High School

The next generation of artists has arrived, and they have class at 8 am on Monday! Here are eight showcases featuring High School aged artists who are launching their artistic careers at Nextfest.

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


Set 1: Whatever it takes


  • Saturday, June 3, at 12:00noon
  • Saturday, June 10, at 4:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 
Mentor: Linette Smith

Top Secret

written and directed by Aleksandr Aksenov
featuring Lorenz Nilsson, Bridget Gutteridge-Hingston, Rosamelia Sanchez-Cortez, Marianna Dytiuk, and Alex Scrimger

A single mother is fired from her job for disagreeing with her boss over an ethical business issue. Enraged, she and her journalist friend agree to write an article exposing the truth behind what the company has been doing. However, the company has other ideas… 



The Play In My Mind

written and directed by Andrea Noga
Featuring Andrea Noga, Elizabeth Chapman, Ibiza Blackwell, Destiny Roberson-Jemison, Lila Schiller, Zoriana Denysenko, and Eleni Plakas 

Accompanied by Anger, Anxiety, Despair, Love, and Pride, the Writer is working her way through a play. Seemingly simple enough, they soon find that there is more to it than they think. Finishing this project takes more than they bargained for. As they work through self-doubt, a rocky relationship with parents, and just trying to write the show, the same question remains — Is this really worth it?


You Light Up My Life

written and directed by Finn Mcnally and Rowan Downey-Quinteros
featuring Rowan Downey-Quinteros, Finn McNally, Jules Hunting, Jordynn Gozjolko, and Quinn Yerex 

Two twelve-year-old boys, one pair of shoes, and an afternoon together searching for the other pair. You Light Up My Life by Finn McNally and Rowan Downey-Quinteros is a light-hearted comedy capturing the essence of youth and brotherhood. A tale told through nature, Scotty and Zachary deal with values of trust and the foundations of friendship. Through a nostalgic 90’s lens, You Light Up My Life is sure to leave the audience feeling young again.



Set 2: Unlearning


  • Saturday, June 3, at 2:00 pm
  • Saturday, June 10 at 2:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre
Mentor: Terry Knickle

The Rule

written and directed by Kaylin Playter
featuring Sierra Reich, Xavier Preville, Sara Fedan, and Reese Playter

What started out as a newspaper comic strip, the Bechdel test is a set of rules used to categorize media. It determines whether or not women are being equally represented.

In a comedic twist, The Rule has a man attempt to pass the Bechdel test. With questionable men and strong women, the show has us thinking about how we represent people in theatre. 


Stars and Black Holes

by Ash Tolton
directed by Owen McLean and Ash Tolton 
featuring William Swindler, Tannu Sian, London Parker, Hannah Zinck, Aaron Feullbrandt, Monia Saleh, Alex Ellis, Parker Hatch, Kristine Sato, Kurt Villary, Oden, Abi Struthers, and Ash Tolton

What does it take to unlearn what you were taught as a child? For Emmy, the answer is a lot.

What does it take to rebuild a broken relationship? For Paige, the answer is even more.



For No One

written and directed by Hunter Harnett-Akers and Oliver Collins
featuring Ava Countryman, Abi Struthers, Ella Schaloske, Noah Hebert, and Kalene Prentice

Partners Jared and Casey have been together for five years, but ever since Casey came out as non-binary Jared has had trouble accepting the change.

This has caused things to become more and more unstable between them. Through shifting periods of time, two people who love each other fight their own biases to stay together.


Set 3: As We Go Along


  • Saturday, June 3, at 4:00 pm
  • Saturday, June 10 at 12:00 pm (noon) 

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre 
Mentor: Brooke Leifso


Unfinished: A Ten Minute Play 

written and directed by Stratus Mandziak-Dinger
featuring Cecil Sykes, Sarah Tebbutt, Lila Maxwell, Fatsani Nsaliwa, Alex McClelland, and Evkoze

What would happen if a director doesn’t show up to their own rehearsal?

