Thespo (India) and the Paprika Festival (Canada), in association with the Social Distancing Festival, are looking for artists aged 16-25 to participate in the COSMOCABARET: a live-streamed international extravaganza! This collaborative creation process will take place over 5 weeks and culminate in 2 virtual performances on March 20 & 21, 2021. 

COSMOCABARET will bring together 12 emerging artists to share in a creative process and cross-cultural exchange. Participants will have the opportunity to explore performance styles including drag, dance, spoken word, stand-up comedy, singing, and more. 

The program will be facilitated by Tsholo Visions Khalema, acclaimed actor, director, and self-taught filmmaker. Tsholo is South African Transgender man born in the midst of apartheid who witnessed the fall of an era while assimilating to life in Canada. He is currently directing the digital production 11:11 for Theatre Passe Muraille.

We are looking for self-motivated performers with an interest in cabaret or alternative performance styles and the desire to collaborate across cultures and time zones. You do not have to be a current Thespo or Paprika participant to apply.


Performances will take place:

Show 1: March 20 @ 8:00pm IST (March 20 @ 10:30am EST)
Show 2: March 21 @ 7:30am IST (March 20 @ 10:00pm EST)

Each participant will receive a small honorarium upon completion of the training sessions and live-streamed performances.

Want to be a part of the COSMOCABARET? Follow these 3 steps to submit:

  1. Shoot or edit a 1-3 min video of you performing (can be anything, ie. drag/spoken work/stand-up, etc)
  2. Upload as an unlisted video to YouTube or Vimeo and save the link
  3. Fill out this short online application (15-30 min) and include the link to your video. Click here to fill the form

Applications are now open and close February 13th @ 10:30am IST.

Get in touch with Nathan Carroll (nathan@paprikafestival.com) or Anushka Ghose (theatre@thespo.org) with any questions or for help with your application.

For more information, visit us at:
Thespo www.thespo.org
Paprika www.paprikafestival.com
Social Distancing Festival www.socialdistancingfestival.com


Frequently asked questions

What is COSMOCABARET?
COSMOCABARET is a live-streamed international extravaganza that will bring together 12 emerging artists to share in a creative process and cross-cultural exchange under the guidance of a professional mentor. Participants will have the opportunity to explore performance styles such as drag, dance, spoken word, stand-up comedy, singing and more. This collaborative creation process will take place over 5 weeks and culminate in 2 virtual performances on March 20 & 21, 2021. 

Who is eligible to apply?
Artists between the ages of 16 – 25 are eligible to apply.

Is there any application fee?
There is no application fee for this program.

Do I need to have prior experience in the Cabaret to apply?
No prior experience is required. We are looking for self-motivated performers with an interest in cabaret or alternative performance styles and a desire to collaborate across cultures and time zones. 

How can I submit an application for COSMOCABARET?
Follow these three steps to submit your application:

  1. Shoot or edit a 1-3 min video of you performing (It can be anything, ie. drag/spoken work/stand-up, etc.)
  2. Upload as an unlisted video to YouTube or Vimeo and save the link
  3. Fill out this short online application (15-30 min) and include the link to your video

Can I apply with a friend? 
Of course! We’d recommend that each individual fill out their details separately while applying. You may both share the link to the same video if you are performing together. 

What language does my performance video need to be in?
You may choose to perform in any language. There are no restrictions.
If your performance video is in a language other than English, you may send us a written translation of the same if you’d like, although this is not a necessity. 

Does my performance video need to be of original content?
Nothing is off-limits in cabaret! Feel free to share your own original material, interpret existing material, or mix and match a bit of both.

When can I apply?
Applications are NOW OPEN and close on 13 February at 10:30am IST (February 12th at 12:00am EST). Hurry! APPLY NOW! 

What happens after I am selected to be a part of COSMOCABARET?Selected artists will take part in weekly sessions with all other participants, and benefit from the ongoing mentorship of Tsholo Khalema.

This process will culminate in two shows:
Show 1: March 20 @ 8pm IST (10:30am EST)
Show 2: March 21 7:30am IST (20th March @ 10pm EST) 

Each participant will receive a small honorarium upon completion of the training sessions and live-streamed performances.

Will the two live streamed shows be available for public viewing?
The 2 live shows taking place on 20 & 21 March will be available for public viewing. Watch this space for more information.

Who is the project facilitator?
COSMOCABARET will be facilitated by Tsholo Khalema.

A multidisciplinary artist, Tsholo Visions Khalema is a South African Transgender man born in the midst of apartheid and witnessed the fall of an era while assimilating to life in Canada. Growing up in the westernmost prairie provinces of Canada, he began his lifelong pursuit of learning the art of theatre and storytelling. An Actor, director and a self- taught film maker, his art practice aims to enhance the Black and Transgender voice(s), showing the many different diverse intersectionality of blackness. To learn more, visit tsholovisions.com.


What is Thespo? 
Thespo is a Youth Theatre Movement based in India that SHOWCASES, TRAINS, COLLABORATES and CELEBRATES to create a GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF YOUNG THEATRE PROFESSIONALS.

What is Paprika?
Paprika Festival is a youth-led professional performing arts organisation that runs year-round professional training and mentorship programs which  culminate in a performing arts festival of new work by young artists.

What is the Social Distancing Festival?
The Social Distancing Festival is an online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the many artists around the world who have been affected by the need for social distancing that has come about due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Have a question that hasn’t been answered? Write to us at nathan@paprikafestival.com (Canada) or theatre@thespo.org (India)