Artistic Producer Announcement


Paprika Festival is thrilled to announce the hiring of Kanika Ambrose as incoming Artistic Producer. She will be working and training alongside current Artistic Producer Ali Joy Richardson until July 2019 when she will assume the role in full alongside Paprika’s General Manager Daniel Carter.

Kanika is bringing exciting artistic expertise and her full-hearted commitment to mentorship. This job requires a unique mix of fearless leadership and deep care for others. You need to have intricate knowledge of our current ecology, plus a willingness to shake things up and see where Paprika can beautifully rebel. We are so lucky to have Kanika joining the team.

Ali Joy Richardson, current Artistic Producer

KANIKA AMBROSE is a Toronto-based playwright and librettist. She was Obsidian Theatre Company’s OAC Playwright-in-Residence last season and is in Cahoots Theatre Company’s Hot House for the third time this season. Her work has been featured in Tapestry Opera’s Tapestry Briefs, the 39th Rhubarb Festival, Black Lives, Black Words and Rising Tides Showcase. She is librettist of “Anansi and the Great Light” which premiered at Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in March 2019. She is a Dora Award nominee for her role in Binti’s Journey, and was part of the Dora nominated Outstanding Production, Obeah Opera. Kanika is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School and is founder of Dominican bélé dance group, Mabouya Dance Company. She was featured as one of Cahoots Theatre Company’s 30 for 30 theatremakers for their 30th anniversary season.

“As a past participant of Paprika Festival, I have felt the impact that this festival can have in the life of a young person. It was through this festival that I met my mentor who is still one of my mentors to this day. She was the one who encouraged me to go to theatre school, wrote me a recommendation letter, and here I am today! Paprika is vital, not only for the many young people that it serves, but our entire community. It’s a safe space where young artists can take artistic risk in a setting which is professional and respectful of their work.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this work. I hope to continue to build on the tremendous work of the leaders before me, adding my own bit of spice along the way!”

Kanika Ambrose, incoming Artistic Producer

Paprika Festival, recognized as one of the most critical launching pads in Toronto’s theatre ecology for young and emerging artists, is thrilled to announce its lineup for the 18th annual Festival opening May 20th at Native Earth Performing Earth. Featuring over 20 young and emerging artists, Paprika Festival continues to offer an unparalleled look into the future of Toronto theatre with this year’s artists staging works of resilience and protest.

As the home of the emerging artist, Paprika is more committed than ever to building professional development opportunities that allow young and emerging artists to flourish and succeed in the theatre industry. Just in the past year, several Paprika alumni have continued to find success on Toronto stages: A Perfect Bowl of Pho by Nam Nguyen (Productions 17/18) had an extraordinary remount presented by fu-GEN Theatre and Factory Theatre; The Heels of Our Grandfathers by Cole Forrest (Productions 17/18) was presented in North Bay’s On The Edge Fringe; and the inaugural Indigenous Arts Program project, S.O.S. Saving Our Sovereignty by Out of Sync Collective ( Theresa Cutknife , Pesch Nepoose , and Jesse Wabegijig ) was presented as part of the 31st Weesageechak Festival at Native Earth Performing Arts.

Paprika, the organization as a whole, has contributed immensely to the Toronto theatre ecology, consistently creating vital space for young artists to collaborate, explore and be seen. I am consistently blown away by the passion of performances and the innovation in ideas.

Marjorie Chan, Artistic Director – Cahoots Theatre

We are thrilled that over 20 core participants plus over 40 artists will be taking the stage at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio. Paprika’s six free programs (which, for the first time this year, include participant honorariums ) offer a flexible, personalized alternative to traditional theatre training and allow young and emerging artists to express themselves through performance. Paprika is dedicated to drawing a new generation of artists into the theatre community through (in the words of Andy McKim, Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille) “outreach work that is so exemplary, it serves as a model for our theatre industry. ”

With this year’s Paprika cohort celebrating resilience and protest through storytelling, multi-lingual performance, physical theatre, devised creation, and music, there is a lot to be excited about. Some of the highlights at this year’s Festival include:

Under the guidance of mentors Audrey Dwyer and Julie Tepperman, our Productions Program offers two new plays providing insight into mental health in Black communities, and one woman’s fight against the corruption of the Catholic Church.

