We build community through theatre.
Upcoming Beyond the Stage Events
Click the tabs below to learn more about our Beyond the Stage programming for Sweat by Lynn Nottage, co-produced with
- Wednesday, January 22 after the 1:00 performance
- Thursday, January 23 after the 8:00 performance
- Wednesday, January 29 after the 1:00 performance
- Thursday, January 30 after the 8:00 performance
- Friday, January 17 at 6:15 PM with Zoe Dodd, Harm Reduction and Drug User Advocate, moderated by Mark McGrinder from Studio 180 Theatre
- Friday, January 31 at 6:15 PM with Shawna Dixon of the Workers Action Centre, moderated by Tawiah Ben M’carthy from Canadian Stage
Zoë Dodd is a long-time harm reduction and drug user advocate that lives and works in Toronto. She has been working in the Downtown East of Toronto for nearly two decades on issues related to poverty, homelessness, criminalization, HIV, Hepatitis C, overdose, and drug policy. In recent years she has been focused on addressing the overdose crisis as a co-organizer with the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society and helped to establish the Moss Park Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) which ran unsanctioned in a park for nearly a year before receiving government funding and moving in doors. The Moss Park OPS was successful at helping to change the overdose response in Ontario and the general public’s understanding of the overdose crisis. She was named one of Toronto Life Magazine’s most influential people in 2017 and was chosen by NOW magazine as this years activist of the year.
Shawna Dixon supports workers who are members of the Workers’ Action Centre (WAC) to take leadership in Ontario’s movement for decent work. As workers directly affected by precarious jobs and low wages, members are committed to improving labour laws and supporting workers experiencing violations in the workplace. Shawna assists members in learning their workplace rights and developing leadership skills to organize within their communities. She also helps members to create a monthly members’ newsletter that keeps WAC members informed about our rights at work, our victories, and our continued grassroots community organizing.
Unseen Series by Janina Anderson beautifully uses photography to do what playwright Lynn Nottage does so well: “making invisible people visible” (Michael Schulman, The New Yorker). Anderson sees her work as an opportunity for the viewer to reflect on how they are complicit in systems designed not only to oppress but how these systems are normalized and work to cover their own tracks. It asks us how we are encouraged to ignore inconvenient truths about power, economics, and representation. Ultimately, when we look at her work, artist Janina Anderson wants us to ask who has the privilege to look the other way.
Announcing the Studio 180 BOOK CLUB!
Join us at our first ever 180 BOOK CLUB, where a group of play enthusiasts come together twice: first to discuss a play as a script and then again to discuss how your interpretation changes after seeing the play performed.
This January we will be reading the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Sweat by Lynn Nottage and discussing how the play comes to life in the Studio 180/Canadian Stage production at the Berkeley Street Theatre – Marilyn and Charles Baillie Theatre.
The discussions will be hosted by board member, Helen Fisch and moderated by Administrator, Laura McCallum. Refreshments will be provided.
Step 2: Join us on Thursday, January 9 at 7:30pm* for a discussion about the text.
Step 3: Purchase a ticket to the play! Sweat runs January 14 to February 2 at the Berkeley Street Theatre – Marilyn and Charles Baillie Theatre. Pick a date that works best for you; we encourage you to attend before January 27 so you can fully participate in the second discussion. Tickets can be bought through Canadian Stage; click here for ways to save.
Step 4: Join us on Monday, January 27 at 7:30pm* for a discussion about how the staging allows for a different interpretation of the piece.
*location in downtown Toronto; address to be sent upon confirmation of RSVP
RSVP: Email Laura McCallum by Friday, December 20 to reserve your spot! Space is limited. Please include any dietary restrictions with your RSVP.
Past Beyond the Stage Events
Get an insider’s point of view. Join our discussions about the issues explored in and the stories behind our productions.
- Pre-show chats provide more context about the play, including information about the playwright, the piece itself and the issues it explores.
- Post-show talkbacks invite audience members to interact with the actors and ask questions about the process and the play.
Past panel discussions
For our panels we recruit subject matter experts and community leaders to stimulate a discussion about a particular issue related to the play. We foster symbiotic relationships with other community organizations by promoting their work and connecting their networks to our own.
