Author: Praxis

January 9, 2014, by

Click image to read NOW cover story

Click image to read NOW cover story


By Nicolas Billon, Starring Kate Hennig, Directed by Michael Wheeler

A Praxis Theatre production at The Next Stage Theatre Festival

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, Senora Carrar refuses to pick sides: her husband died in combat and she’s determined to keep her two sons alive and out of the conflict. But as Franco’s army marches towards their village, her resolve is challenged.

Click here for tickets

Kate Hennig and Cyrus Lane

Kate Hennig and Cyrus Lane

Dates & Times:
Wednesday, January 8th, 9:30pm
Thursday, January 9th, 5:00pm
Saturday, January 11th, 2:30pm
Sunday, January 12th, 7:00pm
Monday, January 13th, 9:15pm
Wednesday, January 15th, 7:00pm
Thursday, January 16th, 5:00pm
Saturday, January 18th, 7:00pm
Sunday, January 19th, 9:30pm


Cast: Kate Hennig, Cyrus Lane, Araya Mengesha, Barbara Gordon, Hume Baugh, Philip Graeme, Zoe Sweet, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Matthew Hines
Original Composition: Beau Andrew Dixon
Set and Costume Designer: Erin Gerofsky
Lighting Designer: Rebecca Vandevelde
Stage Manager: Kat Chin

December 20, 2013, by

Rifles webs banner 2

rifles crop

Rifles Director Michael Wheeler and Producer Aislinn Rose in The Next Festival Program

Hello Praxis Friends,

Happy Holiday Season to everyone.

We are hard at work on our newest creation, Rifles as part of The Next Stage Theatre Festival this January at The Factory Theatre in Toronto.

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, Senora Carrar refuses to pick sides: her husband died in combat and she’s determined to keep her two sons alive and out of the conflict. But as Franco’s army marches towards their village, her resolve is challenged.

Performances Times:

Wed Jan 8 9:30pm, Thu Jan 9 5:00pm, Sat Jan 11 2:30pm, Sun Jan 12 7:00pm, Mon Jan 13 9:15pm, Wed Jan 15 7:00pm, Thu Jan 16 5:00pm, Sat Jan 18 7:00pm, Sun Jan 19 9:30pm



Rifles playwright Nicolas Billion. Winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Drama.

This new adaptation is based on Brecht’s little-known masterpiece, Senora Carrar’s Rifles, written in 1937, which Michael directed last year as his Shaw Festival Director’s Project.

This is Nicolas’ first script for the stage since winning The 2013 Governor General’s Award for Drama for his trilogy Fault Lines.

Look for more about the show in this space leading up to the show in January.

Playwright: Nicolas Billon
Director: Michael Wheeler
Producer: Aislinn Rose
Cast: Kate Hennig, Cyrus Lane, Araya Mengesha, Barbara Gordon, Hume Baugh, Philip Graeme, Zoë Sweet, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Matthew Hines
Original Composition: Beau Dixon
Set and Costume Designer: Erin Gerofsky
Lighting Designer: Rebecca Vandevelde

December 12, 2013, by

2013-12-09 20.26.26

HATCH artistic teams, Harbourfront Centre Communications staff and us, getting together for a little pre-season potluck

As we announced earlier this year, Praxis Theatre is guest-curating Harbourfront Centre’s 2014 HATCH season of new performance experiments. As curators, we were particularly interested in looking at projects that would include experiments in how social media can be included in the development and/or performance of new works.

We’re very happy to say that we have selected our artists for 2014, and while Harbourfront Centre will be launching an awesome new web portal for these artists and their work at HATCH in January 2014, we’re providing you with a sneak peek today of who they are and what they’ll be working on over the next 5 months.

We invite you to take a look, and even engage with their projects online as they develop.

Week #1:
#legacyRob Kempson – Core Artist

Why do we yearn to leave a legacy behind? #legacy features Twitter and three women over the age of 65 who are looking to make the most of it.

This interactive performance project brings three women over the age of 65 up-close and personal with social media in general–and the Twitterverse in particular–in order to consider how we might leave a lasting impression—and how it should be hashtagged.

Follow the ladies on Twitter:


Week #2:
BroadFishMelissa D’Agostino – Core Artist

What happens when the promise of a perfect future hangs on the one thing out of your grasp?

