Call for Submissions - Performance Criticism Training Program




Are you interested in writing criticism of theatre, dance, opera, and multidisciplinary performance work; are you an emerging critic; or are you an artist looking to enter the world of performance criticism? Generator is seeking participants for the Performance Criticism Training Program (PCTP). 

The Performance Criticism Training Program (PCTP) provides training and mentorship to artists and aspiring critics who are interested in producing performance criticism for print or other media. Critics play an important function in educating audiences about the many components of a performance, what they can expect to see, and offering language to articulate what they may be feeling. Critics extend the conversation about performance began by artists, and ideally stimulate vibrant and productive dialogue within the culture at large. The PCTP is investing in these emerging critics to discover their own voice, style, tone with which they will fill these functions.

The training will include developing formal and technical skills; considering in-depth the relationships between criticism and creativity and between the arts and their publics; exploring terminology; and adjusting writing and other forms of communication to the various platforms available. Six individuals will learn the skills to publish thoughtful criticism of live performance within the GTA. This program will combine hands-on learning and networking opportunities for emerging critics and journalists who want to focus on the arts, or artists looking to transition into criticism. 

From April 30 through June 25, 2018, six participants will be lead through weekly coursework, will attend a performance per week, and write a review of that performance which will be edited by guest teachers. They will also be included in NOW magazine’s Toronto Fringe coverage, joining the NOW team in reviewing all the shows in the Fringe. Participants will be paid a fee of $1,000 to participate in the program and receive additional honoraria provided by NOW magazine for coverage of the Fringe.

The program was developed by Karen Fricker, Carly Maga, Katie Leamen, Cole Alvis and Kristina Lemieux with support from Lisa Alves. The program will be led by members of this team and guest teachers who work in the industry. 


A max 750-word written response to the following: 

  1. What skills do you have that make you a good performance critic?
  2. Why do you want want to write performance criticism?
  3. Do you currently self-identify as a performance critic?
  4. What is your personal philosophy as a performance critic?

Please also include the following:

  • CV/Resume (2 page max) including contact info for 2 references
  • One letter of reference (may be same as reference listed on resume) 


  • This is an intimate program with only 6 participants. 
  • Attendance is mandatory. All participants must be available for:
  • Class work Mondays evenings from 6:30-9:30 pm - from April 30 - June 25 (excluding May 21) 
  • Weekly attendance of a performance on Thursday or Friday evenings with a review turned around 48 hours after seeing the show - from April 30 - June 29 (excluding the week of May 21) 
  • Ability to review shows as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival July 4-8 and turn around reviews by 11am the next day
  • Program Debrief and Celebration on Monday, July 16 - 6:30-9:30 pm
  • Interviews for selected candidates will be held in the evenings of March 23 & March 26 in the evening. 

Complete submissions should be sent in one email attachment to with the subject line “PCTP Submission First Name Last Name” by no later than THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2018 @ 11:59PM.