Summer Ensemble 2021

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 2021 seventeen artists participated in Summer Ensemble 2021. To get one of those spots artists had to pass an audition and callbacks. 

You can see all of the participants in 2021 Summer Ensemble here.

By Role

Each year we hire different positions depending on the project we are working on. In 2021 we were hiring three roles: actors, artistic producers and directors. 

By Gender 

Of the 223 artists who applied 63% identify as female, 30% identify as male and 27% identify as non binary. We are a gender positive environment celebrating gender diversity offering gender specific and gender neutral washrooms for our participants. 

By Priority Group  

Summer Ensemble 2021 gathered a diverse range of participants. Each year we take special care to try to assemble as diverse group as possible. In the year 2021, we prioritized hiring of newcomers, immigrants, first generation Canadians, 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 applicants and participants in Summer Ensemble 2021 was 23. This was an average of two years lower from the previous year. 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. 

19% of artists who applied to the program were immigrants and newcomers who had been in Canada less than 5 years. We also accepted applications from 1% immigrants.

Our participants in 2021 were Canadian born and raised. Some of them were immigrants, and newcomers who had lived in Canada for less than 5 years. Many of our participants were first generation Canadians and their parents were immigrants to the country.

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 2021 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 2021 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 the most common students and graduates who applied to Summer Ensemble were from the National Theatre School, Humber College and Ryerson University.

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 

This year we received more applicants than we had ever before. A total of 223 artists sent in their resumes. Of the 223 artists we received 165 applications for actors, 35 applications for artistic producers and 23 applications for Director position. 

That means that Director applicants had a 13% chance of landing the job and Artistic Producer 17%. Actors had the lowest probability to get hired at 6%. 

Timeline

Summer Ensemble 2021 took place during June to July of 2021. Each year the dates for summer Ensemble change slightly. Usually Summer Ensemble lasts 8 weeks, and 2021 Summer Ensemble was no different. 

Auditions

Auditions lasted 14 days. For the auditions we asked the participants to prepare a classical and a contemporary monologue. The candidates chose a wide variety of monologues. Artistic Producers and Directors were asked for an interview.

Callbacks

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 2021 callbacks were group callbacks. We had three groups each with 10 candidates over Zoom. 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 challenges of speaking the text to ensure it conveys meaning. 

First Day

Selected candidates started their first day of Summer Ensemble on June 7 2021.  

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 we concluded with a special lunch and a workshopped production of Twelfth Night. 

 

Activities

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 2021 we were working on one piece: a contemporary version of Twelfth Night with gender bending casting for some key roles. 

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

Summer Ensemble 2022

Read more about Summer Ensemble 2022 Learn about the program past participants admission timeline and how to get involved

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About Crane Creations

Mission

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

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