Paprika Alumni

Paprika’s list of alumni is extensive and wide-reaching. Here are some former Paprika participants who continue to create for the stage:

Rob Kempson

staff / playwright / educator

Rosamund Small

staff / playwright

 Bilal Baig

staff / program facilitator / playwrights unit participant / playwright

Owais Lightwala

productions participant / arts manager

Theresa Cutknife

indigenous arts program participant / actor / playwright

Ali Joy Richardson

staff / facilitator / directors lab participant / playwright / director

Cole Forrest

productions participant / filmmaker / staff / arts manager

Hana El Niwairi

staff / facilitator / arts administrator


I can’t imagine that much of my work would have seen the light of day without this festival. I can draw a direct line from my experience with Paprika and my work being heard and produced.

Rosamund Small, Dora award-winning playwright and Paprika alumni

Paprika offers a nurturing and expansive entry point for young artists into the Toronto theatre scene and the Festival contributes significantly to our cultural fabric by growing the artists of tomorrow.

Mitchell Marcus, Artistic + Managing Director, The Musical Stage Company

The Paprika Festival gave us the space to take risks and be fearless. We were given the support of wonderful artists who all helped in some way to shape our show. I feel validated as a young artist because Paprika takes my work seriously and their support has made me the artist I am today.

Bilal Baig, Paprika alumni and returning participant

Paprika was one of the first experiences where I remember getting taken seriously as a young person with something to say, I will never forget getting feedback on our tiny little collective’s tiny little show from people like Daniel MacIvor and Matthew Jocelyn that Paprika gave us access to. It was so validating and motivating to have those leaders with all their experience take the time to talk to this nobody from Scarborough. It was my invitation into a community I now call home.

Owais Lightwala, Paprika alumni