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Soulpepper is proud to announce the five finalists chosen from a national selection process: Samantha Brown, Liz Der, Daniel Krmpotic, Ahmed Moneka, and Natasha Adiyana Morris

Academy Members

These five dynamic artists will explore artistic questions relevant to their practice, innovate together, and make meaningful contributions to the vitality of Soulpepper and to the future of the national theatre ecology. In their applications, each expressed reflections on wanting to grow, learn, and create in this particular moment of time, and a desire to change the industry with their inimitable perspectives – to think, and listen, and tell vital stories for a more vibrant future.

Please take a moment to click into these artists profiles to get to know them and their previous work. Soulpepper looks forward to sharing their work with you in the future.


The Academy aims to develop highly skilled theatre artists who are equipped to make significant contributions in rehearsal halls and to the cultural landscape. We develop artistic leaders and believe that a supportive and immersive experience allows artists to move confidently into new territories. It is a key tenet of the Academy that Members are not training in order to imitate what has already been done or achieved. Rather the training aims to equip young artists to innovate, and make the theatre of the future. The Academy is not only a place of study, but also a site of research where they can explore the artistic questions relevant to their lives and realities.

The Sixth Soulpepper Academy is a 26-week paid training opportunity, followed by an Artistic Residency with the company. The Academy curriculum includes classes, studio intensives and workshops from leading Canadian and International theatre makers, divided up into four themed quadmesters which are each based around a culminating presentation of the Members’ work.

Academy Curriculum



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With the Academy I was given time, space, and security, to experiment and take risks which allowed me to really grow as an artist. I’m so delighted we can offer them that same time and space to reach for the impossible, speak their truths, and help us find bold new ways to tell our stories. I am incredibly inspired by these five individuals and am excited to both teach and learn from them.

- Weyni Mengesha, Artistic Director

When I first arrived in Canada, it was immediately clear to me how essential The Academy is to Soulpepper.  Not only was Weyni a proud graduate, but so many of the company’s leading artists had either benefitted from the training, or been members of the teaching faculty.  It was clearly something that sat right at the heart of the company, and we knew from the start that we needed to bring it back. Over this past year, we have worked hard to bring together the financial support needed to take the program to its next iteration, and we are deeply thankful to the Canadian Arts Training Fund, RBC Emerging Artists Project, and Sylvia Soyka for their support. With a renewed focus on ensemble theatre making, and a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, we look forward to welcoming five theatre makers of the future to our company.

- Emma Stenning, Executive Director

So exciting to anticipate the restart of the Soulpepper Academy with these five meticulously picked candidates about to embark on the experience of a lifetime! It’s reassuring to us, their audiences, that the potential of our future theatrical experience is being honed and shaped to stretch and expand our world, even in the face of this pandemic which is so severely limiting it for all of us. Best of luck to everyone involved! Cannot wait to taste this fruit!

- Sylvia Soyka

Supporting emerging artists has been a long-standing priority at RBC as we recognize the important role the arts play in ensuring our communities remain vibrant, strong and connected. We are thrilled to support the Soulpepper Academy and its commitment to provide artists the opportunity to advance their career trajectory in a meaningful way.

- Ramin Fazel, RBC Regional Vice President, Downtown Toronto.

How do we heal from individual and collective trauma? What does it mean to be a leader? Are storytellers leaders? And if so, what considerations are associated with leading? Where are we leading ourselves and the world to? What does it mean to self-recover? How do we decolonize our bodies? From whom do we learn how to love? Is it our responsibility to create new systems for emancipation as we tear down old oppressive frameworks? What are the responsibilities and accountabilities of being an arts practitioner? The meticulous investigation of these questions sits at the core of the Anitafrika Method. And my hope is that within this new Soulpepper Academy, practitioners will be continually invited to ask the questions: Who am I? How am I? What is my purpose? as we shape the new Canadian theatrical landscape.

- d’bi.young anitafrika, New Academy Faculty Member

The Soulpepper Academy is supported by RBC Emerging Artists Project, the Government of Canada through the Canada Arts Training Fund, and the generosity of Sylvia Soyka. Thank you!

Lead Sponsor

Academy Sponsors