Directors Lab


The 23/24 Directors Lab is for space-holders, world-makers, leaders, creatives and dreamers looking to grow their directing practice. Participants will receive mentorship, participate in workshops and labs with a professional director. This year’s program participants will choose a play written by a recent Paprika or Tarragon Playwrights Unit alumni as the focus of their learning, with the opportunity to have an excerpt of their work-in-process shared at the festival. We will accept three participants that will co-create – with the facilitator – a path of growth that supports their journey in creative collaboration and world-building. Workshops and labs will be responsive to the participant’s needs, and are a chance for experimentation with emergent directorial approaches and practices.

This program was designed for artists under 30. We encourage self-identified emerging artists and young artists to apply.


Philip Geller

Directors Lab Facilitator 2023/24

Philip Geller (he/they) is a Jewish (Ashkenazi) and Métis-Michif with roots to Rooster Town and the establishment of the Red River Settlement. They are a theatre/performance artist, scholar, and educator. He is focused on decolonizing and indigenizing his process by listening to and dialoguing with ancestral and cultural knowledge. They have worked across Turtle Island as a director, actor, producer, devisor, clown, and educator with organizations including Buddies in Bad Times, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Gwaandak Theatre, and Stratford Festival. They hold a BFA in Acting (University of Alberta) and MFA in Directing (York University).

Training Days + Company-Wide Meetings

We bring together all program participants for monthly Training Day sessions, starting with a Company-wide Orientation in November 2023 and finishing with a Post-Festival Debrief in May 2024.

Workshop topics ranging from accessibility design, to how to plan your festival tech, a Technical Theatre Workshop with an introduction to stage management and theatre design, and building a career in the arts. These workshops are held online and in-person, and are a chance for participants to meet and work with one another (and find future collaborators!).


Support You Receive


Toronto & Online

COVID-19 Considerations

The health and safety of participants, facilitators, and staff is our greatest priority. We encourage all Paprika participants, staff, facilitators and guest artists to maintain regular vaccinations, including additional doses/boosters. Masking during group sessions will be discussed and decided upon by each program. Masking will be optional for all company meetings, and no one will be discouraged from wearing masks. Paprika will continue to provide KN95 or N95 face masks (or equivalent) upon request. Masking and rapid testing of all artists and staff will be required throughout Paprika’s tech week in May 2024. 


Paprika seeks to lower barriers for all its programs. This year, we are offering transportation support when requested, food and snacks at program events, as well as a $1,200 participant honorarium. 

Company-wide Training Days take place in venues accessible to folks using mobility devices.The Paprika Festival tech and performances will take place at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio, which is fully accessible for artists and audiences.

Paprika advocates for gender inclusive washrooms, and will negotiate for gender inclusive washroom signage whenever possible. We use and respect people’s pronouns. Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, LGBTQ2SIA+, Women, Trans, Non-Binary, Newcomer, Immigrant, Fat, Mad and Neurodiverse people are welcome.

Internet and a smartphone, tablet and/or computer are required for participation in Paprika’s programs. Our programs are not accessible to Deaf or Blind artists at this time. Group meetings can be recorded and shared internally to accommodate schedule conflicts and emergencies with prior notice to the program facilitator and Paprika staff. 

Directors Lab group meetings and rehearsals take place in a venue that is wheelchair accessible, with elevator access, and the door to the studio and washrooms in the building are wide enough for mobility devices, but are not automatic.