Praxis Theatre's blog has moved to We'll automatically take you there in 5 seconds...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Out and about

Courtenay Stevens – who played the Architect/Sailor in CanStage’s The Overcoat – was spotted chatting on his cellphone outside Bread & Circus theatre bar in Toronto’s Kensington Market.
Word on the street is that he’s remounting his production of Lawrence & Holloman at this edgy, downtown theatre in early April.

Spotted any hot theatre talent out and about
in your neighbourhood?
Send us your starstruck theatre photos:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Praxis theatre fundraiser photos!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Praxis Theatre’s fundraiser this past weekend. We’ve got more photos from the event than we know what to do with. Check some of them out here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Build Your Own Theatre – Part II

Next steps
by Michael Wheeler

Okay, so, eight months after my original Build Your Own Theatre (BYOT) post, I’m back with a new proposition.

The original proposition, which basically bartered help improving The Lower Ossington Theatre for rehearsal space, went pretty well. We got the building into much better shape over the summer and fall: The entranceway and lobby got a new coat of paint. A dance floor went down in Studio B. A massive 300 sq-ft blackboard wall was installed. The skylight and doorways in the theatre were fitted with removable plugs. All of this was accomplished with the help of people who traded their labour for rehearsal space.

We also changed the name: No longer the Queen West Arts Centre (QWAC), we are now the Lower Ossington Theatre (The LOT). QWAC was whack. The LOT is hot.

Here’s the new idea:
The LOT Workshop Performance Series.

Monday through Thursday evenings many of our studios are booked solid with everything from Capuera to Sexy Strut classes. Friday and Saturday nights past 8pm are free. This building is smack dab in the middle of where everyone in Toronto is going on Friday and Saturday night anyhow (Ossington between Queen and Dundas), so lets put some shows on in the theatre here.

It works like this:
No rental fee. We split the box office 50/50. Ticket price TBD.

You provide whatever you need. We have a few instruments, but not many. Whatever you set up has to be strikeable at the end of the night. You also provide you own box office staff and operators for whatever equipment you will be running.

Schedule is as follows:
Day 1: Thursday. Tech/dress. 6-10pm
Set up whatever you can in a couple of hours and give it a practice go. Our Technical Director, Dennis, works with you to integrate your best ideas with the realities of the space.

Day 2 : Friday Set up 6-8pm Performance 8:30pm

Day 3: Saturday Set up 6-8pm Performance 8:30pm

How do you do this?
Email me at space(at)

We need to know:
1) What the piece is and in general terms how you would stage it.
2) Who the artists involved are with short bios.
3) What the technical requirements would be (remember, we don’t have much).
4) Why you think you can draw an audience.
I will look over all submissions with our TD, let people know what we think is feasible and a good idea.

That’s it. If you think you can run multiple weekends and draw a reasonable sized crowd it is also a possibility. The Toronto Youth Theatre, One Reed Theatre, Geek Girl Productions and even us at Praxis Theatre have transformed the space for exciting performances. We know this is entirely doable. Who’s interested?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thank you for coming!

Please join us for a
Praxis Theatre fundraising party

This Saturday, February 16.
At the Lower Ossington Theatre.
100A Ossington Ave. Toronto.

DJ. Silent auction. Raffle. Alcohol.
Surprises. $10 at the door. 9pm - 2am.
We are trying to raise money for our
upcoming production of Stranger.

We love you. Please come.

All are welcome.
Click here for directions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Praxis Theatre party this Saturday!

Please join us for a
Praxis Theatre fundraising party

This Saturday, February 16.
At the Lower Ossington Theatre.
100A Ossington Ave. Toronto.

DJ. Silent auction. Raffle. Alcohol.
Surprises. $10 at the door. 9pm - 2am.
We are trying to raise money for our
upcoming production of Stranger.

We love you. Please come.

All are welcome.
Click here for directions.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A new play

Pretty Tough
by Brendan Gall
White. A baby sings the highest and lowest audible notes simultaneously for one minute.

Lights fade down. The baby hovers next to an operating Rube Goldberg machine.
(in Basque) This perpetual-motion machine is calculating π.

The baby whistles. A wolf appears.
This is my pet wolf. (petting him) I’m the only one who can do this. (roughhousing with him) I rescued him from hunters so he’s completely loyal to me.
The wolf sits stage-right.


A crow lands on the baby’s shoulder.
This is my pet crow. I found it on the ground one day. I set its wing and nursed it back to health. Now it refuses to leave me.
The crow caws and flies to the wolf’s head.
Does anyone have someone they’d like me to murder?

An audience member points at another audience member, whom the baby kills. Fleeing. Mass panic.

Order restores.
(to the audience member who pointed) It’s lucky you know Basque. It’s a pretty tough language.
One million Grade 8 students enter. A disco-ball lowers. Alphaville’s “Forever Young” plays. The students pair off and slow-dance.

“Forever Young” ends. Everyone has their first kiss, falls in love, and exits.
I’m glad I got to see that.

The upstage curtain ignites and burns, revealing a blue whale swimming in an aquarium beyond. The water catches fire. The flames shine through the aquarium, filling the theatre.
He’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t surface. Blue whales can hold their breath a pretty long time.
Does anyone have any questions? I can speak any language.
The Basque-speaking audience member explains this. The baby fields questions in various languages. The answers are true. Tears. Laughter.

The machine dings and starts to spit ticker-tape.
House lights. A sustained recording of a rabbit screaming.
Rabbit screaming ends. Audience returns. The theatre is filled with ticker-tape. The water still burns. House lights out.
Here’s what happens when you die:
Darkness. A PowerPoint presentation plays across the aquarium.

Lights up. The baby reads out π from the ticker-tape.

The crow eats the wolf.

Inside the aquarium, the blue whale begins to thrash…

Time slows down.

(Pretty Tough was inspired by a stage direction in Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child.” Performance rights inquiries can be made to the playwright through Praxis Theatre.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Watch this space for new work by playwright Brendan Gall

Coming this Thursday, February 7, Praxis Theatre is thrilled to present a world wide web exclusive: a brand new short dramatic work by Canadian playwright Brendan Gall.

The piece is called Pretty Tough. And we’ll be posting the entire text right here on this blog on Thursday morning.

If you are familiar with Gall’s work, you know to expect the unexpected. You are not going to want to miss this.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Tonight in Toronto . . .

Please join Praxis Theatre for the next entry in our series of original play readings. This month, we are pleased to present Taylor Sutherland’s The Sand Factory.
WHAT: Reading of Taylor Sutherland’s The Sand Factory

Monday, February 4 @ 8 pm

WHERE: The Concord Café – 937 Bloor St. West
(Just West of Ossington subway station on the south side)

Shaun McComb, Greta Papageorgiu, Ross McKie, Justin Friesen, Cayle Chernin.
All are welcome. For more information, please contact Laura Nordin.