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.

Please note, the deadline to apply is September 1st at 11:59 pm ET and applicants will be notified of final decisions by the week of September 13th.


  • 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

To apply, please fill out the below Google Form and submit your resumé via to If you would like to view the application questions prior to filling out the form, click here for a preview copy of the application (please note this is just for reference).

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



As a feminist theatre company, Nightwood seeks to foster greater gender equity in all aspects of theatre. 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 culminates in participants curating and producing Fempocalypse, a fundraiser cabaret raising money for a charity chosen by the cohort. 


We’re looking for theatre artists and arts workers who self-identify as “emerging” and/or new generation (according to the Ontario Arts Council, new generation refers to a person who is 18 to 30 years of age). There is no age cap to the program. Maybe you’re an actor who wants to expand into producing, maybe you’re a stage manager who’s thinking of running a company, maybe you’re new to the city and are looking to forge connections. 


We believe that you will get the most out of this program if you are not currently a full-time student and we’d encourage you to apply upon graduation.


We welcome applications from anyone within Canada, and intend to include some folks from outside Toronto in the program this year. It should be noted that some workshops and Fempocalypse will potentially be in-person (with an option to join digitally) and Nightwood’s ability to make connections and opportunities for Innovators is stronger for those who are in Toronto, as that is where our company is based. 


Applications are viewed by program leaders Amanda and Taylor, with consultation from the outgoing Innovators cohort. We consider a number of factors, including:

  • Who will get the most out of this program?
  • Who would not get this kind of opportunity elsewhere?
  • Who demonstrates values that align with Nightwood’s?
  • How will each member of the cohort fit in together? (To expand on this, we attempt to make the cohort as diverse as possible – diverse in terms of experience, discipline, intersections of identity, etc. – so that everyone is bringing something unique to the group.)


Great! Love that! We recorded a Q+A session that you can view by clicking this link and entering the passcode: h#LWZ0SC

If you have any other questions you can reach Amanda and Taylor via email (; or leave us a voice message at (416-662-9593). We are so happy to answer any questions you might have, or assist you in completing your application.


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

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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