Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
April 26, 2010, by
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Variation #15: Lisa Marie DiLiberto


“If you look about, you will see that only operations that are well established, high-turnover, standardized or heavily subsidized can afford, commonly, to carry the costs of new construction.  Chain stores, chain restaurants and banks go into new construction. But neighbourhood bars, foreign restaurants and pawn shops go into older buildings.  Supermarkets and shoe stores often go into new buildings; good bookstores and antique dealers seldom do.  Well-subsidized opera and art museums often go into new buildings.  but the unformalized feeders of the arts – studios, galleries, stores for musical instruments and arts supplies, backrooms where the low earning power of a seat and a table can absorb uneconomic discussions – these go into old buildings.  Perhaps more significant, hundreds of ordinary enterprises, necessary to the safety and public life of streets and neighbourhoods and appreciated for their convenience and personal quality, can make out successfully in old buildings, but are inexorably slain by the high overhead of new construction.

As for really new ideas of any kind – no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be – there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction.  Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”






Lisa Marie DiLibereto stars in The Tale of a Town, produced by FIXT POINT in association with Theatre Passe Muraille. The show has its own blog with more info here.

The Tale of a Town runs May 1st -16th and BEGINS AT: Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue and ENDS AT: the SCAR MFC Theatre, 609 Queen Street West, Toronto.

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  1. text source: Jane Jacobs, The Life and Death of Great American Cities