They’re fierce, they’re creative, they’re passionate, they’re talented and they have Math 20 in the morning. Nextfest presents our celebration of high school artists, a festival within a festival we’ve lovingly dubbed NEXTNextfest. This multi-medium showcase of Edmonton and area artists provides a platform for teen artists under the age of 18 who are serious about creating careers in theatre, music, dance, poetry and visual art. These secondary school artists are encouraged to boldly present their work…and show the twenty-somethings how it’s done! Curated by Jennifer Peebles

On The Edge/ Pas de Deux

Friday, May 31 at 4:30pm
Sunday, June 9 at 12:00pm (noon)
at the Roxy on Gateway Theatre

On The Edge

directed, choreographed, and written by Laura Cervera Fuentes
featuring Avery Przyswitt, Malika Shourie, Emma Kinasevich, Marianna Bussolaro, and Evans Niog

A coming of age story that follows the journey of a 16-year old girl named Emma, a dancer who is going through the ups and downs of being a teenager with the responsibility of her dance career in her hands. As the stress gets to her, she starts losing motivation for what she loves the most: dancing. Once her reflection manipulates her into losing everything, that’s when she realizes what she wants.

Pas De Deux

directed and written by Madi May
featuring Anthea Lavergne, Sofija Mimović, Trinity Keast, Milo Ellis, Cat Yakimchuk, Evelyn Cerezke-Riemer, and Grayson McConaghy

Pas de Deux is an introspective piece about identity, what it means to dance, and realizing who you are is not who you planned on becoming. Pas de Deux examines what our innate identities mean to us, and what our chosen identities can become.


PARALYTIC/ All Through The Night! 

Saturday, June 1 at 1:00pm
Friday, June 7 at 4:30pm
at the Roxy on Gateway Theatre


written and directed by: Shiloh Kucey
program art: Kaliska Giroux
featuring Kenzie Bown, David Madawo, Abby Gwilt, and Ethan Blanchard.
music by Dead Freinds

A man named Matthew is falsely convicted of murdering a 15-year-old boy because the court is completely run by public internet polls. On the day of his execution, there is a 15-minute rule where Matthew can speak to whoever he would like for the last 15 minutes of his life. He chooses the woman administering the lethal injection. He gains her trust and asks her to tell him all of her secrets…because he won’t live to tell anyone.

All Through The Night!

written and directed by Ailsa Brazeau
choreographed by Malika Shourie
Lighting Designed and teched by Jill Gerke
featuring Thomas Moore, Grace Fitzgerald, Eva Heimpel, Zackary Nay, Laura Cervera-Fuentes, and Jack Walker

How Do You Know You Aren’t Dreaming Right Now? A Helpful 3 Step Guide:

1. In dreams, distance and proportion are not always consistent. Things can be bigger on the outside than on the inside. Things can break the rules of what should be.

2. Dreams have the capacity to invoke every kind of emotion. You could feel ecstatic, scared, angry, sad, or anything in between. Trying to control your emotions may help you to figure out if what you are experiencing is real or imagined.

3. Doing something over and over again can help you spot irregularities found in your unconscious mind. But remember not to drop the yarn.

Special thanks to Linette J Smith and Mark Vestch for their extreme assistance and generosity and for making this show possible!


Who Dun It?

Saturday, June 1 at 11:00am
Tuesday June 4 at 5:00pm
at the Roxy on Gateway Theatre

written by Dalena Nguyen, Turni Saha, Ashwath Puchakatla, Cathleen Ma, Amanda Kennedy, and Naumi Ibnat
directed by Turni Saha and Dalena Nguyen
featuring Aryan Patnaik, Justin Vuong, Gurjot Hothi, Leon Sun, Ashwath Puchakatla, Greshel Wadhawan, Chidinma Amogu, Calvin Liu, Bonny Wu, Ainslee Fernandez, Elena Potlog, Alex Wang, Kayla Thai, Alvin Wong, Graceli Licardo, Ananya Muralidharan, Shirley Wang, Parshva Shah, Maya Reddy, Ananya Muralidharan, Tamila Khoshkish, Pranav Madala, and Laith Amreya

After the untimely death of Percy Humphrey at his own engagement party, detectives Joe and Tate sift through the suspects who all had tumultuous relationships with Percy. Suspicious and eccentric characters with varying motives and capabilities of murder emerge with the one question being: who dun it?


