A 5 by 3 grid with headshots of the 21-22 Nightwood Innovators.
The 2021-22 Nightwood Innovators. From top left: Maria Alejandra Cortes, Rebecca Bauer, Alex Cameron, Drea, Rahaf Fasheh, Rosalind Goodwin, Erin Jones, Jahnelle Jones, Emily Maxwell, Augusta (Gus) Monet, Natércia Napoleão, Camille Rogers, Jade Silman, Abigail Whitney.


Build community and collaborate with the next generation of leaders in Canada’s theatre industry. The Nightwood Innovators program (formally the Young Innovators) is now open to emerging and/or new generation artists aged 18+, and delivers digital and in-person meet-ups to equip participants with the building blocks involved in running a theatre company and creating work on their own terms. Whether a Nightwood Innovator joins us as a born administrator, stage manager, designer, director, actor, playwright or production manager (or beyond), we aim to deepen their understanding of each dimension of professional theatre, opening them up to new complementary facets of their practice. Nightwood Innovators are given the unique opportunity to forge connections with one another in a pivotal time in their careers, and ignite a lasting personal and professional relationship with Nightwood Theatre.

We accept applications from theatre practitioners (directors, actors, designers, technicians, stage managers, arts managers, dramaturges, production managers, etc.) who are 18+ and self-identify as emerging. We encourage applications from anyone who has experienced gender oppression (including but not limited to trans and cis women, trans men, non-binary, and Two-Spirit folks). The program will run from September 2021 to the end of April 2022.


  • Access to Nightwood’s digital and live programming
  • Numerous workshops by Nightwood staff on marketing, fundraising, grant writing, networking, directing/dramaturgy, artist health, and more
  • Programming and producing experience as the Nightwood Innovators curate and produce Fempocalypse, a fundraising event to benefit a charity chosen by the cohort
  • Observing a Write From The Hip new play development workshop before it is publicly shared at the Groundswell Festival
  • Regular gathering points for socializing, connecting to future collaborators, and developing systems of support.
  • Invites to first day table reads and opening nights/dress rehearsals*
  • Access to Nightwood staff for consultation
  • A one-on-one session with Artistic Director Andrea Donaldson
  • A short, one-on-one dramaturgical feedback session with a Nightwood community member (intended for participants who have a work in progress)
  • A $500 honourarium for participation

*As possible given COVID-19

Applications are now closed. Please check back next year to apply for the 22/23 cohort.

The Nightwood Innovators program is generously supported by the TD Ready Commitment.

TD The Ready Commitment Logo


Maria Alejandra.

Maria Alejandra Cortes (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and arts manager who decided to move from Colombia to Toronto seeking an international career in Theatre three years ago. Before coming to Canada, she co-founded “Parálisis Teatral”, a theatre company based in Barranquilla, and participated in short films and Tv shows. She is passionate for innovation, and the intersection among artistic disciplines enchants her. As a creator she is interested in visual poetry and bold statements that open conversations about social justice, equity and wellness.

[Image description: An olive-skinned women from Colombia with brown hair and eyes, her hair is styled with curls. She is smiling and wearing a red strapless dress against a dark grey background. ]

Rebecca Bauer.

Rebecca Bauer (she/her) is a queer performer and theatre creator. She holds a BFA in Acting from Concordia University, studied in the Theatre Department at FAU University Erlangen-Nürnberg, and trained with SITI Company NYC. She approaches her work from an intersectional feminist lens, utilizing physical theatre and singing as tools for storytelling. Having performed locally and internationally, including a number of original creations, Rebecca is currently actively seeking training in the following areas: contemporary musical theatre singing, viewpoints work, anti-racist theatre making, and mental wellness in performance. She is an alumni of the Emerging Artist Roundtable (Theatre Gargantua), the Beats + Intentions Playwright’s Unit (Expect Theatre), and the Young Creator’s Unit (Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal). Her current focus is sustainability and mental wellness in the arts, for which she will be embarking on a number of research projects over the coming months. For more information: rebeccabaueractor.com

[Image description: a white, cis woman in her early twenties, wearing a dark green long-sleeved shirt, with a white background. She has long brown wavy hair, is smiling; her lips stretched wide, has earth green eyes and freckles.]