BroadFish is a live theatre experiment by acclaimed performer Melissa D’Agostino that integrates folktales, music, improvisation, and motion pictures to explore the thin line between reality and fantasy, relationships and romance, and the power of myth in our everyday lives. By plunging into the wild world of female stereotypes, BroadFish considers traditional attitudes toward relationships, happiness, and romance, investigating how they’ve evolved and degenerated through the Internet, social media, and digital technology.

Week #3:
The Ballad of _______ BFrancisco-Fernando Granados – Core Artist

The Ballad of _______ B brings together a young refugee’s obsession with opera diva Maria Callas and the queerness of the imagination to centre stage.

The performance is conceived as a character study of _______ B, a once “clean-cut, fresh-faced 18-year-old” refugee whose story appears as a vocabulary lesson in the pages of an instructional ESL book. This work marks a radical departure for artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, from action-based, conceptual approaches to experimental explorations that incorporate digital media, narrative, and recitation.

Week #4:
Faster than Night – Digital BlackBox: Vanessa Shaver, Pascal LangdaleAlison Humphrey – Core Artists

Social media billionaire Caleb Smith is on a mission. Racing against a terrible terminal illness, he is embarking on a deep space voyage with the secret goal of cheating time and death. But when something goes horribly wrong, can you help make a gut-wrenching life-or-death decision?

Newly formed Digital BlackBox blends live performance with real-time 3D animation and audience interaction to hone a new approach to storytelling, the first of its kind in the world. The company includes RADA-trained actor, writer, and performance-capture specialist Pascal Langdale; writer, director, and 2009 Elliot Hayes Award-Winner Alison Humphrey; creative producer Vanessa Shaver; and executive producer Jo Singh Brar.

November 17, 2013, by

On Monday Dec 18 all 308 MPs will receive this invitation.

On Monday Dec 18 all 308 Members of Parliament will receive this invitation. CLICK TO ENLARGE

After 34 acclaimed performances of You Should Have Stayed Home in Whitehorse, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, we conclude our tour in Ottawa on November 20th. It is our hope some of our nation’s elected representatives will join us onstage on opening night.

The production will have a reception on Parliament Hill, the same day as this performance. We are extremely grateful to The Honourable Andrew Cash, Member of Parliament for Davenport, for organizing this event where MPs of all stripes can meet us and discuss the opportunity.

Reception for You Should Have Stayed Home on Parliament Hill

3pm-4pm Wednesday November 20th, 2013.

Centre Block: Room 601

Winner of The SummerWorks Arts Professional Award

Reviews: NOW MagazineGeorgia Straight 

Hundreds of Canadians have already stood up for civil liberties in a safe and creative way by participating in a short scene in the middle of the show. Before each performance we’ve led a discussion about Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and how it’s been significantly weakened by G20 Toronto – a period Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin called, “The most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.

We hope Members of Parliament will be inspired by this level of engagement by  ordinary citizens across Canada, and also stand up for civil liberties.

We have already confirmed participation by a few MPs, and we’re hoping for more. We’re encouraging MPs from all political parties to join us. Civil liberties are not a partisan issue. Everyone from libertarians, to socialists, to all of those in between, can find rare common ground on this subject. This important consensus can be communicated theatrically.

If you are an MP:

Please get in touch by email:

If you are not an MP, but live in Ottawa and would like to join us onstage:

Please get in touch by email:

If you are not an MP, but you would like to see your MP participate:

Please send them this post. If you tweet to them, be sure to use #G20Romp. Also, be sure to be nice.

Consider sharing this post on Facebook or whatever other social network you use.

Only through real momentum will we fully realize this goal.  We are so darn close and we need your help.

November 13, 2013, by



A sincere congratulations goes out to playwright Nicolas Billon, who has just been announced as the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Billon’s collection of plays FAULT LINES was published by Coach House Books earlier this year, and includes the award-winning plays Greenland and Iceland.

Rifles will premier in January, 2014 at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

Rifles will premier in January, 2014 at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

This announcement comes at a particularly exciting time for Praxis Theatre. We have recently begun a collaboration with Billon on a new work called Rifles. The play will be an original adaptation of Brecht’s Spanish Civil War ‘Call to Arms’ Senora Carrar’s Rifles, which Michael directed as a Shaw Festival Director’s Project last year.

