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what’s on(line) + building a life-sized comic strip with lorena torres loaiza

October 19, 2021

a declaration and a festival.

One week until we welcome audiences back into the building for the first time since March 2020 for Comedy is Art! We’ve got a stacked lineup featuring Residency artist Brandon Ash-MohammedJoey HarlemAnasimone GeorgeBen Sosa WrightAjahnis CharleyHarpreet SehmbiJean PaulMarie SottoRyan MaglunobIsabel Zaw-TunZabrina DouglasNour HadidiNatalie NormanTamara ShevonKeesha BrownieCoko & Daphney JoNick ReynoldsonDena JacksonArthur SimeonMonty ScottTodd GrahamKenny Robinson, and Martha Chaves.

Thanks to one-time emergency Covid funding from Canadian Heritage and ShowLoveTO, all of the comedians will receive fees on par with those typically received by performing artists in other government-funded disciplines. Celebrate our return with the city’s best comedians at Comedy is Art running Tuesday, Oct. 26 through Saturday, Oct. 30!

Shows are suitable for audiences 18+ and start at 8 pm each evening. The whole festival is free, but in-person attendance is limited. Due to high demand, we just released a few extra seats each night—they’ll probably go quickly, so book now! If the show you’d like to see in person is sold out, email [email protected] to get on the waitlist. You can also live-stream the show from the comfort of your home.

The Theatre Centre is a physically accessible venue. Live captioning will be available online and ASL interpretation will be available both in-person and online.

building a life-sized comic strip with exploration artist lorena torres loaiza

During the summer, Explorations artist Lorena Torres Loaiza, along with her team and The Theatre Centre staff, brought her project Pandora in the Box to life. We asked Lorena to share her experience.

Photo by Dhalia Katz

“When the giant prints that make up the Pandora in the Box installation finally arrived at the Theatre Centre, I was both excited and, honestly, terrified. It’s one thing to decide a comic page will be eight feet tall and twenty-four feet wide, and another to see it in person. All the designers on the project had great plans to put the installation together, and the experience to back them up; but more than that, they had the kindness to support me through an entirely new experience. Nonetheless, it was scary. I’m too used to having complete control over my work.

The thing about complete control, as an artist, is that you don’t really surprise yourself. When I work on my own stories, I don’t really feel inspiration. I feel like a mechanic, assembling pieces and finding ways they fit. And don’t get me wrong, that’s a good process. It’s satisfying.

But listening to what my collaborators saw in a colour scheme, or a line of dialogue, or a character? It was surprising. Hearing different readers notice entirely different things, and draw their own conclusions… it made the work come to life. And it turned my worry into excitement. Seeing a little, strange spatial language be born, and knowing it was so much more than I could have managed on my own.

The project will now live on in new, weird ways. At the CAMINOS festival. In digital form. In smaller spaces, or rearranged to fit different venues. In time, maybe I’ll take all these walls and build an entirely different project. Even if this initial stage is finished, it gave my whole arts practice strange, new, giant limbs. I’ll treasure them and use them as best as I can.”

– Lorena Torres Loaiza

Experience Pandora in the Box in person at Akin Studio from 1-5pm on Thursday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 23 for CAMINOS festival; limited capacity in effect. The virtual installation is currently free to explore online.

in case you missed it, we announced our 21/22 programming year.