Reflecting on the 2020-21 RBC Apprentice Program
Each year, The Musical Stage Company offers eight post-secondary artists one year of mentorship with our company through The RBC Apprentice Program. Apprentices learn from local and visiting artists and receive substantial showcase opportunities to help build the foundation for their careers. Our RBC Apprentice Program is made up of the winners of The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists, the awardees of the Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund, and six emerging artists in different areas of production.
Our 2020-21 RBC Apprentices are: Alicia Barban (RBC Apprentice Producer), Dillan Chiblow (RBC Apprentice Performer & Banks Prize Recipient), Landon Doak (RBC Apprentice Writer/Performer), Germaine Konji (RBC Apprentice Performer & Banks Prize Recipient), Joey Lau (RBC Apprentice Stage Manager), Fiona Sauder (RBC Apprentice Director, as a part of the Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund), Vanessa Sears (RBC Apprentice Director, as a part of the Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund) and Olivia Shortt (RBC Apprentice Sound Designer).
Artistic Director Ray Hogg shares an insightful look at how our RBC Apprentices have been learning and growing over the course of their past 10 months of training in residence with The Musical Stage Company.
This year, our apprentice program has been divided into five phases.
Phase One: The apprentices underwent a rigorous artistic strategic plan designed to help them gain clarity, direction, and focus for their apprenticeship and future career in the performing arts.
Phase Two: Once they outlined their goals, they then had the opportunity to work one-on-one with three mentor teachers in a masterclass format on both practical and theoretical subject matter in their field.
Phase Three: In phase 3, they built upon the knowledge gained during their masterclasses by observing The Musical Stage Company’s creative processes through a combination of our works in development and works in rehearsal and production.
Phase Four: After this observation, the apprentices were ready to step into a leadership role and put all of their learning into practice by conceiving and creating BAAPII ROHO, a Banks Prize & RBC Apprenticeship Creators’ Project, which played the High Park Amphitheatre on August 7 and 10 for for an audience of industry leaders, donors, and musical theatre enthusiasts.
Phase Five: We are now in the final phase of the apprenticeship, as the apprentices revisit their strategic plans to make adjustments based on their year of learning.
Throughout the year, I have been so inspired by the grand vision for the future that our apprentices have each articulated in their individual career plans. Those plans helped them determine any gaps in their knowledge, which in turn allowed us at The Musical Stage Company to be able to select the perfect teachers and mentors for each apprentice. This individualized approach maximized our apprentices’ learning. Over the course of this year, our apprentices have learned more about themselves, have laid the groundwork for the future of their careers, have learned to solve creative and artistic problems in real-time, and have brought their artistry to life time and again. We are so thrilled to have had this RBC Apprentice Program cohort join us this year, and I cannot wait to see what they choose to do following the close of the program.
To meet our 2020-21 RBC Apprentice Program cohort and learn more about the program, click here.
The RBC Apprentice Program is made possible thanks to Program Sponsors RBC Foundation, The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists Leading Lights The Banks Family, The Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund Leading Lights Kathleen & Dennis Freeman, and the support of our donors.