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1. What are you planning to do, and what do you want to achieve? - Artistic vision for project / The “why”/ Artistic approach to the project: purpose, form, content, method and process for creation, vision for directing and design
Cardinal Direction is an artist-driven director’s practice lab. This lab aims to provide emerging directors of under-represented communities the opportunity to practice the craft of directing in a safe, self-driven learning atmosphere outside of a production context.
There is currently a gap in the learning and development of emerging directors. In the current climate, the main opportunities for emerging directors to learn are assistant directing mentorships and formal director training programs. While assistant directing can prove beneficial, being under the mentorship of a given director limits the assistant in finding their own unique voice amidst a room of collaborators. And the formal director training programs, mainly offered through universities at the Graduate level present a very particular set of limitations to emerging directors: the extremely high cost to attend, usually available to only two directors, and seclusion from the theatre community for a period of time. What never ceases to aid in the developing of new skills is practical experience. The leadership in creative skills required from a director is something that can only be developed through practice. Cardinal Direction seeks to fill the gap in the learning and development of emerging directors by creating a practical training ground. By creating a space for directors to explore outside of a production context, Cardinal Direction aims to support emerging directors in self-initiating their learning process, face the challenges that arise from developing new skills in a no risk environment, and inspire them to reach their artistic goals. It is an initiative designed to foster a sense of intuitive leadership, ownership, and community to the future leaders of Canadian theatre, particularly in the communities that have been historically under-represented in the arts and especially in the area of directing: youth, women, and artists of colour.
Our inaugural lab session will unite four emerging female directors from diverse communities through a three week process resulting in a small invited presentation in January 2017. Each director will be given the following guidelines:
Select a compilation of scenes from any play, not to exceed 20 minutes
32 hours in total of rehearsal time (rehearsals will be held in the Cahoots Studio Space)
4 actors max.
The guidelines serve as a platform upon which the directors will be able to confront their challenges as they develop their directing skills and style. The structure provided by these guidelines have carefully been devised in order to serve each director’s needs and interests. The three week process will allow each director the opportunity to take control of their own learning, make goals and ask questions all based on their individual directorial impulses. In addition, the directors will meet on a weekly basis leading up to, during, and after the rehearsal process to reflect and support each other on their unique learning processes. As this will be the inaugural lab, it is of the utmost importance that the participants and sessional leader are in constant dialogue about the process. This dialogue will allow Cardinal Direction to learn and thoughtfully take the next step toward stability.(I feel like you need to explain what you mean by stability Susan ) The support from the Ontario Arts Council could provide Cardinal Direction a sense of validity within the current climate of Toronto theatre. The support would empower Cardinal Direction in claiming space on our Canadian stages which means that our voices, the diverse female emerging voice, belongs.
Throughout this process, we will document and provide feedback in our weekly meetings to debrief on our needs and continual growth. We would like to document our process through video interviews from each director to highlight their journey in this lab: did you accomplish what you initially wanted to do, what discoveries did you make (personal strengths and challenges, personal directing voice/aesthetics, etc.), what they are most proud of, did this particular work reflect their artistic voice and what will be taken away from this experience. This documentation will be archived for future endeavours as well as a portfolio for the participating directors.
I'm unsure if the ideal outcomes are necessary. What do you think?Susan unless it answers the vision part of the question. I don't know.
Each participating director leaves this program with a sense of:
Accomplishment - for grappling with a rigorous experimentation process and presenting it
Confidence - in themselves as leaders and artists; increased awareness and acceptance of who they are as directors, their unique voices strengthened
Community - a new network of directors to continue their growth with outside of this program; a new group of performers as potential collaborators in the future
Hosting a practice lab for emerging directors with limited access to opportunities of self-initiated learning
Supporting directorial risk and experimentation outside of a production context
Foster and support marginalized directors in becoming confident leaders in their directing practice
Sharpening of directors’ skills through practical application
Leadership training in a forum tailored from and for the leader – the courage, the responsibility
Strengthen community of emerging directors in the Toronto theatre community
2. Please tell us about your work. What is important to you in making or presenting the work (culture, aesthetic, geography, community, language, etc). For ad-hoc groups, explain why this particular group of people has come together.
