This season, the Design Lab provides hands-on experience and mentorship in Costume Design. This digital-hybrid program is for emerging designers looking to develop their craft and collaborate with other emerging artists. Participants receive mentorship, experiment in workshops with professional theatre designers, collaborate with emerging playwrights and creators, and have their work shared at the festival. Workshops and labs are designed around the participants’ interests, and include time for experimentation with new equipment, design approaches, and processes in digital and physical space.

This program is presented with support from The Stratford Festival as the Lead Lab Partner, and Young People’s Theatre as the Wardrobe + Shop Partner.


Joyce Padua

Joyce Padua

Joyce Padua is a Toronto-based set and costume designer. A BFA graduate of York University, her work as a designer and assistant has been featured in several productions including shows with the Shaw Festival, the Stratford Festival, and Factory Theatre. In 2021, Joyce was nominated as a Siminovitch Prize Protegée under designer Gillian Gallow. Previous theatre credits include: Prison Dancer (Citadel Theatre), Intimate Apparel (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Fall Your Knees (Canadian Stage), Too True to Be Good (Shaw Festival), Year of the Rat (Factory Theatre), Desire Under the Elms (Shaw Festival).


Participants in Design Lab receive hands-on experience and mentorship in all aspects of costume design, from ideation to fabrication. Our participants have been working steadfastly on creating sketches and finished garments to support the Directors Lab projects—putting into practice their creative, communicative, and fabrication skills. Bolstered by several workshops in collaboration with Young Peoples Theatre and Soulpepper theatre, our participants have learned about sustainable making, upcycling, and design. Participants have also received mentorship on a 1 to 1 level with working costume designers, gaining valuable insight into the world of working professionals.

Many thanks to the Design lab participants who have been open in their art and in their hearts to learning the craft of costume design, to Young Peoples Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, and many folks at these spaces who provided working environments for our designers, and to our many guest design mentors for their continued engagement with up-and-coming Canadian artists. 

— Joyce Padua, Design Lab Facilitator (2023/24)