High School

Next Up, High School’s Taking over Nextfest 2022

They’re fierce, they’re creative, they’re passionate, they’re talented and they have Math 20 in the morning. Nextfest presents our celebration of high school artists, a festival within a festival. This multi-medium showcase of Edmonton and area artists provides a platform for teen artists under the age of 18 who are serious about creating careers in theatre, music, dance, poetry, and visual art. These secondary school artists are encouraged to boldly present their work… and show the twenty-somethings how it’s done!

Join us for five sets of amazing performances from High School aged artists.

Get tickets here: https://bit.ly/3wSIJOR

Curator: Jennifer Peebles
2022 Mentors: Josh Languedoc, Bevin Dooley, Katie Hudson, Cameron Freitas, Althea Cunningham, and Jennifer Peebles


Set 1: The Future is Now


  • Saturday, June 4 at 12:00 pm (noon) 
  • Saturday, June 11 at 4:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 

Songs for Robots

written and directed by Jacquelyn Routledge, featuring Grace Young, Hayley Crowley, and Jacquelyn Routledge

Songs For Robots is set in the distant future, where the once lush and green crust of the earth has been replaced with the metallic blue of robots. The world is dominated by artificial intelligence, which searches desperately for evidence that humanity hasn’t completely fizzled out.

Two strangers meet by accident-both appear to belong to the last group of humans in existence. However, suspicion rises; what with the robot-governments history of disguising as humans and their hungry desire to discover them.

This is a one-act play reading about trust, friendship, and hope; in short, about the very things that make us human. 



The Second AmendmAAAGHHH

written and directed by Logan Sundquist, featuring Marharyta Tsiatserskaya, Malachi Short, Cecil Sykes, Evkoze

The Second AmendmAAAGHHH is a hilarious romp through the isles of Scotland that follows a newlywed couple and their noble quest to find Yelp’s highest-rated transmutator.

Through this live play reading, audiences can expect to experience the highs and lows of marriage, toxic masculinity, and ancient shape-shifting rituals.




The Dirge of 2038

written by Logan Sundquist, directed by Logan Sundquist and Summer Leigh, featuring Autumn Chugg, Sarah Tebbutt, Summer Leigh

The end of the world has come, and it’s not in the way any of us would have expected.

With monsters at every turn and nowhere to run, Ash and Sully take shelter in a dank, dirty dumpster.

Despite the bleak situation, the two grow closer, and in their new smelly environment, they find somewhere they can call home.




Set 2: The Power of Four


  • Saturday, June 4  at 2:00 pm, 
  • Saturday, June 11 at 2:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre

The Power of Four

Featuring students from the Lillian Osborne, Ross Shep, Scona, and Victoria School Improv Teams







Set 3: What Bonds Us 


  • Saturday, June 4 at 4:00 pm, 
  • Saturday, June 11 at 12:00 pm (noon)

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 

What Would She Say?

written and directed by Eleni Angelos, featuring Ian Swartz, Janessa Quible, and Kaylee Lomas

Alice is a shy songwriter who would rather be behind the scenes than in front.

Laurie is a singer who longs to share her voice with the world. When these two meet, they might just learn exactly what it means to be artists in the twenty-first century. 



The End of Us

written and directed by Corbin Hycha, featuring Abby Davidson, Paige Reid, Kristyn Posyluzny, Talia Prokopchuk, and Storm Ewachniuk

The End of Us is an exploration of the complicities of abuse, and how such intricate and painful relationships are never truly black and white.

This production explores how love, identity, and past experiences can trap you in horrible situations— and how new variables can entirely flip your world on its head.

The End of Us is a story of love, loss, and friendship that wishes to give hope to victims and survivors alike.




Set 4: High School Cabaret


  • Sunday, June 5 at 12:00 pm (noon)
  • Sunday, June 12 at 3:30 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 

A combination of music, theatre, film, and more. Enjoy us for the first-ever High School Cabaret at the new Roxy Theatre.

Hide and Seek

written, directed, and performed by Caelan Carroll, featuring Gabriela Layton and Avery London

A young girl navigates growing up and finding her true self in a world where she has to hide.




Kat Krys’ Songwriter Showcase

Kat Krys is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter from Sherwood Park who loves to play guitar and sing.

She has performed at many events such as Station on Jasper, BVJ Homegrown Stage, Ravenwood Festival 2021, and many more. “Tag”, “Going Back to Her,” and “Falling For You” are three songs written by Kat Krys, which intertwine both Pop and Country genres. She is excited to showcase these songs at Nextfest 2022.



The Road to Finding Yourself 

written and performed by Asha Herrick

Four original poems tell the story of finding yourself, accepting your body, and learning that others’ opinions don’t always matter. 





