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Movies will make you famous; television will make you rich; but theatre will make you good.  --Terrence Mann (Broadway actor and director)

It’s rare to get training in theatre directing, practice the craft, get feedback from a mentor and then see your work on stage in front of a live audience at an established theatre festival -- all within a five month period. At inspiraTO - that’s exactly what you get! — Dominik Loncar (Artistic Director, Theatre inspiraTO) 

What past participants have said about inspiraTO’s Director's Toolbox Program :

I have been completely transformed over the course of one weekend. A fantastic combination of information and wisdom in a safe and warm learning space with great instructors . — Alex Stamp

Invaluable to anyone who wants to get into directing and needs a first step. — Christian Teatro

The things I have learned in this program about theatre and directing will stay with me for years to come. — Celeste Bianca

Whether you're a novice or emerging director, having more tools and gaining a deeper understanding in the craft of theatre directing will better equip you in leading a cast. Surprisingly, many directors are not prepared enough -- simply because there aren't that many training opportunities for them.

Theatre inspiraTO, the producers of the inspiraTO Festival, is excited to present its theatre directing initative: Theatre inspiraTO Director's Toolbox Program. The Director’s Toolbox aims to provide mentorship and training to new and emerging artists to develop as directors through critically and creatively engaging with a short theatrical production.  

The program :

- Attend an intensive weekend training bootcamp for directors.

- Have over 17 hours of hands-on training!

- No experience is required, just your full commitment.

- Direct a ten-minute play at Canada’s largest ten-minute play festival. Held at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto from May 30 – June 8, 2019.

- Be given a ten-minute play to direct at the festival.

- Be given a tech schedule: two time slots and a dress rehearsal between May 26 – 29 (held on the weekend and week nights).

- Receive one-on-one feedback on your directing.

- Auditions will be held in March (you will be given dates to choose from).

- Rehearsals will be held in April/May (determined and set by you).

- Attend a progress meeting on Wednesday, April 3rd from 7 to 9 pm.

- Attend a production meeting on Fri, May 24 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm and workshop on Monday, June 3 at Alumnae Theatre from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

- 8 to 10 participants will be selected to be part of the Director's Toolbox Program.

The program is not just theoretical lecturing on directing. We take a hands-on and creative approach; one where you experience the full process of creation with many touch points in learning - from inception of the idea to performance. Yet, the program allows for a lot of flexibility, with some key committed dates you need to attend while allowing you to create your own schedule for most of the other time frames.

Key Dates

Workshop dates: Fri. Jan. 11, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm; Sat. Jan. 12, 10 am to 5 pm; Sun. Jan. 13, 10 am to 5 pm. Production schedule: January 30, 2019, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Auditions: March (flexible dates). Progress check in: April 3, 7 pm to 9pm. Rehearsals: April/May (flexible dates). Production Meeting: May 24, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Tech: May 26 – 29 (held on the weekend and week nights). Performances: May 30 - June 8. Final Workshop: June 3, 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm.


January workshops are held at Artscape Wychwood Barns: St. Clair and Bathurst (601 Christie St.)

HOW TO APPLY: Fill out our application here.

Application deadline: Monday, November 19

You will be notified by December 1st if you have been accepted. Once accepted you will need to pay by Dec 15.

Fee: $259. Full time students: $159. The program is highly accessible. Thanks to our sponsors we are able to this offer this type of training at a significantly reduced rate.   

We are excited that our Lead Directors this season are Rosemary Doyle and Josh Downing. Rosemary is the incoming Artistic Director of Theatre Kingston and the founder of the Red Sandcastle Theatre, a venue she opened in Toronto's Leslieville neighbourhood in 2011. She has been involved in theatre for over 40 years! Josh is a playwright/director who has had his plays produced in various festivals in around the GTA, including directing and writing numerous ten-minute plays (many showcased at inspiraTO). He took part in inspiraTO’s Playwriting and Directing Academies, and was also one of the Director Leads for the 2018 Director’s Toolbox. Both Rosemary and Josh have a keen sense of creating theatre from the ‘ground up’ — a hands-on approach that helps first time directors hone their craft.             


Photo: 11th InspiraTO Festival, blueShow; Campfire Stories by Keith Davidson. L to R: Thinh Nguyen, Jermaine Ward, Bill Mahabir, Erik Mrakovcic

Photo: 11th InspiraTO Festival, blueShow; Campfire Stories by Keith Davidson. L to R: Thinh Nguyen, Jermaine Ward, Bill Mahabir, Erik Mrakovcic

2018 Director's Toolbox Program 

Sebastian Biasucci
Lisa Saban
Todd Colley
Lauren Ishak
Anna Lytvynova
Alex Stamp
Melissa Anne (Max) Fearon
Victoria Hudson-Muir
Donald Baker
Rebecca Grace
Donovan Jackson
Sabrina Gomes
Radoslav Ognjenovic

2017 Director's Toolbox Program

Charles Manzo
Zachary Armdt
Sara Salahi
Christian Michael Teatro
Nicholas Uffen
Kelsey Dann
Matt McLaren
Robynne Harder
Paige Foskett
Anthony Perpuse
Ziad El Khachab
Garrett Mallory Scott
Kyle Holleran
Cilaine Maurin
Dana Westerberg
Celeste Bianca

2016 Directors-in-residence

Adam Bonney
Carina Cojeen
Carl Jackson
David Henry Mazumdar
Jeff Kennes
Nastazja Palonka
Josh Downing