Collective Creation Project

We're back at it! We are now booking auditions for our 2021/2022 Collective Creation Project: The Addiction Project, in partnership with Thunder Bay District Health Unit. This is a FREE project for students in grades 9 - 12, meeting twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. This year's focus will be on addiction, specifically related to vaping and technology. Writers, actors and crew members are needed!
This year, we're requesting self-tapes. So... what is that? A self-tape is a digital audition that the actor films on their own and then sends in remotely. They can be filmed with a phone, tablet, webcam or digital camera - whichever is more convenient for you. Accommodations can also be provided for those unable to make a self-tape.
To request the audition package, please email

2020-2021 Collective Creation Project

What does reconciliation look like in Canada today? That’s the idea behind Stolen, Azhen – Magnus Theatre in Education’s most recent student-led Collective Creation Project.

“This play - which in itself is an act of reconciliation - highlights a few of the struggles Indigenous people face because of the colonial attitudes and violence that has been ingrained into our society for hundreds of years,” says Keira Essex, 18, a 12th grade student and long-time Collective Creation Project participant.

“It is a call to action for the public to think more deeply about reconciliation and to work harder to achieve it. Reconciliation is the responsibility of everyone. It is something Indigenous and non-Indigenous people must work on together so that we can begin healing,” she said.

The title, Stolen, Azhen, translates into “Stolen, Returned” or “Stolen, Taken Back” in Ojibwe, the play is set in the present day and tells the story of a teenager named Aurora who leaves her First Nations Reserve to attend high

school in a large urban centre. Through her relationship with her mother and grandmother, Aurora confronts the ongoing impacts of residential schools on both her immediate family and her community. The story explores themes of racism, colonization, and cultural appropriation and highlights the staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Under the guidance of Cultural Consultant Elliott Cromarty and Magnus Theatre in Education Director, Danielle Chandler, students worked on the script from November 2019 to March 2020. The production was originally slated to be staged in June 2020, but rehearsals and performances were pushed back due to the pandemic shutdowns. After consultation with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, students, and staff, it was decided that a filmed virtual read through would be the best way to realize this project at this time.

The cast, writing and production crew combines both new and returning Theatre in Education students, including Joshua Audley, Keira Essex, Emma Kaminawash, Brook Malone, Jasmine Mcguire, Asia Polhill, Alexa Sagutcheway, Calli Thompson, Chase Lester, and Cornelius Beaver.

Stolen, Azhen is presented in partnership with the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre and is supported by a generous grant from the Thunder Bay Community Foundation with additional funding from the Ontario Arts Council.


Stolen, Azhen is a youth-created production that explores the subject of Reconciliation and includes mentions of Indian Residential Schools and Assimilation. Themes of Ongoing Harm and Colonial Impacts are present throughout, and there is reference to physical and mental abuse.

The production is meant to be informative and thought-provoking and is intended to contribute to important conversations about Canadian history and the ongoing impacts of institutional abuses; however, the content may trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts about past abuse. If you need support, please contact the 24 Hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419, or visit the website for more resources at For young people, support is also available 24/7 from the Kids Help Phone by phoning 1-800-668-6868 or by visiting their website at to learn more about how to access other free counselling services.


The Collective Creation Project is an annual cooperative effort with Magnus Theatre and local high school students. With the guidance of professional theatre staff, students from across the city come together to write a play on a social issue affecting Thunder Bay. Students are involved in all aspects of the creation of the play, from writing to acting and production. Auditions are typically held in October, with writing workshops held November through to March. Rehearsals then begin in March, with public performances on our main stage in June.

The Collective Creation Project is led by Magnus Theatre in Education Director, Danielle Chandler.  Danielle is a graduate of Lakehead University’s Education and Arts programs, as well as theatre with an educational focus at York University. She has taught both nationally and internationally, with experience in Toronto; Tenterden, England; Melbourne, Australia and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Danielle has held the position of Theatre in Education Director at Magnus Theatre since August 2014. She previously facilitated and directed 2015/2016’s Collective Creation Project BLOCKED, 2016/2017’s INVISIBLES, 2017/2018's MIGRATION PATHS and 2018/2019's GOOD TIME, CHARLIE.


Stolen Azhen Study Guide


The 2019/2020 Collective Creation Project is presented in partnership with:

Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre


2019/2020 Collective Creation Project sponsor: 


Funding Support