We’re happy to be premiering this piece as part of Toronto Fringe’s Next Stage Theatre Festival this coming January. Having produced 6 Fringe shows over the last 10 years, we’re pleased to continue our association with such an important part of the Toronto theatre ecology.

Rifles will be presented as part of Next Stage on the Factory Theatre Mainstage from January 8th to 19th. Tickets go on sale soon.

October 21, 2013, by

Praxis continues its partnership with The Canadian Civil Liberties Association to use our play as an access point to contribute to the broader discourse surrounding civil liberties in Canada.

The CCLA has messaged members through email and social media encouraging participation in staging the play, and has partnered with us to create panel discussions on broader issues facing civil liberties in a number of the cities we are travelling to.

This Tuesday, following the 8pm performance of #G20Romp, we will continue the discussion about G20 Toronto with a discussion of many of the issues the play raises. Years after the largest mass arrest in Canadian history there are many unanswered questions, developments, and non-developments with regards to police actions at the Summit.

Last week, CCLA published: “Take back the streets”: Repression and criminalization of protest around the world. We look forward to a robust discussion of the issues facing protest and dissent.

Edited Logo with text

Click here to buy tickets.

Click here to buy tickets.

Civil liberties and protest in post-G20 Toronto

Aki Studio Theatre @ Daniels Spectrum – 585 Dundas Street East.

Tuesday October 22nd: Show @ 8pm  panel @ 9:30pm.

@PraxisTheatre will be livetweeting the discussion on Twitter via #G20Romp

Moderated by: 

Praxis Theatre Artistic Director Michael Wheeler


Abby Deshman – CCLA: Director, Public Safety Program


Abby graduated from University of Toronto faculty of law in 2008 and has an LLM from New York University law school. She has been a program director with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for four years, and is currently the director of the public safety program. Her program area touches on all aspects of CCLA’s work on criminal justice, police powers, police accountability and privacy.

Leading up to the G20 she coordinated CCLA’s advocacy efforts on policing and protest, and during the meetings she led a team of independent observers monitoring police conduct. She interacts regularly with police forces across the country on issues of protest and policing and oversees the CCLA’s involvement in the struggle for post-G20 accountability.

On Tuesday, she will begin the day by heading up to OPP Police College to give a lecture to new Public Order Unit Commanders on protest rights.

Jan Borowy – Cavalluzzo

Jan BorowyJan Borowy’s practice areas include labour relations, human rights, pay equity and professional regulation. Jan brings to her practice a longstanding commitment to the promotion of workers’ rights and human rights. Her experience gives her an understanding of the importance of a clear strategy in union negotiations, campaigns, strikes, organizing and educational programs.

Jan is the former Research Co-ordinator at the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, where her work focused on a campaign for fair wages and working conditions for garment home-workers. She further developed her advocacy skills as the Worker’s Rights Community legal worker at Parkdale Community Legal Services. At law school, Jan developed an expertise in Aboriginal law and issues facing Aboriginal workers.

Jan’s experience within the firm has included close involvement in the representation of private sector and public sector workers before labour arbitrators, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Pay Equity Tribunal and the Ontario and Canadian Labour boards. Jan is a member of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers and the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.


Tommy Taylor – Writer/Performer: You Should Have Stayed Home

Tommy is a theatre artist, activist and NGO fundraiser living in Toronto. Recently Tommy was assistant director/video designer on The Belle of Winnipeg (Dora Winner), adaptor/director of Dear Everybody at the CanStage Festival of Ideas and Creation and director of Kayak at The SummerWorks Festival. He is a graduate of the Centre for Cultural Management (University of Waterloo/ CCCO), The Vancouver Film School and Humber College’s Community Arts Development Program.

Tommy was arrested (but never charged) and detained during the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto. He has since turned his account of the experience into You Should Have Stayed Home. The show is on a cross-Canada tour for Fall 2013, playing in Whitehorse, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

October 18, 2013, by

Tommy Taylor interviewed about You Should Have Stayed Home: A #G20Romp on The Rush

Click here to buy tickets.

Click here to buy tickets.

*50% of tickets for 2pm shows are reserved for Pay What You Can at the door.

