Paprika Festival

Paprika is a youth-led performing arts festival celebrating young artists as they create original performances with the support of an entire artistic community.

All performances take place at The Theatre Centre in either the BMO Incubator for Live Arts or the Mainspace. The Theatre Centre is located at 1115 Queen Street West.

$10 Regular tickets for any show (including double-bills) – click on the show below
$15 Day PassThat’s a savings of over $25! – see every show scheduled on a specific day for one low price (select the day pass under the date you’d like to book for, below)
$30 Paprika Gala – Thursday, May 7 (includes performances of As Above So Below & The Modern African)

For information about the free programming occurring during the festival (inlcuding staged play readings from our Playwrights-in-Residence and New Writers Series), please visit the Paprika Festival website.

To purchase tickets for a performance, click on the show title below:


Monday, May 4:
Day Pass ($15)
Rounding the Bend, 7pm - (Mainspace)
Hot Verisimilitude, 8pm - (BMO Incubator)
Another Knock at the Door, 9pm – (Mainspace)
Dash, 10pm - (BMO Incubator)

Tuesday, May 5:
Day Pass ($15)
Project Original & That’s So Meta (double-bill), 7pm - (Mainspace)
Appendicitis: The Musical & Blacklisted (double-bill), 8pm - (BMO Incubator)
The Final Solution & Clipped (double-bill), 9pm - (Mainspace)
You Are Not Alone10pm - (BMO Incubator)

Wednesday, May 6:
Day Pass ($15)
Another Knock at the Door, 7pm - (Mainspace)
Seams: A Workshop Production, 8pm - (BMO Incubator)
As Above So Below & That’s So Meta (double-bill), 9pm - (Mainspace)
Dash, 10pm - (BMO Incubator)

Thursday, May 7:
Paprika Gala Evening – $30, 7pm
Including performances of As Above So Below & The Modern African, 8pm – (Mainspace)

Friday, May 8:
Day Pass ($15)
The Modern African, 7pm - (Mainspace)
You Are Not Alone, 8pm - (BMO Incubator)
Rounding the Bend, 9pm - (Mainspace)
Seams: A Workshop Production, 10pm - (BMO Incubator)

Saturday, May 9:
Day Pass ($15)
Dash, 3pm - (BMO Incubator)
Another Knock at the Door, 4pm - (Mainspace)
You Are Not Alone, 5pm - (BMO Incubator)
The Final Solution & Clipped (double bill), 6pm - (Mainspace)
Blacklisted & Appendicitis: The Musical (double bill), 7pm - (BMO Incubator)
That’s So Meta & Project Original (double-bill), 8pm - (Mainspace)
Hot Verisimilitude, 9pm - (BMO Incubator)
As Above So Below, 10pm - (Mainspace)

Sunday, May 10:
Day Pass ($15)
The Final Solution & Clipped (double bill),1pm - (Mainspace)
Blacklisted & Appendicitis: The Musical (double bill), 2pm - (BMO Incubator)
The Modern African & Project Original (double bill), 3pm - (Mainspace)
Seams: A Workshop Production, 4pm - (BMO Incubator)


Community: A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. A feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals…but not necessarily.

The Project Original collective explores a compilation of ideas, thoughts and stories, with a focus on Alexandra Park. How do we identify with our communities? What does it feel like to fit in versus not? What happens when outsiders want to change that community? What does “revitalization” really mean? Join us in our search to answer these beautiful, complicated questions, spray painting blank walls, jumping fences, and encountering the police on the way.

Created by the Resident Company
Written and performed by: Jeremy Urbina Abrazado, Celia Green & Savannah Lavallée
Facilitators: Kanika Ambrose & Sabryn Rock
Co-Facilitators: Bilal Baig & Celia Green

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 45 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 7:00pm (double-bill – THAT’S SO META)
Saturday May 9, 8:00pm (double-bill – THAT’S SO META)
Sunday May 10, 3:00pm (double-bill – THE MODERN AFRICAN)


Welcome Investors! Seven options. Seven young lives. You choose one to succeed.  Buy a stake in a young person’s life, and you have a chance to profit off of the next young Zuckerberg, Malala, or Beiber!

