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The Theatre Centre Residency Program

Residency is a two-year program designed to support artists in developing new work. The program is tailored to the specific needs of each participating artist or collective, and the artistic impulse or idea they wish to explore.

The program facilitates a highly collaborative artistic process that embraces experimentation and learning with a wide variety of collaborators. This stage of development is critical to the creative process because it has the power to generate highly original ideas.  It encourages artists to create new work from scratch, or to re-imagine an old idea – an idea that will form the basis of a potentially important work of art.

Residency has its roots in R&D (Research & Development) program, established by The Theatre Centre in 1983. For two decades the program seeded new theatrical works by artists such as Tomson Highway, Daniel Brooks, Daniel MacIvor, Alisa Palmer, Darren O’Donnell, Alejandro Ronciera and Kelly Thornton, to name just a few.

Residency is generously supported by:

BMO Financial Group



For information on upcoming Residency Showings click HERE

Current Residency Artists:

Suvendrini Lena Here are the Fragments.
Suvendrini is a Neurologist working at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and the Center for Headache at WCH. On ECT is an immersive theatrical installation created by Suvendrini Lena, Trevor Schwellnus, Lyon Smith, and Leah Cherniak. The work is designed as a unique combination of story, experiential exploration, and analysis.

A psychiatrist early in his training develops psychosis and ultimately treatment resistant schizophrenia. Eduard, his son struggles to connect with his father. He must also make difficult treatment decisions. We tell the story in fragments.

Schizophrenics ‘hear voices’. Schizophrenics fear loss of control over their own thoughts and bodies. But how does anyone actually separate internal and external voices? How do we trust what we see or feel? How do we know which voices are truly our own?

Ian Kamau Loss
Ian is a Toronto-based hip hop and spoken word artist. In Residency Ian will plunge into an exploration of mental illness, told through the story of his grandmother Nora Elutha Rogers. Ian confronts his own struggle with depression as a catalyst to learning more about his family’s struggle with mental illness. 
Twitter: @iankamau

Stewart Legere The Unfamiliar Everything
A conversation and collaborative performance project between The Accidental Mechanics Group and queer artists working in different media from every major region of Canada. This extraordinary meeting of LGBTQ2+ artists is an experiment in collaboration across genres over massive distances, an exploration of the pains and beauties of queer loneliness, queer spirituality, and a celebration of the chosen family.

The artistic team includes choreographers, musicians, poets, light artists, actors, writers, video/projection designers, dancers, spoken word and performance artists.

Rimah Jabr Broken Shapes
BROKEN SHAPES will be a fictional documentary play, it will be built in a series of short plays. Each short play is  based on a research about space; physical or mental space. The research will examine different places in the world, for example, we will start in a city that’s very detailed, it’s divided into many small areas and ghettos. Where there are fences more than stones, there are barriers more than roads and there are security cameras more than humans. This kind of space has its indirect influence on the way how we think, behave, plan, and how we dream. 

Jennifer Tarver, Michael Kusugak and Christine Duncan A Promise is a Promise
‘A Promise is A Promise’ is a version of a cautionary tale in Inuit culture that warns children to stay away from sea ice. Driven by the power of a mother’s voice, warning her children, the story evokes humanity’s urgent relationship to the ocean and our survival in the face of nature’s changing condition. This is the starting point.

Delving deeply into the origins of his story, writer Michael Kusugak will collaborate with choir conductor and composer Christine Duncan drawing from the oratorio form both musically and narratively.

Residency Alums

Hannah Moscovitch, Maev Beaty, and Ann-Marie Kerr Secret Life of a Mother
A playwright writes the true story of her miscarriage, pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. One of her oldest friends, an actress, tells us this story, and, in a way, her own. The Secret Life of A Mother’s goal is to subvert and rewrite prevailing narratives around childbearing and maternity, with biting humour, lush theatrical metaphor and disarming gothic honesty. We interrogate the sexist vaseline-lensed pop-culture narratives that insist all women will love and cherish motherhood in exactly the same way and then banish mothers to the background. We are centralizing mothers and offering taboo counternarratives that reveal what two women are actually experiencing: the raw and transcendent secrets of pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and mothering. We speak to the strength mothers can derive from female friendship, and we offer mothers—and future mothers—a blueprint for their empowerment.
Twitter: @moscotweets@sheepnowool@AnnMarieKerr

Heidi Strauss / adelheid
Heidi is a Toronto-based choreographer and performer and Artistic Director of adelheid. In Residency, Heidi (and collaborating artists) developed what it’s like, a work about brotherhood and boundaries.  what it’s like looks at what happens when we are sensitive to where we are, and who is with us.

Dan Watson & Christina Serra
Dan and Christina are parents seeking a way for their disabled son to share his voice. Tony is a non-verbal adult with lots to say. Liz is his firecracker partner full of conviction. Through a series of staged conversations and theatrical re-enactments, these two couples draw from their personal lives to explore and debate questions of representation, the nature of companionship and how people of different abilities can connect with each other on equal terms.
Twitter: @ahuritheatre

Jess Dobkin
Jess Dobkin is an internationally-renowned performance artist. In Residency, Jess developed The Magic Hour — a solo performance art work that uses magic as a medium to explore sexual violence, trauma and transformation. Using themes and devices of magic and ritual, from conventional entertainment to anarchic enchantments, the work challenges the boundaries of what is deemed public and private, hidden and revealed, to make visible what is not seen. She is collaborating on the project with Stephen Lawson and other artists.
Email: Jess Dobkin, Twitter: @jessdobkin, Facebook: jessdobkin

The Sixth Man Collective
The Sixth Man Collective is a group of actors and theatremakers who are continuing to develop Monday Nights, a participatory theatre piece inspired by the physical language of basketball.

Philip McKee, Tanja Jacobs, Rose Plotek & Ishan Davé
A theatre director Philip McKee and his collaborators created a radical adaptation of The Oresteia trilogy. The artists are simultaneously actors, characters, animators and technicians in this portrait of violence and retribution.

Project: Humanity
Playwright Andrew Kushnir, director Alan Dilworth and the Project: Humanity team developed Small Axe, a new piece of documentary theatre, investigating the intersection of homophobia and racism and looking at injustice, complicity and permission.