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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)lowerossingtontheatre.com

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?

3 comments:

Simon Rice said...

Mike,

This is a great idea! What an exciting surprise! This is exactly what this space needs to grow and flourish, and great for our community!

thank-you!

mike said...

no problem buddy. you should come direct a workshop here.

Anonymous said...

wow! what an opportunity...now i just have to create something:) i will definitely let other actors/directors/writers know! this is a similar deal to the manhattantheatresource in nyc. very cool.
ln