Centre Stage: Theatre and Acting Workshop Series - Nia Centre for the Arts
Youth Programs & Mentorship

Centre Stage: Theatre and Acting Workshop Series

Apply From Jan 8 - Feb 1st 2024


February 7 - March 27, 2024


5:00PM - 7:00PM


524 Oakwood Ave, Toronto, ON M6E 2X1

Applications now closed

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Black actors have played a crucial role in shaping the cultural identity, stories and experiences of Toronto’s art industry. With our newly renovated performance space, we are continuing our mission to create multifaceted spaces and opportunities where Black young creatives can deepen their understanding of their cultural identity, discover and amplify their stories and voices. 

It’s time to take these voices Centre Stage! In February, we are launching an eight (8) week intensive workshop series that provides Black young creatives with an in-depth and engaging exploration of theatre and acting.

Centering storytelling and improvisation, Centre Stage creates an empowering and dynamic space for young creatives to learn how to express their unique perspectives, narratives, emotions into theatrical performances.

You will work with program facilitator and artist Rais Clarke – Mendes to build your knowledge, skills and create a performance that is ready for the stage.

Important Workshop Series Details

What dates will workshop series occur on?

Workshops will be held on Wednesdays starting on February 7th, 2024. See full workshop series breakdown below:

Wednesday February 7th, 2024

Wednesday February 14th, 2024

Wednesday February 21st, 2024

Wednesday February 28th, 2024

Wednesday March 6th, 2024

Wednesday March 13th, 2024

Wednesday March 20th, 2024

Wednesday March 27th, 2024

Where will the workshops be held?

Centre Stage will be held in person at Nia Centre for the Arts, 524 Oakwood Avenue.

See map directions here

Who is eligible for this workshop series?

No experience is needed to participate in this workshop series. All are welcomed to apply for the workshop series however, we will be prioritize young creatives who:

  • Live within the Greater Toronto Area and are able to commute to Nia Centre
  • Identify as a part of the Afro-Diaspora and are between the ages of 16-29
  • Can commit to the full duration of the workshop series and attend all workshops, including the showcase element
  • Are eager and passionate about theatre and acting
  • Can work in a collaborative environment
What time will the workshops occur?

All workshops will run between 5pm – 7pm, every Wednesday starting on February 7th

Meet the Facilitator

Rais Clarke – Mendes

Rais Clarke-Mendes is an emerging director and actor from Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. She is a recent graduate of the Acting Program at the National Theatre School of Canada. Rais was thrilled to have her directorial debut of X and Da Spirit by Donovan Hayden at the 2022 Fringe Festival, winning Patron’s Pick, which was then recently remounted at Theatre Passe Muraille. She was also the Assistant Director to Cherissa Richards for the Crow’s Theatre production of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. When she is not directing or acting, Rais works in arts education, working with various organizations such as the Nia Centre for The Arts and Soulpepper Theatre. She is intrigued by intersections within cultural identities and their manifestations in the ways we love and empathize with one another. Throughout her artistic career, she intends to collaborate with innovative artists to reimagine and reinvent the boundaries of what art can look like. Rais recently joined the ensemble at The Shaw Festival where you can see her performing in their upcoming season.

Would you like to see more about Youth Programs & Mentorship ?
Go for-youth Page

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