Hamilton Fringe Festival

A 12-day unjuried theatre festival that happens every summer in downtown Hamilton

ALERT: Arts Education Initiative

The ALERT Program  (Artistic Leadership and Entrepreneurial Training Program)


ALERT is an 8 month-long professional development program designed for emerging artistic leaders, 18 years and over who want to help redefine the theatre culture in Hamilton. 
Selected participants work with theatre artists and mentors to develop their artistic and producing skills, attend a diverse range of cutting-edge performances throughout the region, and help to produce the site-specific winter festival – Frost Bites in addition to the Monologue Slam fundraising event and Theatre P.D. Day. Deadline to submit: July 31, 2020.


  • Emerging artists, 18 years and over with less than 5 years professional experience
  • Preference will be given to local, new generation artists (18-30 years)
  • Aspiring arts leaders who are provoked by the possibilities in Hamilton and want to gain the skills to bring their work to life


  • Professional development workshops with top national theatre artists that focus on both artistic innovation and producing skills
  • Visioning and planning sessions for the site-specific winter festival Frost Bites, the Monologue Slam, and professional development workshops for the community
  • Group trips to influential productions in the current theatre season


Online submission form available above, applications can also be completed over phone. Please call 289-698-2234.

THE 2019-2020 ALERT TEAM

Nathalie Cortes is a multidisciplinary visual artist who lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario. Born in Bogota, Colombia. Through her work, she uses a variety of  storytelling and dialogue as a medium of focus for her practice. Her distinctive style offers an honest perspective at how art nurtures the mind but also depicts the human mind as a constant seed for growth. As a child living and attending elementary school in Colombia she was exposed to a variety of different artistic practices including theatre, that elongated through illustration and photography later through her teens. Having graduated from Social Service Work, Nathalie has been constantly exploring the variety of ways art contributes to community building  among viewers. From poetry to gallery curation, including one show at Supercrawl 2017 with her former collective Art Portal, she believes in the power of culture to educate and instigate conversation by bringing marginalized voices together.


Olivia Hopen is an actor and singer who is currently completing HWDSB’s Audition-Based Program of the Arts at Glendale Secondary School. Acting credits include: HPO’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I Am Not A Number, Fame: The Musical, A Night at The Drive-In, and Bowing Out. Olivia is thrilled to be part of the ALERT team this year, and take this exciting next step in her arts education.
Matthew Lazaris-Brunner is an actor and recent graduate from the Dramatic Arts program at Brock University. In addition to acting, he has an interest in stage combat and trained with the Academy of Dramatic Combat to attain his Advanced Actor Combatant Certification. To supplement this training he also trains in martial arts and historical swordsmanship. He is very interested in physical theatre and physical storytelling, believing stage combat and other physical practices such as martial arts can open up avenues of creativity within his practice.  Some of his acting credits include: Gormenghast, Finger Food, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables the Musical, and Fame. His theatrical interests are varied and range from physical theatre to Shakespeare.
Micaela Morales is an emerging artist based in Hamilton and Toronto. She is a soon to be graduate of McMaster University’s Theatre and film program. She is interested in playwrighting, producing and arts administration. Her most recent experiences include acting as the box office coordinator for Hamilton Fringe Festival 2019, and creating and performing in her thesis project in collaboration with McMaster School of the arts, called Libby and Soledad Against the World. She was a participant in the Expect Theatre Playwrights Unit 2019. Occasionally, she fills the role of a compassionate stage manager, stage managing productions such as  because I am not a girl or a boy, Ganga’s Ganja, and through the woods. Micaela has a strong interest in storytelling as a medium to connect with audiences and make them ask important questions.
Rachel Offer is an actor/creator and recent graduate from the University of
Windsor’s BFA program. She was born and raised a short drive from both
Toronto and Hamilton, and currently bases her artistic efforts in and
around the GTA. Rachel has an interest in acting, directing and
producing, but especially in creating her own work. Acting credits
include; A Streetcar Named Desire, Love and Information, and Hamlet. She
is excited to be taking this journey with Claire, Franny, and the rest
of the ALERT group!
Ryan Percival is a graduate of the York University Devised Theatre Program. After recently Stage-Managing The Commandment (2019) at the Toronto Fringe Festival and 519 Best of Fringe, directing credits include High School Symphony (2018), and The Teeny Tiny Music Show (2017) at the Toronto Fringe Festival, and at the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival, which is Ryan’s favorite show he’s done (Miss you, Baltimore House). After serving as L/D and Projection Head for Paperweight (2015) at the Hamilton Fringe Festival, Ryan developed a love for creating shadow-performance, and site-specific shows. He is currently starting work on a new shadow-show, Bandit (2020), under his new company, A.D.D Productions, and needs all the help he can get. He could not be more thankful to Claire and Franny for bringing him on a massive learning experience. www.ryanpercival.com.


2018-2019 Participants: 

Luis Arrojo, Beekaa Abraham, Aaron Joel Craig, Khaleel Gandhi, Rebekka Gondosch, Victoria Hudson-Muir, Anthony Raymond Yu, Dylan Vandemaele

2017-2018 Participants: 

Krista Colosimo, Michael Kras, Lily Sutherland, Emma Grafham, Stephanie Hope Lawlor, Jamie Milay

2016-2017 Participants: 

Adam Lemieux, Adam Bryan, Carlyn Rhamey, Claudia Spadafora, Rose Hopkins, Jesse Horvath