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Calendar Search Login 2024/25 SEASON

Meet the 2024 Soulpepper Academy

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Soulpepper is pleased to introduce the five promising artists that will be a part of this year's Academy: Alicia Barban, Belinda Corpuz, Ben Kopp, Ruaridh MacDonald, and Haneul Yi

ABOUT the academy

The Soulpepper Academy aims to develop highly skilled theatre artists who are equipped to make significant contributions in rehearsal halls and to the cultural landscape of Canada. Following the program’s re-launch in 2021 under Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha’s leadership, the Academy has focused on an inclusive and care-based approach to artistic training. Past faculty members have included some of Canada's leading artists: d’bi.young anitafrika, Ins Choi, Ravi Jain, Kim Collier, Gregory Prest, Guillermo Verdecchia, and Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha, who have helped Academy artists develop their artistic voice with original creations throughout the 26-week paid training program.

This year’s Academy is focused on musical storytelling and creation. Academy members were chosen for their unique musical talent and their skills as collaborators in musical creation and performance. The Academy curriculum will be taught through rehearsals, classes, studio intensives, and workshops, led by renowned artists such as Ins Choi, d’bi.young anitafrika, and the Bad Hats theatre ensemble.

The cohort will also headline Soulpepper’s mainstage production of Alligator Pie, a joyous and musical family show based on the celebrated children’s poems of Dennis Lee. Originally created by Academy alumni Ins Choi, Raquel Duffy, Ken Mackenzie, Gregory Prest, and Mike Ross, the return of this beloved holiday show will feature new contributions from the 2024 Soulpepper Academy.  

Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha, a graduate of the inaugural class, and Executive Director Gideon Arthurs, a notable leader in Canadian artistic training (National Theatre School) continue to champion the renewed principles of the Soulpepper Academy. Soulpepper’s ambition to be a civic leader and provide a supportive home for all artists is brought into focus through the Academy, and it has played a significant role in the development of generations of Canadian artists and arts leaders since 2006.

The Academy has always been an artistic cornerstone of Soulpepper. As an Academy graduate myself, I really believe in the importance of a program that offers a new generation of artists the opportunity to explore, experiment, and push the boundaries of what is possible in theatre. These five new Academy members are exceptional and musically gifted artists whose curiosity and bold creativity will help us shape the future of the company. I’m excited to watch them learn and grow and share their work with our audiences.

- Weyni Mengesha, Artistic Director

The main thing I’m taking away from this Academy experience is a deeper sense of confidence and understanding of myself as an artist. One of the aims set out in the Academy application was to help artists discover their unique artistic voice. And while I think this is an ongoing and perhaps ever-changing search, I do feel like I now have a deeper appreciation for the kinds of aesthetics, styles, and content I want to explore.

- Liz Der, 2021 Soulpepper Academy Graduate

The Soulpepper Academy is supported by RBC Emerging Artists Project, the canada arts training fund, and the generosity of Sylvia Soyka, the Kingfisher Foundation, and the Norman and Margaret Jewison Chartiable Foundation. Thank you!

Lead Support for the Soulpepper Academy

Additional Support for the Soulpepper Academy


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