The inaugural Cardinal Direction lab will have four participants: Chiamaka G. Ugwu, Susan A. Lock, Ximena Huizi, and Sehar Bhojani. Each of the participants are active members of the Toronto theatre community. They are writers, actors and producers. Although stemming from different disciplines, they all express a need to expand their directing experience. It is this need that unites these four culturally and artistically diverse women and what makes Cardinal Direction an investment in the future of Canadian theatre.
Chiamaka G. Ugwu - Since graduating from my acting training where my interests in directing first peaked, I had done a lot of assistant directing as well as directing of one-act pieces and workshops, but have not yet had the opportunity to initiate my own theatre projects. In essence, I have not yet produced a work of theatre in which my directorial instincts and interests are at the forefront of my process. As an artist, I am particularly invested in investigating our notions of belonging, community and identity, and within that accessibility, particularly from a diasporic lens and a millennial perspective. I want to uncover how people relate to each other within community, how they distinguish between “us and them”, and the impact of that. In all my work as a director, I consistently am investigating how we can share a space and a time together, within and outside of the given work.
Susan A. Lock - The knowledge that I have gained as a director comes from my time in Prague, Czech Republic. I managed to direct a one-act play that was commissioned by the Polish Institute and we continued the show in repertory for one and a half years. My aesthetics come from a combination of text and movement based theatre where spatial awareness is magnified into a specific style that resembles between choreography, mime, clown and physical theatre. What I would like to work on is continuing to explore this genre but within a classical piece or a straight drama. I would like to combine the visual along with the text to see if it is possible to break out of traditional drama and infuse it with experimental genres or subgenres. My curiosity is to see if we can connect with the audience with this style and for them to still be emotionally invested if they were to see it in a traditional sense without losing the essence of the play.
Sehar Bhojani - I graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada's acting program in 2013 and I very quickly learned that in order to sustain a career in theatre as an artist of colour, I would have to learn how to make my own work. It has been just over three years since graduating and I will confess that the demand I felt of having to make my own work has transformed into a deep desire. I want to create and bring voice to stories our Canadian stages. I desire to contribute to the Canadian theatre community I am a part of. There is still a lack of diversity in the stories being told on our Canadian stages and there is still a lack of diversity in the storytelling on our Canadian stages. That has not changed and I am no longer interested in waiting for it to change. What I can and will do is work toward being the change. It is my belief that theatre has the unique ability to be the missing link between ignorance and understanding. This tribal art form can take on the shape our society needs in order to challenge the status quo, inequality and ultimately curb ignorance. My first experience as a director was this past year. I was assistant director to Robert Ross Parker on Disgraced on Mirvish. It was this experience that left me hungry for more opportunity to develop as a director. I was then given the opportunity to direct Twelfth Night this summer with Dauntless City Theatre. Both of these experiences have only reassured me that directing is and will be a significant part of my career. What excites me most about directing is the struggle to find the best way to serve the given story. How, as a storyteller, can I inspire a cast to find the best way to tell this story? But also, how do we navigate how much a story demands of its storytellers? Where do these demands conflict with our own instincts and beliefs? This is what I will be exploring during the Cardinal Direction lab. I will use the time and resources provided by Cardinal Direction to explore the correlation between story and humanity.
Xiemena: each write statement about your directing experience thus far and your current needs/gaps as an emerging director, as well as something about what you desire to explore in your work as a director.
3. How does this activity reflect your artistic approach and how will it affect your work?
One of the most important foundations of Cardinal Direction is self-initiated experimentation. Cardinal Direction is devoted to the artist and their development and therefore, the voice of the artist is always at the helm of the process. Each director will be able to craft a learning experience unique to their present directorial curiosities and needs. Even within the given guidelines of the lab, each director will be selecting their own pieces as well as structuring their experimentation/rehearsal time based on what they most want to explore. Each director will also have a say in the selected performers to collaborate in this process. The individual artistic voice of each director is at the helm of their individual process which will allow their artistic approach to share their journeys and work. From that, we can learn as a collective entity.
