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

Category: Praxis Theatre

September 3, 2013, by


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Praxis Theatre is thrilled to announce their upcoming presentations of You Should Have Stayed Home, the staged adaptation of Tommy Taylor’s viral Facebook note, How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto. The show is a one-man piece of storytelling in the tradition of Spalding Gray, as Taylor recounts 48 hours in his life as a citizen on the streets and eventually caged in the detention centre.


Part-way through the narrative, there is a scene that incorporates up to 25 participants that can be played by actors and non-actors when the action arrives at a cell in the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre.

In order to incorporate each community on every leg of the tour, Praxis is proud to be working with the support of the Canadian Civil Liberties AssociationCouncil of Canadians and Amnesty International Canada’s Community Groups, Action Circles and Youth Activism branches, who are putting calls out for participants in each of the cities we visit.

Participants only need to attend one or two short rehearsals and as many performances as can be accommodated by their schedules.

JOIN THE SHOW: Email for more information.

YSHSH-WEBPosterv2You Should Have Stayed Home is a play about Tommy Taylor’s experience over 48 hours at the 2010 G20 in Toronto. While trying to return home from his first ever protest as a law-abiding citizen at the “Free Speech Zone” at Queen’s Park, Taylor was swept up in a mass arrest, caged with 40 other people in a ten foot by twenty foot cage and denied drinking water until he passed out from dehydration.

Taylor’s Facebook note, How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 in Toronto went viral in 2010 and has since been translated into seven languages and appeared in twenty-one countries – a detailed, frightening and often funny account of the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Tommy’s story has been covered by national and international media, including a Gemini-nominated CBC documentary named after the production.

After winning the largest cash award at the 2011 SummerWorks Festival, and becoming one of the festival’s highest grossing shows, Praxis Theatre is about to embark on its largest project ever: a cross-Canada tour to Whitehorse, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa.


You Should Have Stayed Home Web Image



September 12 to 15, 2013


September 24 to October 5, 2013


October 16 to 26, 2013


October 30 to November 2, 2013


November 20 to 23, 2013

May 31, 2013, by
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Good news readers:

HATCH2014Praxis Theatre is guest curating the 10th anniversary HATCH Season in 2014. We are very excited about this partnership. The experience Praxis Theatre had at HATCH creating Section 98 in 2010 was integral to our development as a multi-platform performance creator.

HATCH is designed to incubate and foster invention and innovation in performance practice and over the past decade has become a vital laboratory for development within the local performance ecology. The opportunity to work and experiment with support and resources from Harbourfront is a significant one.

For a decade, HATCH has empowered many of Toronto artists to push the boundaries of contemporary performance including: Erin Shields, Anita Majumdar, Joan Kivanda, Brendan Healy, Hannah Moscovitch, Small Wooden Shoe, Trevor Schwellnus, Jordan Tannahill, Jess Dobkin, Philip McKee, UnSpun Theatre, Reena Katz, and Derek Kwan.

For HATCH 2014, we are particularly interested in projects that experiment with how social media can be used artistically in creation and performance. The deadline for applications is July 12, 2013.


Ame Henderson and Evan Webber in Dedicated to The Revolutions (HATCH 07)

We invite projects from emerging creators as well as established artists engaging in new collaborations or entering into new artistic territory. Performance proposals from artists working across all disciplines, including, but not limited to: dance, theatre, performance art, music, digital art, etc. are encouraged. Of specific interest are proposals that demonstrate how HATCH will benefit the development of the project and the artist.

In addition to providing mentorship over the course of a year, HATCH enables the concentrated experimentation and incubation of an idea that culminates in a public presentation, recognizing how vital audience feedback is to the creative process. Companies and artists selected to participate in HATCH will receive a one-week residency in the Studio Theatre, located at Harbourfront Centre.

The Studio Theatre is an intimate, 192-seat proscenium venue featuring a full lighting grid, raked seating and sprung stage floor. Use of the residency period is at the discretion of the artist and needs of the project (i.e. workshop, rehearsals, performance, etc.) but there must be at least one presentation of the work for the public at some point in the week.