Seven teenagers sign up for a new game show that combines the best of Dragon’s Den with The Hunger Games.  Experience what they must overcome to win, or even just to survive with both kidneys intact.

Blacklisted is a mad-cap look at our public and private personas, created from minds of seven of Toronto’s finest young artists.

“Nothing but awesome.” – Ethan’s mom

Created by the Paprika Creators’ Unit
Co-Facilitators & Directors: Ingrid Hansen & Brendan McMurphy-Howlett
Creators’ Unit: Ethan Ryckman, Janice Yang, Jahnelle Jones-Williams, Harpreet Sidhu, , Jessica Munk,  Troy Sarju, Melissa Sofi.

VENUE: Incubator

DURATION: 45 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 8:00pm (double-bill – APPENDICITIS: THE MUSICAL)
Saturday May 9, 7:00pm (double-bill – APPENDICITIS: THE MUSICAL)
Sunday May 10, 2:00pm (double-bill – APPENDICITIS: THE MUSICAL)


A birthday party in honour of Death and attended by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was not expected to go badly. However, seven uninvited (and deadly) guests decide to change that. A frequently interrupted poker game, a shut down bar, and an argument regarding cake that results in a stabbing are just some of the almost apocalyptic events that occur during what was supposed to be a nice evening between old friends. Another Knock at the Door is an original dark comedy about what can happen when nothing goes according to plan.

Written, Directed, and Stage Managed by Red Hauser
Featuring: Lexy Currie, Kyleigh Murray, Carolyn Dandie, Danielle Wells, Brayden Hunter, Mackenzie Olsen, Callum Cooper, Shiloh Dunk, Leif Olsen, Jill Pinkney, Hannah Morikawa
Assistant Stage Manager: Natalie Wells
Lighting: Andrew Mietkiewicz
Audio: Tara Dimitrovski
Stage Hands: Robert Clouse, Sarah Johnston, Danielle Mota, Abby Mirrlees
Special-effects makeup: Abby Mirrlees
Makeup: Shelby Dockendorff
Mentored by Dov Mickelson
Special Thank Yous: Aggrey Sutherland, The Hauser Family

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 50 minutes

Monday May 4, 9:00pm
Wednesday May 6, 7:00pm
Saturday May 9, 4:00pm


While sitting in biology class, self described “not a playwright” Ethan Godel found himself sympathizing with the loneliest of organs: the appendix. Knowing that he needed to do something to help, but not sure what, Ethan set out to create a piece of theatre which could educate the public on the tribulations of life as an appendix. The end result was more entertaining than educational, but hopefully audiences will still be able to hear the important message of Appendicitis: The Musical underneath the sound of uproarious laughter. Those sitting in the first three rows should come prepared to get wet.

Appendicitis: The Musical is not a musical. Nor does it contain any factual information about appendicitis. In fact, the only word in its title that holds any truth is “the”. Unfortunately, The is not a very good title. So we’re calling it Appendicitis The Musical. Confused? Come see our show.

Directed by Lila Mackenzie
Stage Managed by Alison Beckwith
Produced by Leo Morgenstern
Costume Design by Zoë Walton
Makeup: Sidney Elliott
Featuring: Ryan Bobkin, Kasi McAuley, Riley Goldsmith, Kayla Steinhouse, Ethan Mendell, David Ariza, Zac Goldkind, Jonny Micay, Alisa Kanda Kovac, Mackenzie Telenko, Maya Weidman, Leo Morgenstern
Mentored by Colin Doyle
Special Thank Yous: Michael Ross Albert, John Mullaley

VENUE: Incubator

DURATION: 30 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 8:00pm (double-bill – BLACKLISTED)
Saturday May 9, 7:00pm (double-bill – BLACKLISTED)
Sunday May 10, 2:00pm (double-bill – BLACKLISTED)


Chris, a high school student from Brighton, Ontario, is soon turning eighteen years old and spends the months leading up to his birthday desperately trying to find a sense of identity. He consistently leaves his girlfriend, Melody, in the dark about his true feelings, making her vigorously push to be further included in his life. Eighteen years prior, his parents Carol and Edward have just moved to Brighton, have high hopes for their future and are determined to get what they want. Things don’t go as smoothly as planned, however, when they realize that having the perfect life together is more difficult than they first thought. Two timelines intertwine to tell the story of Clipped: a realist narrative about trying to find purpose in a world of deceitful facades, shattered expectations and harsh truth.

