Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
June 3, 2011, by

3/4 events involve the internet

Image by Wellington Grey - Click to enlarge

by Michael Wheeler

Here are 3 internet/performance-related things I am up to. They’re all completely different and have me thinking about how different people – playwrights, young artists and audiences – can interact with the the internet and performance.

Also, I still like to direct plays and will talk about that from time-to-time too.


Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) has asked me to give a seminar on – wait for it – Social Media in the Arts.

Today, as part of ‘PLAYWRIGHTS: Getting Down to Business’, a day of professional development workshops for playwrights organized by PGC, we will discuss social media as it relates to the Canadian playwright. What advice would you give playwrights about how to use social media these days? Leave your advice in the comments before 3pm and maybe we will end up discussing it.


This summer I am leading a FREE program for youth at The Theatre Centre on – you guessed it – online tools and performance.Dates: Monday July 25 – Friday July 29 Time: 10pm -2pm Age: 15-19

This FREE program includes free LUNCHES and a TRANSIT subsidy in an exploration of what tools are available on online, what stories the participants are interested in telling, and how to tell them on the stage in new and exciting ways. Throughout the week, resident companies at The Theatre Centre will join the workshop giving participants a rare window into how cutting-edge artists are working with the newest technologies to create their work. Click here to sign up or learn more.


Work is ongoing with Theatre Smith Gilmour as they move ever closer to their North American premiere of the first ever Sino-Canadian co-production Lu Xun Blossoms at Luminato.

The latest post explores who Lu Xun was (Western audiences can understand him as having many parallels to Chekhov). Luminato has also launched their own Smartphone Ap to keep track of everything that is going on when the mega-festival hits town, which means you can now also buy tickets instantly via the small computer many of us keep in our pockets.

4 (the outlier)

This weekend I will be participating in Directors Lab North, which fosters a national and international exchange between a community of emerging, mid level and established career directors created by alumni of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York City.

My involvement is contributing to a panel that also includes Obsidian Theatre Artistic Director Philip Akin and Modern Times Artistic Director Soheil Parsa. We will NOT be discussing the internet. Mostly we will be talking about theatre, aesthetics and identity. Although Philip has been an early adopter of the The Blog, so you never know. Also I guess my aesthetic in some way involves the internet. Never mind.

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  1. Alison says:

    I think the number 1 piece of advice for playwrights regarding social media is “Stay the hell away from it and finish writing your damn play already.”

    Or maybe that’s just good advice for me.

  2. Okay – in terms of producing a product – that’s fair. But don’t you think the facts like that you are a well known blogger, and were once an Editor of Torontoist help you in terms of profile?

    I feel like you have a much greater chance of being A) Produced and B) Getting coverage – through opportunities you have created for yourself by self-publishing through social media. Maybe you have to start writing more at the Moonbeam Cafe in Kensington? They have no internet there and no one notices how long you stay.

  3. Michael Wheeler says:

    Thanks Chris. That was a great article. I will definitely bring it up in the seminar. Interesting point about people who text all day but do not have time to tweet. Also interesting that she found Facebook didn’t work for her and that was just fine. I think, surprise, it may be about finding the right mode of engagement for each individual.

  4. Hey Alison and Chris. Thanks for your comments. We talked about them both in the seminar.

    Playwrights are quite concerned about the internet eating up time. We actually finished by going to the site where you can download macfreedom – free software that shuts down your internet capabilities for a predetermined period of time. I thought this was a pretty funny note for a seminar on social media to end on – but at least no one can accuse me of not being dynamic.