IN CLASS Workshops

Our 20th anniversary Return To The Stage season centres questions of identity, resilience, and the stories we tell about ourselves and our communities. 

As we showcase a diverse range of award-winning playwrights in both our Mainstage and Studio Series, we will continue to privilege student voice during IN CLASS workshop sessions delving into big questions that resonate deeply for young people. Join us for one of our highly anticipated Mainstage productions and select a workshop to enhance your experience at the theatre, choose a workshop around a pre-recorded or in-person presentation of one of our works IN DEVELOPMENT, or select a creation-based experience with a Finding Your Voice workshop. 

Student access is important to us, and we will continue to offer in-person, remote, and hybrid options to overcome geographic, financial, safety, and scheduling barriers. The health and safety of students, teachers and artists is our top priority, and we will monitor Covid-19 safety protocols, responding as necessary.


MAINSTAGE WORKSHOPS

Experience a full production of a provocative play, featuring award-winning creative teams. Pre- and post-show sessions contextualize and delve into the themes, big questions, and characters of the play, while fun and generative drama-based activities inspire ensemble-building and student creation. An additional fee of $15-$20 per student will apply when booking tickets to a performance. 

MY SISTER’S RAGE

Produced by Tarragon Theatre, In Association with Studio 180 Theatre and TO Live
Written & Directed by Yolanda Bonnell
$15 student group rate
Wednesday Matinées: October 26 & November 2 at 1:00 PM

In this rich and affirming workshop experience, students are guided through the complex themes of the play and introduced to land-based theatre creation practice. All workshop sessions are led by acclaimed Anishinaabe-Ojibwe playwright and director Yolanda Bonnell and members of the all-Indigenous company of artists. One of our most beloved workshops of the past two years, we can’t wait for students to experience this powerful play and inspiring workshop live and in-person!

Can’t make it to the theatre? We are producing a high-quality digital recording of My Sister’s Rage to maximize access to this work and accompany either in-person or virtual workshop sessions, regardless of class timing or location.

Recommended for grades 9-12.
Content Warning: Strong language, sexuality, themes of colonial and sexual violence and suicide.
Yolanda Bonnell

It was beautiful. The symbolism, the complexity of the characters, the visuals — everything about it was breath-taking. One of the most impactful plays I’ve ever seen.

Grade 12 Drama student, Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, TCDSB

INDECENT

A Studio 180 Production, Presented by David Mirvish
Written by Paula Vogel
Directed by Joel Greenberg
$20 student group rate
Wednesday Matinées: October 26 & November 2 at 1:30 PM

Originally programmed for Spring 2020, we can’t wait to finally be bringing Paula Vogel’s Tony award-winning play to life for Toronto audiences. Perfect for senior drama, English, history, world issues, music, religious and genocide studies classes, students will engage with Indecent’s poignant themes of censorship, shame, identity, and resilience in this powerful ensemble drama. Pre- and post-show sessions contextualize the rich text and provide students with a hands-on experience of examining the play’s themes and characters and generating their own work. What better way to welcome you back to the theatre than with this celebration of the enduring power of theatre.

Recommended for grades 11 & 12
Content Warning: Sexuality, violence, themes of homophobia, anti-Semitism and genocide
Paula Vogel

Gorgeous. Illuminating and heartbreaking. Rich in sympathy and humor, Indecent has the scope of an epic but the intimacy of a chamber piece…It celebrates and illustrates the power of theater.

TIME OUT NEW YORK

THE CHINESE LADY

A Studio 180 Theatre and fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company Co-Production, In Association with Crow’s Theatre
Written by Lloyd Suh
Directed by Marjorie Chan
$20 student group rate
Wednesday Matinées: May 10 & 17 at 2:00 PM

This workshop, developed with producing partners, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, is an eye-opening, timely examination of anti-Asian racism and misogyny, reflecting on questions of identity, culture, history and how we tell our stories. Lloyd Suh’s powerful drama provides a rich backdrop for students to engage courageously with Canada’s troubling past and present, offering creative activities to empower self-discovery and promote a brave space in which to share our personal stories. 