Featuring: Casey Romanin, Tess Cooper
Playwright: Jaden Curtis
Directors: Jaden Curtis and Elise LaCroix
Dramaturg: Cole Vincent
Production Dramaturg: Elise LaCroix
Stage Manager: Ran Zhu
Set and Costume Designer: Erica Causi
Lighting Designer: Cole Vincent
Sound Designer: Jaden Curtis
Makeup Artist: Lizeth Cordova
Mentored by Rob Kempson
Poster Design by Jason Thomson
Poster Photo by Meriya Gmeiner-McPherson

VENUE: Mainspace 

DURATION: 45 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 9:00pm (double-bill – THE FINAL SOLUTION)
Saturday May 9, 6:00pm (double-bill – THE FINAL SOLUTION)
Sunday May 10, 1:00pm (double-bill – THE FINAL SOLUTION)



Top 5 things “20 something” women want in a musical:
1. Road trip! – To vicariously quench our never ending wanderlust.
2. Romance – Surprise kisses and sexy dancing.
3. Heartache – #Catharsis.
4. Friendship – As much as our friends drive us crazy, they also make our lives 100% more interesting.
5. Musical numbers- Duh.

A truthful look into being young, female and full of questions. Who am I? What do I want? Where am I going? And most importantly, how the hell do I get there?  “Rounding the Bend” is a one act musical, exploring the blurred lines between love and friendship and the moments in life that either hold us together or break us apart.

Featuring: Brittany Rae Robinson, Alyssa Minichillo, Emma Banigan, Brittany Kay*
Written and directed by Eliza Blue Musselwhite
Production Manager: Susan Anderson
Stage Manager: Lindsay Jenkins
Musical Director: Jamie Musselwhite
Choreographer: Elijah Manalo
Lighting and sound design: Ivan Trinier and Matthew Hyslop
Poster art: Hannah Musselwhite
Mentored by Kelly Hollif
*appears with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Special Thank Yous: Sage Whittworth, Lena Maripu, Sophia Stuart-Sheppard, Allison Reed

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 60 minutes

Monday May 4, 7:00pm
Friday May 8, 9:00pm


Welcome to the North American Interdisciplinary Academic Competition: One game. Three contestants. A stoner, a Kylie Jenner incarnate, and a promising cult-leader-to-be. All brilliantly incompetent in different respects, all being filmed for reality TV. Who will emerge as champion? It doesn’t matter, this game is rigged. The fates of these contestants have been decided in advance, by one self-proclaimed “visionary” director. A satire on formal competition, the media, and contemporary society.That’s So Meta!  is a comedyplay, infused with absurdist meta-commentary, which examines and caricatures the absurdity of modern life.

Written by Seth Gordon and Jasmine Wang
Directed by Micaela Robertson
Stage Manager: Isabel Mortimer
Featuring: Lucy Earle, Nate Oppel, Autumn Davis, Reid Millar, Sammi Goldman, Aidan Galbraith, Megan Cameron, Spencer Glassman
Set & Prop Design: Nick Ullrich, Maria Granich
Mentored by Britta Johnson
Special Thank Yous: Margo and Dan Gordon, Ric Bienstock, Richard Mortimer, Kenneth Oppel, Phillipa Oppel, Shari Hollett, Chris Earle, David and Suzanne Robertson

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 35 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 7:00pm (double-bill – PROJECT ORIGINAL)
Wednesday May 6, 9:00pm (double-bill – AS ABOVE SO BELOW)
Saturday May 9, 8:00pm (double-bill – PROJECT ORIGINAL)


What happens when the oppressed becomes the oppressor? Drawing parallels between the suffering of the Holocaust and of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, The Final Solution explores the people’s ties to their lands and to what extent they are tied to it. The land has witnessed the coming and going of many civilizations which begs the question: who has a right to it now? By reflecting on what has been, our journey takes us on the path to what can be. Is there a Final Solution, and whose solution is it?