Cardinal Direction is the first initiative from Cartography Theatre. Cartography is the art of map making. It is the art of finding and creating limits, boundaries which define a course to navigate what would otherwise be an abyss. A cartographer then is a leader; a leader who investigates existence and defines a course for future explorers. The foundation of this company is about leadership which the Cardinal Direction Lab reflects intrinsically through supporting the nourishment of young, artistic leaders. Through Cardinal Direction, it enables young emerging directors to initiate their own creative expeditions with boldness and within the community.
4. Why is this activity important for your practice and artistic development or your group’s mission and goals? How does this project connect with and build upon your past work?
I feel like we already answer this question in questions 2 and 3. But here it goes…
The main goal for Cardinal Direction is inspired leadership. For each director to learn to lead and to create based on their own impulses, to share in-progress work with bravery, and to collaborate with other artists who have their own unique voices. It is only through inspired leadership that each director can celebrate and have renewed confidence in their direction to carry forward in their future directing experiences.
Being able to participate in Cardinal Direction on a full-time basis for three weeks will be an incredible gift for each participating director. Having the availability to devote a specific duration of time to creative experimentation, risk, and learning without the pressures of producing is almost unheard for emerging directors who desire to enhance their craft. This lab will provide an opportunity for each participating director to really focus on their skills and therefore lead from an artistically grounded place. Instead of asking “What’s feasible?”, the director can have the freedom to ask “what’s possible?” and dare to find all the possibilities. The rigour and focus of the Lab environment will be essential to each director embarking on their individual adventures and as a collective in nourishing our confidence in directing. Cardinal Direction is built upon putting the participants’ needs at the forefront of the process.
5. Brief summary of your recent relevant artistic work. Bios, experience and achievements.
ATTACH YOUR BIO: Sehar, Susan
Susan A. Lock is a Toronto-based actor that identifies herself as a first generation Canadian Chinese South African. She graduated from the Theatre Academy of the Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague, Czech Republic and received her Czech Masters in Acting specializing in Alternative and Puppet Theatre. She started her professional debut with Studio Ypsilon and remained a member for five and a half years (Frog’s Adventures, The Three Musketeers, Orfeus In the Underworld, Mr. Zero, I and They). All of her performances were in the Czech language. During this time, she founded a theatre company called Yes Theatre and their mandate was to bring English and Czech audiences together for performances in either language. She directed a one-act play (Out at Sea) with American and Czech actors. In Canada, she has with independent theatre companies such as Convergence Theatre (Auto Show-Fringe), fu-GEN Theatre (Paper Series–Paper Festival), Just Theatre for Change/Ontario International Council for Cooperation (You, In the Shadow), Eventual Ashes (Hiding Words for you), Call Me Scotty Productions (Eating Pomegranates Naked–Summerworks), Harley Dog Productions (On the Other Side of the World–Next Stage), New Harlem Productions (Dark Love–Rhubarb and Springworks), and HERStoryCounts Theatre (HERStory Counts). She also worked with fu-GEN in their Kitchen Pot Luck Series as an emerging playwright in 2011/2012 and was on the panel for the Dora Awards for the TYA category in 2010/11. Susan just finished working for the Children’s Peace Theatre as an Artist Guide for the 2016 production (I) making anti-oppression theatre with children ranging from six to thirteen year olds.
Sehar Bhojani is a Muslim Canadian theatre maker. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s acting program. She has had the privilege of working alongside some of Canada's leading talents and texts including the Montreal premiere of Anusree Roy's Letter's to my Grandma. She was a part of Factory Theatre's Foundry, a playwriting unit for emerging playwrights, where she developed her own play surrounding the circumstances that lead to extremism that will have a workshop reading in the fall. Recently, Sehar was a part of the inaugural Artist Producer Training Program and Assistant Directed Ayad Akhtar's controversial Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced for Mirvish. Currently, Sehar is directing Twelfth Night with Dauntless City Theatre.
Ximena Huizi is a Venezuelan actor/theatre-maker/Director based out of Toronto. She is the recipient of The Theatre Centre’s “2015 Emerging artist award” for her performance as the title character in “Ayelen” (SummerWorks 2015) written and produced by Fiya Bruxa. She currently works as part of Aluna Theatre’s Interpretation Lab, and is a core member of [Elephants] Collective. She Directed “A Kitchen Sink Drama” [elephants] Collective at Rhubarb 2016. Favourite Acting credits include “A Wake for lost Time” (SummerWorks 2015). “Vitals” Out Side The March, “Equus” The Verve, and “Trojan Women, a Love Story” Fanshawe College; under the direction of Gil Garrat. Ximena is a graduate from Fanshawe College's Theatre Arts Program, and has also trained with Skena and Teatro Nueva Era in her native Venezuela before moving to Canada to pursue her career.