Rais Clarke-Mendes’ How We Breathe is a collectively created piece that aims to build conversation around the intersectionality of mental health, specifically focusing on the ways Black communities approach and talk about their mental wellness. Presented with Obsidian Theatre Company, Workman Arts, and Little Black Afro Theatre Company .

Heresy is a new bilingual musical by Dharma Bizier and Kelsi James that centres around two women, the legendary Jeanne d’Arc and her mother, Isabelle Romée, and their rebellion against the religious corruption of the Catholic Church. Presented with Nightwood Theatre, Théâtre français de Toronto, and The Musical Stage Company.

The Directors Lab, mentored by Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, delved deep into the role of directors and women in leadership positions – timely for the recent changes in leadership at some of Toronto’s most celebrated theatres. Coincidentally, this year’s Directors Lab projects explore women in power and the trials and triumphs of taking charge:

Session, directed by Laura Meadows , tells the story of Delilah, an out-of-work actress embracing an unexpected new career as a dominatrix. During one of her sessions, her client turns out to be a familiar face, which hurls them into an awkward and heartbreaking confrontation about adulthood.

Rinchen Dolma directs ས ྒྲོལ་མ་DOLMA, a story set in India about a woman’s decision to stand her ground on the same day that Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.

Paprika alum Bilal Baig returns as this year’s TD Creators Unit facilitator. With mentorship and guidance from Bilal, Naomi Bachan, Betty Lai, Kendra Michel and Cynthia Su have collectively created Did You Miss Me?, a piece exploring self-purpose, dependency, restraint, and the afterlife.

Returning Paprika artists Cole Forrest, Joelle Peters, Theresa Cutknife and Jesse Wabegijig are now in the second year of the Indigenous Arts Program, facilitated by Michaela Washburn (with mentors Falen Johnson and Veronica Johnny ), and supported through new partnerships with IndigenEd and TO Live . This year’s Indigenous Arts Program sheds new light on decolonizing our understanding of love and community through environmentalism, language, and comedy.

Cole Forrest takes on environmental issues impacting Northern Ontario in Firestarter , an epic story about two Indigenous teenagers from the same reserve who endanger their community and those they love when their fiery powers set a forest ablaze.

In Kisâkihitin/Gizaagin, Theresa Cutknife and Jesse Wabegijig team up again to answer the question: What is Indigenous love? Through poetry and performance, Cutknife and Wabegijig reimagine love in colonial spaces.

Joelle Peters Niish follows two new friends, Sam or Lenna. Neither were expecting much from another summer on the rez but sometimes, life has other plans. Told with heart, humour, and rez nicknames, Niish explores themes of love, loss and healing within a family, a community, and oneself.

Join us for the Indigenous Arts Program Showcase on Saturday May 25th, curated by mixed-race non-binary Indigenous 2-Spirit artist Ty Sloane. Alongside the three Indigenous Arts Program shows, the day will include a panel discussion on Indigenous love and how it informs art-making (with Falen Johnson, Jeff D’Hondt, and other artists) and a cabaret-style soiree of music, dance, drag, poetry, and performance featuring Ashley Bombay , Rhinestone Chickadee , Sophie Dow , Brendan Chandler , Jay Northcott, Olivia Shortt, and Ravyn Wngz.

Rounding out the Festival’s programming is Carving Home: Paprika’s Playwrights Unit Reading Series, facilitated by Jeff Ho and Polly Phokeev (with guest mentors Erin Brubacher, Guillermo Verdecchia, Nina Lee Aquino, Bilal Baig, and Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman ). Experience four new plays from rising voices in our industry:

Maryam’s Hijrah by Laith Al-Kinani is set in the midst of the 1991 Shi’a rebellion in Iraq where a mother and daughter narrowly escape a massacre. 20 years later, in a new country, they must reckon with whether to keep the past in the past, or confront the worst parts of their truth.