Deadline for Submissions: July 12/2013

HATCH Website

Application Form

Call for Proposals

Studio Theatre

Mrtvolka--Daniela Sneppova and Penn Kemp (11)

Mrtvolka – Daniela Sneppova and Penn Kemp (HATCH 2011)

January 11, 2013, by

Click the image to read the full post on The Theatre Centre website. Photo by Han Soete via Creative Commons

Click the image to read the full post on The Theatre Centre website.

Photo by Han Soete via Creative Commons

In December last year we announced a new joint initiative with The Theatre Centre called Civil Debates: an opportunity for two speakers from opposite sides of an argument to debate their perspectives for a live audience. It will also be a forum for attendees to participate and vote for their preferred argument.

The topics for the first four debates of the series will be suggested by YOU, the community, via a live installation on January 12 & 13 at the Next Stage Festival’s tent at Factory Theatre.

Click on the image above for all the details, and see you at the beer tent!

January 3, 2013, by

Last year was a big one for us.

If you run a web-influenced theatre company for 10 years, you will accumulate some ridiculous photos.

If you run a web-influenced theatre company for 10 years, you will accumulate some ridiculous photos.

Michael co-curated FreeFall ’12 at The Theatre Centre with AD Franco Boni, and spent seven months at The Shaw Festival, where he assistant directed Ragtime, Helen’s Necklace, A Man and Some Women and directed Brecht’s Senora Carrar’s Rifles. This fall, he returned to Toronto as an assistant director with The Electric Company at Canadian Stage and Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille.

Aislinn produced a two-week festival of theatre for human rights with Aluna Theatre and five shows for other companies including Modern Times Stage Company’s production of The Lesson, and the electroacoustic opera Julie Sits Waiting with Fides Krucker. She also created online content for Liza Balkan’s Out The Window, and Michael Healey’s Proud.

Throughout the year, we wrote, hosted, curated and moderated a number of essential and vigorous conversations online at Traffic from unique visitors is up 48% from 2011, and after beginning the year as Torontoist People to Watch in 2012, we finished up as an end-of-year pick by The Grid as a 2012 Toronto Theatre MVPs for providing “informed, well-reasoned debate… for the community of independent theatre artists in Toronto and beyond”.

In 2013, we’re moving to build upon these successes with live performances directly connected to online content:

Civil Debates 

Civil Debates Box2

Debates Winter/Spring 2013

Civil Debates is a monthly series we are creating with The Theatre Centre that invites two speakers from opposite sides of an argument to debate their perspectives for and with a live audience.

It is also a forum for all attendees to participate and vote on who and what they agree with. We hope this will be an opportunity to extend the online community we have developed over the years in a face-to-face setting, bringing those conversations into a physical space.

The topics for the initial four debates will be curated via a gallery installation January 12 and 13 at The Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre. Debates will take place monthly at The Theatre Centre at 1095 Queen St. W (Queen and Dovercourt) in February, March, April and May 2013. The First Debate is on Thursday, February 7th. Go put it in your book or iCal etc. right now.

Praxis 10th Anniversary Party 

Eugene Rectangle

Party Summer 2013

Yes. Praxis Theatre has been around for 10 years!

Our first production, Eugene, a modern original adaptation of the epic poem Eugene Onegin, opened at The Theatre Centre in June 2003. Since then we have created 12 original plays, built a website and started combining the two.

Come join us for a big party we are throwing at a TBD location to celebrate. If you just know us online, this is the time to come out. If you have ever been to or been in a Praxis show, we hope you’ll come too. It seems crazy. For real. A DECADE.

You Should Have Stayed Home National Tour 

YSHSH Button in cage

National Tour Fall 2013

We are taking our award-winning production of You Should Have Stayed Home across the country next fall.

Some details are still pending, but the production will be performed in several Canadian cities, including a new production for Toronto.

We’re pretty excited Tommy Taylor’s original adaptation of his Facebook note is our first show to tour, after ten years as a company. The damage done to civil liberties by the G20 Summit in Canada was a failure of all three levels of government. Thanks to the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts for their support.

Other Stuff We Don’t Know/Can’t Say Yet

Party shot

? – What Else – ?