Chiamaka G. Ugwu is a first-generation Nigerian-Canadian actor, director, and youth educator based in Toronto. Since graduating from Sheridan College and University of Toronto’s Theatre and Drama Studies program, Chiamaka has obtained much of her most recent directing experience in new play development including workshops of Andrea Scott’s Don’t Talk To Me Like I’m Your Wife (Factory Theatre), Christina Wong's The Disappearance of Laura May (FuGen Potluck) and Fiona Raye Clarke's Broken Windows (rock.paper.sistahz, Theatre InspiraTO). Her other directing credits include productions of The Twelve-Forty (Theatre InspiraTO – People’s Choice Award), and Neck-Breaking Car-Hop (Theatre Erindale Beck Festival). Her assistant directing experience includes working with Judith Thompson on The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre), with Weyni Mengesha on Obeah Opera (Nightwood Theatre), and interning with Mumbi Tinyebwa Otu on Just Me You and The Silence (IFT Theatre). As a performer, Chiamaka is also primarily engaged with new play development including the upcoming productions of Osia (Kukua Productions) and The Tartan Lady (Sundown Theatre). Her other acting credits include Tough (Canadian Rep Theatre), Dark Love (New Harlem Productions), Blood Wedding (Modern Times/ Aluna Theatre – Dora Nomination: Outstanding Performance, Ensemble), and Here After (Upstart Theatre). As a youth educator, Chiamaka is has been an Artist Facilitator with Soulpepper’s Youth Link Program for the past three years, developing and teaching performance-based work for youth across the Greater Toronto Area. Her education programming experience outside of the Youth Link Program includes collaborating with Paula Wing to lead Soulpepper’s inaugural Alumni Intensive, as well as working with the AMY Project, and Great Big Theatre Company summer camps.
6. Who is involved in the activity? List up to 10 confirmed additional artists and collaborators
Chiamaka G. Ugwu: Sessional Leader and Participating Director
Sehar Bhojani - Participating Director
Ximena Huizi - Participating Director
Susan A. Lock - Participating Director
Djanet Sears - Supporting Mentor
7. How did you find and choose the artists/collaborators you are working with?
Chiamaka G. Ugwu - In addressing my own personal need for a program like this, I imagined that there were a lot more emerging directors who needed a similar opportunity to nurture their sense of vision. While I am certain that there indeed are a great many directors who could well utilize this program, I wanted to ensure that with this directing lab I served the communities who receive dramatically less opportunities to have their voices heard: women, people of colour, and the new ‘millennial’ generation. With that impetus, I sought out three other emerging female directors with unique cultural lenses, a passion for theatre, and the ambition to share who they are as directors in an environment they are shareholders within.
I already knew Susan A. Lock from performing together in Donna-Michelle St. Bernard’s Dark Love, and knew Sehar Bhojani from participating in the Stratford Toronto 5 Voice Intensive. While I knew both Susan and Sehar mainly as performers, I also knew that they had directorial ambitions without extensive directing experience. Their apparent desire for further learning in directing, and their reflection of the communities that I wanted to target specifically through this program - women and people of colour - made them perfect candidates for this program.
In my search for another director who would greatly benefit from this program, I asked various diverse theatre artists and companies, particularly reaching out to theatre companies that serve culturally-diverse communities that were not already reflected in my selection of directors. With much investigation, Ximena Huizi’s name continued to come up, so I contacted her about the project after seeing her production of A Kitchen Sink Drama at Buddies in Bad Times’ Rhubarb Festival.