Alex Cameron.
Photo of Alex Cameron by Nicole Eun-Ju Bell

Alex Cameron (she/her)

Performer, creator, musician, dramaturge, dreamer, remixer, fashionista, biracial light-femme. Question, what do these things all have in common? Everybody knows I’m a mix-em-up monster! I’m happy to be part of Young Innovators and looking forward to meeting more people and sharing our souls!

Previous experiences include: Toronto Fringe, Blackwood Gallery, Tarragon YPU Actors’ Unit, Crane Creations Theatre Company, Theatre Gargantua: Emerging Artists’ Roundtable, Canadian Play Thing, ACTRA Diversity: A Different Lens, AMY Project: Trans Gemmes, Fringe TENT

Influences include: Lights, Irene Koh, Ringo Sheena, Janelle Monae, Nasir Jones, Jordana LeSesne, Off the Hook, and everyone around me. 

– Alex

[Image description: A mixed black woman, lit by sunlight, stands before a shroud of leafy greens. She is wearing glasses, an airy blue top, and has bouncy afro curls.]

Drea. black and white photo of a woman with glasses.

Drea (she/her) is a theatre creator, stage manager, actor, dramaturge, access consultant and disability scholar. Her masters focused on disability representation of mainstage theatre in Canada. Employing disability dramaturgy, she endeavours to adapt and shift current theatrical practices to ensure that disabled people are considered and/or included from the inception of the project through to the performance. Her work strives to shift the physical and attitudinal barriers that are present on- and off stage. She is excited about this amazing opportunity to continue her journey of learning about theatre, which she is so passionate about. [Image description: a black and white photo of a white woman smiling and looking at the camera. She has long curly relaxed hair, square glasses and a long-sleeve sweater. ]

Rahaf Fasheh.

Rahaf Fasheh (She/her) is a Palestinian theatre artist based in Toronto. She is passionate about producing collaborative theatre to tell stories of marginalized communities. Rahaf began her career at Soulpepper’s City Youth Academy program, and has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Toronto, specializing in Theatre. She’s been involved in various theatre conferences and workshops, whilst participating annually in Hart House Theatre’s Drama Festival. Rahaf was awarded the Pamela Terry Memorial Scholarship for demonstrating promise in the field of directing. She had her directorial debut at Theatre Passe Murraille with a two-week independent run of the play Tales of a City by the Sea. Rahaf then directed her first digital-theatre exploration during the lock-down with Paprika Festival’s Directors Lab program, where she discovered her passion for producing. She is looking forward to expanding her practice and artistry through Nightwood\s Innovators program.

Rosalind Goodwin.

Rosalind Goodwin (fae/they/she) is a performer, producer, playwright, and artist. Since fae moved to Toronto she has also found a passion for making video games and illustrations. Faer work is heavily influenced by queerness and the complexities of being queer. Fae also works doing outreach at events promoting harm reduction and giving harm reduction supplies with Pieces to Pathway. As a performer, Rose was last seen in Gender Reveal Party (Summerworks Festival). Fae produced Rose’s Buds: A DIgital Trans Cabaret for the 2021 Paprika festival. Faer play Hermaphroditus was given a staged reading as part of the Tarragon Theatres 2021 Young Playwrights Unit.

Erin Jones.
Photo by Erin Jones

Erin Jones (she/her/they) is a writer, actor, emerging playwright and director. She has performed in theatre and independent films across the GTA. She supports performing arts behind the scenes with publicity, articles, newsletters, social media, grant writing, governance, photography, director hiring committees, and respect in the workplace committees.  

Erin’s recent projects include writing and producing the award winning Time Limits Dropped on Easter Sunday for the Toronto and Calgary Fringe Festivals.  She directed Exit:  An Illusion with Shadowpath Theatre Productions.  Her short story Lovingly Yours, Olive was featured in the Toronto Fringe Next Stage Community Booster Series.  