The great thing about being a small company with an adaptable communications structure is that we can take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

We have something we are working on with Videofag we hope to tell you about soon, there are probably some blog posts coming up, and other live events we will be involved with. We’ll let you know, just as soon as we know what they are.

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2012 a success. We feel really lucky to be making work that excites us with great people in 2013.

Aislinn and Michael

December 19, 2012, by
1 comment

Photo by Han Soete via Creative Commons

In 2013 Praxis Theatre and The Theatre Centre launch Civil Debates.

Civil Debates is a monthly series that invites two speakers from opposite sides of an argument to debate their perspectives for a live audience. It is also a forum for all attendees to participate and vote on who and what they agree with.

We hope this will be an opportunity to extend the online community we have developed over the years in a face-to-face setting, bringing those conversations into a physical space.  We’re enthused by the intelligent and civil discourse that has developed on, particularly in the comments of posts about hot button issues.

This got us thinking – ‘Hey – as a theatre company, shouldn’t we doing this live in a space with human bodies?’

Debate Questions

The topics for the initial four debates will be curated via a gallery installation January 12 and 13 at The Next Stage Festival at Factory Theatre.

A dual system will be used in facilitating participation: Both sticky notes and a laptop will be available to post issues and ideas that people believe would benefit from more debate. These can be posted to topics like: Theatre, Politics, The City, and Whatever. There will also be the opportunity to suggest who you think would be a great debater.

The goal is to emerge with four questions that will inspire compelling debaters to participate in an event that has genuine community interest.

Debate Format

Debates will take place monthly at The Theatre Centre at 1095 Queen St. W (Queen and Dovercourt) in February, March, April and May 2013.

Debate format will be based on the Canadian Parliamentary model with two speakers for either side. Just like the best acting, each debater should have a responsibility to hear the arguments that come before them and respond – not just deliver a prepared statement.

Each debate will have a moderator whose job will be to ensure debaters obey the general rules as well as the speaking format. The formal debate will last around 40 minutes.

At the end of the debate, the floor will be opened to other participants, each of whom can speak for a period of two minutes. All participants, speaking and non, will be provided the opportunity to register their vote on the topic at the conclusion of the evening. These results will be posted back here on where further debate and conversation, as always, is encouraged.

Join the Debate

If you are interested in being a debater or moderator, drop us a line via Tell us why critical, respectful debate is important in 150 words or less.

Hope to see you in the tent during the final weekend of The Next Stage Festival. This series begins when we get our topics from you.

June 8, 2012, by


The hands of live artists Lorena Torres during Aluna Theatre's critically acclaimed Nohayquiensepa

Video artist Lorena Torres will be creating live projected imagery throughout the evening.


As guests arrive they’ll be greeted by the steel-string folk & blues stylings of Praxis friend Ian Rennie. Later in the evening, Local 164, made up of Gordan Bolan, Jenny Young, Jason O’Brien and Dave Chan, will play from their set of Americana/Roots songs. You can also check them out at the Evergreen Brickworks on the June 16th.


Tommy Taylor - You Should Have Stayed Home

Tommy Taylor will be on hand to perform a short piece from our award-winning SummerWorks hit, You Should Have Stayed Home, co-produced by The Original Norwegian.


This is just a selection of some of the gourmet morsels we’ll be serving


Salmon tartar

with dill, lemon zest, and chives, garnished with yoghurt cream and served on a beet root chip.


with red chili, shallots, mango, cilantro, and citrus juice, served on a plantain chip.

Watermelon, feta, and mint bite

Watermelon cubes stuffed with fresh mint and feta salad.

