Lauren Welchner

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Lauren Welchner is an award-winning Toronto-based actor, playwright, and producer. A co-founder of the feminist theatre company Spicy Day, she is passionate about creating work that means something with humour and heart.


Lauren Welchner is an award-winning Toronto-based actor, playwright, and producer. Having studied musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts, she loves to incorporate many theatrical disciplines into the work she creates. A co-founder of the feminist theatre company Spicy Day, she is passionate about creating work that means something with humour and heart. Lauren’s work with Spicy Day, which she has co-created, performed, and produced, has won ‘Best Of Fringe’ in the Toronto Fringe Festival, been awarded ‘Critic’s Pick’ by Mooney On Theatre, and been nominated for a Prix Rideau Award (Ottawa’s professional theatre awards) for ‘Outstanding New Work’. Recent credits include The Brotherhood A Period Piece (TACTICS MainStage Series), The Brotherhood (Spicy Day – Toronto workshop), In Waking Life (Summer Theatre Smiths Falls), Polar Express and Hallows Express (York-Durham Heritage Railway).


Lauren graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in 2018, and have been working professionally as a performer, producer, and playwright ever since then. Her musical theatre training at CCPA has given her a love of putting many theatrical styles and disciplines into the works that she creates, and really helped shape her as a performer. The producing and playwriting elements of her work she figured out on along the way. Learning to create on by herself has allowed her to experiment with form very freely, as she never had any traditional rules to follow.

Additional Experience

Lauren Welchner graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in 2018 where she studied musical theatre, and has been working in theatre ever since. Primarily, her experience is now in acting, playwriting, and producing. In 2016, she co-founded my theatre company Spicy Day, and within the company she has co-created and performed 4 different plays. She’s had the pleasure of touring her plays through Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Smiths Falls, and Victoria (BC). Her work with Spicy Day has been awarded ‘Critic’s Pick’ by Mooney On Theatre, and been nominated for a Prix Rideau Award (Ottawa’s professional theatre awards) for ‘Outstanding New Work’. She also works as an actor outside of my own company, both in theatre and film.

Summer Ensemble Member 2022

Lauren Welchner is a member of Crane Creations Theatre Company’s 2022 Summer Ensemble. This was Crane Creations Fourth Annual Summer Ensemble.

Summer Ensemble 2022 Crane Creations
Summer Ensemble 2022

What is Summer Ensemble?

The Summer Ensemble is an 8 week training program for theatre artists. In this paid working opportunity artists learn skills required to be a professional artist in Canada, and gain valuable insights into the theatre industry in Canada and abroad. To apply artists must be between 18 and 30 years of age.


What is an Artistic Producer?

Lauren Welchner is an artistic producer in the Summer Ensemble. But what is an artistic producer?

An artistic producer has an essential role in theatre. They oversee organizational operations and all aspects of a theatre production. They are responsible for the strategic planning and production of theatrical events and take care of the financial and managerial functions to make these theatrical events happen. They also manage day to day activities to make a company run. An Artist Producer balances the big-picture with everyday tasks required to make a business run. An artistic producer must be have the following skills: event management, time management, project management, teamwork, problem solving, leadership, financial planning, business management and communication. Their roles and duties constantly change depending on the need of the theatre company. In summary, an artistic producer is the person who makes theatre happen.  

What does an artistic producer do?

  • Look after the finances and manage how the budget is spent
  • Hire creative and technical teams 
  • Issue contracts
  • Organise and manage technical, stage management and workshop functions
  • Agreeing projects and financial backers
  • Agreeing production timelines
  • Finding and booking venue 
  • Setting ticket prices 
  • Selling tickets 
  • Create and implement marketing strategies 
  • Outreach
  • Holding regular meetings with Directors, creative teams and Artists
  • Hold regular meetings with stakeholders
  • Ensuring legal compliance such as copyright law, insurance liability, payroll and tax

Why Are Artistic producers important?

Artistic Producers are what make things work. What is the importance of an artistic producer for Lauren ?

Artistic Producers do so much, and that is exactly why they are so important. They are often responsible for budgets, contracts, payments, booking of the space, marketing, grant-writing, scheduling, artist communication, equipment rental, etc. They can also take on additional jobs in almost any department depending on the budget and scale of the production.

Lauren Welchner

Who is Lauren Welchner? An Interview with Lauren

Where are you from originally?

I am from Ottawa originally.

What Is Your Favourite Thing about Ottawa?

My favourite thing about Ottawa is the downtown core. It has all the wonderful things we all love about a downtown – cool small businesses, culture, etc. But it is also right along the Ottawa river, and it is so beautiful as well! It makes me feel like I have the best of both worlds with all there is to do as well as a sense of beauty and peace.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would travel to Europe! There are so many unique cultures so close together, and I’ve always wanted to go. Especially Italy!

Is there a new skill you want to learn?

