Summer Ensemble 2019

Table of Contents

 What is Summer Ensemble 

This is hard. Sometimes it’s hard to describe something truly amazing – one needs to experience it to fully understand it. 

In our company we use food to explain things a lot so let me try to describe Summer Ensemble using food as an analogy: Imagine an amazing scrumptious treat with superb nutritional benefits – that’s Summer Ensemble. Kind of like an ice cream mochi filled with vitamins, protein and all the other good stuff while tasting soft and delicious. 

Summer Ensemble offers emerging artists paid work for two months. During these two months artists work on shows (the tasty part of the treat) and also learn many skills (the nutritious part). 

Why did we start Summer Ensemble

We wanted to create an opportunity for young artists and immigrant artists to get their first professional credit. 

Artists need paid for their work as possible so we did the hard work of figuring out how to find money to provide artists with paid work. 

We also noticed that artists have a hard time understanding how the performing industry works. Many artists graduate and then struggle to understand how to build a career in the arts. Schools teach great artistic skills but unfortunately run out of time to teach the nitty gritty of the industry like how to how to create a budget for a show, write a grant, or how does the industry actually work. 

During Summer Ensemble we provide artists with concrete skills like financial skills, marketing skills and digital skills. 

Many artists don’t know that being an artist usually means being self employed – 58% of artists are self employed in comparison to only 21% of the rest of the workforce. That means that artists need entrepreneurial skills to succeed.

Who is Summer Ensemble for?

Summer ensemble is for artists who are starting their careers. Minimum age to participate is 15 and maximum age on the first day is 30. We don’t make these rules, they are the rules of the funding program that supports Summer Ensemble. Usually we take in participants between 19 and 30 years of age.

Is Summer Ensemble Paid? 

Yes, absolutely! 

Crane Creations Theatre Company is passionate about paying artists fairly according to Canadian professional standards. Summer Ensemble is a professionally paid opportunity following the guidelines of the Indie 2.2 Actors Equity Association payment levels.  

Who participated In Summer Ensemble 2019?

Every year we receive a lot of interest for our Summer Ensemble. In 2019 thirteen artists participated in Summer Ensemble 2019. To get one of those spots artists had to pass an audition and callbacks. 

You can see all of the participants in 2019 Summer Ensemble here.

By Role

Each year we hire different positions depending on the project we are working on. In 2019 we were hiring three roles: several actors, a Stage Manager and a Designer. We hired eleven actors, one stage manager and one designer. 

By Gender 

Of the 136 artists who applied 65% identify as female, 41% identify as male and 4% identify as non binary. We are a gender positive environment celebrating gender diversity offering gender specific and gender neutral washrooms for our participants. 

By Ethnicity   

Summer Ensemble 2019 gathered a diverse range of participants. Each year we take special care to try to assemble as diverse group as possible. We prioritize hiring of newcomers, immigrants, first generation Canadians, artists from Mississauga and the Region of Peel, artists of colour and LGBTQ artists. By creating a diverse group we want to ensure participants exchange their experience and share knowledge to further our aim for increasing the knowledge of artists about the industry.

By Age

Average age of participants in 2019 Summer Ensemble was 25. We aim to hire participants of difference ages.  

By Residency

As an immigrant founded company we are very passionate about providing opportunities for immigrant artists. Immigrant artists are artists who were born outside of Canada. We also track 1st generation artists who are artists who’s parents moved to Canada as adults. Artists from 1st generation families frequently experience lack of support at home to pursue an artistic career as well as other challenges such as lack of understanding how to pursue a career in the performing arts. 

By Education

Unfortunately, some people who would like to pursue a career in the arts might not be able to attend formal training due to lack of support at home or other circumstances. Immigrant artists frequently lack parental support and we are one of the few theatre companies providing training and jobs for immigrant artists. During Summer Ensemble 2019 we accepted  participants from different schools and participants who have not attended formal training who exhibited exceptional talent, and wish to pursue a professional career in theatre but lack support and/or understanding how does Canadian performing arts industry work. 

The highest number of participants in the 2019 Summer Ensemble came from University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College joining Drama Program which is based in Mississauga. We were elated to see local students apply and pass auditions and callbacks. In audition to UTM students we also welcomed graduates from the National Theatre School, Humber College, Ryerson University, George Brown College, St. Clair College and University of Windsor.

