, Norway). She is currently is co-writing/adapting for the stage the ancient epic, Mahabharata (Why Not Theatre/Shaw Festival), is developing a Deaf/hearing production of Lady Macbeth (in partnership with 1S1 Collective), and is co-writing and performing in What You Won’t Do for Love with Drs. David Suzuki and Tara Cullis. Miriam is the recipient of the JBC Watkins Award and was nominated for the inaugural Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize.  

Self & Original Creation

with Cole Alvis

Cole Alvis

Wednesday July 13

Trace your ancestry through exploring world maps and treaties with Cole Alvis. While being immersed in nature, you will question your body’s connection to the land, and how to make informed decisions based on old documents.

Cole Alvis (she/her) is a 2 Spirit Michif (Métis) artist based in Tkarón:to with Chippewa, Irish & English ancestors from Turtle Mountain. She is one of the leaders of lemonTree creations, manidoons collective, and AdHoc Assembly, and is on the board of the Dancers Of Damelahamid. Recently, Cole performed in Louis Riel (Canadian Opera Company & National Arts Centre) and directed the Dora-nominated bug by Yolanda Bonnell (manidoons collective & Luminato), Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard (lemonTree creations, Why Not Theatre & Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) and, alongside fellow Dora-nominated Michael Greyeyes, co-directed an Indigenous opera double bill called Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin / Gállábártnit (Signal Theatre, National Sami Theatre Beaivváš & Soundstreams). This spring, Cole co-directs, alongside Samantha Brown, White Girls In Moccasins by Yolanda Bonnell coproduced by manidoons collective and Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, and a digital presentation of the play Toka by Indrit Kasapi coproduced by lemonTree creations and Theatre Passe Muraille.

Theatre Ecology & Structure

with Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster

Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster

Thursday July 14

Join Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster in exploring text based work that serves as inspiration for your creations. How do we use published works as inspiration to create something original?  We will also explore the basics of how to succinctly introduce yourself and your artistic practice.

Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster is an artistic leader of the Toronto-based theatre collective The Howland Company, was recently the Assistant Artistic Director at Tarragon Theatre, and is former resident artist with Soulpepper Theatre. She has directed the radio plays Three Women of Swatow, 7 Stories, Shape of a Girl and Democracy (Expect Theatre/Tarragon), and Ins Choi’s Casting at Factory Theatre. Her live theatre direction includes The Wolves (Howland/Crows), Cannibal (Next Stage Festival), 52 Pick-Up (Howland), Gray (Inamorata), Three Women of Swatow (Tarragon), The Home Project, (Howland Company/Native Earth/Soulpepper), Casimir and Caroline (Sheridan College) and Everybody (York University). She has performed with the Shaw Festival, Soulpepper, Public Recordings, Canadian Stage, Citadel, Blue Bridge Repertory, Cahoots, Native Earth, Tarragon and beyond. Courtney is a co-creator of Stillwater School for Mosquitos, a musical adventure podcast for children. She is a theatre instructor with Sheridan College and XU, and has worked as an educator with Soulpepper Theatre and the Paprika Festival.

Innovation & Design

with Joanna Yu

Joanna Yu

Friday July 15

How can you visualize the scene in your head? Designers need something to respond to when building sets, design, lighting and costume. Joanna Yu leads this workshop in thinking and communicating like a designer!

Joanna Yu is a set and costume designer born in Hong Kong, raised in Thornhill, Ontario. Over the past 15 years, Joanna has designed over 100 productions for large and small theatres across Canada; 44 of them World premieres. Design collaborations include: Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Young People’s Theatre, Tarragon, Canadian Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Factory Theatre, Obsidian, Cahoots, fu-Gen, The Blyth Festival, Musical Stage Co., Theatre Passé Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, Why Not Theatre, Nightwood, Project: Humanity, The Grand, Neptune Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick, Mirvish, Lemon Tree Productions, Signal Theatre, Luminato, Tapestry Opera, the COC.