Her focus has been on ensuring female and BIPOC voices are not silenced and relevant Canadian stories that represent BIPOC folx with dignity are produced.  Erin looks forward to continuing to contribute to a vibrant inclusive Canadian theatre scene. 

Jahnelle Jones.

Jahnelle Jones (she/her) is a Toronto based interdisciplinary Black female artist who was born and raised in Scarborough. During her youth Jahnelle was lucky to attend training programs with companies including Tarragon Theatre, Paprika Festival, and Shakespeare in the Ruff. Those programs helped to in still Jahnelle’s love of the Toronto theatre community and her interest in eventually helping to usher in the new generation of theatre artists. Jahnelle is also a recent graduate from UofT and Sheridan College. On her days off she can be found raging against the dying of the light or sort of trying to become Tik Tok famous.

[Image Description: A young Black woman with curly hair smiling at the camera, wearing a mint green turtleneck and in front of a beige background.]

Emily Maxwell.

Emily Maxwell (she/her) is a queer and disabled stage manager for theatre and live events. She has worked as a stage manager for several theatre companies, including Canadian Stage, The Theatre Centre, Buddies in Bad Times, and many more. In 2020, Emily founded The Disability Collective, a not-for-profit organization and community of disabled artists dedicated to celebrating and showcasing disability in the arts. TDC allows Emily to combine her love for art with her passion for disability rights. Emily lives in Tkaronto with her fiancé, Nathan, and their two cats, Merry and Pippin.

[Image Description: A close up photo of a white woman with ginger hair and blue eyes. She is wearing a black dress with pink and green flowers on it, with a grey cardigan overtop. The background has trees, leaves, and other greenery]

Augusta (Gus) Monet.

Augusta (Gus) Monet (He/They/She) is a genderfluid theatre artist and writer who enjoys gardening, podcasts, and witchcraft. Gus currently writes for smART magazine, does drag under the name Coyote Ugly, and clowns under the name Goose. Recently, they workshopped a reading of their play, Equinox, with Dandelion theatre. Previously they developed a script, Steam, as part of Tarragon’s Young Playwrights Unit, and performed in Art Babayant’s Les Gars (2020). Gus is thrilled to be a part of Nightwood’s Young Innovators cohort.

Natércia Napoleão.

Natércia Napoleão (she/her) is a multifaceted Brazilian theatre artist, educator and community advocate. Over the past eighteen years, she has had a wide influence within the Albertan theatre community, with experience in site-specific theatre, dance theatre, multimedia performance, television, musicals, and a wide range of classical and contemporary theatre. Recent directing credits include Jameela McNeil’s Orange Skies (Tarragon Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Unit), and the multidisciplinary theatre piece, Threshold (The Lobbyists/2021 Chinook Series).

As a producer with the manidoons collective, Natércia will be supporting the workshop and production of esteemed playwright Yolanda Bonnell’s newest play, White Girls in Moccasins, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 

Natércia is ecstatic to be writing her first full-length play, Michener Park. Recent essays include, “Reimagining Community and the Workplace of Theatre” (Culture Days AB) and “2020: Year of the Iconoclast” (Theatre Alberta).

Natércia is a graduate from the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting Program.

Camille Rogers.
Photo of Camille Rogers by Dhoui Chang

Camille Rogers (they/them/theirs)

The Co-Artistic Director of Toronto’s queer opera collective OperaQ, Camille Rogers is currently pursuing a doctorate in music and sexual diversity studies at U of T.  Their research, supported by the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, investigates how problematic historical works of music theatre can be transformed and made relevant to today’s audiences through the bodies of modern queer performers.  Camille has produced two operas with OperaQ, and has been invited to speak at events hosted by Against the Grain Theatre, Amplified Opera, and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.  Camille is also active as a performer of opera and early music.  Credits include Aeneas with OperaQ (Dido and Aeneas), Suli/Suzie in Buddies in Bad Times’s world premiere of Pomegranate, Young Girl with Opera Atelier (Marriage of Figaro), and the title role in L’Italiana in Algeri with MYOpera.

