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undercurrents 2022 & under development residency program

undercurrents is Ottawa’s festival of contemporary theatre, produced by the Ottawa Fringe Festival, and taking place February 9-19, 2022. 

At this time we are seeking submissions from Ottawa-based artists of stage-ready productions for the 2022 undercurrents festival. We encourage submissions from under represented artists.

under development is Ottawa Fringe’s works-in-progress residency program. It invites local artists and/or collectives to work on their new creation pieces at Arts Court for a year. The program offers financial support, access to studio space, a technical residency, and professional development opportunities.   

We are also looking for projects by Ottawa-based artists that are currently in development for the under development program. Emerging and under represented artists are encouraged to apply.

Artists who wish to have their projects considered for either undercurrents 2022 or under development are asked to submit their information no later than July 26, 2021. Applications received after this date will be considered for 2023.

To apply, please fill out the online form on our website: link here

In addition to the online form, we ask all artists to submit:  

  1. A proposal describing the project, its history, and the participating artists (maximum three pages)
  2. Biographies/CVs of lead artists
  3. Detailed technical specifications for the production
  4. A script sample or completed script
  5. Additional support material (optional): reviews, photos, or letters of support

If the form is not accessible for you, we will also accept alternative formats. Alternative applications could be a video (English, French or ASL) or an audio file. Please limit videos or audio files to no more than 10 minutes long. You may then submit your application by email to  

Questions regarding the festival or the application process can be directed to Alain Richer, Executive Director, at; or by phone: 613.232.6162 x101.  

More information on the undercurrents festival can be found at


Can I submit more than one project?

We ask that artists please limit themselves to one application per year.

Can I apply to both undercurrents and under development?

Yes – though generally undercurrents programs shows that are “stage ready” or close to stage ready after a short rehearsal period, while under development is looking for projects that need a bit more time before they’re ready to premiere. Shows that participate in under development are automatically considered for future undercurrents festivals. 

If you’re unsure which you’d like to apply to, reach out the Executive Director: 

Will you accept alternative formats for applications?

Yes! If our online form isn’t accessible to you, or you’re better able to express your ideas by speaking/sign rather than writing, we can accept video or audio files in English, French, or ASL. Videos/audio should be 8-10 minutes in length, and include all the information requested in the application form.

If you require other accommodations, please contact the Executive Director ( and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

What should my technical specifications include?

We ask for tech specs so we can make sure our theatre can accommodate your show. The more detail you can give us, the better, but ideally they would include:

  • The particulars of your set – including size, how long it takes you to set-up and tear down, and how much storage space you require;
  • Information about lights and sound – such as lighting specials (spotlights, side light, etc), specific speaker placement, microphone requirements, or if live music is an integral part of the show; 
  • If there is a video component or projections – what size screen you need, how many projectors you use and their placement; 
  • Anything unusual we should be aware of – eg. pyrotechnics, replica weapons, confetti falling from the ceiling, a big mess that needs to be cleaned up post-show, etc.

Don’t stress out about tech specs! We never discount a show based on this information, and will reach out if we have questions.

My script isn’t complete. What should I include instead?

We’re used to dealing with works-in-progress, so please send along as much of the script as you can. You can also include a script summary or outline – anything that can help us get a sense of the piece. 

Scripts or script samples from past work are another option, but always include something from the project you are proposing.

What if my question wasn’t answered here?

No worries! Feel free to reach out to the Executive Director: