Individual Programs

Spoken Word

The Spoken Word Mentorship Program will bring together a group of young people who are interested in exploring the art of performance poetry. Together, they will work with professional mentors who are leaders in Vancouver’s spoken word community. Through a series of one-on-one and group sessions, the mentors will lead the participants through the process of creating poetry that is intended for the stage.



Photo by Wendy D

The Dance/Choreography Mentorship Program will bring together young dance artists who are interested in exploring the choreographic process. Together, they will work with world-class mentors in order to bring new work to the stage. This work may be collaborative, solo, a premiere, or revisited work.



Photo by Yvonne Chew

The Songwriting Mentorship Program will bring together youth who are interested in exploring the art of songwriting. Over the course of the program, they will work with professional mentors who are well established in the Canadian music scene. Through a series of sessions, the mentors will assist participants through the process of song writing and share what it takes to work in the industry.

Directing Mentorship

The IGNITE! Directing Mentorship Program allows young aspiring directors the opportunity to work with a world-class mentor to bring a fully realized theatrical production to the stage during IGNITE!

Directing [Scripted Material]: 2 participants

Participants will work with the winning scripts from the Young Playwrights Competition, an annual event held as part of the IGNITE! Festival. The scripts are currently being edited and redrafted as part of the IGNITE! Playwriting Mentorship Program.

Directing [Devised Material]: 1 participant or team

In the Directing Mentorship Program, we are accepting applications from aspiring directors interested in creating devised work. Applicants are welcome to pitch an idea for a piece derived from a source other than a script. The inspiration for your piece can come from anywhere: an image, a quote, a piece of clothing…anything YOU’D be interested in exploring and seeing on stage. Applications will be chosen based on the potential of their idea and the feasibility of their proposed rehearsal plan.

Participants are chosen by a jury made up of the mentors, The Cultch’s Youth Program Manager, and members of the IGNITE!Youth Panel.

Note: Aspiring directors are allowed to apply for either or both of the Devised Material and Scripted Material Mentorships. Please indicate your choice on the application and submit the full requirements for the chosen avenue.

** please note to keep all of the directing section as one piece w scripted and devised

Playwriting Mentorship

The Playwriting Mentorship Program is currently underway.

Working closely with their mentor, the two participants will edit and redraft their winning submissions, preparing the scripts to hand off to the participants of the Directing Mentorship.

Design Mentorship (Set and Costume)

The designers will be chosen to build the visual worlds of the one-act plays showcased in the IGNITE! Theatre Festival. With one-on-one mentorship from a professional stage designer, participants will go through all steps of the creation process starting with concept generation, pre-production, production and ultimately they will bring their original designs to the stage. Eligible applicants should have a strong foundation in design. Applicants will be required to establish their own workspace, whether it’s a studio, a classroom or a living room. They may have occasional access to a shared rehearsal hall once production begins, but will need an alternative workshop as well.

Publicity Mentorship


Photo by Yvonne Chew

The Publicity Mentorship Program aims to give young arts enthusiasts the opportunity to bridge the gap between methods of social media and traditional media. This program will focus on new forms of outreach and encourage creative means of publicity. Our Publicist, Media Specialist, will guide a team of young publicists with a broad range of interests. They could be writers, bloggers, twitter darlings, photographers or videographers. This team will build a publicity strategy around the IGNITE! Festival. Along the way they will learn practical skills: writing press releases, approaching the media, pitching stories, and coordinating interviews with artists. You will work directly with the emerging artists in our Mentorship Program, Youth Panel and IGNITE! Fest to help build the largest youth-driven arts festival in Vancouver!

This program is for young publicists who are excited about the performing arts and want to share that enthusiasm with others. We’re looking for creative thinkers and team players! No experience is necessary, just a willingness to learn and a desire to spread the word about the great arts events happening in your community.

Lighting Design

In its inaugural year, the Lighting Design Mentorship will pair one young lighting designer with a professional to create designs for the one-act plays of the IGNITE! Festival. They will work closely with the participants of the Set and Costume, Directing, and Stage Management Mentorship Programs through preproduction and tech to bring the works to the stage. The participant will get the hands on experience of plotting, hanging, and focusing. A basic understanding of stage lighting will be an asset, but most importantly, successful applicants will possess a willingness to learn.

Stage Management

In the Stage Management Mentorship, young stage managers will be chosen to work on the one act plays of the IGNITE! Festival. They will be supported through the process by a professional stage manager. Each Stage Manager will work closely with their team to bring the works to fruition. The process mirrors that of a professional production process with standard festival technical set up and rehearsals. Previous experience is an asset, but not mandatory.

Stage Photography

Documentation is key in the performing arts, and there is an art to producing enticing, quality images of live performance. The Cultch offers young artists the opportunity to work with a professional photographer to develop their skills for low light, action photography. Photographers will work with participants from all IGNITE! Programs both behind-the-scenes and on the front lines. It is a great opportunity to develop skills, and build relationships with other young artists. Ideally, participants will have their own camera, but in some cases they will be able to borrow one from The Cultch.