Fear of Men by Merlin Simard features multilingual monologues exploring the pervasiveness of sexism across genders, particularly within trans and gender non-conforming communities. The pieces urges us to examine the ways in which we perpetuate oppression and how we can move forward?

Made in China by Ciana Henderson brings to life the voices of four girls affected by China’s One Child Policy. All abandoned at birth but with stories as unique as their DNA, each girl must chase answers to questions she never knew she had.

Uncharted by Kathy Martinez is a modern reimagining of Dante’s The Divine Comedy about two children in hospital. The play charts their personal journeys, resilience, and the profound bond that grows between them.

“ We’ve created a Festival where you can look into the hearts and minds of 22 passionate young artists” , says Ali Joy Richardson , Paprika’s Artistic Producer. “ Whether you’re a leader seeking compelling new voices for your company or programming, or someone who just wants to know what the next generation is fired up about – you’ll find innovation, honesty, and unforgettable stories here. ”

Paprika Festival runs May 20th to May 26th, 2019 at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio.

Pay What You Can Afford: To ensure audiences have as much access to this year’s programming as possible, Paprika is offering Pay-What-You-Can-Afford prices ($5, $10, or $20) online and at-the-door, in addition to Pay-What-You-Can at the door. New this year are Pay-It-Forward tickets, which allow patrons to buy a ticket for someone else to attend the Festival at no cost.

Accessibility: Aki Studio is a physically accessible venue. We welcome entry/re-entry at any time during performances and are offering two Relaxed Performances. Assistive hearing devices are available at the theatre (please request when booking tickets) and a visual guide to the venue will be available on our website. Sage will be available at all performances for patrons and artists.

Get Social:


Twitter: @PaprikaFestival

Facebook: @PaprikaFestival

Instagram: @PaprikaFestival


SCHEDULE | Complete line-up is available at:

TICKETS | Ticket information is available online at:

MEDIA | For images of this year’s Festival visit:

Paprika Festival runs year-round professional training and mentorship programs that culminate in a performing arts festival of new work by young artists. Paprika Festival is a proud Company-in-Residence at Theatre Passe Muraille. Paprika Festival gratefully acknowledges the support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. Paprika Festival is also made possible by RBC Foundation, TD Bank, Rogers Community Fund, and our 2019 Presenting Partners: Obsidian Theatre, Workman Arts, Musical Stage Company, Théâtre français de Toronto, and Little Black Afro Theatre Company.

Native Earth Performing Arts is Canada’s oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Currently in their 36th year, they are dedicated to creating, developing and producing professional artistic expressions of the Indigenous experience in Canada.

Theatre Passe Muraille is Canada’s original alternative theatre company, currently developing and producing new Canadian plays, striving to articulate a distinct Canadian voice that reflects the complexity of our intercultural society.

For more information, please contact:

John Wamsley, Communications Manager,, 519.590.4625

Paprika Festival: Artistic Producer

Date Posted: December 18, 2018
Application Deadline: February 1, 2019
Start Date: March 1, 2019
Salary: $11,500 plus an additional $500 for the  training period
Province: Ontario
Region: Metro Toronto Area
City: Toronto
Term: Contract, Part-time

We’re looking for an exciting young producer to join Paprika’s leadership team!
Due to Paprika’s youth-led mandate, the ideal candidate will be under 30.


For the past 18 years the Paprika Theatre Festival (Paprika) has been the home of the emerging artist. We are a year-round youth-led performing arts organization celebrating the work of young and emerging artists. All of our programs include a strong focus on mentorship and training, and we are guided by four core values of accessibility, artistic development, community, and youth leadership.


The role of Artistic Producer (“AP”) a is a unique and exciting opportunity for someone at the early stages of their artistic and managerial career. It is a dynamic role that requires experience in theatre creation, production, and arts management. It is ideal for an emerging leader with flexible time and willingness to extend themselves beyond the parameters of this job description.

