Bygone Theatre’s Youth Production Assistant Program 

Now looking for high school students to join our Youth Production Assistant (YPA) program!

Bygone Theatre is excited to announce our newly expanded Youth Production Assistant (YPA) program. Since 2012, we have welcomed high school students to volunteer on productions, giving them the chance to gain hands-on experience while they earn their mandatory 40 volunteer hours. This year, thanks to sponsorship by Jane Aster Roe (an artist and former YPA), we have expanded this program into a fully-fledged training position which includes assessments, a certificate of completion, and a $400 honourarium to help offset travel costs or time taken away from other jobs or commitments. It is our hope that this training program will give students the chance to see what a career in the arts entails before they make the commitment of attending a post-secondary program or jumping into the workforce. We offer a supportive, encouraging environment which highlights the students interests and needs to create a position that is truly custom-tailored to them. 

This season we will be selecting 2 students for our YPA program. Those who are not selected will still have the ability to volunteer on the production if they so choose. 

Past participants have done things like: 

  • Design and build a key prop piece for a show 
  • Build and paint scenic flats 
  • Learn how to run the tech booth and call the show 
  • Learn how to create props and help track them through a show 
  • Attend rehearsals and shadow the director 
  • Create social media content 
  • Work backstage as an assistant stage manager 
  • Run the concessions or assist with front of house duties 
  • Learn how to create a stage manager’s prompt book 
  • Learn how to build a budget in excel, and how to track finances 

If there’s something you’re interested in that isn’t on that list, let us know! 

Requirements: 

  • Must be enrolled in high school in Ontario (preferably the GTA) 
  • Must be able to attend some rehearsals or events in Toronto (note: depending on the student’s interests, a large portion of this may be able to be completed remotely, however ability to attend some in-person sessions is required) 
  • Must be triple vaccinated against COVID-19 (this is a requirement for all of our cast and crew this season) 
  • Must be passionate about theatre and be considering pursuing a career in the arts  
  • Enthusiastic and willing and learn! 

Assets: 

  • Strong English language skills 
  • Experience in theatre production 
  • Experience using social media for marketing and promotion 
  • Strong organizational skills 
  • Creativity  

In addition to being interested in the typical theatre things (acting, directing, set design etc.) those with the following interests may find this position rewarding: 

  • Visual arts 
  • Fashion 
  • Hair and Makeup 
  • Writing 
  • Business or Management 
  • Mathematics 
  • Construction 
  • Graphic Design 
  • Social Media 
  • Video Production 
  • Crafts 
  • Teaching 

This position will be highly tailored towards the participants interests and skills, so applicants should be honest in their cover letter about what they can bring to the position and what they hope to learn – in-experience is not a drawback! The purpose of this program is to give students hands-on training in a supportive environment and to help them prepare for further training or a potential career in the arts. Students will be taught a wide range of things like how to create a prompt book, call a show, sell and market a show, direction techniques and more, but their own interests and abilities will be what focus the majority of their participation.  A series of short pass/fail assessments will be given to ensure the student has gained or advanced their skills, and they will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. 

Diversity and Accessibility 

Bygone Theatre encourages students of all backgrounds, skills and experience to apply: the number one thing we are looking for is someone with an interest they want to pursue. Bygone is run by English-speaking artists, and so the ability to communicate in English is required, however, ESL students are encouraged to apply as we prioritize finding tasks that benefit all involved and many roles will not rely heavily on English language skills. Bygone Theatre prioritizes the selection of marginalized artists, and encourages those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+ and Mad/Disabled to apply: feel free to share in your cover letter any ways in which you identify, though this is completely optional. To learn more about our commitments to diversity and accessibility, visit our website, bygonetheatre.com/diversity-accessibility. If you will require us to provide any assistive devices for your participation, please let us know in your application.   

We understand that marginalized people sometimes feel as though systemic barriers, or those specific to their identity will prevent them from participating in programs such as these. We highly encourage all those who have an interest to apply, and if there is a concern you have that you worry may disqualify you, please let us know. We are very open to adapting and finding solutions to ensure participation. 

How To Apply: 

Send a 1-page cover letter, resume, and the contact information for 1-2 references to emily@bygonetheatre.com. Your cover letter should focus on what you hope to gain from the program and what areas you are most interested in. Your resume can highlight experience and skills – don’t worry if it’s not robust, listing things like volunteer positions, personality traits (eg. Positive, focused) and any programs you know how to use (from Excel to TikTok!) is all helpful. References should be able to comment on your general attitude and commitment towards projects – teachers, coaches or bosses are appropriate, parents or friends are not. Please be sure to give a brief explanation as to what the relationship is and provide an email and phone number. 

Slots for the YPA are limited due to our limited funding, however volunteer positions are always available. Those who are not selected for the YPA may still choose to volunteer for their mandatory 40 volunteer hours required to graduate. 

DEADLINE IS FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 at 5:00PM. 

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Author: BygoneTheatre

Bygone Theatre was founded as a collective in October of 2012, and became an incorporated not-for-profit company in October of 2015. Our mandate is to produce theatre written or set in the early 20th century, focusing on historical aspects in design and incorporating a classic cinema aesthetic. ​ In 2019 Bygone Theatre was nominated for 14 Broadway World Toronto Awards, including Best Community Theatre and Best Play (Equity). We took home a total of 5 awards, 4 of which were for The Rear Window, including Best Direction of a Play (Equity); Best Original Lighting Design; Best Leading Actor (Play, Equity); and Best Featured Actress (Play, Equity). We took a hiatus our 2020/21 season because of the COVID19 pandemic, and used that time to develop our charitable initiatives. In August of 2021 we were nominated for the Toronto Star Readers' Choice Award for Best Live Theatre. Part of our mission involves inclusion and accessibility, and we strive to allow artists of all backgrounds and levels of experience the chance to have hands-on experience in whatever capacity they are most interested in; this has included youth outreach programs for high school students interested in production design, and acting opportunities for those who have never performed onstage.

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