When thinking about a director who could act as a supporting mentor to this unit of emerging directors, it was important for me to find a director who was not only established and respected as a theatre director, but who also reflects the communities that I particularly want this program to appeal towards - women and people of colour. Part of the cyclical problem with the extreme lack of diversity among Canadian theatre directors - especially pertaining to gender, cultural background, and age - has to do with representation: as we do not see a whole lot of female directors of colour recognized and respected at an established level, the same is reflected at the emerging level. In order to create a space where emerging female directors of colour can actually see being a theatre director as a reality, I needed our supporting mentor be the same. From my experience being directed by Djanet Sears, and my knowledge of her exemplary work as a director, theatre practitioner, and mentor, I knew she would be the perfect person for this role.
IMPACT - Section 2
1. Who do you hope to involve in this activity and why? Tell us about the artists, cultural community, target audiences or people taking part and how they will be involved with the activity. Talk about long term.
Talk about the process and how this initiative will be an opportunity to develop our voice and aesthetic as diverse emerging directors (?)
Chiamaka G Ugwu - In this initial phase of Cardinal Direction, I occupy the role of Sessional Leader as the primary initiator of this project, and a participant in the lab as a director. As this project was conceived through my struggle to find a way to practice as an emerging director, it is important that I participate in this lab as a practicing director to explore how this type of initiative impacts my own growth as a director. As a Sessional Leader, my role is mainly setting the guidelines and expectations for all collaborators involved to be able to explore and create, as well as producing and administrative duties.
Directors: Sehar Bhojani, Ximena Huizi, Susan A. Lock, and Myself
Cardinal Direction aims to engage with emerging directors across all ages and backgrounds with with an emphasis on people of colour, new generation artists, and females. As these are the particular segments of the theatre community that continue to stay underserved and underrepresented in our theatre community, especially in directing and in positions of leadership, it is important that these people remain at the core of the programs’ outreach in this inaugural stages, and in the long-term future of this program.
While the actors that will be participating in this project are still not yet decided, our goal is to engage with a cross-section of actors across all ages, cultural backgrounds, and career levels - emerging, mid-career, and established. It is important for the directors’ development that we work with performers from a variety of experience with different skill levels. As emerging directors, we are mainly used to working with emerging actors from our own generation. Through our engagement with actors, Cardinal Direction aims to create new bonds between newer and older generations within our community, which are essential to our work and to foster community growth.
We hope to achieve a balance of being exposed to new performing talent and for directors to feel confident with the actors they are working with. To achieve this balance in the inaugural stage of the program, we will be selecting actors for our own work and helping to select actors for each other, which will help us achieve this balance of comfort and risk in the established relationship with our actors.
We will be sharing a pool of eight actors who will be working in a repertory-style format, working with two directors in two different pieces over the course of the 4 weeks. This will be beneficial to the training directors in terms of learning how to direct actors working within a repertory style for future professional endeavours. Having the actors working under two directors at once will also enable them to be in a unique position to offer feedback from a broader perspective, to have experienced the styles of two different directors. Working with this pool of eight selected actors will allow both the performers and directors in Cardinal Direction to work rigorously together and reflect on these processes in a way that will be integral to the directors’ learning.
For the directors to have the ability to put their utmost focus primarily on their experimentation process, having a stage manager will be essential to the process. Not only will the stage manager ensure that professional practices remain a standard, they will also be essential for helping us to figure out the logistics of our material needs and our final showcase. With our experimentation schedule, having 1 - 2 stage managers will allow us to focus on the creative work, while having an ally to help us figure out the more practical realities of the work we want to create. The specific stage managers to be engaged with this project is yet to be confirmed.
While the prime objective of this program is to allow each director to self-initiate and lead their own creative process, it is also essential that each director is able to receive support and encouragement from an artist familiar with the processes and struggles that may occur. Because Cardinal Direction seeks to engage primarily with female directors of colour, it is also important for the supporting mentor to be a part of those same communities so that the training directors can have a real example of a director that reflects their goals. Djanet Sears, an established, reputable theatre director and practitioner will be the Supporting Mentor for this inaugural Cardinal Direction Training Lab.
