Critical Futures: A Training Program for Emerging BIPOC Theatre Reviewers

Critical Futures: A Training Program for Emerging BIPOC Theatre Reviewers

Critical Futures will offer paid journalistic writing training and exposure to a cohort of 4 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) who are interested in arts criticism.

The program will run from October 2022 – June 2023 and be a combination of classroom learning and opportunities to review a number of performances over a condensed period of time with mentorship throughout. The aspiring critics will hone their professional voice and skills in areas such as:
● Overview of the current media climate in Canada
● History of Criticism in Canada
● Introduction to the Canadian Theatre ecology and the systems of theatre
● Overview of the roles in theatre (dramaturge, director, designers etc.)
● Writing reviews, previews, editorials, and features
● Criticism practices across performing art forms (theatre, dance, circus, etc.)
● Print vs. Digital tools
● Different cultural frameworks for interpreting art
● Ethical artistic practices
● Building a future career in journalism

Critical Futures is a pilot program produced and managed by Neworld Theatre in partnership with Arts Club, Electric Company Theatre, GVPTA, Rumble Theatre, and STIR.


We are seeking 4 individual BIPOC who are passionate about the arts and are interested in analyzing the future of arts criticism.

With the shift from traditional print reviews to digital platforms, the nature of theatre criticism is dramatically shifting on several fronts. As Carly Maga (Toronto Star) notes
in her feature, The Pedagogy of Theatre Criticism in Canada, “As print journalism business moves from paper to digital sources, this unprecedented access to online publishing platforms can give emerging writers more critical power than ever before. Simultaneously, the increasing demand for journalists to better reflect Canada’s diversity – a widespread problem throughout the industry and indeed in the arena of arts criticism – requires innovation not only in the medium through which theatre criticism is delivered but in terms of who is creating the content.” We, along with our partners agree with Carly Maga and created Critical Futures as a way to support more diverse theatre critics in Canada.


– A person with experience in the arts as an artist or passionate audience member
– Strong writing ability
– Passionate about the future of the arts community
– Values honesty, transparency, and a work environment that treats colleagues with respect and compassion
– Based in Vancouver, or can commute to the central Vancouver area for any in-person sessions
– Interest in working in journalism


– Start date: October 4th, 2022
– Fee: $2,576 ($28/hr x 92hrs: 42 hrs in-class learning, 36 hrs for homework/writing reviews, 14 hrs for seeing shows)
– Sessions every second week, with complimentary tickets to see local theatres shows, and additional time for homework for each session.
– Class Attendance: Each class will happen in person at the Arts Club BMO Theatre* with the exception of Ashley Lee’s sessions which will happen online. The expectation is for each cohort member to be at each class unless stated otherwise in advance. Online participation is possible; however, in-person participation is preferred.

*Space accessibility: There is a spacious elevator from the ground floor to the room, which is across the hall from accessible, gender-neutral washrooms. On regular workdays, the entrance has a concierge who can direct folks. The elevator buttons all have raised numerals and their braille counterparts.


October 12th, 2022 – 1-2pm – Meet and greet and information session with Neworld Theatre
October 19, 2022, 1-4pm – First session with Janet Smith
– See a show together as a cohort in October
November 9, 2022, 1-4pm – First session with Stephen Drover
– See a show as a cohort and write first draft of a review
November 23rd, 2022, 1-4pm – Second session with Stephen Drover
December 7, 2022, 1-4pm – First session with Jiv Parasram
– See a show together as a cohort

Winter Break

Janurary 11, 2023, 1-4pm – Second session with Jiv Parasram
– See a show together as a cohort and write a draft of a review
Janurary 25, 2023, 1-4pm – Second session with Janet Smith
Feburary 8, 2023, 1-4pm – Session with Lindsay Lachance
– See a show together as a cohort and write a draft of a review
Feburary 22nd, 2023, 1-4pm – First session with Ashley Lee on Zoom
March 8, 2023, 1-4pm – Second session with Ashley Lee on Zoom

April 2023
– Write a final review to be published
– Meet with Jiv and Janet to go over reviews before public publishing
May 2023
– Final Review Published
– End of course Party!
June 2023 – Be part of the Making a Scene conference hosted by GVPTA to discuss the program.


– We aim to interview short-listed candidates in mid-August 2022. Interviews will take place on Zoom.
– To apply, please email (with the subject line Critical Futures Application) to by JULY 30, 2022, 5pm PST:
– One-page letter of interest:
– Tell us about yourself and tell us about your experience in the arts.
– Do you have a cultural framework you work through?
– Your CV
– Writing Sample (Max 2 samples) – We are open to what these samples could be but are specifically looking for something that showcases your sentence structure and grammar.

Creative Team

Stephen Drover
Shanae Sodhi
Lindsay Lachance
Jiv Parasram
Janet Smith
Ashley Lee
Angelica Schwartz
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