We build community through theatre.
We believe that experiencing live theatre can inspire people to engage more fully in the world. That’s why Studio 180 is dedicated to providing enhanced audience activities and community outreach. Our Beyond the Stage program helps spark important discussions about the issues that matter, and we offer a number of ways for you to engage with our artists, subject matter experts, community organizations and the issues featured in the play.
What We Do Beyond the Stage
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. This year all pre-show chats will be hosted by our Artistic Director, Joel Greenberg.
- Post-show talkbacks invite audience members to interact with the actors and ask questions about the process and the play.
For our panels, we recruit subject matter experts and community leaders to stimulate a discussion about a particular issue. We foster symbiotic relationships with other community organizations by promoting their work and connecting their networks to our own.
Past panel discussions
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…
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.
Exhibits we’ve been honoured to host
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…
Though not required for you to enjoy the production, we are pleased to offer suggestions for further reading and links to online resources that can enhance your understanding of the issues in the play. Look for suggestions on the “Beyond the Stage” tab for each production.
We’ve developed great resources for teachers and students, to help prepare for our plays and support exploration of the topics they deal with. We welcome you to have a look at some of our most recent Study Guides, though we ask that producing companies or those with an intent to distribute their own study kits respect our copyright and get in touch for permission to use this content for anything more than personal reference.
- MY NAME IS ASHER LEV Study Guide – PDF
- MY NIGHT WITH REG Study Guide – PDF
- YOU WILL REMEMBER ME Study Guide – PDF
- NSFW Study Guide – PDF
- COCK Study Guide – PDF
- GOD OF CARNAGE Study Guide – PDF
- CLYBOURNE PARK (2013) Study Guide – PDF
- THE NORMAL HEART (2012) Study Guide – PDF
- OUR CLASS Study Guide – PDF
- PARADE Study Guide – PDF
Each guide is copyright © Studio 180 Theatre and may be reprinted, reproduced or used only with prior written permission. All requests for reprinting, reproducing or using our guides should be directed in writing to Jessica Greenberg, our head of education and outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, our head of education and outreach.