Tony Tran, Charles Manzo, and Meara Khanna - Young Playwright's Unit 2018
Tony Tran, Charles Manzo, and Meara Khanna - Young Playwright's Unit 2018

The Young Playwrights Unit (YPU) is a FREE training experience for young people who are curious and passionate about play-making. We take a page from our professional play development programs to offer a group of dedicated young creators a rigorous context in which to develop some of their first works.

The Young Playwright’s Unit is generously supported by

Delaney web

 For more information on other Youth Programs at Tarragon please visit Youth Programming!


Young Actors for the YPU

Are you under 22, and interested in new play development from the perspective of an actor? Are you looking for new ways of engaging with new work, and learning more about the process of play workshopping? Are you excited by the idea of making connections with both emerging and established theatre professionals in the city of Toronto? Then review the casting breakdowns below, and submit!

Inspired by new play development practices at Tarragon Theatre, the Young Playwrights Unit (YPU) offers a FREE training experience for young people who are curious and passionate about play-making. Each year, the program provides a group of dedicated young writers the rigorous context in which to develop some of their first works. Over the course of several months, the playwrights and their dramaturgs meet weekly to discuss their writing, reflect on their processes, and prepare for the first public staged readings of their newest plays. This year, with the intention of engaging as many young artists as possible, the YPU will be casting young performers to act in their staged readings.

Young Actors for the YPU get to…

Act in the workshop of a new play by a new playwright

  • Learn from a professional director, and perform in Tarragon’s Extraspace
  • Discuss the actor’s role in new play development with Associate Artistic Director, Esther Jun
  • Attend a workshop of an upcoming show in Tarragon’s 2018/2019 season

Submission Requirements:

Applicants must be aged 22 or under, and non-union

  • Current enrollment in a theatre/acting training program is an asset, but is not mandatory. Recent graduates are also encouraged to submit.
  • Applicants must be available to participate in day-long play workshops at Tarragon Theatre on May 5th and May 13th, as well as June 23rd, and June 24th.
  • Applicants must be available for evening performances on June 23rd and June 24th

What to Submit:

  • A headshot, resume, and brief statement that outlines your interest in new play development
  • A list of the parts that you would like to be considered for
  • Please submit via email to: with subject line: “YPU ACTOR SUBMISSION”. Questions about the opportunity can also be fielded via this email address

FRIDAY APRIL 13th, 2018 @ 5:00pm

This is a free learning opportunity.



Artists of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexualities, abilities, and cultural backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.


By Tony Tran
Directed by Gloria Mok

Everyday gay Asian man, Ray, finds his dating habits challenged when he accidentally dates his first Asian. QUEENS is a queer comedy about the aspects of racial dating, cultural and sexual identity, and knowing when you’re enough.

RAY – 20s, Male, Pacific Asian; Stubborn, loud, and openly gay. A fearful heart.

JASON – 20s, Male, Asian; A lovable asshole. Roommate, and long-term friend of RAY. A very engaged activist.

DEREK – 20s, Male, Asian; A freshly-out gay, who’s trying to find his place in the community. He’s shy and hopelessly awkward, with a big loving heart.

AGNES – mid-20s-30s, Female, Pacific Asian. A powerhouse, and a boss-queen. Older sister of RAY. She takes space, and does not concede.

“Little Boxes”

By Meara Khanna
Directed by Eva Barrie

After finding an eviction notice on their door, three college students must face losing their home and independence. Desperate measures are called for, even if it means breaking the law. Little Boxes is an exploration of friendship, entrepreneurship, and finding your worth in a world where the least is expected of you.

NINA – Early 20s, Female; Indecisive, and in her head, Nina wants to be a writer. She spends the play caught between necessity and family tradition.

JENELLE –  Early 20s, Female; Tough-witted and good with a wise crack. She’s always pursuing the quickest and most lucrative solution

SYDNEY – Early 20s, Female; Responsible and sticks to her guns. She is exploring her sexuality far from the judgments of her family.

TOM – Early 20s, Male; Tom is an athlete and academic overachiever. He and Nina have a love-hate relationship; constantly butting heads over the school newspaper where they work.

IGOR – 20s, Male; Igor is a DEA, and undercover cop with a stick up his ass.

“Sunny Side Up”

By Charles Manzo
Directed by Byron Abalos

Sunny Side Up is a Canadian immigrant play about the intricate relationship between a Filipino father and his daughter. Set in Toronto, the play explores themes of familial sacrifice, hope in the face of societal barriers, and the passions we set aside to support our loved ones.

PATRICE LASCANO – Late teens, Female, Filipina; Patrice is a driven, independent young woman in her last year of high school. She is torn between her passion for hip-hop dancing, the pressure of looming University applications, and the expectations of her father.

HERNANDEZ LASCANO – Mid-late 40s, Male, Filipino; Hernandez is a widower, the father to Patrice, and once a renowned government official in the Philippines. Since immigrating to Canada, he works as a superintendent to support Patrice’s education.

NINO – Mid-late 40s, Male, Italian; Nino is a divorced single father, and Hernandez’s best friend. As an active tenant, Nino seems to know everything that goes wrong in Hernandez’s building.


The 2017 Young Playwright’s Unit: 

Pictured here are playwrights Tyisha Murphy, Sarah Hilton, Ruby Urlocker & head instructor Caitie Graham. Missing in action are Sara Durante & Jenn Boulay.

Young Playwrights: Tyisha Murphy, Sarah Hilton, Ruby Urlocker (pictured above with Caitie Graham), Sara Durante & Jenn Boulay

Instructors/Directors: Caitie Graham, Paula Wing, Marcia Johnson, Esther Jun

The 2016 Young Playwright’s Unit: 

Young Playwrights Unit 2015

Young Playwrights: Sam Beland, Zavian Buchanan, Julie Pham

Instructors/Directors: Anne Wessels, Caitie Graham, Marcia Johnson, Andrea Donaldson, Paula Wing

The 2015 Young Playwright’s Unit:

YPU group shot

Young Playwrights: Raluca Petria, Jonathan Martins, Nam Nguyen, Courtney Buxey-Hill, Chrstian Lischak

Supported by Tarragon Playwrights-in-Residence: Maria Milisavljevic, Jordan Tannahill, Anna Chatterton, David Yee

Instructors/Directors: Anne Wessels, Caitie Graham, Rashida Shaw, Marcia Johnson, Andrea Donaldson, Paula Wing

The  2014 Young Playwrights Unit:


Julie Zenderoudi, Theo Gallaro, and  Erum Khan