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Emerging Artists

AGES 19-35

Our Emerging Artists Program invites participants who are studying or have recently graduated from a performing arts training program, to further develop their skills under the mentorship of experienced industry professionals.  Participants in the program could intern all aspects of a musical theatre production, including performance, stage and production management, design and directing, budgeting, marketing, and promotion.  The program will also encourage exploration of new repertoire for musical theatre through table reads, workshops, and developmental projects. 

This program is a Canadian-funded program for the promotion and advancement of young Canadian artists and appropriate for participants in post-secondary fine arts education, or those who are launching careers in theatre performance or production.

The Storyteller by Kathleen Mills

Performances July 7, 8, 9, 14, 15&16, 2023

Rehearsals will be June 19-July 6, 2023

Casting Auditions (Self-Tape) are due April 22, 2023

Callbacks will be May 6 & 7, 2023

Submit at


In a village at the base of a mountain spring comes every year on the same day, when one storyteller braves the climb and brings a story to the Goddess at the top. It is the coldest winter yet and it looks like spring may not come this year, when two strangers arrive and the world is changed forever.


Our show explores themes of growing up, community, and how we can support those in our lives who need us. It is appropriate for all ages.


Ana- (She/Her) Ana is an optimistic but anxious young woman. She loves stories and secretly dreams to be a storyteller, but she lacks the confidence in herself. She is kind to others and learns that her kindness is one of her strongest qualities.

Lily- (She/Her) Lily is a fierce and brave young woman. She dreams of adventure, danger, excitement, and something new, but she's stuck in a town where nothing changes. She is Ana's best friend.


Sawyer- (Any pronouns) Sawyer is a musician from a distant village travelling the world with their best friend Axel. They are trying to find their voice in their music, but no one has believed in them before.


Axel- (Any pronouns) Axel is a self proclaimed "brilliant inventor." They travel the world with Sawyer trying to find somewhere that will appreciate their inventions. While they seem aloof and a little rude, they are just looking for somewhere to belong.


Narrator- (Any pronouns) The original storyteller, the narrator guides the audience through Ana’s story, writing as they go looking for the perfect ending.


Goddess- (Any pronouns) The all powerful Goddess who lives at the top of the mountain. While she has become an uncaring legend to the village, in reality she is a gentle soul who is in need of a friend.


Chorus- (Any pronouns) The chorus serve as townspeople, the mayor, other storytellers, musicians, a snowstorm, and anything else the narrator or the characters can bring to life with their stories. They are full of magic and mischief. The chorus can range from 2 actors to 15! They are full of character and work best as an ensemble

NOTES- The only specified pronouns in the show are Ana and Lily which have been written as women. Every other character can be played by anyone of any gender identity! This was a purposeful choice as often in the musical theatre canon there are not enough roles for gender minorities.


Summer 2023

Carmen by Georges Bizet

Summer Opera Training and Performance Program:

July 24-August 20 2023


August 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 2023

Role preparation, diction classes,

Masterclasses (Acting Through Song and Audition Preparation)

Submission Deadlines (Headshot and Resumé) are due March 31, 2023

Auditions will be April 15 & 16, 2023

prepare 3 opera or related arias in different languages

Candidates living more than 300 km from the Toronto GTA may submit video recordings, but in-person auditions are strongly recommended

Fees: $650 CDN $500 US (Principles)

$325 CDN $250 US (Chorus)

Submit at


Following a highly-successful summer program featuring The Marriage of Figaro, No Strings Theatre and Opera by Request will be partnering once again with director Gregory Finney for a summer production of Bizet's Carmen, sung in French, with the original spoken dialogue rendered in English.  Other performance opportunities will include a recital and cabaret show, and rehearsals will be supplemented with several masterclasses.  In addition to Mr. Finney, instruction will be offered by Denise Williams (No Strings Theatre) and William Shookhoff (Opera by Request), as well as artist-mentor Ernesto Ramirez and guest instructors Marcia Whitehead and Julie Nesrallah.  


The program runs from July 22nd to August 20th.  Rehearsals and classes will initially be held in Toronto, with production week rehearsals and performances taking place at the MVL Stable in Adjala Ontario, near Orangeville.

Roles available are as follows:

Carmen:  mezzo-soprano or soprano

Don Jose:  spinto tenor

Escamillo:  baritone

Micaela:  soprano

Frasquita: soprano

Mercedes: mezzo-soprano

Dancairo:  baritone

Remendado: tenor

Zuniga: bass

Morales: baritone

Lillas Pastia: spoken

Guide: spoken

Chorus and children's chorus




Delighted to be  starting at No Strings Theatre and returning to Opera By Request - after his company debut as Michonnet in ADRIANA LECOUVREUR – as Bartolo/Antonio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO) Baritone Gregory Finney has been hailed for his versatility and skill after his turn as Escamillo in LA TRAGEDIE DE CARMEN with LooseTEA Music Theatre among others. One of Toronto’s busiest singers, mostly at home in comedic roles, he garnered rave reviews for his turn as Antonio/ Bartolo in Against The Grain theatre’s hit production FIGARO’S WEDDING. He’s been seen as Il Conte (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO); Papageno (DIE ZAUBERFLOTE) and as Figaro (LA MERE COUPABLE). He was seen in the Canadian premieres of JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA, LUISA FERNANDA, KATE AND THE DEVIL and KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY and the world premieres of KAMOURASKA and Eric Idles NOT THE MESSIAH. (@gregory_finney) (



William Shookhoff is a noted conductor, pianist and vocal coach throughout Canada and abroad. He has served on the music faculties of the Universities of Toronto, Alberta, Wilfrid Laurier, as well as the Banff
Centre for the Arts and the Johannesen Summer Institute of Music. He has been on the Music Staff of the Canadian, Netherlands, Edmonton, and Portland (Oregon) Opera Companies. Mr Shookhoff was the Associate Conductor of the inaugural Canadian production of Les Miserables, and of the Canadian Tour and Toronto productions of Phantom of the Opera. He
has been a guest Music Director with Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Persephone Theatre (Saskatoon), and Citadel Theatre (Edmonton). Mr. Shookhoff makes frequent appearances in those capacities throughout Western Europe and China, as well as maintaining an active coaching studio in Toronto. He is a regular guest conductor with the Bluebridge Festival and with Opera Kitchener. He has also devoted his efforts to the development and presentation of the Massed Piano or Monster Concert, and has conducted such events at Carnegie Hall, New York; Massey Hall and Nathan Philips Square, Toronto; the White House, Washington, DC;
and the Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome. Mr. Shookhoff is Artistic Director Emeritus at Tryptych Productions.

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