"This past summer I had the privilege of teaching a workshop for the Young Ruffians Program. The teens were fantastic and the evidence of their hard work was demonstrated in their final ensemble creation. In addition to my workshop, the Young Ruffian participants worked with some of the most highly respected teachers and performers in Canada. The Young Ruffian Apprenticeship Program is the only one of its kind offered in Riverdale, and unique in the experiences and incredible opportunities it provides for young people."

Jake EpsteinActor (Spiderman on Broadway) & workshop leader

"The Young Ruffian program prioritizes accessible youth participation and creation. It provides youth in the city the opportunity to get involved in professional theatre and to work with emerging artists in an ongoing mentorship capacity."

Molly GardnerEducation Coordinator, Soulpepper Theatre Company

"This whole experience has changed my life for the better. I hope future Young Ruffians have as much fun as I did."

Katasha JamesYoung Ruffian alumni 2012

"The entire experience of this summer was just great. Not only were we privy to the inner workings of a brand new company, we were also able to watch a show, a real proper show, go from words on a page to a sublime performance. I learned so much about working as a collective and using Shakespeare as inspiration."

Thea LewisYoung Ruffian alumni 2012

We believe that the work we do today will help foster the audiences and artists of tomorrow.

Since our inception, we’ve put mentorship and accessibility at the core of what we do and the Young Ruffian Apprenticeship Program is the strongest pillar of that commitment. The Young Ruffian Program is geared towards theatre-interested high school students (no Shakespeare appreciation required!).

This program is a part-time, free-of-charge summer acting intensive and apprenticeship program.

We bring novice and experienced actor from all over the GTA together to meet in our beautiful home, Withrow Park (located in Riverdale, just south of the Danforth between Chester and Pape subway stations).

In this five week program, students learn diverse skills from fight choreography to text analysis to movement training.

Students will also be paired with a mentor—one of the professional actors in our summer production. One-on-one sessions with mentors allow students to learn everything about what it is like to be a working actor in Toronto.

The capstone of the program is developing your own production, which will be presented as the opening-act to the professional show on three consecutive nights in Withrow Park.

You will perform on the same stage as the professional company, engaging with the same audiences; a unique opportunity to get a taste of a professional acting experience.

The program runs from late July to late August.

This year, the program runs from July 24th to August 27th. It’s also a creative and fun way to complete the community service hours High School students require to graduate.

2017 Applications are now closed.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Caitlin Sullivan, our Community Outreach Coordinator.

The Young Ruffian Apprenticeship Program is a Cultural Hotspot SPARK project in partnership with the City of Toronto.

Cultural Hot Spot