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

Date: 2014 May

May 29, 2014, by
1 comment


two kinds of hell by Charles Bukowski

I sat in the same bar for 7 years, from 5 a.m.
(the day bartender let me in 2 hours early)
to 2 a.m.

sometimes I didn’t even remember going back
to my room

it were as if I were sitting on the barstool

I had no money but the drinks kept
to them I wasn’t the bar clown
but the bar fool
but at times a fool will find a greater
fool to
admire him,
it was a crowded

actually, I had a viewpoint: I was waiting for
something extraordinary to

but as the years wasted on
nothing ever did unless I
caused it:

broken bar mirrors, a fight with a 7 foot
giant, a dalliance with a lesbian, many things
like the ability to call a spade a spade and to
settle arguments that I did not
begin and etc. and etc. and etc.

one day I just upped and left the

like that

and I began to drink alone and I found the company
quite all right

then, as if the gods were bored with my peace at
heart, knocks began upon my door: ladies
the gods had sent the ladies to the

and the ladies arrived one at a time and when it ended with
the gods immediately–without allowing me any respite–sent

and each began as a flash of miracle–even the bed–and the
good ended up

my fault, of course, yes, that’s what they told

but I remembered the 7 years in the bar, I hardly ever bedded
down with anybody

the gods just won’t let a man drink alone, they are jealous of
his simple strength and salvation, they will send the lady
knocking upon that door
I remember all those cheap hotels, it were as if the women
were one: the delicate little rap on the wood and then:
“oh, I heard you playing that music on your radio…we’re
neighbors, I’m down at 603 but I’ve never even seen you in
the hall…”

“come on in…”

and there go your balls and your sanctity, Men’s Liberation,
they say, is not needed
and then you remember the bar
when you walked up behind the 7 foot giant and knocked his
cowboy hat off his head, yelling:
“I’ll bet you sucked your mother’s nipples until you were
12 years old!”

somebody in the bar saying: “hey, sir, forget it, he’s a mental
case, he’s an asshole, he doesn’t know what he is

“I know EXACTLY what I am saying and I’ll say it again:
I’ll bet you sucked…”

he won but you didn’t die, not at all the way you died when the
gods arranged to get all those ladies knocking and you went for
the first flash of miracle

the other fight was more fair: he was slow, stupid and even a
little bit frightened and it went well for quite a good while,
just like with the ladies those gods

the difference being, I thought I had a chance with the


Fallen Angel Still


BUTT KAPINSKI at the Toronto Festival of Clowns

created and performed by Deanna Fleysher
FRI, May 30 @ 8PM
SAT, May 31 @ 6PM
SUN, June 1 @ 4:30PM
at the Pia Bouman School, 6 Noble Street

Tickets hereThe director of international hit Red Bastard comes back swinging with BUTT KAPINSKI. Think it’s a solo show? Think again. Private eye Butt Kapinski invites you to co-star in a film noir fantasy. This funny, filthy, fully-interactive ride is riddled with sex, sin, shadows and subterfuge. Let’s kick reality to the curb and play in a world of dark dreams and bad similes.Winner: Most Orgasmic Production and Best of Fest (Hollywood Fringe 2013), Volunteers Choice Award and Cultch Award (Vancouver Fringe 2013), Official Selection: Dallas Solo Fest 2014, UNO Festival 2013 and Out Of Bounds Festival 2012. ADULTS ONLY!

Check out the trailer here.
For more information visit the show’s website here.

“Super funny and astonishingly inventive. Like watching a trapeze artist soar without a net…”
~ Artsbeat LA

May 22, 2014, by
1 comment


Since 1995, The Harold Awards have come to represent the independent and hard-working spirit of Toronto’s vibrant theatre community. To be Harolded is an honour of the highest subversive order. Awards are bestowed from one individual to the next in recognition of an outstanding and often under-recognized dedication on or off the stage.

2013 House of Paul Bettis Haroldee, Maria Popoff remembers the man behind the mayhem:

If Harold were alive today he would be 108 years old … and no doubt he would still be heckling. His comments could be childish, adolescent, even crass, but they were never uttered as angry interruptions.

His participation was active, loud – you had your chance, it’s my turn now Harold was never passive. He said things that some people in the audience might have wanted to say but would never dare to say.

His presence always made for a lively evening of theatre. The boundary between him and the stage didn’t exist. His effort to pierce the theatrical bubble didn’t degrade the quality of the actors work…as long as they knew beforehand that Harold was in the house.

And, night after night, Harold kept coming back to the theatre, seeing the same show more than once. He was a loyal supporter and there was never a question about his passion or dedication to the theatre.

I am told that “Audience Engagement” is the term used these days to describe the desire to want theatre attendees to participate in the experience, making it active and not passive.

Harold was certainly ahead of his time.

NEW THIS YEAR – in recognition of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Harold Awards, the event producers, in their infinite wisdom, will allow The People to put forward a name to be Harolded. The winner will be inducted into the hallowed halls of House Luther Hansraj!



Monday May 26
Doors at 7pm, event at 7:30pm
Appetizer buffet included with ticket, Cash bar
The Cadillac Lounge
1296 Queen St W, Toronto,


May 2, 2014, by


Major Tom gets all the airtime, but there’s a whole lot more going on backstage in Houston. Meet some of the amazing tech crew on Faster than Night.