With our full production on hold during pandemic lockdowns, students have loved engaging with the play’s digital version from our 180 READS series. We can’t wait for audiences to experience The Chinese Lady live and in person. If your class cannot attend these limited performances, ask about a workshop around the pre-recorded reading!

Recommended for grades 11 & 12
Content warning: Strong language and mature themes including racism and trauma
Lloyd Suh

I thought the play was brilliant, the acting was so beautiful throughout the play and the storyline had me engaged the whole time!!! The workshop and the play taught me so much I didn’t know and it made me feel lighter after, and it made me connect with everyone. The workshop really brought us all closer together.

Grade 12 Drama student, Glenforest Secondary School, Peel

IN DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

Get a rare glimpse into the theatre creation process with a workshop featuring one of Studio 180’s plays IN DEVELOPMENT. Pre- and post- show sessions focus on the themes, characters, and big questions of a work-in-progress, inviting students behind the scenes to meet the artists, provide feedback, and activate their own creative expression. 

Back by popular demand in 2022/23 are two plays continuing their development; and this year, teachers can choose how and when to encounter these works! Join us at the theatre for a live reading in March 2023, or select a digital option (audio play or film) and schedule your workshop at any point during the year, according to your class timetable!

GONE TO SEE A MAN ABOUT A DOG

Bwoi Son is a young boy living in the parish of Richmond Gap, Jamaica, left in the care of his grandfather after his parents leave for England. When a storm ravages the parish, Bwoi Son and his younger siblings are forced to join their parents. Not wanting to leave, Bwoi Son embarks on a quest to find the River Mumma and her Golden Table to make a sacrifice and stay in Jamaica forever.

Back by popular demand, playwright/performer Marcel Stewart and sound designer Andrew Johnson lead this fun, interactive and empowering creation-based workshop examining themes of Black masculinity, fatherhood, trauma, our relationship to “home,” and conquering fear of the unknown. Hands-on activities introduce students to the art of sound design and encourage young artists to bravely explore poetry and spoken word creation.


Recommended for grades 9-12
Content Warning: Loss, grief and corporal punishment
Gone To See A Man About A Dog Poster
Marcel Stewart

The exercises and discussions let us dive into the themes of the play in detail, and Marcel and Andrew encouraged the students to be open with sharing their own experiences. They provided a space where students felt safe creating and sharing their work. Marcel and Andrew were fabulous. Kind, friendly, encouraging, open, supportive. I can’t say enough good things.

ALLYSON BRADLEY, DRAMA TEACHER, CHINGUACOUSY SECONDARY SCHOOL, PEEL

A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION

Mixing comedy, history and poignant reflection in equal measure, playwright/performer Jonathan Wilson’s deeply personal solo show excavates the lives, loves, and landmarks of his youth. A Public Display of Affection looks back on Wilson’s time as a teen drop-out in Toronto in the late 70s and early 80s and the challenges faced (as well as the community formed) in the face of persecution, ostracization and the onset of the AIDS pandemic. Join Jonathan Wilson on an intimate exploration of the Village he knew, the legacy it left, and the future being forged by a new generation.

For four seasons, students have loved engaging with this eye-opening play at every stage of its development, participating in workshops that illuminate untold histories of Toronto’s LGBTQ+ communities and prompt student creation around themes of identity, community, and storytelling. We are now thrilled to make available the play’s film adaptation for students to enjoy together with in-person, hybrid, or virtual workshops.

Recommended for grades 11 & 12
Content Warning: Very strong language including homophobic slurs; themes of death, loss, sexuality, sex work, homophobia, transphobia, and violence including sexual and police violence, and violence against children
A Public Display of Affection Poster
Jonathan Wilson

I am part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and I didn’t know all of the history related to it, so I was glad that I was able to see a bit of the past through the play. Jessica and Jonathan were amazing, they had very engaging activities for us to enhance our understanding of the play. I really liked being able to ask questions after watching the play to the actual creator of the play.

