Wha happen’d?

So here’s the deal with what happened to the Performance Gallery at SummerWorks. It’s no longer the Performance Gallery, but instead we’re creating something even  more spectacular that, at present, we’re dubbing the “Performance Pavilion”. This is all going to be going down at the Lower Ossington Theatre: kind of like a hub for the Festival.  I can’t say too much about the specifics, but I can give you a sense of what to expect.

On one floor alone of the LOT you will be able to experience interactive art installations along with games and regular art happenings, created by designers and facilitated by a team of artists. In addition to this our Music Series (which use to be at the Theatre Centre) will be in the LOT Theatre space itself, every night, a different band. On the ground level below the theatre, we’re making use of a new space where you can witness a nightly cabaret series. We already have some stellar artists lined up each night of the Festival to hit the cabaret stage.

It’s unfortunate to see the Performance Gallery go, but we’re not letting this get us down. We’re continuing to bring in more artists into new and exciting environments that we expect will continue to evolve over time.

There will be plenty more info to come soon, but you’ll just have to wait and see!


this Festival is getting some legs!

Things are beginning to take off here at SummerWorks. Tomorrow is the All-Company Meeting where everyone will get to meet in person for the first time this year. We will be distributing the Festival schedule, venue assignments and technical packages. It’s quite a task keeping track of each company, but its nice to know everyone is working to make this Festival as strong as it can be.

The shows we have on board this year are very exciting as they represent a vast array of Canadian artists from across this country. It’s also nice to see a mix of younger emerging artists side by side with more established pros.

There’s also a ton of ancillary programming to go along with this year’s fest. We have some amazing artists on board to create, manage and facilitate these new initiatives which I think are fitting given that this makes 20 years of operation for SummerWorks.

So keep your eyes and ears peeled cause lots of new stuff will be announced soon.

If you want a sneak preview you better check out our launch party on June 5th at the Lower Ossington. This is going to be a sexy night with some hot theatre and music artists!


Dearest Bloggy

I know I have been neglecting you.  I have actually been neglecting theatre in general.  Neglected some shows.  Neglected to attend the Harold Awards etc..  No really reason for this, just more intrigued by other things these days.  (A.D.D plus bright shiny objects…)

Anyway, I did attend a plethora of shows this week and while I did enjoy them all (really, truly),  I did feel the “neglect karma” come back to me threefold.  For example, sitting in the last row of the balcony at Canstage, I felt like the theatre really neglected to realize that nobody should have to watch anything from these truly ridiculous seats and that I felt about as involved in the show as if I had been watching it from across the street through binoculars….and so the theatre world and I continue our dance of pissing each other off.

And that’s why sometimes beer picnics in the park are more enticing than musing in the dark.


Lots to see and do!

An exciting project that you must go see is Volcano Theatre’s Africa Trilogy, to be presented at Luminato June 10 – 20. This is a comprehensive project examining the relationship between Africa and the West from three different points of view.

What is really moving about this project is that its development extends far beyond the primary 3  playwrights and 3 directors at its creative core. It has undergone numerous workshop stages since its launch back in 2007. By today it has drawn upon the resources of artists and companies across nearly every continent making it not just Volcano’s show but a show by many voices: a total of 11 performers in all and numerous designers & producers.  The sense of community around putting this thing on its feet is really unique and I believe stands as a model for creative development.

There will even be a two day workshop on June 19th & 20th entitled inForming Content in which young artists will gather to discuss the nature of ethics with post-graduate students  from the Centre for Ethics  at UofT. The lectures given by these experts will act  as a jumping off point for the participants to create small performances all within 48 hours. I’m thrilled to say that I will be one of these participants.

If you want to keep up with the community surrounding this project, from wordpress to  wordpress, visit:


The content of this blog is stellar.

’til next time,



Two reasonably priced rehearsal spaces in this crazy city.

1) Fixtpoint Theatre

1550 Queen Street West in Parkdale.  400 square feet.  fridge, table, chairs, mats, sound system.  $12/hour for Fringe and SummerWorks artists.  minimum 4 hour blocks. past companies in the studio: TheatreRUN, East of Reason Theatre, Ahuri Theatre, The Orange Company, Absit Omen Theatre, Evalyn Parry, Cow Over Moon and many more…  contact lisa@fixtpoint.com.  now booking for spring 2010.

