RBC Emerging Director's Program

Art, in its every form, is what makes our community vibrant. The RBC Emerging Artists Project was built on that belief. Our investment in the arts is about one thing: helping give artists every opportunity possible to showcase their creativity and talent. We are proud to be a long-time supporter of the Lunchbox Theatre and the many talented directors, actors and producers that make it the best place to spend your lunch-hour.  
-Jerilynn Daniels, RBC Foundation

The 2017/2018 Season

The  2017-2018 Emerging Director is Chris Stockton. 

For 12 years I was a high school theatre teacher who shared my passion for the art form of theatre with students every day.   As they graduated, I would always encourage them to pursue their passion – follow your heart and do what you love!  It finally occurred to me, twelve years in, that perhaps I was not following my own advice.  Through many years in the classroom I had developed a passion for directing that could no longer be ignored.

So I did it.  I left the safety and security of an established career to follow my dream – to become a professional theatre director. 

I discovered very quickly that becoming a professional, freelance theatre director is one of the most difficult things to do in theatre.  Actors can audition, playwrights can submit plays for consideration and technicians and stage managers can work their way through apprenticeships but there is no straight line to becoming a director – no tried and true method, no checklist of completion.  Some directors are actors, designers, playwrights or stage managers, amongst others, who want to transition to something new. Others, like myself, have no previous professional experience but a passion specifically for directing that is so strong that we look for any and every opportunity to pursue it. 

This is why the RBC Emerging Director Program through Lunchbox Theatre is so crucial to the future development of theatre directors in Calgary, Alberta and Canada.  It gives emerging theatre directors the opportunity to learn, observe, interact with and receive mentorship from a broad spectrum of professional directors, across a wide variety of productions, regardless of how they came to pursue this challenging, creative leadership role.  The commitment from Lunchbox Theatre, all of their directors and the generous financial support of RBC have helped to create an environment where questions can be asked, ideas explored, professional contacts established and work can be seen – all important elements in reaching the next level.

I am honoured to be selected as the 2017/18 RBC Emerging Director at Lunchbox Theatre.  To be given the opportunity to learn from established theatre directors such as Shari Wattling, Samantha MacDonald, Kelly Reay, Trevor Rueger and Karen Johnson-Diamond (an alumnus of the Emerging Director Program) excites me beyond words.  To also get the chance to work on new plays, established works, single performer shows and work with amazing actors, technicians, designers and stage managers is icing on the cake. 

Thank you to all of the students who inspired me over the years, to RBC and Lunchbox Theatre for the opportunity and to my wife, who has supported this crazy journey without hesitation.

- Chris Stockton RBC Emerging Director, 2017-18

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you have
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you'll find something solid to stand on
Or you'll be taught how to fly!” 
― Richard Bach

The 2018/2019 Season

Please check back here for more details on the 18/19 Season in the new year.