Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.

Date: 2009 November

November 30, 2009, by
1 comment

Billboard tax

A new poll conducted by Ekos Research demonstrates an overwhelming majority of Torontonians support the Billboard Tax.

The measure was unanimously approved by the City of Toronto’s planning committee and will be put to City Council today. 70% support the tax, while 14% are opposed. The poll also concluded that Torontonians would be far less likely to support the measure if the tax revenue was not tied directly to arts.

City councillors that vote against this measure will now find themselves in the awkward position of rejecting the unanimous advice of the city’s own experts and the vast majority of Torontonians.

Certainly the issue has become a lightening rod citizens are mobilizing around: a short backgrounder  from last Thursday’s NOW Magazine has become the third most commented piece in the history of the website in just 4 days. Will Sign wars become the all-time most commented NOW article?

Poll based on 709 interviews with Torontonians from a broader survey of 1,202 GTA residents using EKOS’ innovative Probit telephone-online panel conducted between November 23rd and 29th, 2009. The results of the poll are valid within +/-3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

November 27, 2009, by

Liane Divisadero

Liane Balaban poses with her mother at the après cocktail of My Name Was Anna. After sharing the silver screen with the likes of Dustin Hoffman and Hugh Dancy, Balaban returned to TO to play Claire in Necessary Angel’s workshop presentation of Michael Ondaatje’s novel Divisadero at Theatre Passe Muraille.

November 26, 2009, by


Harbourfront Centre and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre invite you to participate in a FREE, three-day workshop with Glasgow-based artist Adrian Howells, delving into the process and considerations related to autobiographical, confessional and intimate performance.

Howells has been a performance artist for the past 20 years. He creates work that promotes intimacy and genuine exchange with the audience in one-to-one, autobiographical and confessional contexts, in a range of non-traditional performance spaces. He has developed work investigating sexuality, social taboo and social conventions in public space and private situations. Howells is a recognized artists and performance professor at the University of Glasgow, with extensive experience in workshop facilitation and lecturing for high school and university students, professional artists and community groups.

HATCHLab is a peer-to-peer learning opportunity presented as part of our HATCH: emerging performance projects and World Stage programmes. The mandate of HATCHLab is to link the local performance community with international peers and practices. Past HATCHLabs have been facilitated by New York’s The TEAM (Theatre of the Emerging American Moment), Australia’s Back to Back Theatre and UK’s Stan’s Cafe.

Space is limited. If you are interested in taking part contact: for more information.

November 24, 2009, by

LetsDoThis email‘s tax on billboards to fund art is finally coming to a vote at City Council. This proposed new sign by-law may offer the single greatest opportunity to increase municipal arts funding in the next decade.

The premise of the campaign is that billboard advertising, unlike all other forms of advertising, provides no content to the public in exchange for taking up public space (editorial to advertising ratios for TV is 75/25, for print is usually 50/50 but for billboards is 0 to 100).

The sign by-law going before city council on November 30/December 1 recommends regulating billboards in Toronto, removing illegal billboards as well as taxing and properly regulating the remainder.

The tax will help to create ‘editorial’ by increasing the city’s arts funding and ensuring greater public access to art in exchange for use of public space.

“Advertising is increasingly infringing on our public spaces, and the privilege of leveraging public space for commercial ends should come with a responsibility to keep them healthy. The billboard tax is a fair and just means for private advertisers to take responsibility for their impact on the city.”

  1. Sign the petition: Click here.
  2. Call and write your councillor: Click here for info and key asks.
  3. Show your support at City Hall on Nov 30th/Dec 1st: RSVP here.
  4. Spread the word: Join the facebook group here.

Watch below: takes over Toronto City Hall! Town Hall – 1st Cut from on Vimeo.

November 23, 2009, by

tune up
Photo by
coldpants licensed under Creative Commons.

It’s been almost a 1/2 year since we made big changes at with a new format that blended some of our best content from our blogspot blog with our company website. Inspired by a new commitment to integrate our creative process with our web presence, our goal has been to continue to be hub for discussion and analysis of independent theatre while increasing awareness of Praxis Theatre and the original theatrical works we are creating.

There has been mostly positive feedback about this switch, especially in terms of the high functionality of the new website and the potential inherent in an “open source” creative model. This tune-up addresses some consistent critiques from a number of readers regarding readability and organization and is reflected in three changes:

  1. A single sidebar column that runs down the right margin of the site amalgamates the two smaller columns that preceded it. The text size of these links have been increased.
  2. Hyperlinks are now underlined in red. If you pass the cursor over a hyperlink, the text will also change to be underlined in red.
  3. The Upcoming Shows page will contain the “open source” elements of our Section 98 creative process. This page will contain the “source code” of our production: information, discussions, examples, scripts and research we are engaged in. This page will be maintained by Aislinn Rose, Section 98 Open Source Project Leader.