Grade 12 Drama student, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Peel

180 reads workshops

Eager to delve into the themes and character arcs of an internationally acclaimed play? 180 READS introduces local audiences to provocative scripts in pre-recorded readings featuring some of Canada’s finest actors. Workshops include a screening of the reading with pre- and post-show sessions examining the play’s Big Questions; plus tons of fun and generative hands-on, drama-based activities, inspiring student writing and creation. An additional screening fee for playwright royalties may be required for these workshops.

4 MINUTES 12 SECONDS

Di and David have devoted their lives to giving their son Jack every opportunity they never had. When a video of a teen sexual assault goes viral, Jack is implicated and Di and David begin to question whether they can trust Jack, his closest friends, or even themselves.

James Fritz’s deeply provocative and topical drama explores issues of consent and privilege and sheds light on the insidious opportunities new technologies offer. A humanizing entry into essential conversations about sex, violence, consent, and healthy masculinities with pre- and post-show workshop sessions that foster a brave space to hold these difficult topics. Experienced sexual health and healthy relationship educator Heather Johnson joins our team to guide this workshop with creativity, empathy, and care.

4 Minutes 12 Seconds Poster
Recommended for grades 9-12
Content Warning: Very strong language, sexual assault, revenge porn, and complex themes of gender, masculinity, misogyny, class and privilege

finding your voice workshops

Don’t see a play suitable for your class? Looking for an explicit focus on student writing and creation? Our popular Finding Your Voice workshops are the perfect choice. Flexible and adaptable to your class’s needs, our standard model includes three sessions culminating in the creation of a solo piece. Our process-oriented approach nurtures a brave, judgment-free space in which students can build trust and take creative risks. Teachers also love using this work to launch final assignments and performances!

Finding Your Voice workshops are customized for each class and grade level, recommended for students from grades 4 – 12.

Finding Your Voice: Culture & Community

In these empowering and uplifting sessions, students reflect on themes of culture and community, excavating their own responses and opening themselves up to the experiences of others. Through ensemble-building, improvisation activities and other innovative drama-based exercises, we collaborate to foster trust and nurture a brave space for creation and sharing.

A student in an IN CLASS Workshop listens intently. Photo by Karri North
Students attend an IN CLASS Workshop at Stephan Leacock CI. Photo by Karri North.

I felt closer to my classmates and felt more confident in myself which I really needed ever since the starting of my high school journey.

Grade 10 Drama student, Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, Peel

Finding Your Voice: The Monologue

This skills-building workshop emphasizes self-discovery and personal storytelling through drama-based activities that promote confidence, foster empathy, and amplify student voice. Participants will play, reflect, and share as they engage in a variety of creative activations rooted in improvisation, ensemble-building, playwriting, and dramaturgy.

A student raises their hand in an IN CLASS Workshop. Photo by Dahlia Katz
A student raises their hand in an IN CLASS Workshop at Danforth CI. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Mark and Ngabo were fantastic and inspiring. They brought passion and competency to their instruction. And they honoured the lived experience and humanity of all students in the class.

Sharon Connelly, Drama Teacher, Mississauga Secondary School, Peel

professional development

Workshops for Teachers

Having engaged with thousands of young people across diverse contexts, we are here to support educators in hands-on, participatory sessions where we share tools and techniques and foster a brave space for dialogue. Whether you are seeking support with online engagement, or the challenges of holding space for difficult conversations, our professional development workshops provide a supportive and empowering opportunity to learn, connect and share with artists and colleagues. All sessions include a pre- workshop participant survey and are custom designed to suit your needs.

An Artist Educator speaks with the teacher of the class during an IN CLASS Workshop at Danforth CI. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

How can teachers best support IN CLASS Artist Educators?