[A white non-binary person with short, light brown hair, against a black background.  They are wearing a black lace button-up shirt.]

Jade Silman.

Jade Silman (she/her) is an emerging theatre creator, director, and dramaturg who foregrounds collaboration, equity, and passion in all her work. Jade recently completed her Theatre BFA from York University, where she specialized in Devised Theatre and Dramaturgy, receiving the Iris Turcott Memorial Award for dramaturgy. During her time at York, she served as the Artistic Director of the playGround Festival and co-founded Triptych Theatre Collective, co-creating their first show for the Devised Theatre Festival. She recently completed the Toronto Fringe Festival’s TENT producers training program and has additional admin experience in programming and marketing, having worked for companies including Theatre Gargantua, Crow’s Theatre, Dusk Dances and Arts Commons, and also working as an independent dramaturg and creator.

[Image description: A woman of mixed white and East Asian decent outdoors in front of a green field with rocky pathways and trees in the distance. She is in a light blue top with and has long, wavy brown hair.]

Abigail Whitney.

Abigail Whitney (she/her) is the Artistic Director Intern at Volcano Theatre. Abigail is an award-winning stage director, an actor, a fashion model, an artist educator and youth mentor. She has studied at UofT’s Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies, and abroad in London, UK at Queen Mary University of London (performing at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival with UK’s award-winning Queen Mary Theatre Company).

Abigail was named a “one-of-a-kind Canadian model” and in 2020 was listed as “100 Black Artists to support this Juneteenth” by New York’s Gritty Vibes Magazine. In 2020, UofT’s The Varsity newspaper published a personal essay about her acclaimed university career and interviewed her on the front-page of their November 2018 paper. She was named a “quadruple threat” by UofT News “UofT students who crushed it.” She was featured on CBC’s q, ByBlacks, CBC’s OurToronto, Eboss Canada and Broadway World.

Abigail is on the cover of Ark Magazine’s 002 “The Reset” Issue released in 2021, where she’s interviewed and featured as a ‘Game Changer’ an “innovative and fearless force, changing the arts as we know it.” In 2021, her debut short film Seule that she wrote, produced and directed premiered as part of the Paprika Festival and went on to win Best Amateur Film at the Short To The Point International Short Film Festival and is the official selection at the 2021 Austin Micro Film Festival.

[Image description: A Black woman with long black straight hair that’s side swept is standing in front of a solid white background. She’s in a black dress with pink flowers all over it. She’s wearing a gold chocker necklace with a red lip on. There’s pink wash lighting over the entire image. The image is cropped to her shoulders.] 


Amanda Lin 林美智 (she/her) is an emerging Taiwanese-Canadian theatre artist who specializes in writing, performance, direction, and arts administration. She is a recent(ish) graduate of Queen’s University, where she studied social psychology, theatre, and business, with her area of research centring on attitudes and social influence. She is particularly interested in cultivating spaces of care and connection within theatre, and providing a platform for underrepresented people and stories. Amanda is an alumni of Nightwood Theatre’s Young Innovators Program and fu-GEN Asian-Canadian Theatre’s Kitchen Playwriting unit. She has also worked with companies such as Why Not Theatre, the Paprika Festival, Ergo Arts Theatre, Single Thread Theatre Company, the Kick and Push Festival, Thousand Islands Playhouse, and Young People’s Theatre. She currently works at Nightwood Theatre as their Development & Engagement Associate and Cahoots Theatre as their Development Coordinator. Visit Amanda online at www.amandamlin.com.

Taylor Trowbridge (she/her) is an actor, educator, emerging playwright and arts administrator. As an actor, she has performed in productions for theatre companies such as Canadian Stage, The Shaw Festival, Nightwood Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Thousand Islands Playhouse and SummerWorks Festival. She holds an MFA in Acting from York University and her thesis work explored discovering greater artistic freedom through a practice of personal discipline. As an educator, Taylor’s focus is on connecting students to their inner-worth and interconnectivity, their sense of daring and vulnerability.  With her work an arts administrator, her mission is to communicate from a place of community-building rather than commerce, and some of her projects with Nightwood Theatre include the Rising Moon Writing Program for youth (which she co-leads with Amanda Lin) and the Social Distancing Care Packages.

