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

Category: Free Fall ’12

March 30, 2012, by

Rough House Theatre's A Last Resort plays Friday and Saturday at 8PM

Friday and Saturday mark the final two days of Free Fall ’12 presented by The Theatre Centre in association with The Drake Hotel. Free Fall is a biennial national performance festival featuring new and boundary-testing works by emerging and established artists from across Canada co-curated by Theatre Centre AD Franco Boni and Praxis AD Michael Wheeler.

Click here to read Jon Kaplan’s Preview of Free Fall ’12 in NOW.

Invisible Toronto Sat Mar 31 @ 1PM

Mohawk/Tuscarora theatre artist Falen Johnson looks at the Queen and Ossington area from an Indigenous perspective. What was here before here was here? Who was here? And what’s still here? Come for a walk and explore the visibility/invisibility of the Indigenous history of the city of Toronto. You may be surprised where your feet land.

A Last Resort Fri Mar 30 and Sat Mar 31 @ 8PM

In 2004, Candelario Andrade left his home in Mexico and set off in search of a new life. In 2000, Camille Gingras returned to Canada as a last resort. A multimedia performance in English and Spanish, A Last Resort intimately explores the lengths two people will go for that perfect life just beyond the horizon.

Route #501 Revisited (v2 Public Streetcar) Sat Mar 31 @ 1PM

A tour of Queen Street, aboard a streetcar, conducted entirely via Twitter by @goldsbie via the hashtag #route501. As quiet and awkward as any TTC journey, yet immeasurably more fun. A rumble between the private and public spheres, as they uncomfortably rub up against each other and compete for your attention.

March 24, 2012, by

Radix Theatre's Babylonia - Click the image to read the full post on the Theatre Centre Blog

by Aislinn Rose

Free Fall ’12 starts Saturday March 24… have you uploaded your memories yet?

Last month I sat on a Social Media Week panel to talk about the online component I had created for Liza Balkan’s Out The Window, part of Free Fall ’12. Joining me on that panel was Radix Theatre’s Andrew Templeton from Vancouver, to talk about the company’s workshop presentation of Babylonia. From the moment he played the trailer I was enthralled…

Click the image above to read the full post.

March 19, 2012, by

Chicago/Toronto Performance Summit: Cultural Ecosystems

Presented by The Theatre Centre in partnership with The Drake Hotel and The City of Toronto

March 24-26, 2012 as part of FREE FALL ‘12

An exchange that brings together cultural players from two cities for a sharing of ideas, trends and experiences. Because of its proximity, its vibrant independent performing arts scene and its architectural and historical connection to Toronto, Chicago is often referred to as a ‘sister city’ to Toronto.

Building on the success of the first city-to-city exchange with curators and programmers from Dublin at FreeFall ’10, The Toronto/Chicago Summit at Free Fall ‘12 will cultivate a meaningful connection between Chicago presenters and Canadian programmers and artists, and provide a platform for discussing concerns, climate, interests and curiosities that drive performance creators and presenters in both cities.

The Summit Schedule

March 24 – Opening:

Welcome Potluck @The Drake Lab, 4pm – 6pm
This is a free public event.

The Toronto community welcomes our guests with a potluck dinner on their first night in the city. Anyone is welcome – bring a dessert and join the meal and the conversation.

March 25 – Day Two:

Artist Breakfast @The Drake Underground, 10.30am

A Free Fall tradition, the Artists Breakfast provides an opportunity for guests to meet the festival’s artists. This event is also a fundraising event for The Theatre Centre. Your $50 tickets gets you exclusive access to festival artists, the Keynote Address at 12.00pm and a tax receipt for your donation. Please contact 416-534-9261 or email to purchase tickets and for more details.

Keynote Address @ The Drake Underground, noon
This is a free public event.

“The Global Ocean is a single interconnected system that contains 99% of the living space on the planet.”

Award-winning author Alanna Mitchell will talk about the findings of her latest book, Sea Sick: the global ocean in crisis. She travelled around the world over the course of two and a half years doing field research with scientists, piecing together the astonishing tale of humanity’s impact on the global ocean.

The bottom line: humans are setting the table for a mass extinction of life on the planet, and we have a narrow window to pull back from the brink. Alanna’s talk will set the framework for a follow-up discussion about cultural ecosystems, as they exist now and what we imagine them to be in the future.

Panel Discussion with Chris Jones and J. Kelly Nestruck, @The Great Hall Studio 3, 2pm
This is a free public event.

Chris Jones, theatre critic at The Chicago Tribune and The Globe & Mail’s theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck discuss the independent theatre/performance ecology in their respective cities.

MARCH 26 – Day Three:

Toronto is a city of neighbourhoods. Our Chicago guests will go on a special artist tour of these communities and their cultural landmarks. Tweet us @TheatreCentre if you would like us to visit you, or follow #gettoknowTO.

Watch the trailer for Free Fall ’12

We welcome these prominent cultural producers and presenters from Chicago at The Chicago/Toronto Summit:

Erica Mott – Education and Community Programs Director, Links Hall

Anthony Moseley – Executive Artistic Director, Collaboraction

Allison Peters Quinn – Director of Exhibitions, Hyde Park Art Centre

Will Rogers – Associate Producer, Victory Gardens Theatre

Abigail Satinsky – Director of Programming, threewalls

Tricia Van Eck – Artistic Director, 6018 North

March 10, 2012, by

A snapshot of The Brain
– click the image to go straight to the WebBrain version of the project

by Aislinn Rose

Out The Window opens one week from today.

