Hamilton Fringe Festival

An 11-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, 19 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, access rehearsal space to develop their work, and help to produce Frost Bites 2018 Festival.


  • Emerging artists, 19 years and over with less than 5 years professional experience
  • Preference will be given to local, new generation artists (19-30 years)
  • Aspiring arts leaders who are provoked by the possibilities in Hamilton and want to gain the skills to bring their work to life


  • Monthly workshops with top national theatre artists that focus on both artistic innovation and producing skills
  • Visioning and planning sessions for the 2018 Frost Bites Festival
  • Free access to local rehearsal space
  • Group trips to influential productions in the 2017/2018 season


Applications for the 2018/19 ALERT Program are open! Click here to apply. 

Applications are due April 13th, 2018. 



Krista Colosimo is a director, actor and arts educator. Directing Credits Include: Venus In Fur (Rooks Theatre – upcoming), Remount Director Bed and Breakfast Centaur Theatre), Women of Manhattan (Make Art Theatre). Acting Credits Include: Ruth in Blythe Spirit (Thousand Islands Playhouse/WTC), Susie in Don’t Dress for Dinner (Thousand Islands Playhouse/WTC/Gateway Theatre), Masha in The Seagull, adapted by Peter Hinton (Segal Centre), and Gabriella in Boeing Boeing (Thousand Islands Playhouse/WTC). Krista spent seven seasons performing at The Shaw Festival, selected credits at the Shaw include; Hypatia in Misalliance, Mollie Malloy in His Girl Friday, Gabrielle in When the Rain Stops Falling, Ms.Prossy in Candida, Jennifer Dubedat in The Doctor’s Dilemma, Jean in The Entertainer. Krista is a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada Acting Program and recipient of Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program in Artistic Direction.
Emma Grafham is an actor, theatre maker, and alumni of London South Bank University’s Drama and Performance program and is a co founder of Growing Pains Theatre Company (UK). Emma is thrilled to be apart of this year’s ALERT team to produce an engaging cite-specific theatre festival for the community to enjoy. Having devised, produced and performed a show (ABCs to LSD) for the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Growing Pains Theatre, Emma is excited and eager to be back home in Hamilton producing and performing theatre with the incredible artistic community that calls Hamilton home.
Jamie (Milay) Kasiama is an emerging multidisciplinary artist based in Hamilton, Ontario. They come from a strong artistic background in spoken word poetry, having worked with the Hamilton Youth Poets as a competitive poet, performance poet, and teaching artist from 2013-2015. They are pursuing a degree in Multimedia, Theatre and Film studies at McMaster university, and are most interested in writing, projection design, and performance art. They are currently acting as the Director for Sage for the Stage in their upcoming work for Hamilton Fringe Gallery Series: Brine (2017) and as the Projection Designer for Almeida the Glorious, with the AMY Project for Summerworks (2017). Jamie has worked with Arts4All, a community arts organization working in the Davenport West/Pellham Park neighbourhood of Toronto. Since working with the AMY Project and Arts4All, Jamie has becoming very interested in working in community arts, seeing the transformative power of empowering community members through art to tell their own stories.
Michael Kras is a Hamilton-based theatre-maker and theatre-doer whose work primarily examines youth, sexuality, and gender politics in the social media age. His play #dirtygirl was recently the winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2016 Hamilton Fringe, and his new play The Team, developed with Theatre Aquarius, won Second Place in the Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest. The Team was also a national finalist for the Safe Words New Canadian Play Award. His work has been supported by Roseneath Theatre, Young People’s Theatre, and the Ontario Arts Council. Other recent works include For Kiera, which is published internationally in Bare Fiction and was shortlisted for the HA&L Short Works Prize; and Places, winner of the 2014 Audience Choice Award at the Hamilton Fringe. Michael is a two-time City of Hamilton Arts Award nominee, in recognition of his work as an emerging theatre artist. Michael is a graduate of Humber Theatre School, the artistic director of Broken Soil Theatre, and a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwrights Unit.
Stephanie Hope Lawlor is a professional actor who recently returned to her hometown, Hamilton, to help develop the explosive arts scene. Favourite credits include Snow White (Drayton Entertainment), The Sound of Music (Theatre Aquarius), Provenance, Suitcases (Berkeley Street Theatre), Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (Stage West – award nominated), December Songs (CityCoast Collective), the award-winning Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go (Toronto Fringe & NextStage Fests), Much Ado About Nothing, Little Women, Assassins (Marion Abbott Productions), My Favourite Year, Doctor Faustus (RAPA), as well as several workshops for new musicals, concert and cabaret appearances, and film & television credits. She recently made her successful solo cabaret debut in Don’t Laugh (Unless I’m Trying to be Funny). Stephanie is the Artistic Director of Hamilton-based independent theatre company, Rook’s Theatre.
Sunil Puri moved to Hamilton five years ago after transferring from Virginia Tech to McMaster University to finish his degree in urban geography. During his time in university Sunil had the opportunity to become a part of the Hamilton community through his work with the Hamilton Fringe Festival and the McMaster Children and Youth University program. He quickly came to love the city and call it home. After graduating Sunil worked for the City of Hamilton as a Youth Engager through the Neighbourhood Action Strategy’s Learning Annex. While working for the city Sunil grew a passion for supporting local food systems, and transitioned to working on local farms. Today Sunil lives and works at Manorun Organic farm growing fresh and sustainable food for his fellow Hamiltonians.
Lily Sutherland graduated in 2014 from the University of Ottawa with a B.A. in Theatre with special focus in the Acting Profile. During her studies, she acted in various productions and served as a Producer of Youth Infringement Festival, a festival which provides opportunities for emerging artists ages 16-25 to write, produce and act in original work. Currently, she manages independent Toronto-based theatre company, Passing Through Theatre, which she co-founded in 2014. She has created, produced and performed in two original productions and toured to four cities on the Canadian Fringe circuit with Passing Through Theatre. She also develops and facilities workshops in improv and clown for high school students and in her spare time, volunteers for educational arts and drama programs which cater to adults with special needs.