Announcement: Theatre Passe Muraille Announces Fall 2012 Season

The season’s theme, Theatre Beyond Walls, focuses on Toronto stories and community interactivity

From Press Release

In 2011, Theatre Passe Muraille received a 50th anniversary grant from the Metcalf Foundation. The result of which is the 2012 Theatre Passe Muraille Fall Season: Theatre Beyond Walls. Thanks in large part to the vision and financial support of the Metcalf Foundation, TPM has dreamed big and gone beyond the range of traditional theatrical activity to launch this program.

Theatre Beyond Walls is a Toronto building project. TPM has commissioned and is collaborating with emerging, independent and established artists in a diverse program of works that are designed to stimulate and engage people in our city. The projects include site-specific theatre, collective creation, verbatim theatre, guerrilla-style theatre, promenade theatre and theatre which does not yet have a description.

Theatre Beyond Walls is venturing out into our city to find, share and develop Toronto’s stories; ones that explore social justice, sustainability, and the culture in our city. We will have artists in our building exploring creations, while other artists will be taking their works out into the city to reach people where they live and work. Theatre Beyond Walls will be a spider web of intersections between communities, artists and neighbourhoods.

Theatre Beyond Walls has six major productions, as well as a variety of ancillary and complimentary programming.  The projects involved in Theatre Beyond Walls have been developing since early 2011 with TPM. It will culminate with three months of artistic celebration, beginning on September 15th with the TPM Community Street Festival.  The projects involved in the 2012 TPM fall season are: Fare Game: Life in Toronto’s Taxis—The CN Tower Show (working title)—Queen and Bathurst: The Four Corners—The Toy Box—The Queen Street Project— and The 501-Toronto In Transit.  The season kicks off with the Community Street Festival and has two additional programming initiatives— Bring the Buzz: Inside TPM and TPM Everywhere.

TPM is celebrating the creation and development process like never before, assigning a social media tool to each of the six major Theatre Beyond Walls productions.  Using Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Soundcloud, Tumblr and YouTube, TPM will get audiences involved well before the presentation stage.  In addition, the artists will be creating blog posts on the comprehensive TPM-dedicated Theatre Beyond Walls webpage.

Artistic Director Andy McKim sees this project as a natural progression from the past four seasons at TPM. “With this initiative, our intention is to further live up to our namesake – Theatre Passe Muraille or Theatre Without Walls. We want to go beyond our walls and we want to lead people beyond their walls. The objective of our project is to bridge the gulf that divides artist & audience, theatre & neighbourhood, creator & community. We want to explore the city, to find its stories and to engage with as many people as possible.”

Theatre Passe Muraille 2012 Season
Theatre Beyond Walls

Fare Game: Life in Toronto’s Taxis
November-December, in the TPM Mainspace
This multi-media piece takes the audience on a journey with Toronto’s taxi drivers and exposes the struggles they face. The taxi industry is on the verge of great change; working conditions are not improving and there is much unrest.  Creators and performers Ruth Madoc-Jones, Marjorie Chan, and Alex Williams shine a light on the human face of this often overlooked industry.  Follow their creative process and learn more about the project on Twitter (@magicalmudge) or the TPM blog.

The CN Tower Show (working title)
October, in the TPM Mainspace
In 1976, Toronto reached new heights in international notoriety with the completion of the then tallest freestanding structure in the world.  The following five years were rife with social, political and cultural change in the city.  The CN Tower Show examines that era in comparison with our current city, using personal interviews with our city’s inhabitants as raw material.  You can follow the creation process and learn more about the project on Facebook (Architect Theatre), or the TPM Blog.

Queen and Bathurst: The Four Corners
September – December…on the airwaves
The intersection of Queen and Bathurst is one of the most divergent in the city of Toronto.   The four cornerstones of this intersection are The Meeting Place, Starbucks, Pizza Pizza and CB2 (an urban concept Crate and Barrel) opening in the former home of the Big Bop.  This four-part radio docudrama will examine the culture of this unique area and unearth the stories found within.  This project is developed by Lisa Marie DiLiberto and Charles Ketchabaw of FIXT POINT Theatre. Follow their progress on Soundcloud (FIXT POINT) and on the TPM Blog.

The Toy Box
Running September – December in the TPM Mainspace and across the city
Step into The ToyBox, an essentially different kind of space, where young and old can PLAY. Whether you are in grade 5 or grade 50, The ToyBox uses high-tech and low-tech ways to engage with art, technology, and each other by mixing creativity, interactivity and the special sauce that is often missing: FUN. With toys like green screens, projectors, Lego and play-doh; The ToyBox gives you an opportunity to access your  IMAGINATION. The Toy Box will travel through the city and settle into four different neighbourhoods, as well as within the walls at Theatre Passe Muraille. Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson are the co-founders of Playground Studios who developed this project.  Learn more about The Toy Box on Flickr (Toy Box) or the TPM Blog.

The Queen Street Project
September, performed on Queen Street West
Conceived by Deborah Pearson, the Queen Street Project takes multiple dancers and pairs them with audience members to travel down Queen West.  The audience members are wearing headphones through which they hear a soundscape that incorporates text, music, and instructions.  As a result a dance begins to take shape-one that only the audience can hear. The Queen Street Project is a response to the large-scale hospital bed-cutting initiative under the Harris government and tells the story of the homeless and citizens suffering from mental illness who make their home on Queen West.  Follow the progress of this production on Tumblr (Queen Street Project) or on the TPM Blog.

The 501-Toronto in Transit
November-December, in the TPM Backspace
Examining the culture of the city’s transit system and commuters, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Justin Manyfingers, and Bob Nasmith will ride the 501 streetcar in the fall of 2012, and capture the diversity and liveliness of one of the world’s longest streetcar lines through conversations with riders and drivers. The stories will be shared in a production in our Backspace Follow The 501-Toronto in Transit on YouTube (TorontoInTransit) or on the TPM Blog.

Community Street Festival
September 15, at the corner of Ryerson and Wolseley
The kick-off to TPM’s Theatre Beyond Walls season will happen on September 15th with a big party for the community.  The Festival will have a wide range of activities, ranging from performance to local food, interactive learning programs, and everything in between.  In addition to launching TPM’s Theatre Beyond Walls Season, this Festival is an opportunity to celebrate our city and, more specifically, our Queen West community.

Bring the Buzz: Inside TPM
Mainspace:  September & November
Backspace:  September, October, & November
Just as we are sending our artists out into the city beyond our walls, we are inviting new artists to join us inside them.  Bring the Buzz: Inside TPM is an opportunity to expand upon TPM’s vision of audience dramaturgy that is the lynchpin of the Buzz Festival. This project provides meaningful and tangible support to the artistic community by providing theatre space to emerging and independent artists to develop their art through the engagement of TPM’s core audience.

TPM Everywhere
September – December…all over Toronto
This is an extension of Theatre Passe Muraille’s mandate like you’ve never seen it before.  Theatre Beyond Walls Guerilla Theatre artists will be popping up in different places throughout our city.  TPM Everywhere is exciting, provocative and daring – bringing theatre into surprising places and engaging with audiences in sudden and unexpected ways.