JUNE 14, 2022

Black Sheep Cocktail Bar
Rosie Callaghan. Photo by Dahlia Katz, Design by Sherpa Creative


Rosie Callaghan and Matthew Joseph, The Musical Stage Company’s 2021-22 Syd & Shirley Banks Prize winners, present a passionate cabaret performance at Black Sheep Irish Cocktail Bar. This cabaret series is a joyful self-discovery of personal roots, artistic expression and the journey that brought these two artists together. 

This 10th anniversary Banks Prize showcase is created by our eight RBC apprentices and features extraordinary musical selections.


Program Sponsor
RBC Foundation
Leading Lights for The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists
The Banks Family


A Musical Stage Company production

Creative Team

RBC Apprentice Artistic Director
Avery Jean Brennan (they/them)

RBC Apprentice Music Director
Alexandra Kane (she/her)

RBC Apprentice Music Director
Haneul Yi (he/him)

RBC Apprentice Performer/Writer
Kareem Vaude (they/them)

RBC Apprentice Director, as a part of the Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund
Kaylee Harwood (she/her)

RBC Apprentice Director, as a part of the Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund
Maddie Bautista (she/her)

RBC Apprentice Performer & Banks Prize Recipient
Matthew Joseph (he/they)

RBC Apprentice Performer & Banks Prize Recipient
Rosie Callaghan (she/her)


Frequently Asked Questions

Show Calendar


RBC Apprentice Music Director

Alexandra Kane is a music director, producer, actor, singer, equity transformation coach and activist. Credits include music director for Hunchback of Norte Dame (AK Arts Academy), One Song Glory (2020-21), Finding Black Joy and Home for the Holidays (Grand Theatre). Event production works include Forrest City London Music Awards. Television production includes Fracture, Nova:Prime and Shelter and B.L.A.C.K (upcoming Black London Network).

Alex holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts from Western University, a graduate certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Fanshawe College and a graduate certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.


RBC Apprentice Artistic Director

Avery Jean Brennan is a Transfeminine actor, director, musical director, playwright, and producer. Over the past five years, they have facilitated workshops on Trans Inclusive Practices in the Arts; which they have led for theatre and film production companies across Canada. Recently, they were nominated for the Bra d’Or Award from the Playwrights Guild of Canada for their advocacy work. Avery Jean received their musical direction training through various Associate and Apprentice positions in theatres across Canada, including a residency through Neptune Theatre’s RBC Chrysalis Project. They have studied writing under dramaturg Christopher Weddell, composer/lyricist Leslie Arden, and through The Musical Stage Company’s NoteWorthy Program.

Avery Jean’s first original musical, THE PANSY CRAZE, was the recipient of Queer Theatre Toronto’s inaugural LGBTQ Fringe Award for pushing boundaries in representation for Queer & Trans characters in musical theatre. They are currently writing the book for multi-award-winning songwriter Gabrielle Papillon’s new musical, MIND THE LIGHT. Their most recent appearance as a performer was for a digital semi-staged presentation of their latest original work, NO COUNTRY FOR THEY/THEMS, which they produced through Eastern Front Theatre’s Stages Festival.


HANEUL YI (he/him)
RBC Apprentice Music Director

Haneul Yi is a Korean-Canadian multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, actor-musician, music director/arranger. He is a recent graduate of the Honours Bach. of Music Theatre Performance of Sheridan College, and he is the recipient of the 2021 Jon Kaplan Award. Recent credits and training include: SPRING AWAKENING and the Charlottetown Festival Young Company – AQSARNIIT.


KAREEM VAUDE (they/them)
RBC Apprentice Performer/Writer

Kareem Vaude is a Non-Binary, Arab-Canadian artist currently located in Tkaronto. They are a multidisciplinary creator whose skill set includes: acting, writing, directing, producing, and lyricism. Their personal and artistic mandate is to create/produce/act in works that tell the stories of marginalized peoples as well as advocate for equality and diversity throughout this industry. They are a graduate of George Brown’s 2020 Theatre School Ensemble where they trained in classical theatre performance. Kareem is the Co-Artistic Director for their company, G’RILLA INC. where they are fortunate to work alongside their dear friend and colleague, Nicole Pryce.


RBC Apprentice Director & The Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund Recipient

Kaylee is a west-coast raised, award-winning performer, currently based in Toronto. Prior to the shutdown, she toured for two years across North America, and has performed on Broadway, at Radio City Music Hall, La Jolla Playhouse, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, The Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Citadel Theatre, Arts Club, Rainbow Stage, Next Stage Festival, Western Canada Theatre, Teatro Proscenium, Yonge Street Theatricals, Carousel Theatre and Chemainus Theatre Festival. On screen, she’s appeared on WORKING MOMS, REIGN, MAYDAY, GOOD WITCH, AMERICA’S GOT TALENT and THE TONY AWARDS.