The main tasks of the Supporting Mentor will be to act as a support system and a guide for the training directors. Through three sessions preceding, during, and at the end of the experimentation process, the supporting mentor will be there to hear our questions, our plans, our struggles, and our joys within the process, and to provide guidance. Our supporting mentor will have to sit it on a portion of each director’s experimentation process over the course of the three week process, so that they can actually engage with the directors at our meeting sessions. With Djanet Sears, we will be able to share our ideas and queries, and overall have a person to check in with us during the different stages of our process. Having ties between the emerging directors and our established directing mentor, it will allow our disparate, self-initiated process to remain rooted in a supportive environment. As emerging directors, we will not have all the answers but having the support and guidance of a mentor will encourage us to persevere through the challenges we encounter as we are learning to map out our own way of creating.
As documentation of our experimentational process is essential to each director's ability to observe and reflect upon their progress in the program, having a photographer to document the experimentational process with photos and video will be important for the program. The photographer/videographer is yet to be determined.
The final showcase of the Cardinal Direction experimentation will be for a private invited audience. Those invited will mainly consists of close friends, professional colleagues, and mentors of the participating directors and performers. This will ensure that the final showcase is rooted in sharing our work with our communities, and taking some of the pressures of a production context away - like ticket sales, media reviews, etc. Having an invited audience will make our work vulnerable in sharing our unfinished, unpolished, but rigorously risky work. Included in the invited audience will be members and companies within the theatre community who could be viable partners for the future expansion of this program. The audience for our final showcase will thus be exclusive while still allowing the possibility for new artists and communities to engage in our individual work and Cardinal Direction as a whole. Whole of what? Just asking.
2. Tell us about the context of audiences and participants in your community. What will you do to ensure you are reaching the audience or participants, e.g. publicity, marketing,outreach, and arts education activities
For our invited showcase performance, we will be reaching out to potential future partners with Cardinal Direction through inviting theatre companies in the Greater Toronto Area, especially those with an educational or community focus. This will be mainly done through direct contact via email, mail, or phone.
The selection of our actors and stage manager(s) will mainly be done through the participating directors. One our selected pieces are finalized, each director will select 2 actors to be part of the process. The aim of this is to allow each director to work with at least one actor that they know and feel comfortable with, while still exposing them to talent that may be new to them, but trusted by another director. Since all the participating directors in this session also work professionally as performers, we will be able to select a strong unit of actors that we grow with in this process. We will be selecting our stage management in a similar format. Of course, as the focus of the program is to engage with more diverse, new generation, artists, especially female-identified, the selection of our actors and stage management will also be under that same lens to ensure that the programs participants are unified under the mandate of empowerment for historically disempowered communities. We will be contacting our selected actors and stage management directly as well via email and phone.
Web and Social Media Presence
Despite the final showcase performance being for a smaller, invited audience, it’s important to the future development of the program that various aspects of the experimentation process in shared outside on a wider forum. Having a website to archive the photos and videos taken of the directors’ processes and reflection will be instrumental for letting the world outside of our invited audiences engage with our investigations and experiments as directors. As directing is often a very solitary and closed journey, having a website to share our work, however unpolished, with other emerging and aspiring directors will be great for the directors to create a culture of sharing rather than perfecting, which will hopefully inspire greater openness and vulnerability within the directing community.
3. Does your activity serve artists and/or audiences from communities OAC has identified as priorities - why do you want to serve/reach these artists and/or audiences. How do you intend to do so?
Cardinal Direction was developed to serve female-identified, new generation, directors of colour. Because I feel the need for a self-initiated director training lab is greater than my personal desire to engage with directors who better reflect my own community as a new generation female director of colour, the program is not exclusive to only these communities, but will maintain focus on these groups. That focus is especially important in the field of theatre directing in Canada, where are less female directors of colour represented on a professional level. Because of this skewed representation, it is important for this self-initiated program to be place its focus in communities that traditionally have less access to initiating their own creative processes, which happen to be women, people of colour, and new generation artists. Through Cardinal Direction, I seek to fill a gap in the training of emerging directors from observance-based assistant-directing mentorships to practice-based leadership, and I want to ensure that the communities who have the least representation in that leadership are put first.
4. Do you have any partners, either arts-realted or non arts related, that will be involved in the activity? If so, provide a short description of them and how you will collaborate with them and, if relevant, what services they will provide to the activity.
Cahoots Theatre are generously supporting Cardinal Direction through their in-kind donation of their space for the experimentation and performances of the directing lab.