NOVEMBER 18, 2014
co-presented by Shameless magazine
This panel discussion included some of Toronto’s most dynamic journalistic voices in a conversation about navigating media landscapes, preserving integrity and doing what you love for people you hate. Moderated by Ryerson School of Journalism Associate Chair, Janice Neil. Read more…
APRIL 13, 2014
For those of us who identify beyond the gay/straight binary, assumptions and accusations of confusion, indecision and denial are nothing new. Cock prompts a dialogue around identity, categorization, fluidity, essentialism and the status quo. This panel discussion was moderated by writer, radio show host, theatre reviewer and parent Dorianne Emmerton, and featured some of Toronto’s most outspoken artists, writers and activists. Read more…
NOVEMBER 4, 2012
Recently back from the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C., HIV/AIDS researcher and activist Nicole Greenspan moderated a discussion about past and present responses to The Normal Heart and its relevance in the current social and political landscape. Read more…
OCTOBER 28, 2012
HIV/AIDS activist Jessica Whitbread led a panel of experts and community members in a discussion about one of the most pressing issues facing Canadians living with HIV today, and how the Ontario Working Group on Criminal Law and HIV Exposure (CLHE) is seeking justice. Read more…
OCTOBER 30, 2011
What makes a community? Why is community important? And, as community members, how are we responsible to one another? Veteran HIV/AIDS organizer Glen Brown moderated a panel of community leaders examining the complex answers to these questions and more. Read more…
OCTOBER 23, 2011
Nicole Greenspan moderated a panel of leading HIV/AIDS activists, educators and doctors in a multi-generational dialogue about Toronto’s responses to HIV/AIDS. Where have we come from and where are we going? Read more…
Exhibits we’ve been honoured to host
The conversation continues in the theatre lobby with a curated display. Our lobby exhibits springboard off of and offer additional context for the issues in our productions (e.g., contemporary, historical, local or global). As part of past exhibits, we are proud to have promoted visual artists and their work, and presented the programs and initiatives of various community organizations or academic institutions – introducing them to new audiences in a new context.
During My Name is Asher Lev (2017)
For “My Name Is…Cross-Cultural Reflections on Identity,” Grade 11 and 12 Visual Art students from Martingrove Collegiate Institute (TDSB) created deeply personal pieces that reflected the play’s theme of identity. The exhibit was curated by teacher Christina Yarmol and supported by Studio 180 IN CLASS. Read more…
During You Will Remember Me (2015)
“Party at the Vatican” was an exhibition of paintings and drawings made by members of Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy—a place of learning for persons with dementia, their families and care partners. Read more…
During NSFW (2014)
We were proud to host Repossessing Beauty – with its ruminations on language, imaging and the politicized body – curated by the Feminist Art Conference, and including photography by artists Teresa Ascencao, Rose-Ann Marie Bailey and Joan Lillian Wilson.
During Cock (2014)
We featured large-scale reproductions of artwork from the new and exciting comic anthology ANYTHING THAT LOVES: Comics Beyond “Gay” and “Straight” (edited by Charles “Zan” Christensen and published by Northwest Press, 2013). Visually stunning and thematically provocative, the exhibit offered another look at many of the play’s themes. Read more…
During Clybourne Park (2012)
Audience members who attended Clybourne Park in 2012 would have seen a lobby exhibit courtesy of Professor J. David Hulchanski from the University of Toronto. We hosted a landmark work revealing the growing disparity between rich and poor in our very own city – The Three Cities Within Toronto: Income Polarization Among Toronto’s Neighbourhoods, 1970–2005.
During The Normal Heart (2011 and 2012)
Our lobby exhibit for The Normal Heart included safe sex poster campaigns from the 1980s to the 2000s provided by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), articles by HIV/AIDS activists Tim McCaskell and Alex McClelland, and other memorabilia. In 2011, the exhibit also featured Marvelous Muchenje’s original “Body Map” artwork. And, in 2012, the exhibit featured AIDS ACTION NOW!’s generously provided “POSTER/virus” campaign – a poster series created by local Toronto artists in honor of the Day With(out) Art 2011. Information from ACT, Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange and AIDS ACTION NOW! was also on hand.
During The Overwhelming (2010)
Partnerships with artists beyond the theatre are important to us. During the run of The Overwhelming, to encourage a connection to the Rwanda of today, we displayed photographs by Samer Muscati from the book The Men Who Killed Me, by Anne-Marie de Brouwer and Sandra Chu. Included in the exhibit was the striking portrait that we used as the central image of the show’s poster Read more…
During The Arab-Israeli Cookbook (2006)
During The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, as a complement to the play, Studio 180 displayed Givat Haviva’s extraordinary travelling photography exhibit, Through Others’ Eyes. The exhibit reflects the cooperative work of Jewish and Arab youth from neighbouring villages “looking” and getting to know each other from new and different perspectives. Read more…
Our strong focus on outreach has distinguished Studio 180 as a bridge-building company, attracting diverse audiences and community partnerships and provoking dialogue that extends beyond the stage. By donating performances and offering complimentary tickets and group discounts, we improve accessibility, provide fundraising opportunities and promote awareness for like-minded community organizations. Please contact us if you are interested in partnering with one of our productions to create an inspiring fundraising event for your advocacy group or not-for-profit organization.
The 519, AIDS ACTION NOW!, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, The AMY Project, Buddies in Bad Times’ Queer Youth Arts Program, Democrats Abroad, Dignitas International, Fife House, the Israeli peace initiative Givat Haviva, Palestine House, Pathways to Education in Regent Park, Peace Now, The Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada, Positive Youth Outreach, Supporting Our Youth, Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, The Triangle Program for LGBT students and Women in Capital Markets
Our work on stage is enhanced by the contributions of local and international artists and subject-matter experts. Whether they are sharing their experience in rehearsal or participating in Beyond the Stage activities like chats, talkbacks and panels, the involvement of community leaders strengthens our work and promotes authentic dialogue around the themes and issues of our productions.
If you would like to discuss artistic or community partnering opportunities, or want to get involved as a volunteer or subject-matter expert, please contact Jessica Greenberg, Director of Community and Youth Engagement.
All photos by Dahlia Katz.