Teens Talk Theatre- top half

Mammalian Diving Reflex and The Theatre Centre are pumped to present….

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Our latest intervention is Teens Talk Theatre, an ongoing residency featuring a jury of 14 youth, who assess the best, the worst, and most okayish shows presented at The Theatre Centre. After viewing more than 20 shows from February – July 2015, the jury will publicly convene in July to bring you a live award-talk-show where directors, actors, and playwrights will fight to the death for a hand-made vintage macaroni trophy and the ultimate “Favourite Teen Show” title.

The Program: The Jury attends over 20 shows from February – July 2015 and VIP post-show talks with the directors, cast, or production crew of every show. Throughout the program, the jury will not only infiltrate the spaces of The Theatre Centre, but also the staffs’ homes, cars, and lives as they slowly begin to take over the place. This is the future of performance.

The Jury features 14 youth from Parkdale, Lawrence Heights, Jane and Finch, and Malvern: Sanjay Ratnan, Virginia Antonipillai, Nerupa Somasale, Kiam Liam-Bellissimo, Akeeshan Jeeva, Claudia Howard, Shada Mahdi, Shirwa Ali, Fadumo Henke, Lasahsa Nesbeth, Ria Rashi, Kajian Pulenthirasingam, Nanthiya Nanthakumar, and Thipashani Balakrishnan.

The Intervention: Teens Talk Theatre is an intervention into the structure of The Theatre Centre and the neighbourhood’s local arts community at large. Carrying out the Mammalian mandate, our long-term goal is to bridge the gap between the GTA and downtown core, by creating opportunities for young people to participate as artists, producers and agents in Toronto’s vibrant cultural industry. The artist and companies here at the Theatre Centre are stoked to be a part of the intervention as co-conspirators and partners. Not only are we opening the doors of The Theatre Centre to young people, but also the lives and practice of everyone who comes through the building.

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PHOTO: Members of Teens Talk Theatre chat with Fratwurst from the Toronto Comedy Sketch Festival about the benefits of being a bird vs a shark. March 2015.


Mammalian Diving Reflex is a research-art atelier dedicated to investigating the social sphere, always on the lookout for contradictions to whip into aesthetically scintillating experiences. We create work that recognizes the social responsibility of art, fostering a dialogue between audience members, between the audience and the material, and between the performers and the audience. We facilitate an equitable society by creating innovative, participatory artistic experiences in collaboration with artists, non-artists and civil institutions.

The Theatre Centre is a nationally recognized live-arts incubator that serves as a research and development hub for the cultural sector. We provide artists with infrastructure and resources to make their art – from idea to production. The Theatre Centre is committed to new work and new ways of working. We are a public space, open and accessible to the people of our community, where citizens can imagine, debate, celebrate, protest, unite and be responsible for inventing the future.


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