2) The SPACE

Approx 1000 sq feet of studio space for rent with lots of natural light, bathrooms, sound system, great floors and more in Bloor West Village.  Steps from the Jane Subway Station.  Perfect for rehearsals, workshops, classes and individuals.  Affordable hourly rental fees.  Please email or call to inquire about availability. 416-346-0467 thespace@zomageproductions.com


SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program (S.L.I.P)

Applications due May 7th!

Now in its second year, the SummerWorks Leadership Intensive Program is a unique professional training intensive for emerging artists, placing a specific focus on the business of arts professionalism. This two week program, coinciding with the SummerWorks Theatre Festival, takes place August 2-15th, 2010.

S.L.I.P offers participants a combination of both theoretical and practical training opportunities. The goal of the program is to offer participants insights into the thinking behind approaching an artistic career from a practical business perspective. Past points of focus have included: Independent Producing, Grant Writing, Financial Planning, Professional Etiquette and The Role of the Reviewer. Some past professionals include: Gideon Arthurs, Naomi Campbell, Derrick Chua, Richard Greenblatt, Jon Kaplan, Nina Lee Aquino, Kelly Nestruck, Ruth Madoc Jones, Andy McKim, Allyson McMackon and many more.

New to S.L.I.P this year, participants will also have the chance to be mentored by companies producing in the Festival. All participants receive a Festival Pass, allowing you full access to SummerWorks shows.

Ideal Candidates Are:

– Emerging artists who have a strong interest/curiosity in theatre and artistic leadership.

– Graduating from post-secondary theatre programs or have been in the industry for up to three years since graduating.

– Available for the entire duration of S.L.I.P (August 2-15, 2010)

To Apply:

–  Send a 2 page (max) letter explaining your interest in the program.

–  A resume.

–  Support material: We will accept up to 2 pages of support material. This can   include letters of support from professional artists, examples of your work etc.

Send your application to:

c/o The SummerWorks Theatre Festival

P.O. Box 12, Station C

Toronto, ON. M6J 3M7

Deadline for application is May 7th, 2010 by 5:00 P.M.

Visit http://www.summerworks.ca/2010/slip.php for more information or write to jordi@summerworks.ca


Working for SummerWorks thus far has been quite a learning experience. Each day is a new hurdle to face, some more challenging than others. It requires me to be self-motivating to complete tasks and to be creative in order to problem solve.  Because there are so few on staff it is almost like a juggling act that Michael and I play. There are always several things he and I toss back and forth. Sometimes I am amazed that anything is completed as efficiently as it is, but we always seem to pull it off.

There is also no one more awesome to hang with than Lindy, who will fill your mind with plenty to think about. She’s been something like a coach for me since beginning with SummerWorks. I’m fortunate to get her help whenever she has time in her crazy schedule.

What I am beginning to recognize about this Festival is its strong sense of community. Michael is always attempting to foster new relationships with local community members. This is rubbing off on me.  Continually I am encountering artists, producers, administrators across multiple disciplines who share a common place within Toronto. We each struggle with similar issues in regards to producing our art.

Never was this more prevalent to me than it was at the recent UnConference on the performing arts in Toronto. I felt an almost surreal sensation being in a room of 50 people passionate about arts in this city. What made it even more enlightening was that we each made up one part of a whole. A question that one could not answer, another in the room could. It was a bizarre sensation that there would potentially be someone in that room with you who had the answer to the question you had been pursuing for months without success. At times the discussions felt tedious, but it was at least a dialogue and  hopefully further actions will be pursued from some of the subject matter that was dealt with.

That idea of being in a room with people you don’t know, but who can offer a wealth of information is not anything new. We encounter this in our very existence walking down the street. The only barrier is that we often refuse to speak to strangers. It’s unfortunate when more often than not, we share a common thread somewhere, of course we rarely have the time to try and find it.

At least at the UnConference we were given some time, a day in fact. Sure enough I was delighted to find myself in a room with 4 people, all from overseas, who were suddenly talking about the usefulness of Viewpoints as a composition tool. I was sharing in a common language with these strangers based on our shared knowledge around this technique. To the others in the room, we weren’t speaking English, but we, the 4 of us, had at least found this common thread in our experience as theatre creators.

I want to leave this post with one final pair of questions:

What do we need to create?




If I were to remove “money” from this list, say it doesn’t exist, how then do we turn these other two needs into a non-issue?