Be prepared for ten minutes of highs, lows, hilarities, and disasters when three actors decide to make a show of their own.





by Lyn Reade
directed by Rigby Mugridge
featuring Jordynn Gozjolko, Kris Gao, Harleen Singh, Sam de Groot, and Beatrix Stone

Arkwood is the crime capital of North America. While abnormal is normal in Arkwood, something has somehow shaken up the unshakeable city. A newly debuted vigilante known as Silk the Mind Weaver, is taking the city by storm. Are they good or bad?

Well, June could hardly care. They have enough problems on their own. Barely able to afford their apartment, while dealing with the disappearance of their sister Willow, a new vigilante is the last thing on their mind. 


Forever and Always

written and directed by Jonah Zazula
featuring Jonah Zazula, Asha Herrick, Cecil Sykes, Sarah Tebbutt, Lila Maxwell, Fatsani Nsaliwa, and Mika

This play follows the main character Erin, an introverted, overthinking teenager, who is trying to deal with the loss of a friend.

Upon hearing the news, Erin struggles to maintain all the real-world connections he has with people both at school and at home. 



Set 4: In Mind


  • Sunday, June 4 at 12:00noon
  • Sunday, June 11 at 1:00 pm 

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 
Mentor: Alyssa Marres
Supported by: Kompany Family Theatre



by Charlotte Thompson and Maria Morin
directed by Maria Morin
featuring Sam Michaelchuk, Avery Neufeld, Charlotte Thompson, Grace Vandermeulen, Olivia Cai, Kaylin Playter, and Sarah Evasiw

A young, aspiring, playwright submits all his work to a local theatre company in hopes that he will finally get the big break he’s been dreaming of.

This sounds familiar…



They’re Both Right

written and directed by Logan Sundquist
featuring Abby Witte, Chloe Brinco, and Evkoze

Andrea is sitting on her living room couch, reading a book. Quinn is waiting at the bus stop, listening to music. They are within a metre of each other, yet both inhabit their own realities.

In this unusual circumstance, the pair tries to determine whose perspective is correct, but alas… ‘They’re Both Right’.



Something is Wrong

written and directed by Juliannah Bishop and Katie Wallace 
featuring Katie Wallace, Jorga Patrick, Juliannah Bishop, Jasper Lee, Harry Woodhouse, Alyssa Schendel, Zayne Kott, and Ethan Krieger

A man has been put on the wrong medications causing the different parts of his brain to meet for the first time… all hell is let loose. 





written and directed by Corinne C. Au
featuring Koena Das, Vipra Patel, Himanshu Surukanti, Anushka Ahmed, Elle Adeyanju, Sherry Zhang, Corinne C. Au, Naivedhya Rai, Adorra Sergios, and Melody Liu

“Esther” is a modern look at a young woman who grapples with expectations from herself and from her parents.

As Esther and Essie attempt to coexist and eventually collide, the play reveals brutal truths about buckling under pressure, identity, and ultimately, the loss of self.



Set 5: To die, to sleep


  • Sunday, June 4  at 2:00 pm
  • Sunday, June 11 at 5:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 

To Die, To Sleep

written and directed by Augustus Williams and Anna Heseltine 
featuring Kaitlyn Litrop, Aidan Hopwood, Anna Heseltine, Augustus Williams, and Chad Capstick

In the ‘30s, a woman called Julie mysteriously died in a theatre. After her death, strange occurrences began to arise, eventually leaving the building abandoned.

Now, in modern times, two actors have bought the theatre to fix it up and make it their own. Soon enough, ties are severed and secrets are unveiled.


Set 6: The Power of four


  • Thursday, June 1 at 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, June 8 at 5:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 

The Power of Four


Featuring students from Ross Sheppard School, Strathcona High School, Lillian Osborne High School, Victoria School of the Arts, Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School, Mother Margaret Mary Catholic High School, Holy Trinity Catholic High School, and Archbishop MacDonald Catholic High School


Set 7: Screen it, Sing it, Say it Cabaret


  • Sunday, June 4 at 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, June 11 at 3:00 pm

Where? Lorne Cardinal Theatre in the Roxy Theatre 
Music Mentor: Jessica Heine
Supported by: Acquired Taste Tea Company

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

DOUBLE FEATURE: “Guilty Subconscious” and “Ambience” 

directed and produced by Ben Healey and Mars Palmer
featuring Thomas Doyle, Kris Bizon, Ein Kashman-Botterill, Ben Healey, Bree Webb, Mars Palmer, Amelie Lang, Aïcha Bah, Brooklyn Soppet, and Monica Sweeney

Double Feature is an homage to the bizarre and surrealist film noir era of the 1950s. Showcasing two films: “GUILTY SUBCONSCIOUS” (directed by Mars Palmer) and “AMBIENCE” (directed by Ben Healey).