Wine provided by Reif Estate Winery

Zucchini Latkes

Garnished with yoghurt cream and fresh peas

Praxis Gourmet Sliders

1. Fresh all beef patty with roasted tomato jam, homemade garlic pickles, radicchio

2 Fresh pork sausage patty with orange marmalade mustard and grape salsa

3. Mushroom, sweet onion aioli, aged cheddar

Coconut lime ice cream


Mini meringue cups filled with orange and rhubarb compote garnished with whipped cream and toasted almonds

Assorted ice cream and sorbets

1. Coconut lime ice cream garnished with toasted coconut

2. Strawberry ice cream with graham cracker and pecan streusel

We hope you can make the party. If you are unavailable to attend, donations of any size will be gratefully accepted at:


When: Monday, June 11th – 6:30pm
Where: 358 Wellesley St. East
How much: $75 (but ask us about our artist rate)
How to reserve:

Hope You Can Make It

April 24, 2012, by

by Michael Wheeler

This winter I worked with editor and activist Brigette DePape to write an article about Praxis Theatre. Titled Creating Political Theatre on The Internet, it looks at a number of projects Praxis has been up to and includes an excerpt by Tommy Taylor from his Facebook note turned theatre piece, You Should Have Stayed Home. It is published in Power of Youth, Youth and Community-Led Activism in Canada.

DePape came into the public eye as the rogue page who interrupted the first throne speech of the Harper Majority Government (elected by a minority of Canadians) with a silent protest holding a STOP HARPER sign.  Since then amongst other activities, she has been busy editing this book published by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and more recently organizing against the unsuccessful Harper-aligned Wildrose surge in Alberta.

Powe of Youth is divided into three sections STOP, SPEAK, and ACT and includes essays and interviews with young activists from across Canada on the work they are engaged in and the ideas informing these movements. The official launch of the book will take place Wednesday May 16 from 5:00-7:00pm at Under One Roof at 251 Bank Street in Ottawa and will include an informal panel about youth activism and challenges and vision for the future.

If you can’t make it to pick up a copy in person, just use the handy order form below!

February 16, 2011, by

Margaret Evans as Jim Watts in Jesus Chrysler by Tara Beagan

Jesus Chrysler

Wednesday February 16 – Saturday February 19 @ 9pm in the Cabaret at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

Click here to read a preview of the The Rhubarb Festival and Jesus Chrysler in The Toronto Star.

Image  by Will O’Hare Photography

September 18, 2010, by
1 comment

Starring Margaret Evans, Written by Tara Beagan, Design by Verne Good, Directed by Michael Wheeler

Starring Margaret Evans, Written by Tara Beagan, Design by Verne Good, Directed by Michael Wheeler

December 21, 2009, by
1 comment

champagne cork
Image by Paul Ingles licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

This week was voted the #1 Culture and Literature Blog in Canada in the 2009 Canadian Blog Awards.

We are super-happy about this and really appreciate everyone who participates with the company digitally and in reality.

Thank you in particular to these people:

  • Graham F. Scott, for coordinating and designing the great integration, when our website and blog were integrated into a single place on the interweb at
  • All of the contributors to in 2009:
    Gideon Arthurs, Tara Beagan, Maev Beatty, Augusto Boal, Mark Brownell, Deanna Downes, Emily Farrell, David Ferry, Brendan Gall, Joel Grinke, Chris Hanratty, Christine Horne, Daniel Karasik, Ravi Jain, Richard Lee, Hayley Lewis, Bridget MacIntosh, Ian Mackenzie, Ross Manson, James Murray, Leora Morris, Tony Nappo, Simon Ogden, Simon Rice, Aislinn Rose, Michael Rubenfeld, Sarah Sanford, Adam Seelig, Samantha Serles, Rupal Shah, Caroline Sniatynski, Vinetta Strombergs, David Tompa and Aaron Willis.
  • Celebrity Theatre creator Greta Papageorgiu and features writer Lindsay Schwietz, for producing regular engaging content in addition to their demanding schedules as arts professionals.
  • Ian Mackenzie, for having the idea that we should use our website to engage with our community, and for creating an online culture around the company that put us in a position to succeed in the blogosphere in 2009.
  • Everyone who took the time to vote for
  • Praxis Theatre Board of Directors and Donors. Resources can make art, and arts-based websites, better.
  • People and organizations that are kicking our ass in terms of achieving praxis through the confluence of ideas and internet. These inspirations include Mike Daisey, Naomi Klein, The Yes Men, Beautiful City, Avaaz, and Vote for Environment. There are a lot of folks setting the bar high out there by achieving concrete results though their internet-ing.

Happy Holidays to all!

Michael Wheeler