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

Talk Is Free Theatre’s 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

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 at Please note that all applicants must have an active online profile with the OAC, or register for one well in advance of the deadline. Submissions to be considered under Talk Is Free Theatre allotment are due by October 12, 2021 at 1pm.

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 the following priorities for funding allocations. They are as follows:

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 $5,000. However, due to budgetary constraints, awarded amounts may be smaller than requested.

Read More HereDownload your application form here
October 12, 2021, at 1pm

Applicants are encouraged to contact Arkady Spivak, Artistic Producer before submission for any help with the application, at or (705) 792-1949 ext. 122.

General Auditions 2021

Ethnocultural mandate or casting statement:

Talk Is Free Theatre strongly encourages artists of all backgrounds to apply.

Additional information:

Talk Is Free Theatre is inviting Artists to submit tapes and to submit for a limited number of in-person Zoom auditions for our 2021 General Auditions. Zoom submission will be due by Friday, January 26, 2021, and video submissions by Friday, February 12, 2021.

While the current situations do not allow us to meet physically, Talk Is Free is committed to a number of projects that allow Artists to continue to create and engage with each other and audiences during these trying times. These projects are constantly changing and evolving to ensure that Artists can continue to evolve and grow with them and the changing environment.

At this time, we are accepting submissions from Artists across Canada and we encourage both those who have worked with us before and who are unfamiliar with our work to apply. While challenging, this is also an exciting time that allows Artists from all across our country to work together digitally until we can be together in the room again.

If you would like to submit a video submission, please keep the submission to 4 minutes or less for a non-musical theatre submission and 5 minutes or less for a musical theatre submission.
For non-musical theatre submissions, please include an introduction, a monologue, and use the remaining time to show us anything else that you would like to share about yourself. This could be a skill, a story, another monologue, etc.
For musical theatre submissions, please include an introduction, a monologue, a musical selection from the musical theatre canon, and use the remaining time to show us anything else that you would like to share about yourself. This could be a skill, a story, another monologue or song, etc. Acapella auditions will be accepted but the preference is to sing to a backing track or with live accompaniment where your situation safely allows.
If you have questions on how best to present your work, please don't hesitate to reach out.

To see a broader range of Artists we will host a limited number of ten-minute Zoom auditions on Sunday, February 7, and Tuesday, February 9, 2021, for those who would prefer this to video submission. These auditions will be at a scheduled time and you will be asked to present the same material as the tape auditions, but will also include time for any redirections and/or an interview element.

Read More HereDownload your application form here
DEADLINE: February 12, 2021


For Zoom submissions, please fill out the Google Form at:

We will only be in touch with those who we are able to schedule for a Zoom audition at this time. If you do not receive a Zoom audition time slot, please do submit a video submission as we would still love to hear from you.
DEADLINE: January 26, 2021

For video submissions, please fill out the Google Form at:

Video links shared on the form should be an unlisted YouTube link or Vimeo link.

TIFT Artist Basic Income Guarantee 'BIG' Pilot Project

TIFT BIG Project Outline

The TIFT Artist BIG Project is a pilot project designed to offer a number of Artists a minimum annual income guarantee each year, for a three-year period. The income is earned through the Artist being engaged on various and separate projects with TIFT throughout the year, as determined by TIFT’s Artistic Producer (“AP”) and the individual Artist together. The BIG Project is NOT full-time and is NOT employment. Rather, TIFT guarantees that the Artist is able to earn enough in fees from the separate independent contracts with TIFT each year to at least equal the minimum annual income guarantee. One of the goals of the BIG Project is the exploration of a new operating system, through action research, that would offer artists and theatre companies a more sustainable and effective paradigm in which to create theatre.

Read More HereClick to watch the WebinarDownload your application form here
Applications close at 5pm on October 1, 2020

Please direct any questions to

Submissions are now closed for Pilot Year 1.

Resistance and Change - A Grant for Theatre Artists

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” ― Ursula K. Le Guin

2020 has been a year of unpredictability. COVID-19, the tragedy of George Floyd and the resulting protest movement, and rising levels of unemployment have sent massive ripples across the globe.

In this moment, we believe artists have a crucial role to play: to move hearts and minds, envision a more just world, and spark new possibilities for resistance and change. With this in mind, this program through Talk is Free Theatre is a new initiative providing funding for artists who wish to harness the energy of this moment to change their communities. This program was designed and developed by Brendan Chandler, Alana Hibbert, Richard Lam and Tahirih Vejdani.

Applications for 2022 will be available by December 15, 2021.

Read More HereDownload your application form here
Please submit by Thursday, October 15, 2021 at 5pm EST. Please note that late applications will not be supported.

Please submit by email to You may also direct your questions to this address in anticipation of your submission.

All funded projects must by completed within two years.

*For example but not limited to and in no particular order: feminism, environmentalism, immigration/migration, colonialism and displacement, electoral reform, systemic racism, genderism, homelessness, justice and prison reform, wealth inequality, health inequality.

Job Openings

There are currently no job vacancies available at this time.