Toronto, Ontario: Aki Theatre, 585 Dundas St. E. Phone: 416 531 1402:

Thu October 17, 2013 @ 8pm (Preview); Fri October 18, 2013 @ 8pm (Opening); Sat October 19, 2013 @ 2pm & 8pm; Sun October 20, 2013 @ 2pm;

Tue October 22, 2013 @ 8pm; Wed October 23, 2013 @ 8pm; Thu October 24, 2013 @ 8pm; Fri October 25, 2013 @ 8pm; Sat October 26, 2013 @ 2pm & 8pm

October 15, 2013, by

Praxis Theatre is thrilled to announce our online collaboration with The English Theatre at The National Arts Centre is now live @

SWS Logo

Click to see what is playing at the SpiderWebShow

SpiderWebShow is a theatrical space where Canada, the Internet and performance minds intersect.

It is Co-Created by Praxis Theatre Artistic Director @MichaelcWheeler and NAC English Theatre Associate Artistic Director @SarahgStanley, with Digital Dramaturgy and Design by creator @gfscott.

We have many goals with the show, but the first and most important one is to involve you.

Come check it out!

October 14, 2013, by

Culture Vulture’ David C. Jones joined the show in Vancouver and talked to Tommy Taylor about the experience.

Hey Toronto,

Read an interview with J. Kelly Nestruck and Director Michael Wheeler

Click to read J. Kelly Nestruck’s interview with Director Michael Wheeler

We want you to be in our play. Every performance of You Should Have Stayed Home requires a cast to join Tommy Taylor onstage for 12 minutes when the narrative arrives at The Eastern Avenue Detention Centre.

We have done this scene in many ways with over 150 participants total in Toronto (SummerWorks 2011), Whitehorse  and Vancouver. The number of participants has varied from 15 – 40 over the course of these three runs. The scene always works, but emphasizes different elements depending on who and how many people participate on a given day.

We have had old cages, young young cages, mostly female, mostly male, sometimes packed, sometimes with enough room for each participant to sculpt their positions more precisely.

Each show happens with the people from the community it performs in who have chosen to participate on a given day. It is the social justice-influenced performative chaos theory that keeps our one-man show distinctly different and alive every night. We want you to join it.

How to participate in the show:

Click to read Glenn Sumi's interview with Playwright/Performer Tommy Taylor

Click to read Glenn Sumi’s interview with Playwright/Performer Tommy Taylor

To join the production, send an email to

Let us know when you are available and would like to be part of the show. Do one show or do every show. People who do more than one show get a ticket to the show. People who do more than five get two tickets. The show runs from Oct 17-26.

Daily Rehearsals: Every time there is a show there is a ‘detainee’ rehearsal one hour before – 1pm for 2pm performances and 7pm for 8pm performances. At these rehearsals we’ll walk you through the 6 things you have to do – no acting experience required. Basically you have to be yourself if you had been swept up in a mass arrest: stand, sit, yell for water and play a volleyball type game. We have done this 25 times now. There is a safe, clear, fun system in place.

Want to see the show first? All detainee performers are welcome/encouraged to attend our dress rehearsal at The Aki Theatre on Wednesday October 16 from 7pm – 10pm. You can see the production and also learn what you have to do all in one 3-hour session.

Why participate? Every person who performs in the play is another voice that has stood up for basic Charter Rights that are in jeopardy in Canada. We think this matters, and hope you will too.

Click to read the review of You Should Have Stayed Home by Colin Thomas

Click to read the review of You Should Have Stayed Home by Colin Thomas

September 24, 2013, by


and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max
and he sailed off through night and day

and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are.

And when he came to the place where the wild things are
they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth
and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws

till Max said “BE STILL!”
and tamed with the magic trick

of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once
and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all

and made him king of all wild things.

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

“Now stop!” Max said and sent the wild things off to bed without their supper.

And Max the king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.

~ Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak




LookBackinAnger2FeverGraph Theatre Company
Presents a variation of

John Osborne’s
Look Back in Anger

A physical and auditory deconstruction of John Osborne’s classic text 

Continues this week – EXTENDED BY 1 DAY!
Wednesday, September 25th – Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm,  Sunday at 2pm
1093 Queen St. West
Tickets: $20 regular $15 arts worker/student/senior plus applicable service charges
Tickets can be purchased by calling 416.277.5075
or by visiting