Creation of Original Work

with Marcel Stewart

Monday July 18 through 23

Creation of original work (Week Two)

Marcel Stewart is a father, artist, educator, and arts administrator. Marcel is the Outreach Director for Suitcase in Point, as well as an Artistic Associate for SpiderWebShow. Artistically, Marcel’s curiosity about history and lineage – beyond the context of colonialism – is at the basis of his work. Marcel was a member of the Soulpepper Academy and completed the Theatre Enhancement Program (as a Directing Foreman) through Factory Theatre.
Marcel is a multiple Dora-nominated actor and has performed in numerous Dora Award-Winning productions. Some of Marcel’s Acting Credits include: The Brothers Size (Soulpepper); The Drawer Boy (Festival Players); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper); Father Comes Home From the Wars (Soulpepper); We Are Proud To Present… (The Theatre Centre); Toronto the Good (Factory Theatre). Marcel has directed the podcast play Toronto Pigeons (Factory Theatre); the digital play Meet Chloe (Carousel Players) and the live theatre production of Serving Elizabeth (Thousand Islands Playhouse). Currently, Marcel is developing a theatrical audio series loosely based on his dad’s life in Jamaica. 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?

Creation of Original Work

with Michelle Mohammed

Michelle Mohammed

Monday July 18 through 23

Creation of original work (Week Two)

Michelle Mohammed is an artist with a primary interest in developing her skills as a performer and director. She is currently working as an Artistic Associate at Suitcase in Point and Teaching Assistant to Cole Alvis at Brock University. In 2021, she worked with the Shaw Festival, Why Not Theatre, Brock University, The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, and Suitcase in Point. She also worked as a dramaturg and actor on an audio drama created by Aria Sharma entitled, The Trick to Walking Backwards. In 2020, she trained in Factory Theatre’s Mechanicals actor training program under the direction of the incomparable Nina Lee Aquino and worked as an Operations Assistant with the wonderful Amrita Kaur-Ratta for Shades of Brown Girl.

Select credits include: Olga in Orphan’s for the Czar(Crow’s Theatre), Betty in Betty’s House(Workshops) by Nikki Shaffeeullah, Villager in Chitra (Shaw Festival), Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare BASH’d), Devisor/Creator in Mahabharata (Workshops) (Why Not Theatre/Shaw Festival), The Handmaid’s Tale (Gilead 3 Prod), Apprentice Assistant Director to Peter Hinton in Oh What a Lovely War (Shaw Festival), Assistant Director to Danielle Wilson in Top Girls (Brock University).

Electric Innovations Alumni

Our second year of Electric Innovations is complete and we’re celebrating our talented 2022 cohort, including Joav Ankory, Kendra Humphries, and Briar Wood! 

This year, our participants spent one week uncovering their creativity and delving into the world of theatre and creation. Working exclusively with some of Canada’s most celebrated theatre makers, these artists explored foundation “pillars” in theatre creation: learning how to create from their bodies, create original work, take risks and play, think like a designer, diving into text-work, and learning what life as an actor in Canada really looks like. 

This program allowed our participants to develop their artistic toolkit, learning how to collaborate with each other and expand their understanding of theatre making, while discovering more about their personal artistic interests and pursuits. 

Our Electric Innovators wrapped up their one-week theatre intensive with an “Arts Day” – spending an entire Saturday witnessing art in the Niagara Region. On this “Arts Day”, they explored Suitcase in Point’s 2022 “Nest Fest” and watched Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins the Shaw Festival followed by an exclusive Q&A with cast members. Both incredible shows allowed our participants to concretely understand the teachings in their week-long program, expanding preconceived notions of what theatre is, how we create, and how we can tell stories.  

Stay tuned for an announcement about Electric Innovations in 2023! We look forward to meeting more incredible Electric Innovators in the years to come! 

We want to give a huge thank you to our founding partners at The National Theatre School of Canada for their ongoing support and graciousness towards the development program. We also want to thank Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts for their production support throughout this year. We’d like to thank the Shaw Festival for generously providing our group with tickets to an incredible show. Finally, we want to thank our guest artists, Miriam Fernandes, Cole Alvis, Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, and Joanna Yu for their incredible willingness, creativity, and collaboration on their workshop offerings. 

My experience with Electric Innovations was so fun and such a positive experience! I made so many amazing connections to people from SIP as well as am still in contact with the other participants of the program! I learned so much from the different guests and each workshop was intriguing, and fun and taught me new and useful things, in the arts as well as in life! The people were so incredible and I’m so grateful to have been able to participate and create all that I did with them!

Kendra Humphries2021 Electric Innovations Participant

2021 Electric Innovations Alumni

Thank you to our partners and funders!