Dynamixyz Performer specialist Solène Morvan tests custom iPhone head-motion-tracking developed by SIRT Centre


Maziar Ghaderi (Live VFX Switcher, Visual Media Manager, and new OCAD master of design)


Ryan Webber (Interactive AV Design, System Integration, Isadora Pro User)


LaLaine Ulit-Destajo is the show’s Sound Operator, but also programmed two custom Twitter API interfaces in Processing


Heather Gilroy is our Assistant Interactive Writer and Assistant Live Story Editor, but does not register on camera (that’s her in the fifth row)

May 1, 2014, by

The delightful audience at our BroadFish presentation!

The delightful audience at our BroadFish presentation!

by Melissa D’Agostino

Hello lovely folks!

Last Saturday we presented our work-in-progress, BroadFish, to a wonderfully warm house at the Studio Theatre at Harbourfront Centre as part of #HatchTO. It was a wonderful evening of performing this theatrical piece in its current incarnation, and receiving some insightful and interesting feedback from the audience. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it all went down!

Making theatre is a fascinating process. When my team and I went into the theatre Monday morning, we had very little in the way of a clear script, or a solid idea of what BroadFish is or isn’t. We asked a lot of questions. We answered some, and left others for another time, the next phase of development.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to work with Hatch on this project. For the first few days of the week, I was in my usual headspace: we have to make a show. We have to have answers to all of our questions. We have to be perfect.

The set coming together. The light sabre photo did not make it into our final presentation, sadly. :)

The set coming together. The light sabre photo did not make it into our final presentation, sadly. 🙂

This attitude, of course, did not serve the true exploration of the piece. And so, luckily, through the encouragement and pragmatism of my wonderful creative team, and everyone at Harbourfront Centre, I was able to let go of that by Wednesday, and just dive into the unknown. Let things be imperfect. And let beautiful gifts emerge from the ‘not knowing’.

Over the past few days I’ve realized what a metaphor this is for life, and more specifically, for weddings.

A lot of pressure gets put on that one day. The big day. The Wedding Day. This makes sense, since a wedding can often involve large groups of people, big sums of money, and huge emotions. A lot seems to be at stake.

All that said, the times that my fiancé and I, or my family and I have been able to just let go of our expectations and give ourselves permission to not know and not be perfect have been some of the most satisfying moments in this process.

Several weeks ago I wrote about redefining Father/Daughter wedding rituals with my Dad  who has Multiple Sclerosis.

Fabulous choreography, Monica Dottor, teaching me the tango that opened the show.

Fabulous choreography, Monica Dottor, teaching me the tango that opened the show.

As it turns out, what happened between my Dad and I after that post became the closing monologue and an integral part of our presentation of BroadFish. And my Father was in the audience on Saturday, April 19th, and so, got to hear me talk about it. Which meant the world to me.

To close this chapter of #HatchTO, and as we move forward into the next stages of #BroadFish, I include the final part of that speech here for you. Thank-you for following our journey. Your comments, likes, retweets, insights and perspectives helped the piece so much. And I am bolstered and inspired by your courage, honesty and humour.

My Dad, my big Sister and wee me on Christmas Morning circa 1982.

My Dad, my big Sister and wee me on Christmas Morning circa 1982.

Here’s what happened between me and my Father:

“I went to my parents’ house a few weeks ago to choose a song with him, and practice dancing. I was really nervous about it. I always feel very protective of my Dad and his sensitivity. I want him to know it’s okay to feel so much around me. Because I’m feeling so much too.

We listened to some songs, and settled on this Johnny Cash cover of In My Life by the Beatles (that song plays). We danced a bit in the kitchen, and it seemed to all go okay. But, if I’m being honest, he didn’t seem thrilled.

I debated whether or not to mention it. I’m always worried about making other people happy. An eternal pleaser. Was this a time to push?

I decided yes, I should make sure this is right for him. I asked him if he really liked this song? Is he happy with this for our moment?

He said yes. But I knew he wasn’t.

So we just sat there for about a minute. In silence. Together. We just let our desires float up to the surface and hover.

And then he, very quietly, said: “I guess we can’t do a tango, eh?”

And every fear bubbled up inside of me. What if we try this and he can’t? How much will that hurt and disappoint him? How much will that hurt and disappoint me? Can we actually face this situation with open hearts and take the risk that this might not work? And risk the pain that comes with that?

I decided, if he was brave enough to suggest it, I was brave enough to endure any pain that came from a discovery that we could not tango.

So we chose a song, and we got up and we started dancing.

And by the universe and everything within it, my sweet Dad who walks with a cane, and has trouble moving his left leg started to lead me in a beautiful tango. And his face – his face lit up like I haven’t seen it light up in so long. It was surprising and joyous and full of love.

And we danced. And our hearts soared.

And even if by the time the wedding gets here, something changes in his body, and we can never dance like that again: we will always have that cloudy Thursday afternoon in my parents’ kitchen when our hearts soared and our feet moved, and the only thing that mattered was that moment.”

See you soon, friends. Keep in touch via @MelissaDags and