The primary work of the AP is to oversee Paprika’s artistic programming, and assist the General Manager in overseeing the organization’s operations. They function as a resource point for teenagers, young adults, and emerging artists looking to share their artistic material. The AP connects young and emerging artists to the professional arts community and should be highly knowledgeable on the diversity of professional theatre artists, institutions, and community-engaged arts groups in Canada. The AP works as a partner to the General Manager and assists in the administrative duties of the organization, including grant writing, contract negotiation, production resourcing, marketing and outreach, and development.  This partnership is critical to a healthy management structure, which includes three to four other part-time administrative collaborators on the executive team.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Artistic Producer will:





Send a cover letter and resume to We thank all applicants, and will contact only those who are selected for an interview.  Paprika is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates. Paprika strongly encourages submissions from candidates of Indigenous backgrounds, all genders, ethnicities, and all equity seeking groups.

Working Conditions:

The candidate shall be available to work the hours and fulfill the duties as detailed.  Paprika and the candidate acknowledge that hours are flexible, which may result in an increase during busy periods and a decrease during slower programming periods.



Join us for our annual trivia night and Paprika Theatre Festival fundraiser!

With your help, we are raising funds to support the free-of-charge training, mentorship and creative work of the young artists participating in the 18th annual Paprika Theatre Festival. Next year’s festival will take place May 20- 26, 2019 at the Aki Studio, in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts.

The Paprika Theatre Festival is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization.

Thank you for your interest in this year’s Paprika Festival! To stay up to date on all things Paprika, sign up for our monthly newsletter!

See you in May!


We provide year-round theatre training and mentorship. At the end of the year, your original work is showcased in the week-long, fully-produced, uncensored Paprika Festival (May 20-26, 2019).

Paprika Festival is free for all participants.

We’re hugely dedicated to accessibility and diversity. We want to make this work for you (so that you can make your work!). Check out How to Apply below for alternative ways to apply to Paprika (and how we can support you).

What can you do with Paprika?


Independently stage an original script or performance of your choice.

We provide the support and mentorship, you provide the team and the dream.


(Ages 15-21)

Turn your idea into a 30 minute script and receive a public reading by professional actors.

Write with the guidance of a professional mentor and peer support.


(Indigenous artists, Ages 15-30)

Create and perform an original piece of your choice through regular meetings with an Indigenous artist mentor and advisor.

The training and schedule are tailored to your interests, abilities, and goals.


(Ages 15-21)

Join a collective of artist for weekly training and rehearsals with a professional program facilitator.

Together, create and perform an original, devised piece for the Festival.


(Ages 15-30)

Develop your craft through mentorship from a professional theatre company and train in masterclasses with a professional director.

Select and direct a piece of your choice for the Festival with the support to experiment and expand your practice


(Ages 21-25)

Join a team of aspiring leaders, administrators, and producers who work with Paprika’s staff to plan, promote, and present the 18th Annual Paprika Festival.

Provide administrative and hands-on support for workshops, fundraisers, and the Festival.

How to Apply:

Click here to see all programs, or select a program below to learn more about it and apply:


Playwrights Unit

Indigenous Arts Program

TD Creators Unit

Directors Lab

Festival Administrators

If you need help with your application or if you’d prefer to answer the questions in person, over the phone, or in another way, email

Paprika Festival is looking for a Communications Manager!

Application Deadline: June 19, 2018, 5PM
Start Date: June 27, 2018
Position: Communications Manager
Honourarium: $4000
Region: Downtown Toronto, ON
Term: Contract

Organization Description

For the past 17 years Paprika Festival, has been a year-round youth-led performing arts organization celebrating the work of young and emerging artists. All of the programs include a strong focus on mentorship and training, and are guided by the four core values of accessibility, artistic development, community and youth leadership. Paprika’s educational programs include Productions, Creators’ Unit, Playwriting Programs, Director’s Lab, Indigenous Arts Program and the Advisory Board. These programs run between October and May, culminating in the annual Festival. For more information, please visit our website,

Job Description

The Communications Manager is responsible for working with the Paprika team to plan, implement and manage marketing, publicity and graphic design efforts leading up to and during the Festival (May 2019). This position offers an excellent opportunity to take on a leadership role in promoting and marketing a youth performing arts festival. The successful applicant will also have excellent organizational, communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to work well on a team and some knowledge of marketing strategy. Graphic design abilities are essential. Access to Adobe and editing programs an asset.