I have always wanted to learn ASL! 2 of my grandparents were Deaf, so I know enough to be able to communicate basics, but I would really love to be fluent.

Do you have any hobbies?

I’ve recently started taking recreational adult dance classes, and that has been bringing me a lot of joy and body connection. I also am a huge fan of all things spiritual, and can often be found meditating or with my tarot cards. I am passionate about using humour and heart to tell stories that matter. A big goal I have for my career is to create a space and platform where I can produce my own work, as well as raise up and produce the work of others. I want to have a say in the types of stories we are telling as we move into this new era of theatre.

Do you Have A Favourite Food?

I love all things bread and cheese, but my current go-to favourite among that category would have to be Lasagna.

And what’s your favourite food to make?

I truly believe I have perfected a tofu stir fry, and I make it weekly.

Do you have a favourite restraunt?

There is a Boston Pizza in my neighbourhood, and it is where I go to celebrate when something good happens! That makes it my favourite.

What are your favourite plays and why?

My favourite play changes a lot, but right now it’s Sexual Misconduct Of The Middle Classes by Hannah Moscovitch. Seeing the inaugural production at Tarragon was one of only a few times I’ve gotten full body chills in a theatre. It’s such a poignant piece of art, and left me thinking about it for days after I left.

What is one fun fact about yourself?

I’ve been a vegetarian my whole life. I’ve only ever tried a hot dog and bacon, otherwise I’ve never had meat.

Why do you love theatre?

I love the connection between performer and audience. It’s unlike any other medium, because everyone in that space is experiencing something together that will not be the same any other performance, any other moment. It feels sacred in a way.

How Does Your Theatre Journey Begin?

I actually am not sure how my journey began! It’s just sort of always what I’ve wanted to do as long as I can remember. I went to an arts high school in Ottawa, so I guess I have been on the theatre track since I was 14. I used to imagine myself doing musicals in New York when I was a kid, but somewhere along the way my goals have shifted to be more centred in multidisciplinary creation and being a part of a wave of change in theatre in Canada.

Is there a play or a role you are really proud of?

With my company Spicy Day, I created a play called A Period Piece which is a play about menstruation. It is part sketch comedy, part advocacy, part honest and personal stories. It was the first time that I had ever received a grant, and could hire and pay a team to help support one of my projects. The first time a show I had created ever had a real set, and a real design. That show was also nominated for a Prix Rideau Award (Ottawa’s professional theatre awards) for Outstanding New Work, and I am immensely proud of the show and the impact that it has had on both myself as well as audiences.

Why is theatre important? Why Should Someone See A Play rather than watch a Movie at Home?

Theatre is important because in this day and age we are losing so much human to human connection, away from our screens. The theatre gives us a connection with an entire room of people, and a physical closeness to art taking place on stage. We can’t disconnect. We are a part of the moment. It’s a visceral experience.

What is the difference between acting for film and acting for television?

Acting for theatre can be imagined as drawing a continuous line. You play the story of a character in its development, from beginning to the end without being interrupted for another takes or close ups. Besides that acting for theatre demands expressiveness, bigger gestures and voice projection. Whereas acting on camera is more about genuine emotions and accurate work with voice, face expressions and body language. And also one must always remember that camera is another partner and a mediator between an actor and the audience.

What Do You Enjoy About Being an Artistic Producer?

I have always been a very organized person, as well as someone who makes thinks happen. It is so easy to feel powerless as an artist, always waiting for someone else to offer you a job. Being a producer as well as a performer and playwright, I can shape my own journey. It helps me feel a sense of control over my career, in a way that can be really difficult to feel in the arts.

How does someone become an artistic producer?

For me, being an artistic producer was something I stumbled upon more than actively chose. It started from wanting to create my own work, and I accidentally fell in love with all of the producer sides of that. My best advice to become an artistic producer would be to find a team who you love to work with, and just get started. There is a lot to learn, but the best way to learn is by doing. And allow yourself to make mistakes on the way.

Artistic Producers Are Leaders. What Does Being A Leader In The Arts Mean to You?

To me, being a leader in the arts means that you have a responsibility to your community to lead by example in creating safe spaces and telling stories that reflect the whole truth of your community. I believe that theatre in Canada is going through a huge shift right now, and being an arts leader comes with more responsibility than ever as we help to shape this new era of Canadian theatre.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring theatre artists?

My advice for aspiring theatre artists is, just start! It can be so easy to convince yourself that you’re not ready, or you don’t have the resources. But you can always do SOMETHING with the resources you have, and as long as you’re always taking steps, it doesn’t matter how small those steps are. Just take it day by day and keep moving forward. It’s the process, not the destination. Also, don’t ever think that there isn’t a place for you or your stories in the theatre. Art is for and about everyone, and more space is being made all the time.

Can You Summarize Summer Ensemble in One Sentence? What is Summer Ensemble to You?

Summer Ensemble is an 8-week professional training program that helps emerging artists transition into the next phase of their professional careers.

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