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Residency is at the heart of everything we do.

Residency is a structured two-year program (sometimes longer!) providing groups/artists with the necessary space, funding and mentorship to craft ideas still in their infancy into finished works that are provocative, innovative, and ambitious. We look for good ideas, drawing us to projects led by directors, designers, composers, choreographers, architects, visual artists, and even a neurologist. Residency facilitates a highly collaborative artistic process that starts by asking what do you need?

Residency is generously supported by:


current residency artists​

recent residency alums

explorations & finishing alums

In 2020, in response to COVID-19, we added two new creation streams: explorations and finishing. Explorations allowed artists to spend a year supported in their pursuit of burning questions that may impact a larger work, or the future shape of their practice. Finishing created an opportunity for an artist to take a work that has been in development for years into an intensive period of design and technical experimentation. Both streams allowed us to see if there are new ways in which we can fill gaps in how our sector supports creation. Learn more here.

"When I got to The Theatre Centre all I had was the seed of an idea. That idea has slowly grown, moved in many directions, sped up and slowed down, and weathered some storms. The Theatre Centre has stayed the course, sheltered my idea at times. I'm not sure where else an artist like me would have found the kind of long-term support that would enable my idea to blossom."
Ian Kamau
Ian Kamau
Residency Artist

process over product

We believe in offering artists time – time to try, time to fail, time to discover all of the things their ideas will not become. Residency provides money, space, and mentorship, building lasting relationships that extend beyond Residency’s end. Each year we offer space free of charge, technical expertise, mentorship, producing support, and access to other artists also in Residency, opening the doors to collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas.

Due to the nature of Residency in which we follow the lead and the needs of the artists in the program, we do not have a regular call for new projects or participants. We put out calls for submissions when space in the program becomes available, and you’ll hear about it first from our newsletter.

We’d love if you join the artists on the journey. Showings happen three times over the course of the year, giving artists the opportunity to share their work and test ideas, and giving you a chance to see the work develop and engage with the creative process. If you’ve been to a showing, you already know to expect the unexpected—scenes, readings, music, questions, games, conversations—nothing is off-limits. The path to the piece is rarely a straight line and we wholeheartedly encourage experimentation along the way. 

The work that comes out of Residency has been innovative, deeply personal, and often challenges traditional ideas of what theatre is. To be the first to know about a Residency showing, production, or a call for applications, subscribe to our newsletter.


Due to the nature of Residency in which we follow the lead and the needs of the artists in the program, we do not have a regular call for new projects or participants. We put out calls for submissions when space in the program becomes available. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear when a call goes out!

call for performers - Nehal El-Hadi's The Observer Effect

Audition Notice: The Observer Effect 

Written by: Nehal El-Hadi ◉ Directed by: Daniele Bartolini

The Observer Effect is a new work written by Nehal El-Hadi in Residency at The Theatre Centre. 

We are looking for 8 non-union performers to participate in a two-week workshop culminating in an invited and recorded performance of The Observer Effect. 

We are interested in people with non-acting backgrounds, especially if your work is similar to those in the performance; tour guides, paramedics, teachers, security guards and public speakers. We are also very interested in working with university students with experience or interest in performance and/or activism. 

The workshop will take place at The Theatre Centre and adjacent Lisgar Park from June 3-15 with weekends off, except for the performance date. Exact scheduling will be determined with performers based on roles and availability. 

Auditions will take place on April 22 & 23 from 6-10PM at The Theatre Centre. Slots will be booked in conversation with performers after submission. 

In the future, 14 years from now (2038), an audience gathers to participate in an urban history walking tour of a public square. The tour guide recounts the sanitised events of the 2028 privacy riots, which occurred in response to two events: the creation of a biometric database for residents of the city (ostensibly for efficient delivery of city services), and the local police force being granted access to private live camera feeds. As the group move through the square, they learn that the impact was far more wide-reaching and insidious than the official version of events.
Submission Guidelines
Please use the form below to submit a RESUME, HEADSHOT and 30 SECONDS OR LESS INTRO VIDEO. We’d just love to get a sense of who you are IRL. 
If you have any questions on submissions or the project, please email Producer Alexis Eastman at [email protected].
All performers will be paid at a rate of $25/hr (+ HST if app.) for workshop time and $250 for the performance on June 15. Hours will be determined based on role and performer availability and total fees will be commensurate to or improve upon CTA minimums for workshops. 
Any gender. Early- to mid- 40s liberal
The first guide for the walking tour. Covert member of Blaxites resistance movement (wears all black with discrete Blaxites logo). Attended the 2028 Toronto Privacy Protests as an organizer. Currently an urban studies professor at the University of Toronto.
Any gender. Early- to mid- 40s, liberal, with a 
no-nonsense vibe.
Second tour guide who Replaces the first guide after they’ve been made (also wears all-black with a Blaxites logo + anti-surveillance gear, like an ISHU scarf). Attended the 2028 Toronto Privacy Protests as an organizer.
Male, racialised, early- to mid-20s (25 in 
performance), wears red t-shirt and black jeans.
A tour audience member. Had attended the Toronto Privacy Riots at 15 on a school trip with Civics and Citizenship course. Zane is writing a book about the experience — he is attending the tour as part of his research. Zane’s life was constrained, disrupted and regulated by the constant surveillance: kept in a constant state of debt by manipulated credit cards and insurance costs; his educational opportunities were limited as he wasn’t allowed admission into any left-leaning colleges; he has been subjected to constant harassment and seemingly random and impromptu constant carding-like encounters.
ALLI & ASH               
Female, Black, early 20s (23 in performance).
Identical twins, wearing blue jeans and matching grey hoodies. The twins are hanging out in the park playing (skateboarding, basketball, etc.). ASH had attended the Toronto Privacy Riots with friends at 13, ALLI remained at home. Facial recognition during the protests marked ASH’s face with ALLI’s details, and in situations where ID is required, ALLI’s life has been curtailed in a similar manner to ZANE’s. Noticing this, the ALLI uses ASH’s identity to access municipal, provincial and federal services, including health care, but this is a crime under Canadian law. Both are carded regularly.
Male, late 20s, accented.

Food delivery on bicycle. Arrived in Canada as a minor seeking asylum, encounters the tour as he’s trying to deliver food. Wears blue jeans and a high-visibility cyclist vest over a fluorescent yellow, long-sleeved t-shirt.
Female, mid-20s.

An urban studies student of Noa at the University of Toronto. Attending the walk on Noa’s invitation because of her interest in the history of Toronto.
SECURITY GUARDS — RYE & MAL             
Two security guards in uniform; members of a designated private security company subcontracted by the City and under the supervision of Toronto Police Services specifically to keep an eye on Toronto residents flagged during the Toronto Privacy Protests. They are dressed like rent-a-cops, overinflated sense of ego but a bizarre belief in citizen control in the name of public safety; take a perverse delight in holding private information about citizens; this pair could be funny but are mean.
Two paramedics in uniform.

Residency is generously supported by:

Header: Stewart Legere in Residency. Video by Stewart Legere