Created by Aman Banwait
Devised by Christol Bryan, Scarlett Forest, Tessa Kuhn and Aman Banwait
Dramaturg: Sabah Haque
Assistant Dramaturg: Elise LaCroix
Stage Manager: Matt Richard
Assistant Stage Manager: Sabah Haque
Lighting design: Cole Vincent
Sound Design: Aman Banwait
Set and costume design: Jocelyn Graham
Mentored by Arthur Milner
Special Thank Yous: Dr. Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, Ragda Habbal, Sadie Epstein-Fine

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 40 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 9:00pm (double-bill – CLIPPED)
Saturday May 9, 6:00pm (double-bill – CLIPPED)
Sunday May 10, 1:00pm (double-bill – CLIPPED)


Gay porn, sex, masturbation and catholic school. When Tom, Virgil, and April, three friends at St. Eustace Catholic School, discover secrets about each other, their personal and academic lives start to spiral. Tom, a stubborn and gay student, faces the threat of being of being abandoned by the people in his life. Virgil and April struggle with love, sex and jealousy in the boundaries of their Catholic boarding school. In the next few days, the lives of these three friends deteriorate around them. Isolated, the effects of many strained relationships ask the question, “What does it mean to be alone?”

Written by Kenneth Collins
Directed by Kenneth Collins & Noah Melrose
Featuring: Kenneth Collins, Jack Nerona, Madison Phyper, Haley Paitz
Stage Manager: Helin Gungoren
Sound Tech and Design: Helin Gungoren
Producer & Lighting Tech: Jacob Kay
Mentored by Norman Yeung
Special Thank Yous: Bertan Kazazic

VENUE: Incubator

DURATION: 50 minutes

Tuesday May 5, 10:00pm
Friday May 8, 8:00pm
Saturday May 9, 5:00pm


This is a workshop production of DASH; a visual translation of three Emily Dickinson Poems exploring mortality, grief and letting go.  This devised piece  has been created by the many wonderful artists who have lent their talents to the DASH Collective over the past eight months.  Our inspiration and text are the poems, “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain”;” Because I Could not Stop for Deathand “After Great Pain, A Formal Feeling Comes”. All three poems contain Dickinson’s signature dashes – which paradoxically join together and tear apart the words on either sides of it. Like Dickinson’s dashes, DASH captures something that words cannot convey.

Directed by Alexsandra Marzocca
Featuring: Alexandra Van Daele, Roselyn Kelada-Sedra, Anja Zeljkovic, Jacqueline Godbout, Jajube Mandiela*, Kelsey Jacobson
Stage Manager: Becky Gold
Lighting Designer: Kelsey Jacobson
Set Designer: Joe Pagnan
Costume designer: Alexsandra Marzocca
Dramaturge: Meg Moran
Composer & Musician: Jeff Ferguson
Harpist: Roselyn Kelada-Sedra
Choreographer: Jacqueline Andrade
Graphic Designer: Gillian Murschell
Mentored by Lilia Leon
*appears with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Special Thank Yous: To b current and Ayşe Kapaklili for providing rehearsal venues at b current and TheSpaceBetweenUs. Also, to contributors Brian Postalian, Tamar Mankassarian, Aimee Bouchard, Jessica Levy, Smita Mitra, Annie Therrien Boulos, and Martine Plourde

VENUE: Incubator

DURATION: 45 minutes

Monday May 4, 10:00pm
Wednesday May 6, 10:00pm
Saturday May 9, 3:00pm


A playwright is trying to write a blistering political drama of real “relevance.” Meanwhile her ‘bro’grammer boyfriend has taken on a mysterious job in an undisclosed campus just outside the city. Faced with a blank word doc and boundless Internet, our playwright begins to sift through the backlog of his online presence in what becomes a performance of her own manic surveillance. Hot Verisimilitude is metatheatre in the age of metadata.

