The Syd and Shirley Banks Prize For Emerging Musical Theatre Artists: Call For Submissions


Acting Up Stage Company is proud to announce The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists.

This inaugural opportunity is open to musical theatre artists under 30 years of age who are under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas. Through an open audition process, two artists will be selected and will receive a cash prize, mentorship throughout the season, a showcase performance/cabaret on one of our ‘dark nights’ during the run of Do You Want What I Have Got?, as well as a role in our Tapestries concert.

The Syd and Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists generously provides two musical theatre artists the opportunity to advance their careers through financial assistance, mentorship and increased exposure.


Two emerging artists will be awarded the prize, each receiving:

  1. A $1,000 cash prize.
  2. A performance/cabaret created by and starring both winners.
    Winners will work with an Acting Up Stage director and musical director to create a performance around a theme or idea. This showcase will be performed for two nights during our Do You Want What I’ve Got? run. Key industry personnel will be invited, and the show will be onsale for the general public.
  3. A featured role in our Tapestries concert.
    Each year Acting Up Stage produces a concert that pays tribute to a non-musical theatre artist by re-imagining their songs. After our sold-out, smash hit concerts Both Sides Now and The Long and Winding Road, Acting Up Stage Company blurs the lines of folk, cabaret and musical theatre with an astonishing evening paying tribute to the music of Carole King and James Taylor.
    The two Syd & Shirley Banks Prize winners will have the opportunity to perform one song in the concert, alongside musical theatre’s finest artists. Tapestries will take place on November 26, 2012 at Koerner Hall.
  4. Behind the scenes access to Falsettos.
    Falsettos, which runs from April 23-May 12, 2013 at the new Regent Park Arts and Cultural Centre, will be a focal point for Acting Up Stage Company’s 2012-2013 season. Winners will receive behind-the-scenes access to the creative process, tailored specifically to their interests.
  5. An opportunity to originate a role in an original musical reading.
    NoteWorthy systematically advances the development of new Canadian musicals. After a national call-for-submissions, we select a group of playwrights and composers to experiment, collaborate and write.
    In June 2013, we will begin a new round of Noteworthy. At the end of the two week session, playwright/composer teams will work with performers to hear their new musicals aloud in a public presentation. Winners of the Syd and Shirley Banks prize will originate a role in this final reading.


All musical theatre artists are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • under 30 years of age;
  • residing in Ontario; and
  • has been a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association for less than three years (if at all).


To be eligible to be considered for an audition, please submit the following to [email protected]
by Friday July 20th @ 5PM:

  • a completed application form (click here to complete an application);
  • a headshot and resume;
  • a brief reference letter from a theatre professional; and
  • video or audio clips of two contrasting musical performance pieces of 16-bar minimum (Please note that this is just to give us a rough sense of your skill before making audition selections. The clips do not have to be professionally recorded and can be recorded on any laptop or smartphone).

Auditions will be held in Toronto towards the end of July.

Only those who receive an audition will be contacted.