How to Ace the First Kiss/Text Me: A Junior High Like-Like Musical

Sunday, June 2 at 10:00am
Thursday, June 6 at 4:30pm
at the Roxy in Gateway Theatre

How to Ace the First Kiss

co-directed, co-written, lighting designed, and stage managed by Lora Sliman
co-directed and co-written by Camila Sliman
sound designed by Bradon Dundas
program artist: Hailey Janes
featuring E’lyna Do, Xavier Swanstrom, Braedyn Hamaliuk, and Isaac White

Have you ever wished that you had a plan before heading in to your first kiss? Well, now you do! This show will easily break down everything like the location, the time period, the attire…the list goes on. However, please be mindful that breaking down such a complex and naturally awkward situation is really hard, we aren’t miracle workers here. With the help of our professional kissing coach…and his mother…and the extremely underpaid actors, you’ll leave the show being a better human being because you enhanced your skills!

Text Me: A Junior High Like – Like Musical

written and directed by Meghan Bunn
musical direction and piano performance by Hariharan Krishnan
choreographed by Jessie Gustafson
stage managed by Casey Irwin
lighting designed and teched by Alex Willis
assistant lighting designed and teched by Ty Huberstarks
sound designed and teched by Adam Bucyk
featuring Jason Shukla, Ben Brinkhurst, Ehren Moser, Teio Suyal, Katie Chapman, Kaitlyn Chalupiak, Zachary Peters, Grace Fitzgerald, and Evans Niog

Post-breakup, Jacob falls for his ex’s best friend, Amy…without ever actually talking to her in person. With a pre-algebra quiz on Monday, a history project on Wednesday, and the dance on Friday, Text Me follows a group of 7th graders through the trials and tribulations of Junior High.


Hourglass/ You Are Not Grey 

Sunday, June 2 at 12:00pm (noon)
Wednesday, June 5 at 5:00pm
at the Roxy on Gateway Theatre


directed and written by Lucia Rodriguez-Cavanagh
assistant directed by Skylar Campbell
featuring Warren Suggit and Zac Bellward

Two boys sit after witnessing, and potentially causing, the death of someone they were only beginning to know. They try to make sense of the world around them and begin to understand what it means to feel intensity as a boy in the twenty-first century.

You Are Not Grey

written by Eleni Sanders
directed and stage managed by Faith Tabladillo
assistant stage manager: Anneke Oosterhuis
lighting teched by Austin Siew
sound teched by Katelyn Coleman
stage managed by Will McIntosh
featuring Lucas Sarac and Kennedy Olson

In a normal workday, Alan spends his lunch hour at the park. As an awkward personality, he encounters his unrequited love Kathleen who works across from his workplace. Will he have enough time to be with her before his break ends?


High School Cabaret 

Tuesday, June 4 at 6:00pm
Thursday, June 6 at 6:00pm
at the Backstage Theatre

Kaeli Morris

Kaeli is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter. She started singing and performing at a very young age. As she got older, singing grew as her passion, and she fell in love with performing. In her original songs, she writes about real life experiences and hard times with health complications. She feels so honoured that she gets to share her music with you!


choreographed by Jesse Gustafson Walter
featuring Max Bahri, Zachary Peters, Eamonn Glasnapp, Avery Ryan, Eric Miracle, Laura Cer, Mya Knights-Dennis, Jessie Gustafson, and Teio Suyal

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look at fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Gilded Tigers

featuring Spinelli Teleski

Sophia is a young lady in her late teens and the 4th woman in her bloodline to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A young girl raised by two artist parents, nurtured by poetry, and mentored by the voices of beatnik musicians and the creators of the kinetic operas, she fills in the holes of memory almost lost to the winds of change in attempts to make it beautiful once more (then again, maybe the memory was never quite as magnificent and showman-like as she remembers).

Toni Foote

Toni Foote is an emerging songwriter from Edmonton who has recently started a solo project that weaves intricate fingerpicking stylings with thoughtful lyrics and honey-smooth vocals. Inspired by artists like Adrianne Lenker and the Staves, Toni is quickly finding her own unique sound and is an up-and-coming talent to be watched.

Out of Necessity
poetry by Ayisha Hussain
featuring Spinelli Teleski
Out of Necessity is an examination of what it means to be a villain.

poetry and performance by Jenny Chen
1:28 is a poem written and performed by Jenny Chan.


High School Visual Art

Our NEXTNextfesters display their visual artwork.

Rose Huang


Gabriela Razo Ramirez


Dawson Crowther-Currie


Sukhmani Saggu


Jenny Chen

Touch of Light, Flutter, and 1:28