I started working on Liza Balkan’s Out The Window in 2010 when I was invited by Chris Abraham to join a development and workshop phase with Crow’s Theatre. I was in the very early stages of examining my own project that involved court transcripts, interviews and verbatim text, so it was an ideal project for me to observe.

I had no idea at the time that I would go on to work with Liza over the next couple of years, providing dramaturgical support at first, and then creating my most complicated online project next: The Brain.

Out The Window chronicles the years Liza spent making her way through the Canadian justice system after witnessing the death of Otto Vass after an altercation with the police in 2000. The piece also examines the years after the 2006 inquest, during which Liza has conducted countless interviews with lawyers, activists, police, and members of the community.

Bankers boxes at Liza's window - click to enlarge

Throughout those years, Liza has accumulated several bankers boxes, hundreds of computer files, and DVDs, CDs and mini DV cassettes filled with research, testimonies, and the work created by designers, actors and other artists. As I worked with Liza, it became apparent to me that this vast amount of content needed to be archived somehow, and preferably in a way that would make it accessible to the public. Enter: The Brain.

As Artistic Producer of Praxis Theatre, I have long been interested in experimenting with methods of interacting with potential audience members in the lead-up to a show, and continuing the conversations sparked by the show’s content after the show has ended.

For Out The Window I proposed the creation of an “online brain” that would allow me to try to capture Liza’s knowledge, along with the history of the project, in an interactive tool that would provide the public with an opportunity to navigate the immense amount of information according to their own interests.

Using “PersonalBrain” mind mapping software (and its online counterpart WebBrain), I have created four main sub-sections that branch off into a myriad of different sibling and child “thoughts”. Some thoughts contain embedded photos and PDFs, while others contain links to articles and documents. The Brain is a work-in-progress with a huge amount of information still to come. For an overall flavour of what’s currently available, right-click on the background of The Brain and select Wander mode. Click anywhere on the screen to set it back to normal.

I have also created an online home for the project at, where you can read about the show, the artists involved, and take a look at an introductory post about The Brain that provides some how-to advice on navigation.

One of the other things we’ve been exploring with our work at Praxis Theatre, is how our online activities can directly impact the development of our work. I am very excited to see how the creation of The Brain has had an impact on Out The Window. With the existence of our living archive, we’ve been able to make peace with the elimination of certain sections of text or design work, knowing that these elements would go on to have a life online.

The Brain has also found its way into the design of the show itself, which may mean that I’ll actually have to add The Brain to the Creative Iterations section of The Brain.

Click here for more information on Out The Window at the Theatre Centre opening March 17th at 7pm, and check out the brain before or after the show to learn more.

February 10, 2012, by
1 comment

Praxis Theatre is involved in two events as part of Social Media Week next week, both of which address the intersection of performance and online technologies.

Although many of these events are now “sold out” for online pre-registration, there is a waiting list available at the venues, half an hour before each event begins that you can get on in person. Because all SMW events are free, it is anticipated that most events will have some people that don’t show up for their free pre-reserved spots.

Oh yeah. Both of these Social Media Week Toronto events are free.

The Online Brain created by Aislinn Rose is part of Liza Balkan's Out The Window at The Theatre Centre. The Line up for Free Fall '12 will be announced at The Drake Hotel on Monday February 13th.

What are the ways that online technologies can be used in conjunction with performance? How are digital technologies expanding the potential of art forms that have initially been analog based?

Free Fall Festival Co-Curator Michael Wheeler moderates multi-platform artists involved in The Theatre Centre’s FreeFall ’12 – ‘Performance Without A Net’. Panelists will demonstrate, discuss, and debate their mid-process methods and artistic philosophies in this interactive event.

From online “brains” that supplement the material an audience engages with live, to interactive performance that encourages audiences to upload their consciousness online, to cross-city tours that keep a mobile audience connected through social media tools, the parameters and potential of storytelling has expanded in exciting and unexpected ways.

Follow along or participate via #SMWFreeFall.


Jonathan Goldsbie on the use of Twitter in Route 510 Revisited
Aislinn Rose on an Online Brain that complements Liza Balkan’s Out The Window
Andrew Templeton on online platforms and narratives intersecting with Radix Theatre’s Babylonia.

Melissa Hood prepares her notes before a workshop presentation of Open Source Theatre Project

Yes, that’s right, it’s the romantic Valentine’s Day activity you’ve been looking for. Set the flowers and chocolates aside and come talk internet, community and theatre.

Praxis Theatre and the Toronto Fringe will co-host a case-study analysis of the work that Praxis makes in tandem with online community building activities, and how that community in turn helps build the work.

A presentation lead by the editors of and community members, this conversation aims to not only explore the notion of social media as audience development tool, but also performance development. A conversation for industry professionals, students, producers, media, PR professionals, and industry enthusiasts.

Follow along or participate via #SMWPraxis.