Both touch on themes of human mortality, the inner psyche, and the consequences of our own actions.




written and directed by Lyn Reade
featuring Xia Valencia, Raven, and Sam de Groot

How would you react when the lines between reality, illusion, and dream forcefully intersect? THIRST tells a new tale of discovery, unreliable viewpoints, unexplainable and unsatisfying actions, and the complete and utter destruction of one high schooler’s life.

Will you accept the unknown?




created by Jiwoo Park

“GOLDPILLED” is an animated short film that follows a dishevelled-looking man on his daily visits to the convenience store. One day, instead of the typical clerk, a young boy is running the till. The encounters between the two explore the man’s qualms and inner mindset while learning nothing from the boy. It is an off-putting standoff, that feels less and less like reality—while facing one’s own.

You can also watch it here: Digital Projects at Nextfest 2023

Kat Krys

Kat Krys is a seventeen-year-old country/folk singer/songwriter from Sherwood Park who has a passion for performing.

Her original music intertwines country, folk, and pop sounds with themes of love, heartbreak, and finding yourself.




Lilla Solymos 

Yearning; the act of longing for something. Lila started writing these songs during the lockdown because she needed an outlet for her lonely thoughts at the time. Her first song, Impersonation, speaks about the struggle of opening up to new people, and the different ways people may see you depending on closeness and comfort levels. The second piece, Morning Sun, is your typical love song, shedding light on the fact that in order to be happy, you don’t need a fairytale. “Through my songs, I wish to share a real story, something the listeners can relate to. Thank you <3.”


Poetry by Asha Herrick 

Asha Herrick, a young Edmonton artist, shares a small group of her original, spoken-word poems. With her poetry, she brings dark topics to light and shares the daily struggles of many individuals. She touches on themes of mental illness, self-confidence, and the daily emotional turmoil that people live with.



Innermost Self 

choreographed and performed by Brienne Gagnon

Throughout life and your artistic journey, there are always ups and downs. The pressure of society and self can mask and strip away our true passion for art.

This piece will be taking you on a journey of losing your voice, and the journey back to your true form. This should be a rollercoaster filled with many styles of dance.


Set 8: High School Play Readings

When? Sunday, June 11 at 3:00 pm
Where? The Roxy Rehearsal Hall in the Roxy Theatre 
Music Mentor: Amanda Samuelson
Supported by: Alberta Playwrights Network

Alberta Playwrights Network logo


Hallway Comfort

by Alisel “Mango” Manago
featuring Rei Yereniuk, Bree Halfe, Alisel Manago, Keith Junos, Madi Hofmann, and Emily Liberona

Cole and Ash, a trans couple, would just like to go have a date session at Cole’s place. On the way, they encounter a person making transphobic remarks, immediately setting off Cole’s protectiveness over Ash.

After leaving, Ash gets hit with a wave of dysphoria. Cole is there to help in any way they can.


Could Never Be Me

by Eleni Angelos
featuring Erika Starcevic, Gracie Weber, Abby Thomas, and Eleni Angelos

Elizabeth is sick of being cast in the ensemble. Sick of being dismissed at auditions and she is sick of her ex-best friend Clover always stealing the spotlight.

When the two bump into each other at a callback for a TV pilot, will Elizabeth be able to let go of her past in the name of her career? 



Viridescent Lure

by Chloe Mayrina
featuring Cassidy Stearns, Faith MacGregor, Lorin Bradley, Kaitlyn Litrop, and Piper/Evan Davis

The mysterious painting ‘The World of Frivolous Dreams’ has finally been found. Indigo is dragged by her mother to the art gallery, where she becomes enamoured by the intricate work. Magically Indigo is transported into the painting. Her time is ticking. Will she find a way out before she herself becomes part of the painting?