Creating a gateway to a career for underrepresented communities
NTS created the Accessibility and Inclusivity Program (AIP) to address the issue of ensuring access to the school for underrepresented artists. It is key to implement new possibilities for marginalized artists to enter the school in order to break the system of exclusion undermining accessibility to training in performing arts.
The main goal of the AIP is to give more tools and opportunities for IBPOC and marginalized artists. By studying at NTS in one of the nine professional training programs available, these underrepresented artists will open themselves to a lot of professional opportunities to start a career in the performing arts industries.
As part of the AIP, we are now working in collaboration with IBPOC and marginalized communities to foster participation in the arts and create alternative paths of entry to NTS's professional training programs. The AIP is composed of two initiatives : New Pathways and the Stage Découverte(s).
The Accessibility and Inclusivity Program is sponsored by TD
Multiple causes can exclude artists from traditional admission procedures, notably: ethnicity, financial situation, socio-cultural factors and geographical limitations. New Pathways is the current alternative path for IBPOC and marginalized artists who want to study at NTS. This is an initiative in which NTS collaborates with theatre organizations led by IBPOC.
Once the partnership is established, the organization selects an artist from their community to enter in a professional training program, without having to go through the traditional selection process. It is important for NTS that only the collaborating organization be involved in the selection process, so that the selection is made only by artists from the same community. Then, the program director selects an artist to be the mentor of the future student.
New Pathways is currently a project only available for the Production Design and Technical Arts program.
Photo: Jessica Campbell-Maracle (Production Design and Technical Arts, 2nd year), Indigenous student who came to NTS through New Pathways. Credit: Maxime Côté.
The Stage Découverte(s) initiative is for young artists who are facing barriers (socio-cultural, financial or geographical barriers) to doing theatre. This initiative opens the doors to NTS to participants, giving them the opportunity to explore the disciplines of theatre in a supportive environment. The Stage Découverte(s) is intended for young people from 15 to 20 years old and takes place in French only.
This is an annual three-day internship in August, during which participants discover the multiple dimensions of theatrical practice by working on each stage of the creation of a play. The content of the intership is designed in collaboration with the Program Directors of the French Section and the workshops are led by NTS teaching artists. Lunches are provided and a financial compensation is available for travel and accommodation.
Photo: The 2022 Stage Découverte(s) cohort. Credit: Maxime Côté.