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.
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?
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 2022 seventeen artists participated in Summer Ensemble 2022. To get one of those spots artists had to pass an audition and callbacks.
Each year we hire different positions depending on the project we are working on. In 2022 we were hiring four roles: artistic producers, actors, a Stage Manager and a Volunteer Co-ordinator.
A Volunteer Co-ordinator is responsible for meeting CCTC’s volunteer needs and goals by following volunteer related processes and workflows; and recruiting, training, tracking and supervising volunteers.
We hired ten actors, five artistic producers, one stage manager and one volunteer co-ordinator.
Of the 173 artists who applied 65% identify as female, 27% identify as male and 8% 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 2022 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.
Average age of participants in 2022 Summer Ensemble was 25. We aim to hire participants of difference ages.
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.
We often find that despite being highly educated in other parts of the world, artists who immigrate to Canada have a hard time breaking into the theatre scene. This year we wanted to work with artists who had an education across the world, and immigrated to Canada. During Summer Ensemble 2022 we accepted participants from different schools across Canada and around the world 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 2022 Summer Ensemble came from Sheridan College based in Mississauga. We were elated to see local students apply and pass auditions and callbacks.
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 173 artists we received 150 applications for actors, 35 applications for artistic producer, 30 applications for Stage Manager position and 10 applications for volunteer co-ordinator .
That means that Stage Manager applicants had a 6% chance of landing the job, artistic producers 14%, stage managers 3% and volunteer co-ordinator 10%.
Summer Ensemble 2022 took place during the summer months of 2022. Each year the dates for summer Ensemble change slightly. Usually Summer Ensemble lasts 8 weeks, and 2022 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 2022 callbacks were group callbacks. We had three groups each with 10 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 challenges of speaking the text to ensure it conveys meaning.
Selected candidates started their first day of Summer Ensemble on May 10 2022.
In 2019 Summer Ensemble concluded on June 30th, 2022.
We engaged in learning activities such as financial, digital and marketing 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.
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.
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 2022 we were working on devised outdoor performances across the city of Mississauga: locations include Cooksville 4 corners, and museums across the city.
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.