Kaylee is excited to be pursuing mentorship in direction with The Musical Stage Company, where she’s been proud to have been part of developing new work as a performer over the years (REFRAMED, REPRINT, KELLY V. KELLY, & Launch Pad [2019]). She’s worked as a choreographer and dance captain, and has led masterclasses at U of T, Stratford, Shaw and TWU. Kaylee is also a voiceover artist, audiobook narrator, singing teacher, and since the shutdown has launched a fibre art business.


RBC Apprentice Sound Designer & The Kathleen C. Freeman Leadership Development Fund Recipient

Maddie Bautista (she/her) is a Bi, Saudi Arabia-born Filipina sound designer and composer based in Treaty 13, Tkaronto (Haudenosaunee, Wendat, Anishnaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit). Maddie has been nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her sound design in ERASER (RISER 2019), and nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award (2020). She is part of The Musical Stage Company & Prime Mover’s, NoteWorthy 2021 Cohort as a new musical theatre composer. Selected sound credits: I AM WILLIAM (Stratford Festival) OIL (ARC), BUG (manidoons collective), WAH WAH WAH (Wildside 2020), PRIVATE EYES (lemonTree creations), OUR FATHERS, SONS, LOVERS, AND LITTLE BROTHERS (b current).

She is the Artistic Facilitator of FIXT POINT Arts & Media’s Empathy Squad – a national training program for podcast creators. She is Co-Artistic Producer of Bad Muse Collective with Korean-Canadian sound designer, Deanna H. Choi. Bad Muse is currently in residence with fu-GEN Theatre to create LOVE YOU WRONG TIME – an explosive theatrical concert reckoning with Asian femininity and sexuality through music, bar games, and sound design. www.maddiebautista.com


RBC Apprentice Performer & Banks Prize Winner

Rosie Callaghan is an award-winning performer originally hailing from Tiohtià:ke (Montreal, Quebec). She is a proud graduate of both Dawson College’s Professional Theatre program and Randolph College for the Performing Arts. Since graduating, she has been part of the development of many new theatre pieces, including THE HOCKEY SWEATER (Segal Centre), FRANKENSTEIN (Kidoons/Geordie), THE CAPTAIN AURORA SAGA (Kaleidoscope/Montreal Fringe), and several pieces for Playwright’s Workshop Montreal.

Selected Credits include: LAST NIGHT AT THE GAYETY (Centaur Theatre), IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU (Segal Centre/DWYT), OMEN: THE MUSICAL (Creation Coffin/Toronto Fringe), SPRING AWAKENING (Persephone Productions), HEATHERS: THE MUSICAL (We Are Here Prod.), TICK TICK … BOOM! (Rentrobuff), and HAIR (In The Wings). She was also selected as a participant in Eclipse Theatre Company’s inaugural Emerging Artists Showcase. Most recently, she spent the summer in Mi’kma’ki (Antigonish, Nova Scotia), working with Festival Antigonish on their immersive show, ROBIN HOOD: THE GREAT ESCAPE. Rosie is extremely passionate about immersive and site-specific theatre and hopes to be able to continue to create theatre pieces in those genres.


RBC Apprentice Performer & Banks Prize Winner

Matthew “Nova” Joseph, is a non-binary singer/songwriter, actor, mover, and recording artist with Haitian roots and life experience across Turtle Island. They also hold citizenship between the US and Canada. They are incredibly passionate about using storytelling as a vehicle for authentic expression, connection, and healing, and are specifically focused on deconstructing the conventional parameters of ‘Manhood’. They are also a neurodiverse artist and welcome further specific questioning for those that they come in contact with.

Matthew attended Sheridan College for the Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre from 2017 – 2021. While he was pursuing his degree, he was part of the Charlottetown Festival’s, Young Company (2018 & 2019). There he made lifelong friendships, learned valuable industry lessons and became invested in bolstering and supporting the voices of indigenous creators. In 2019 Matthew and two friends formed the singing trio ‘CZN’. They have since released 12 singles and a 4 song EP on all major platforms, and recently appeared on America’s Got Talent, getting all 4 yes’ from the judges. CZN was also the winner of the 2020 Canadian Families Got Talent competition, where they were hand-picked out of thousands of submissions across Canada, by Simon Cowell.

In their free time, Matthew loves learning new skills (like the guitar), lifting up unheard voices, writing music and playing video games like League of Legends! They hope that by living a fully authentic life and creating exciting art that others will be inspired to do the same, and they are committed to providing that space for others whenever possible! Currently they are performing in two shows at StageWest Calgary, FEELIN’ GROOVY – THE BEST OF FOLK ROCK & CANADIAN SUPERSTARS – FROM THE NINETIES TO NOW.


The Musical Stage Company is going paperless with our digital house programme!
To view the digital programme for the RBC Creators’ Project as a PDF on your computer or mobile device, click here.