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2022.23 RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Award Recipient Announced

Jul 8, 2022

RBC Foundation and Crow’s Theatre Congratulate
8th RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Recipient 


TORONTO (July 8, 2022) – Crow’s Theatre and RBC are proud to announce Saccha Dennis as the recipient of the RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize. Designed to encourage and celebrate Canada’s most outstanding emerging stage directors, the prize provides a $5,000 award to emerging Canadian directors as well as a coveted project residency spot at Crow’s Theatre.

Following a call for submissions in April 2022, the jury selected Saccha Dennis from an exceptional group of innovative theatre artists in the early stages of their directing practice. The jury, comprised of arts leaders Lucy Eveleigh, Jackie Maxwell, and Rouvan Silogix, considered the merits of the applicants’ current body of work, their creative potential, the impact an artistic residency would have on the up-and-coming director’s professional development, and the impact on Canadian theatre.

Saccha Dennis is a rising, well-respected director and choreographer who wants to be an ambassador for change in her field. Believing it is time to open up stories in classic musical theatre to a BIPOC narrative, she has already started work on two new pieces that take well known musicals and re-think the stories they tell–or the stories that so far have only lingered in the background. Her ideas are strong and ambitious and the possibilities of what she could develop if creatively connected with Crow’s Theatre, are exciting and far reaching.”

Lucy Eveleigh, Jackie Maxwell, Rouvan Silogix
2022 RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Award Recipient Jurors

 “To be recognized, and to be among the list of recipients of this prize, is a great honour. The passion I have for theatre and the arts runs deep. More importantly, creating a space for artists who are not often celebrated has been part of my mission as a director and creator. To be able to collaborate and exchange ideas through this opportunity makes me hopeful for the impact that can be achieved in our industry. This award not only validates the efforts in my work, it will allow me to continue the conversation of better practices and inclusivity in our community. Thank you to RBC and Crow’s Theatre, I feel seen and heard!”

Saccha Dennis (she/her/elle)
2022 RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Award Recipient

Saccha Dennis is an actor, educator, creator and director. Originally from Montreal, she studied musical theatre performance at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Since then she has toured Canada, the U.S. and abroad. She was last seen in the Broadway hit show Come From Away as Hannah at the Royal Alexandra Theatre with Mirvish Productions. Select acting credits include: Sousatzka, a new musical with Victoria Clarke; Jacob two-two meets the Hooded Fang and James and the Giant Peach (Dora award nomination), Young People’s Theatre; Sister Act, Rainbow Stage; Avenue Q, Citadel Theatre; Dreamgirls, Theatre Aquarius, Stage West; Little Shop of Horrors, The Rose Theatre, Sudbury, Stage West; four seasons at the Shaw Festival; and the first national U.S. tour of We Will Rock You, to name a few. Saccha was also the first black Dorothy in Wizard of Oz at the Young People’s Theatre!

Saccha’s directing credits include: We Will Rock You, Theatre Under the Stars; Pippin: Reimagined, Sheridan College; Legally Blonde, Hart House Theatre–Subscriber’s Choice Award for best production); and 9 to 5: The Musical and Dreamgirls, LOT–Broadway World regional award for best production. Known for challenging traditional theatre, her latest directorial projects for film include: Cell Block Tango: Reimagined and Gethsemane: Black Jesus. Saccha’s passion lies in reimagining classics and developing new works in order to amplify marginalized voices and work toward a more inclusive theatre industry in Canada. To find out more visit musicalsreimagined.com and sacchadennis.com.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Saccha to Crow’s Theatre next season and wish her hearty congratulations on this award. We are very much looking forward to working with Saccha and helping her realize her ambitions as a theatre director and community leader through her time at Crow’s. This prize has been a powerful connector for Crow’s Theatre with directors from across the country. Each of the past eight winners have inspired us to look for creative ways to bring their work to our stages and studios while deepening their craft.  This past season we were able to present the work of our 2019 prize winner, Alexandre Fectau, with his production of Singulières, and next season we welcome our 2020 laureate Cherissa Richards, who will have her Crow’s Theatre directing debut with Red Velvet. We’re very grateful to RBC for having supported our efforts to propel theatre directors forward, to our jurors for their careful deliberation, and to all those who applied.”

Chris Abraham
Artistic Director, Crow’s Theatre

"Through RBC Emerging Artists, we support organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist's career trajectory. The efforts of Crow’s Theatre are invaluable, providing much-needed opportunities for diverse emerging artists to be recognized and exposed to new audiences. We are proud to support the RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize– and look forward to seeing the advancement of this artists’ career in the years ahead. Congratulations to the prize winner."

Mark Beckles
Vice-President, Social Impact & Innovation, RBC


Made possible by RBC Emerging Artists, the RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Award supports an artist’s transition from ‘emerging’ to ‘established’ and is rooted in the belief that each new generation of artists requires support and encouragement. This prize and the Crow’s residency recognizes the creative potential of an up-and-coming theatre maker and provides the means to advance their practice.

Past recipients of the Crow’s Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize are Ryan Cunningham, Cherissa Richards, Alexandre Fecteau, Jiv Parasram and Tom Arthur Davis, Sarah Kitz, Zachary Russell, and Rebecca Northan.


For more than 30 years, Crow’s Theatre has been a leading force in the Canadian theatre landscape, recognized for provocative and award-winning new theatre work that has also toured nationally and internationally. Led by Artistic and General Director Chris Abraham and Executive Director Sherrie Johnson, Crow’s Theatre ignites passionate and enduring engagement between our audiences and artists by creating, producing, and promoting unforgettable theatre that examines and illuminates the pivotal narratives of our times.

In 2017, Crow’s Theatre moved into our first permanent home, the purpose-built Streetcar Crowsnest at the corner of Carlaw Avenue and Dundas Street in Toronto’s east end. Since opening the building with Kristen Thomson’s smash-hit The Wedding Party, Crow’s Theatre has produced many notable productions, including Emil Sher’s adaptation of Ian Brown’s The Boy in the MoonJulius Caesar with Groundling Theatre Company, Annie Baker’s The Flick with Outside the March, Dave Malloy’s haunted song cycle Ghost Quartet, George F. Walker’s Orphans for the Czar, and Cliff Cardinal’s radical retelling of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It.  Crow’s Theatre is distinguished as a preeminent cultural destination for its far-reaching imagination, exchange of ideas, diversity, and grassroots belief that the arts are essential to healthy and thriving communities.