Contract dates: June 27, 2018 – June 30, 2019

Responsibilities include:


NOTE: This contract is a part-time work opportunity intended for individuals with the flexibility and willingness to commit their time as required, and whenever possible, out of a genuine belief in the mandate of the organization.

How to Apply:

Please send a resume, cover letter and a work sample of previous graphic design work and copy writing in a single PDF.

Work samples must include at least 2 visual assets (eg: poster, promo graphic, logo, etc.) and 300-500 words of copy writing (eg: a press release, announcement, promotional blurb, etc – can be a mix of multiple pieces.).

Please send your single PDF to Daniel Carter, in-coming General Manager, via with the subject line: “Applicant, Communications Manager.”  Applications are due by 5PM on June 19, 2018



Paprika Festival is looking for a General Manager!

Application Deadline:  Friday, March 23, 2018
Start Date: July 01, 2018 (Training with outgoing GM will take place April-June 2018 and will include attendance at Paprika Festival shows May 14-20)
Compensation:  $8000
Province: Ontario
City: Toronto
Term: Part-time

Organization Description

For the past 17 years, Paprika Festival has been the home of the emerging artist. We are a year-round, youth-led performing arts organization celebrating the work of young and emerging artists. Paprika programs include a strong focus on mentorship and training, and we are guided by the four core values of accessibility, artistic development, community and youth leadership. Our educational programs include: Creators’ Unit, Playwrights-in-Residence, Writers’ Circle, Directors’ Lab, Paprika Productions, Indigenous Arts Program, and the Festival Administrators. These programs run between October and May, culminating in the annual Festival.

Job Description

Part time position (contract) July 1 to June 30 annually, with training hours beginning in April 2018

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the position of General Manager offers an incredible opportunity for a young arts manager or producer to lead a professional performing arts organization, promoting and producing the work of young and emerging artists (primarily age 21 and under). The successful candidate will have excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills, the ability to work well on a team, as well as some knowledge of basic accounting. Previous fundraising experience is highly preferred.

Major Responsibilities



Fundraising and Marketing

Board of Directors


Ideal Qualities and Interests:

This position is approximately 20 hours a week, with reduced hours in the summer months. Due to Paprika’s youth-led nature, the ideal candidate will be under 30.

How to Apply:

In order to apply for this position, please email your cover letter and resume to by March 23rd at 5pm. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Paprika thanks all applicants in advance. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by phone.

Please note: Interviews to take place in early April.

Contact Info:

Name: Daniel Pink

Announcing Paprika Festival’s 2018 Play Reading Series – Presented with support from Feminist Debaters!

What is Feminist Debaters?

Hilarious individuals from Toronto’s theatre and comedy community go head-to-head in a battle of feminist wits! Feminist Debaters 2018 is slated for Sunday January 21st at the Rivoli.

Why Paprika’s Play-reading Series?

Feminist Debaters is thrilled to be a sponsor of Paprika’s 2018 Play Reading Series which will take place during the 2018 Paprika Festival at Aki Studio. Feminist Debaters began in 2016 and has evolved into an annual fundraiser that directly supports the work of early career female playwrights. Though Paprika’s Playwrights in Residence and Writers’ Circle are open to everyone, this year’s participants are all female-identifying. Feminist Debaters is honoured play a role in developing their work!  

Join the Feminist Debaters on January 21, 2018 at The Rivoli!

Feminist Debaters

FEMINIST DEBATERS 2018... the sold-out event is BACK for a third year of hilarity and smashing the patriarchy! Let your feminist flag fly! Witness the tongue-in-cheek feminist fun, grab a drink, and score a deal at the legendary silent auction!


The queen of feminist comedy JESS BEAULIEU (comedian, writer, and co-host and creator of The Crimson Wave and Crimson Wave Comedy) is back as host and referee. Check out the Facebook event for details on this year’s debaters!


Doors open at 7pm | Debates begin at 8pm | To follow: drinking and dancing
Rivoli (332 Queen St. West)


Click here to buy pre-sale tickets for $12!
or at the door for $15