Written and directed by Zoë Erwin-Longstaff
Featuring: Alexandra Montagnese, Cameron Laurie
Stage Manager: Ximena Huizi
Mentored by Michael Wheeler
Special Thank Yous: Ryan Healey

VENUE: Incubator

DURATION: 70 minutes

Monday May 4, 8:00pm
Saturday May 9, 9:00pm


A memory play set in Moscow 1939, Seams follows the lives of five seamstresses and one seamster working in a theatre during the first months of the Second World War. Some of these memories belong to an older Russian woman who now lives in Canada. She wants to tell us of her happy summers, but all she can recall is how it snowed.

The fall of 1939 unfolds before us in a series of intertwining love and hate stories, as the seamstresses and seamster struggle to find their ways under the Stalinist regime, forever playing the treacherous game of suspicions and betrayal. Having watched her fill of broadcasts from Putin’s Russia, the old woman’s trepidation makes us question whether anything has changed since then.

Directed by Mikaela Davies*
Written by Polly Phokeev
Featuring: Nancy Palk*, Kimberly-Sue Murray, Jesse LaVercombe, Caitlin Robson, Elizabeth Stuart-Morris, Sochi Fried*, Ewa Wolniczek
Mentored by Simon Bloom
Stage Manager: Steve Vargo
Designer: Shannon Lea Doyle
Dramaturg: Simone Brodie
Producer: Elizabeth Stuart-Morris
*appears with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

VENUE: Incubator

DURATION: 75 minutes

Wednesday May 6, 8:00pm
Friday May 8, 10:00pm
Sunday May 10, 4:00pm


What is the feminine?  Can one find its definition within its own negation? After their success at various Fringes with ‘An Ode to Dyads’ last summer, the women of Fishbowl Collective are back at it again, throwing themselves into answering this question.  They challenge their constructed identities through their signature movement and clown, with a hefty added dollop general messiness. ‘As Above So Below’ promises to be a twisted look into the entrails of femininity and its bestial, carnal, bouffon-esque manifestations

Presentation Series from Ottawa, Canada
Co-created by Hannah Kaya and Connor Spencer
Featuring: Connor Spencer, Hannah Kaya
Set, Light, and Sound Design: Hannah Kaya and Connor Spencer
Stage Manager: Jordan Campbell

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 40 minutes

Wednesday May 6, 9:00pm (double-bill – THAT’S SO META)
Thursday May 7, 8:00pm (double-bill – THE MODERN AFRICAN, as part of the Paprika Gala)
Saturday May 9, 10:00pm


What came first, the African or the chicken? Addressing these and OTHER highly politically inappropriate statements The Modern African as a show takes no prisoners. Styled as a lecture, delivered by Anglophile Professor Wilbert Xaba, The Modern African is the ultimate TED talk. Originally performed in Cape Town, South Africa, the Professor has been described as “a modern version of the medieval court jester, who’s able to make sobering observations about society through his comedic misdirection”. With a strong influence of stand-up comedy and a cup of tea, The Modern African in the end highlights the next generation of Africans who have been raised by the digital age.

Presentation Series from Blantyre, Malawi
Created and performed by Thoko Masikini

VENUE: Mainspace

DURATION: 45 minutes

Thursday May 7, 8:00pm (double-bill – AS ABOVE SO BELOW, as part of the Paprika Gala)
Friday May 8, 7:00pm
Sunday May 10, 3:00pm (double-bill – PROJECT ORIGINAL)


Join us for a special celebration with food, drink and exciting new work from national and international young artists. The evening will feature two new plays: The Modern African, a new solo-performance from Thoko Masikini (Blantyre, Malawi), and – returning to the Paprika Festival after their 2014 smash hit An Ode to Dyads – The Fishbowl Collective (Ottawa, Canada) will present As Above So Below, a new devised work written and performed by Hannah Kaya & Connor Spencer.

This showcase is part of Paprika’s new Presentation Series program. The Presentation Series is an invitation to young artists from outside Toronto to present works in progress. This new initiative brings young national and international creators into Paprika’s annual programming.

Thursday, May 7 – from 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Performances begin at 8:00pm
Light fare and refreshments included