Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
July 5, 2013, by

Please don’t start a theatre company – #TentTalk

by Aislinn Rose

2011 #TentTalk hosted by Gideon Arthurs.

2011 #TentTalk hosted by Gideon Arthurs.

Today I will be hosting a Tent Talk for the Toronto Fringe Festival called “Please don’t start a theatre company“, inspired by issues and ideas raised in the article of the same name by Rebecca Novick.

The panel is also informed by my work, examining new creation models with Arts Action Research in their program Theatres Leading Change, currently being administered by Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.

We’re going to examine this issue from as many perspectives as possible, using Novick’s article as the jumping off point. We’ll look at the challenges faced by artists entering a sector that has experienced substantial growth over the years, while increases to funding in that sector have stalled. Does it make sense for new artists to try to squeeze themselves into old models? Is there a better way for our small companies to focus more of their energies on the work of creation? Novick asks: “what can we build instead?”.

Essentially the goal is to arm artists with as much information as possible and let them make their own informed decisions.

So join us at the Fringe Tent (behind Honest Ed’s) at 5pm. The entire series of Tent Talks is being discussed on twitter via the hashtag #TentTalk, so if you can’t make it but want to ask a question, send it that way and we’ll try to answer as best as we can.

  • Check out the original “Please don’t start a theater company” in advance.
  • You may also be interested in Jane Marsland’s recent publication on Shared Platforms for the Metcalf Foundation. Jane is one of the foundation’s Innovation Fellows, as well as a consultant for Arts Action Research, participating in Theatres Leading Change.


Beatriz Pizano 2Beatriz Pizano is the founder and artistic director of Aluna Theatre: a company that creates, develops, produces and presents artistically innovative and culturally diverse performance work, with a focus on Latin Canadian and women artists. Beatriz has established herself as a writer/director with a distinctive voice that combines her roots with her experiences as a Canadian immigrant. She has worked extensively as a performer, writer, dramaturge and director.  Her trilogy about women and war that she wrote and directed (For Sale, Madre and La Comunión) received a total of 4 Dora awards and 13 nominations, including 3 for Outstanding New PlayRecently, reviewer Paula Citron wrote: “Colombian-born Beatriz Pizano is one of Canada’s important Latin-Canadian writer/directors”. Beatriz has also received a number of awards such as the prestigious John Hirsch Prize for Direction from the Canada Council for the arts, and a Chalmers’s Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council.  In 2012 her first short play for young audiences, The Suitcase, was included as a curriculum insert for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.

Julie Tepperman HeadshotJulie Tepperman is an actor, playwright, educator and co-artistic director of Convergence Theatre (with Aaron Willis), creators of the hit plays AutoShow, The Gladstone Variations and YICHUD (Seclusion).  They just closed the Canadian premiere production of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play.  Recent acting:  Mary 2 in Passion Play (Convergence, Outside the March, Sheep No Wool), Mr. Marmalade (OTM); Out The Window (The Theatre Centre); YICHUD (Seclusion) (Convergence/TPM); two seasons at The Stratford Festival.  Playwriting:  YICHUD (Seclusion) (published by Playwrights Canada Press); I Grow Old (as part of The Gladstone Variations – Dora nomination); ROSY (as part of AutoShow); a re-imagining of Strindberg’s The Father (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre).  Julie is part of the core producing team of Toronto’s Wrecking Ball and is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School.

Alex Addy JohnsonAlex Johnson is a one-time actor and two-time director turned producer and arts administrator. She is co-founder and Project Director of The Playwright Project, and currently working as Operations Manager for The Downstage, a brand new performance space (with a bar!) on The Danforth. She has worked as Programs and Outreach Assistant at the Koffler Centre of the Arts, and in literary programming for Luminato. She is co-founder of Written on Water Theatre and recipient of the Women’s Auxiliary Performance Award from the University of Windsor.

daiva headshotDaiva Zalnieriunas has worked as an actor, creator, stage manager, teacher and producer. She studied acting at the University of Windsor. Upon graduating, she formed a theatre collective with some classmates called Written On Water theatre (WOW). She is the co-founder of the Playwright Project (formerly known as the Tennessee Project). Favourite roles include: Olivia in Twelfth Night; or What you Will, Angie/Detective/Four in EDGE (WOW), Madge Owens in Picnic, Ellie Dunn in Heartbreak House, Brooke Ashton in Noises Off (University Players). Film/Television: Eva Pearce (Murdoch Mysteries), Elanor (Paradise Falls), Tuesday (Tuesday/TIFF Short Selection), Saffron (Compulsion), and Delilah (National Geographic’s Faces of the Bible). Currently, she is working on an upcoming interactive theatre production with WOW, and will be enrolled in the SITI Company’s conservatory this fall in New York.

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