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

Category: reviews by people whose name is related to the title of the show

May 16, 2013, by


Click to enlarge

by Jacob Zimmer

Context matters. A gesture means one thing here and now and another thing entirely there and then.[1] My choices happen in a context – a relationship to history and influence. I don’t have to acknowledge the context or even admit it’s existence to myself – but it’s there all the same. Others, with their own contexts, will perceive them.

The same is true for influences. We all have them and our work reflects that. We can work in opposition or adulation or both. This is true whether or not we know it, whether or not we know who influenced our influencers. This can be paralyzing, but it can also be liberating and empowering.

Understanding the relationships between current practices and the past is important. For me (and that will be the starting place for this seminar) understanding the relationships between the New York downtown scene and Grotowski reveals meaning and possibility. Drawing lines between Video Cabaret and Joan Littlewood and Brecht tells me something about who I am as an artist. Reflecting on all these connections in their specific times and situations inspires me to see my time and place clearly and be able to best respond.

In talking to theatre and dance makers over the past few years, I’ve expressed and heard a desire to share and learn more about contexts and influence. Specifically, Jordan Tannahill at Videofag and I got to talking about a seminar series where we’d read some articles, listen to podcasts and watch some video and make some connections between lines of thought in contemporary theatre and contemporary living.

Also, I’m a bit of theatre nerd when you get down to it and what’s the good of having all these books and links if I don’t get to share them?

Context Seminar: (non-Main)Streams of thought.

A mangled journey through influence and Western theatre — Centuries 20 and 21. Led by Jacob Zimmer of Small Wooden Shoe with a couple guest spots.

6 (Mostly) Mondays 6:30–9pm at Videofag

June 3, 10, Tuesday 18, 24, July 1 OFF, July 8, July 15


CLICK HERE to register.

  1. Funny to be writing this as Morris Panych and Kelly Nestruck argue over what kind of context is important to a production. Panych’s dishonest question “How can we address this paradox of a thing being both now and then[…]?” is, despite himself, a great question – especially for a festival like Shaw.

    How much discussion of “Why this play now?” happens in the meeting rooms or the rehearsal halls of the festival? And what are the contexts and influences discussed?  ↩

March 9, 2011, by

Olga, Masha and Irina must work, work, work, or they will never get to Moscow

by Michael Wheeler

Last week The Toronto Star pushed the boundaries of contemporary criticism when they sent two neophytes to review the heavily anticipated musical Billy Elliot in Toronto. The sole qualification they possessed as critics?

They were both human beings that shared their name coincidentally with that of the production . (They both had two “t”s in their name and the show only has one “t”, but whatever.)

Inspired by this bold choice to gain insight into and communicate the merit of the performing arts, Praxis Theatre  announces that effective immediately, we will  be abandoning our no-review policy for the website if any of the following people can be found to review the following shows:

  • An Anne Frank to review The Diary of Anne Frank.
  • Drew Barrymore to review Barrymore.
  • A busload of 12-year-old males from Newark to review Jersey Boys.
  • Spiderman to review Spiderman.
  • Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian to review Three Sisters.
  • Nikki Yanofsky to review Torch Song Trilogy.
  • Jesus Christ to review Jesus Chrysler.

Pushing the envelope, but worth considering:

  • Tony Nardi to review The Misanthrope.
  • Prince William for Kiss Me, Kate.
  • Sirhan Sirhan to review Assassins.
  • Kevin Bacon to review Six Degrees of Separation.

Please get in touch through the info@ address above if you are interested in writing a review for our website and you are one of the people listed above.

If you have any similarly themes suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments!