Create. Act. Perform.

Learn how to create your own piece of theatre, and perform it live in the Hamilton Fringe Festival!

Work with professionals to learn about theatre creation, acting, show building and more! With expert guidance, students will use collective creation techniques and exercises to devise a piece of theatre, rehearse it, and put it on stage for Hamilton audiences.

We welcome students from all artistic disciplines, including acting, music, dance, and visual arts. Experience in theatre creation is not required.

Programs are held in the Attic Studio at the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

All performances are held in the Black Box Theatre

devised theatre:

(a.k.a. collective creation)

A collaborative creation process that allows artists to work together as an ensemble to craft a meaningful piece of theatre



Right to Play Youth Ensemble

Ages 9 – 12

July 4 – July 22, 2022

Mondays – Fridays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Additional dates:

Technical rehearsal: Wednesday, July 20 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Brush-up rehearsal: Saturday, July 30 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm


Saturday, July 23 at 3:00 pm

Sunday, July 24 at 3:00 pm 

Saturday, July 30 at 3:00 pm

Sunday, July 31 at 3:00 pm


Program cost: $450

Because of the cumulative nature of this project, attendance is mandatory for the duration of the program, for all technical/brush-up rehearsals, and performances.


Teen Creation Collective

Ages 13 – 18

July 4 – July 22, 2022

Mondays – Fridays 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Additional dates:

Technical rehearsal: Tuesday, July 19 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm


Friday, July 22 at 5:00 pm

Saturday, July 23 at 5:00 pm

Sunday, July 24 at 5:00 pm

Friday, July 29 at 5:00 pm

Saturday, July 30 at 5:00 pm

Sunday, July 31 at 5:00 pm

Program cost: $475

Because of the cumulative nature of this project, attendance is mandatory for the duration of the program, for all technical rehearsals, and performances.

What past students are saying…

“The Teen Creation Collective opened my eyes to what my future could be.”

“It’s been so great to connect with people who are so appreciative of the arts and accepting of each other, no matter what.”

“It’s nice to know that I can wake up and come to a place where I can do what I want to do and be who I want to be with other people who are totally okay with it.”

“This is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s going to be a huge part of my life for the rest of my career.”


Stephanie Hope Lawlor (2019-present)

Stephanie is an actor, theatre-maker, producer, and teaching artist based in Hamilton. Her background as an actor influences her pedagogical approach to teaching the arts, always prioritizing a safe space to create, grow, and stretch beyond limits. She has been teaching for over 15 years and has led the HCA Theatre Department’s growth since 2014. Her favourite credits include Mary’s Wedding, Venus in Fur (Rook’s Theatre), Never Not Once, One Night Only, The Sound of Music (Theatre Aquarius), Provenance (Berkeley St Theatre), and countless workshops of new musicals and plays! To learn more about Stephanie’s career as an actor, check out her website:

“Devising a piece of theatre is great, because it lets the collective create something that is meaningful to them. Instead of working with already existing texts and characters, you can craft something that speaks directly to you and tells the story you want to tell. We’ll explore lots of different creation techniques from writing to improv to movement to music – if you are inspired by it, you can create art about it!”



Erica May-Wood (2019-present)

Erica May-Wood started working professionally as a teenager and subsequently trained at LAMDA in the UK. Her most recent acting credits include a cameo on Chucky (eee!), a small part in a Netflix Christmas movie with Vanessa Hudgens, and workshopping two new plays in development. Former credits include: a new twist on the Gin Game, Bell, Book & Candle, The Importance of Being Earnest, Godspell, Beauty and the Beast and a number of award-winning short films. As a teaching artist, she has worked with children and youth aged 4 months to 18 years at Young People’s Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, The National Ballet School, TDSB Creates, a talent agency – and for the last five years. at Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts! Through the pandemic, she co-created a global, participatory arts project that landed in Glasgow, Scotland alongside COP26.

“You will make theatre. You will make new friends. You will have the experience of presenting a show in a festival. You will have the experience to make this uniquely yours.“


Rylan Allan (2022)

Rylan is from Waterdown Ontario and is a recent graduate from Sheridan College’s Music Theatre Performance Program. He is a Libra, a Hufflepuff, loves working with kids, has studied piano for several years, and passed his Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 8 Vocal Exam with Honours. He most recently taught at HCA’s virtual summer camps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Students do not need past experience in collective creation to participate in this project.

For the first three weeks, students will work Monday through Friday on exploring devised theatre with their ensemble. Students will be given ample breaks every day.

We love our atelier studio that overlooks the city of Hamilton, but when the weather allows we love creating outdoors! Sometimes we will work on our rooftop patio, and other days we may walk to a nearby park for a change of scenery.

Students should be sure to bring a water bottle, snacks, a notebook, a pen/pencil, a hat, and sunscreen.

Our growing faculty of artists includes Stephanie Hope Lawlor, Erica May-Wood, and Rylan Allen. Students may also have the opportunity to work with guest artists who will lead specialized workshops to help students in creating pieces for their performance.

This summer, the Black Box Theatre will be operating as a Bring-Your-Own-Venue (or BYOV) for the Fringe. The Black Box Theatre will be offering family-friendly programming with shows for the 0-6 age group (presented by Arts For All), the 7-12 age group (performed by the Right to Play Youth Ensemble), teens (performed by the Teen Creation Collective), and adults (Whale Fall by Stephen Near, produced by Same Boat Theatre).
Learn more about the Fringe here:


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©2022 Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts

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