Thanks for participating. We hope you continue to use this is site as a resource and a place for dialogue about indie theatre in Toronto and around the world.

Michael Wheeler

November 20, 2009, by

FUSE cover cropped

Fuse Magazine, one of Canada’s foremost periodicals on art and culture, is expanding editorial coverage to include more reviews on books, film and video, and theatre. The magazine is recruiting three section editors who specialize in one of these areas for two year terms.

Each section editor will be responsible for floating potential reviews to the editor and editing three short reviews per issue for their section. Editors should be in touch with a network of writers and are required to attend bi-monthly editorial meetings to discuss ideas, themes, progress, etc.

Editors should be based in Toronto and able to work from home. A modest per issue honorarium is available for each position. Interested applicants should submit their resume, a cover letter describing editing experience and examples of review topics, along with a writing sample by December 1, 2009.

Please submit materials to:

November 18, 2009, by
1 comment

Photo by Albert Lee

If you’ve ever applied to The Toronto Fringe before, you probably recall how Fringe applications are due in January with a draw sometime later in January at The Tranzac….


To apply to the Toronto Fringe 2010 lottery, log on to and find the information under ‘For Artists’. Artists may apply online or download a hard-copy application form and drop it of by end of the business day.

Participating companies are provided with a venue, production & publicity support, and 100% of the ticket revenue generated by their show. The Festival will run from June 30 –July 11, 2010.

For more info:, 416-966-1062.

November 16, 2009, by


“To forget is to remember without pain.”


Arguably the most horrifying piece of music you will ever hear: Penderecki’s “Threnody”. The first few unmistakable seconds make an appearance in TALKING MASKS:

(Moving) Image:

Fussing over baby Oedipus — from Pasolini’s take on the myth:




Adam Seelig’s new play, TALKING MASKS — with Richard Harte, Jane Miller, Cathy Murphy and Andrew Moodie — runs to Nov 28 at the Walmer Centre Theatre.

Seelig is the artistic director of One Little Goat Theatre Company.


November 13, 2009, by

A3 Directors

Left to right - Josette Bushell-Mingo, Ross Manson, and Liesl Tommy are each involved in separate presentations in Toronto this weekend.

Trilogy directors invade Toronto this weekend

Through sheer coincidence, all three directors of The Africa Trilogy are mixing it up in the T-dot this week:

  • Josette Bushell-Mingo, director, Glo

After directing the RSC/NAC original production to widespread critical acclaim, Bushell-Mingo has been mentoring directors working on Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad as part of Nightwood Theatre’s Directors Summit.

The public presentation of this work occurs November 15 at 3pm and 6:30pm, Dancemakers Studio Theatre.

  • Ross Manson, director, Shine Your Eye

Having toured Rwanda with Volcano’s Edinburgh Fringe-winning production of Goodness, Manson presents a retrospective of the experience at University of Toronto.

November 15th at 7pm, the George Ignatieff Theatre, U of T campus.

  • Liesl Tommy, director, Peggy Pickett Sees the Face of God

Fresh from the New York Times declaring her production of Eclipsed running at the Yale Repertory Theatre a “harrowing portrait of women fighting to retain their dignity and a sense of self-worth under extreme duress”, Tommy appears on two panels and teaches a Master Class also as part of Nightwood’s Directors Summit.

The Director’s Toolkit, Master Class: November 16 and 17, 10-1pm; The Agony and Ecstasy of Staging New Work, Panel: Monday November 16th @ 6:30pm; Staging Africa, Panel: Tuesday November 17th at 6:30pm.

For full details on price and location of Nightwood Theatre events visit their webpage.

November 11, 2009, by

Toronto Fringe Festival Executive Director Gideon Arthurs announces major changes to the Toronto Fringe at a press conference held on Monday November 9th.

Long story short:

The Randolph Centre for The Arts, which houses multiple theatrical spaces will now be a Fringe venue and the administrative and box office hub for The Fringe during the festival.

Up Bathurst Street:

The Fringe Club and social hub for the festival will no longer be the Tranzac. It moves to the much more massive area behind Honest Eds. It will have a heck of a big patio as well as food service and they’re going to use the famous lightbulb filled sign on Bloor to invite the public in to this new Fringe theatre corridor in dramatic fashion.

The big question:

Does this mean last call at the Toronto Fringe will no longer be 11pm? No promises on this front yet – but it appears possible as it is not adjacent to a residential area.  Even if you don’t drink, the fact that you have to go home or onto a sweaty dance floor at 10:45pm has plagued Toronto Fringe organizers and participants for years.