By Location

We are excited to see participants from across Canada getting involved in Summer Ensemble. different cities and even provinces.

Probability of getting hired 

Since the first moment auditions were posted it was clear artists need this type of opportunity: 136 artists send in their resumes and cover letters. Of the 136 artists we received 118 applications for actors, 11 applications for designers and 7 applications for Stage Manager position. 

That means that Stage Manager applicants had a 14% chance of landing the job, Designers 9%. Despite a high number of applications for Actor position Actors had the same probability to get hired as Designers – 9%. 


Summer Ensemble 2019 took place during the summer months of 2019. Each year the dates for summer Ensemble change slightly. Usually Summer Ensemble lasts 8 weeks, and 2019 Summer Ensemble was no different. 


Auditions lasted 5 days. For the auditions we asked the participants to prepare a classical and a contemporary monologue. The candidates chose a wide variety of monologues.


This is the part when it gets hard for us. A lot of the candidates are amazing and it is very difficult to choose. Our choices are led by the quality of the candidates work and also diversity of the candidates. We want to ensure we have candidates with a wide variety of experience in the room. 

In 2019 callbacks were group callbacks. We had three groups each with 8 candidates. The groups were asked to do two things: work in a group of two or three to prepare a scene from Shakespeare. Work on a Shakespeare’s sonnet. The reason we choose these works is because they are technically very demanding and let us see the candidates ability to understand a complex text, interpret it, and deal with the challeges of speaking the text to ensure it conveys meaning. 

First Day

Selected candidates started their first day of Summer Ensemble on Jun 19 2019.  

Last Day

The last day of Summer Ensemble is always a special day leaving us sad to see all the amazing arists we grew so close with, leave. For the last day we usually prepare a very special activity. This year our Stage Manager prepared a custom Board game which we used as a rehearsal method to expand on the character work we did throughout the summer. 

In 2019 Summer Ensemble concluded on August 2, 2019. 


We take great pride in having Summer Ensemble taking place in Mississauga. Mississauga is one of the largest Canadian cities, it’s actually bigger than Vancouver based on population but unfortunately it has one of the lowest per capita number of artists in Canada. We are excited that we are bringing artists from across Ontario and Canada to Mississauga. 

In 2019 we acquired our studio at the south west end of Mississauga. Majority of the Summer Ensemble 2019 activities took place at the studio with occasional activities taking place in local parks in Clarkson and Port Credit. 


We engaged in learning activities such as financial, digital and marketing workshops. 

Financial workshops

We started our exploration of finance with a practical workshop on what is economy and how does it work

This workshop entailed learning basic financial literacy like what is money, what is credit, what is debt, what is a mortgage, how to calculate interest rates, difference between simple and compounded interest rates. 

Digital workshops

The reality of pursuing a career as an artist frequently involves working several jobs to earn a living. The Summer Ensemble encourages participants to seek work that is close to their career like blogging and writing. We teach participants how to write and format a blog using WordPress. We partner with Mississauga Arts Guide to publish the blogs and give the artists a portfolio. 

Marketing workshops 

We teach artists about basic marketing concepts like SEO optimization, and how marketing impacts audiences and the possibility to tour a show. 

Industry specific learning 

One of the most important elements of Summer Ensemble is ensuring emerging artists understand the industry they are pursuing a career in. Each year we ask participants to learn about theatres and artists across Canada and the world. They research, prepare presentations and discuss the work of these artists and their impact on live theatre. We encourage artists to think about content as well as form and consider the role of theatre in society respective of its political and economic situation. 

Rehearsals and show development 

In 2019 we were working on three pieces: a contemporary version of Romeo and Juliet with gender bending casting for some key roles, a new original play titled Pandora’s Box. 

We also brought in three emerging artists to workshop their plays. 

How to get involved in Summer Ensemble? 

If you would like to get involved in Summer Ensemble follow us on social media, or leave us your email and we will notify you when the call for applications opens. 

About Crane Creations


Our mission is to advance the creation, evolution, promotion and support for professional theatre in the Region of Peel. We create and present events

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