Funders within the community to ensure that the program can be realized inter-dependent of our grant outcomes - Obsidian, etc.
VIABILITY - Section 3
1. How will you raise as much money as you require from other sources (if applicable)? Identify which other sources of funding you are looking for, including earned revenue, other grants, fundraising, sponsorships and community support. Explain how the realities of your community fit into that plan (e.g. availability of other grants, sources of sponsorship). What marketing, awareness, and advertising activities will you do to attract an audience? How does that relate to your past experience?
To raise as much money as possible for Cardinal Direction, we are also applying for a Toronto Arts Council Theatre Projects Grant.
We are also seeking community support from theatre companies that support diverse artists and training including Obsidian Theatre.
2. Please describe how any fees, including artist fees and other expenses (if applicable) have been calculated.
The fees for the engagement of our actors, directors, and stage management have been calculated using the CAEA Workshop Rates for Independent Theatrre (ITA).
We are supporting the time and skill of Djanet Sears, our Supporting Mentor, and our yet to be decided photographer through honorariums, as they would not be engaged in the process as deeply as the other participants, but are still nonetheless essential to the mandate of the program.
The cost of our material supplies include the practice-related costs of any needed props or costumes, as well as the administrative costs which include printing and photocopying, website costs, office supplies, and hospitality. These materials are calculated to be shared among four directors, 8 actors, and 1 -2 stage managers.
3. Do you have any support in kind? That is, a donation of goods and/or services, such as space, printing, equipment, etc. rather than funding. Please describe and estimate the value, but do not include in the budget.
Cahoots Theatre in generously supporting Cardinal Direction through an in-kind donation of their space, which is an estimated $990 value.
4. Briefly tell us about your experience managing budgets, and describe how you will manage the budget, including what you will do if you do not raise all the revenues projected.
Our experience managing budgets has been through working with budgets as directors, whether that budget is supplied through the support of granting bodies or a theatre company. Through that experience, we will manage our budget by ensuring that we are investing primarily in the most important aspects of the program first, and finding solutions for addressing needs that may arise and alter our budgetary planning.
Our biggest costs is our artists, which is a source of pride for the program, as that’s where we want to invest the most. Because of the focus needed for this rigorous program, to ensure that our actors, directors, and stage management are able and available to engage with this project with utmost focus, we need to pay our artists at the very least the professional standard.
As the artists are at the focus of this project, in the event that we do not raise all of our projected revenues, we will first cut from our material budget to keep the support on our artists. The needed materials, including any props, costumes, printing, photocopying, and supplies will have to be accessed through donations within and outside the theatre community, which all of the participating directors are well connected to.
In the event that the revenue we receive are not able to support all of our artists, we will cut down on the amount of actors that we engage within this project,, while still keeping the repertory focus of the program alive, and ensuring each actor we do engage with is paid a professional standard.
In the extreme event that we do not raise anywhere close to enough to support this program to its fullest potential, the program will still take place as its two biggest needs have already been secured: space, directors, and supporting mentors. Having little to no funding for this program will mean that the actors and stage management engaged in this process, will have a significantly lowered ability to give this rigorous repertory-process the focus that it needs and deserves to ensure the program’s success. The effectiveness of the program will be significantly dampened without the funding needed to support the access of all artists involved.
5. What are the main phases of the activity? Please fill out the activity plan/ workplan below with tasks, projected dates and who will lead particular elements, from the start date to completion
Nov 1st 2016
Post grant results meeting.
Chiamaka G. Ugwu
Nov 15, 2016
Reach out/ select actors and stage management
Directors, Actors, Stage Management
Creating and sending participation contracts
Late Dec/ Jan
1st Meeting with Supporting Mentor
Directors, Supporting Mentor
Jan 9th to 26th 2017
Actors, Diretors, SM, Photographer, Supporting Mentor
Jan 27, 2017
Directors, Actors, SM
Feb 3, 2017
Debrief with mentor/
Video interview / Final Reflections
Videographery would not be engaged in the process as deeply as the other participants, but are still nonetheless essential to the mandate of the program.
Our biggest costs is our artists, which is a source of pride for the program, as that’s where we want to invest the most. Because of the focus needed for this rigorous program, to ensure that our actors, directors, and stage management are able and a