From Our Young Innovators

“If you’re considering applying to the YI program, definitely do. I loved being part of the program. I met incredible fellow artists who have become friends and collaborators. These relationships have extended well beyond the length of the program and have expanded my perspective of art. Thanks to the program, I was able to see awesome theatre in the Nightwood season, and was able to participate in workshops on a range of topics. The information I gleaned from those sessions have been extremely useful to my professional development. Take advantage of this great opportunity!!"
Ellie Ellwand
2018-19 Young Innovator
"I joined the Young Innovators program when I was fresh out of school, and was immediately welcomed with open arms into the Nightwood family. The program introduced me to an incredible, talented group of young women and non-binary artists, making the at-first intimidating Toronto theatre industry feel a whole lot friendlier. The year after I was in YI, I took on the position of Marketing and Development Assistant at Nightwood, using and building upon the knowledge that I first developed during my time as a Young Innovator, demonstrating Nightwood's commitment to supporting and celebrating their emerging artist community throughout their careers.”
Amanda Lin
2018-19 Young Innovator

“I really enjoyed the YI program: its flexibility, the chance to connect with other emerging artists, and to peek behind the curtain of Nightwood. The workshop sessions were very interesting and informative. I also really appreciated the season’s pass to Nightwood! And the chance to be in the office where art that I admire gets produced. It has a very positive effect to feel seen by those further down the road than oneself.”

Ellen Denny
2017-18 Young Innovator
“A wonderful team of artists! Between tailored workshops, producing opportunities and access to special events such as play readings/launch parties, the fierce team at Nightwood welcomed us into their community with open arms! The program provided us with a look into the inner workings of a successful Toronto based theatre company!”
Veronica Baron
2016-17 Young Innovator
“Being a part of the Young Innovators has made an indelible impact on me. I have been empowered, inspired, and emboldened. The women in this group blow me away, and we have created a beautiful and highly capable community that I know will endure beyond the length of the program. Like many young people in this industry, I am looking beyond performance to forge a career in theatre. Nightwood has done so much to help me envision what that path might look like and to equip with the skills I will need as my work grows to include marketing, producing, and development. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I cannot imagine this year without it!”
Annie MacKay
2016-17 Young Innovator

program alumni

Caitlin Kelly
Christine Lee
Hazel Moore
Jessica Rose
Kemi King
Kiera Publicover
Lucy Wong
Natasha Ramondino
Patricia Cerra
Qianna MacGilchrist
River Oliveira
Robin Luckwaldt
Sai Macikunas

Alethea Bakogeorge
Arinea Hermans
Ciana Henderson
Faly Mevamanana
Kate McArthur
Izzie Solis Lozano
Madison Angus
Rabiya Monsoor
Roxhanne Norman
Samantha Megarry
Sarah Flicht
Sarah Marchand
Shohana Sharmin Sicilia
Xanath Fuentes

Amanda Lin
Arielle Zamora
Brittany Banks
Ellie Elwand
Emma Welsh
Haley Vincent
Jasmine Cabanilla
Kai Taddei
Leah Pritchard
Marina Gomes
Max Fearon
Melissa MacKenzie
Rais Clarke-Mendes
Rochelle Richardson
Shaneill Floyd-Wlazlak

Adriana DeAngelis
Andrea Rankin
Barbara Martinez
Bryn Kennedy
Cathy Huang
Ellen Denny
Julie Foster
Justine Christensen
Keshia Palm
Lauren Wolanski
Lucy McPhee
Melissa Taylor
Mirka Loiselle
Natalie Liconti
Rachel Mutombo
Samantha Vu

Annie Clarke
Christine Rankin
Elizabeth Staples
Faith Paré
Li Chen
Liz Whitbread
Natalia Bushnik
Saba Aktar
Sarah Gibbons
Madeleine Brown
Michela Sisti
Shannon Murphy
Veronica Baron

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