Cast of  Into the Woods. Photo by Scott Cooper

For Schools

Talk Is Free Theatre is a not for profit theatre company in Barrie whose mandate includes youth outreach and involvement in our community.

In our efforts to reach out to local youth, we offer many programs and volunteer opportunities benefitting young people by enriching their cultural experiences at a local level.

Student Matinees

We offer student matinee performances for most of our season productions. Student matinee tickets are $15 (includes HST and all ticket fees). Teachers’ tickets are complimentary when escorting a group of students to a matinee.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Varty, Director of Outreach

Adopt a Production

Each semester, Talk Is Free Theatre invites a Simcoe County high school drama class to ‘adopt’ a production – and see first hand how professional theatre is created! Students meet the creative team, attend read-throughs and rehearsals and are invited to the opening night of the performance. Best of all, this program is entirely free – including busing! Applications are welcomed annually for participating classes.

For more information, or to be added to our list of teachers, please contact:

Richard Varty, Director of Outreach

Ms. Main Asked for this Program

The Ms Main Asked For This Program program is designed to bring assistance from the theatre professionals directly to school staff and students, who would like support on one or more necessary aspects of their upcoming productions. Productions can include annual plays or musicals, Sears Festival productions, independent works, etc. The goal of this program is to support staff and/or students on their independent work, especially on an extra-curricular basis.
Applications are available for teachers as well as students.  

For more information, please contact:

Richard Varty, Director of Outreach

TIFT drama award

The Talk Is Free Theatre Drama Award recognizes senior Drama students for outstanding contributions to the art of theatre throughout their high school career.

This award is given at the discretion of the teacher. The selection may be based on a combination of academic achievement, leadership, enthusiasm and effort. It is available to those participating in any aspect of theatre production. All recipients of this award will be presented with a certificate of acknowledgement. Each school may honour two recipients per year.

In order to receive this award, please contact Talk Is Free Theatre to receive the application form and return it to Talk Is Free Theatre by the indicated deadline. Certificates will be forwarded to your school to the attention of the nominating teacher.  

There is no charge for the drama award.

For more information, please contact:

Richard Varty, Director of Outreach

Cooperative Education

Each semester, TIFT accepts up to two co-op students to complete their placement with Talk Is Free Theatre.

For more information on the positions and availability, please contact:

Cara McRae, Administrator
705-792-1949 ext. 121.

Volunteer Opportunities

Click here for more information

TIFT's ArtsLocal Program

The artsLocal Program is an opportunity for the emerging artists of Barrie and Simcoe County to partner with TIFT to build their distinct practices with our production and mentorship resources.artsLocal is a calling to those pursuing a career in the arts and prepared to step out of the development process, ready to perform their work for an audience. Those who work with alternative methods of creation and are willing to break barriers are heavily encouraged to apply. Previous artsLocal partnerships include:


Created by Alyssa Wright

Created by The Old Dance Hall Players

Created by Quarter Century Theatre

Applications can be submitted at any time.

For more information about the artsLocal Program, please contact:

Richard Varty
Director of Outreach
Talk Is Free Theatre
705-792-1949 ext. 123

Auditions + Submissions

Two-Way Mentorship Call For Submissions

Talk Is Free Theatre is excited to launch a paid, Two-Way Professional Mentorship Program with the support of the Canada Performing Arts Workers Resilience Fund (CPAWRF), provided by Canadian Heritage. Two-Way Mentorship pairs theatre practitioners of all disciplines across the country in a multi-generational, bilateral exchange of ideas, information, and experiences. In the Two-Way Mentorship model, both parties are mentors to one another, receiving and imparting wisdom in equal measure. Read more about previous iterations of the program and testimonials from past participants here


Participants will meet from mid-October 2022 to the end of February 2023, and will receive an honorarium of $1,100 for 3 group meetings and 10 one-on-one meetings with two different partners over the course of 16 weeks. 


We are recruiting both emerging and established theatre artists across all disciplines. The deadline to apply is SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2022.



Here are the details of the dates required for participation in the program. Specific times TBD:

  • Monday, October 17 OR Monday, October 24, 2022: Orientation Meeting #1 - mandatory attendance on ONE of these two dates

  • Monday, October 31, 2022: Orientation #2 - Program-wide values and conflict management training, facilitated by ARCS

  • Monday, November 14 - Sunday, December 18, 2022: First phase of meetings: five 60-90 min. meetings with your first partner, over zoom, scheduled at your mutual convenience

  • Monday, December 19, 2022 - Sunday, January 8, 2023: Holiday Hiatus: new pairings will be given for Phase Two

  • Monday, January 9 - Sunday, February 12, 2023: Second phase of meetings: five 60-90 min. meetings with your second partner, over zoom, scheduled at your mutual convenience

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023: Deadline to submit a short video debriefing your experience in the program

  • Monday, February 27, 2023: Full group debrief meeting



Please fill out this Submission Form and include a headshot, resume, and brief video (details below). Please link your video as an UNLISTED Youtube link. 


For your submission video, please answer the questions below. Given that the mentorship sessions will be over Zoom, we encourage you to simulate that here: flick on your camera, hit record, and talk to us. Keep it casual, and please no longer than 4 minutes! Refer to your notes if you want; make it up as you go along; speak to us from your heart. If you are not comfortable making a video, we can also accept a voice memo, or in lieu of that, you can write out your thoughts. 


  • 1. Tell us about yourself. Who are you? What are your dreams? What have you done in art and life that you want to tell us about? What scares you most? What excites you most?


  • 2. What does the term “Two-Way Mentorship” evoke for you? What does wisdom mean to you? Have you experienced a Two-Way sharing & receiving of wisdom in a relationship before? How do you acquire or seek out wisdom, and how do you share the wisdom you possess? What channels do you feel are open to you - and do you wish were open to you - for this kind of give and take?


  • 3. Describe the power structure within Canadian theatre as you perceive it to be, and then as you desire it to be. Can we build a new paradigm, and if so, how? Are we taking the steps to do that? 

Thanks to all applicants for your interest. We will contact selected participants by the week of October 3rd. 


For any questions, or if you require any assistance with this application, please reach out to us at and we would be happy to help you. 

Read More HereDownload your application form here

Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators

Talk Is Free Theatre is again part of the OAC’s Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators Program. Individual artists and ad hoc groups are invited to apply for funding, through the Ontario Arts Council online portal. Please note that all applicants must have an active online profile with the OAC, or register for one well in advance of the deadline.

Under their program allocation, TIFT is interested in supporting emerging book writers of musicals. Applicants are responsible to review application requirements on the OAC website under the appropriate section. For OAC’s definition of a professional artist, please visit their website at

Talk Is Free Theatre has established priorities for funding allocations. They are as follows, in no particular order:

  • Regional Artists
  • Artists from culturally diverse backgrounds
  • Artists and works that would likely experience difficulty in attracting support elsewhere

Minimum grant request is set at $1,000 and maximum at $3,000. However, due to budgetary constraints, awarded amounts may be smaller than requested. For a full description of the Program, please visit

The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 14, 2022, at 1 p.m.

Read More HereDownload your application form here

Job Openings

We have no job opportunities available at this time.