The False King

written, directed, and filmed by Quinn Aklilu, featuring Quinn Aklilu, James Aklilu, and Hailee Quinn

The False King is a short film examining identity and how depression changes it.

While it deals with self-harm, exhaustion, and the desperation to find meaning and purpose through it all, it is ultimately a hopeful message.

It serves as a reminder that it will get better, even if that means reaching the lowest point in life first. 





Kaiya GamblE

Kaiya Gamble is a 15-year-old soulful pop singer-songwriter from Calgary. For Nextfest, she will be performing an acoustic set of her original music, including her new single ‘Sweet Talker.’ 

As Kaiya says, “music is a universal language; you can express so much more than you ever can with words.” That’s exactly what she intends to do with this set, share her personal stories and connect with the audience through music. You can find more about Kaiya and her songs at kaiyagamble.com


Doesn’t Matter

created and filmed by Gabriel Monroe Raboud

In the middle of the pandemic, a pair of hands express themselves with stop-motion animation. 


Set 5: In Their Shoes


  • Sunday, June 5  at 2:00  pm
  • Sunday, June 12 at 1:30 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 

The Modern-Day Muse

written and directed by Dylana Twittey, featuring Adda Blackburn, Myckaila Gordash, Merenisa Mesina, Corvo Hendsbee

Helena Marina is a new and rising star in 1930s Hollywood. While working on her newest film, rumours begin to circulate that she and her co-star, the extremely famous and troublesome Caspian Irving, are having an affair.

Local publications, Caspian, and her own studio fan the flames of the rumour until it threatens to overshadow her career entirely. Helena realizes that with no one coming to her defence, she must take control of the rumour, and by extension, the trajectory of her entire career, lest she spend the rest of her life playing a part forced upon her.



One Last Note

written and directed by Lyn Reade, featuring Kris Gao, Von Andrew Collado, Quinn Yerex, Molly Bell, Rhiannon Lewis, Arabella Spence Emily Prefontaine, and Stella Drinkwater

One Last Note is a staged reading of a one-act play centering around the suicide of the youngest child in the stereotypical suburban family. 

Dinner featuring a couple of guests causes a truth-seeped rift to form within the family. Told from the point of view of the deceased Mars, this show tackles some of the intentional and unintentional causes of high trans and gender non-conforming suicide/mental illness rates.


The Issue at Hand

written and directed by Maria Morin, featuring Erin Harvey, Sarah Evasiw, Danica Friss Wilson, Danny Domahidi

After being stood up again, Maeve finds herself in serious need of romantic guidance.

What better source to guide her than a Cosmo love quiz? Elsie, an avid reader of Cosmo magazines and Maeve’s closest friend, insists they take a quiz in order to learn where to find their true soulmates.






  • Sunday, June 5 at 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, June 12 at 11:00 am

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 
Presented with the support of the Writes of Passage Program by Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre, in partnership with the Citadel Theatre and L’Unitheatre 

The Mine

written and directed by Bella Hudson, featuring Logan Bloedel, Aaron Ostashower, Echo Jacobsen, and Aly Opatril.

1957, during a coal mining operation outside the city of Stalinsk, Soviet Union, three young miners get trapped underground.

The three men struggle with physical, social, and physiological pressures as they attempt to get out of the Mine.



The Law of Universal Gravitation

written and directed by Aly Opatril, featuring Kyra Simpson, Raye Mitchell, Andrew Kennedy, Serena Woo, Jade Foote,  Avery London, Elora Beluse, and Finn Thornley

Two high school physics students, who are seemingly polar opposites, are forced to work together for a group project.

Taylor is a creative, outgoing, budding musician, and Quinn is a nerdy, shy, aspiring physicist.

The two students teach each other about music, science, and new things about themselves. Perhaps the biggest lesson they learn is a first-hand lesson about young love.



High School Visual Arts

You can view the following High School Visual Art pieces on the Nextfest website at nextfest.ca/high-school-visual-art.


Photography by Rowan Downey-Qyuinteros

Artist statement: I chose the name “Inspiration” for this set of photos as all of the photos are things that inspire me in photography.

Genshin Heroes

Acrylic Paints on Canvas by Jasmine Chuck

Artist statement: I painted two of my favourite characters from the popular video game Genshin Impact; Jean (Left) & Keqing (Ke-ching) (right). I originally painted them for my art history project at school. I was really proud of how they turned out, so I decided to showcase them for this year’s Nextfest.

Human Tea Party

Watercolour by Cameron Jimenez

The piece’s imagery is meant to illustrate how people work together. Working together can be messy and all over the place, but in the end, the friendships you make and the journey you go on still mean something. It’s about how it’s worth it to try and trust others.