IN CLASS Workshops

We are here to support teachers and respond to the ever-changing needs of students with Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop programming as diverse, flexible and expansive as ever.

In our 2021/22 season we reflect on themes of memory, generational clashes, and how we construct our histories, inspired by provocative plays by new and established playwrights. Select a workshop around one of our works IN DEVELOPMENT, a 180 READS recorded performance, or a Topic-Based workshop. Or get in touch to request a customized workshop for students or a professional development experience for educators.

We will continue to monitor Covid-19 safety protocols and will respond accordingly with in-person and remote options, adapting as necessary.


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 pre-recorded reading of a work-in-progress, inviting students behind the scenes to meet the artists, provide feedback, and activate their own creative expression.

My Sister’s Rage by Yolanda Bonnell

In this rich and affirming workshop experience, playwright and director Yolanda Bonnell delves into the complex themes of her play and guides students in land-based theatre creation activities. One of our most popular workshops of 2020/21, we are excited to be offering the chance for students to experience the next phase of this beloved play’s development.

Yolanda Bonnell is a widely celebrated Queer 2 Spirit Anishinaabe-Ojibwe & South Asian, european mixed performer, playwright and multidisciplinary creator/educator. In her latest work, eight Indigenous female and non-binary performers tell a story about grief, love, laughter, rage and the brilliant strength of Indigenous women and their families, fighting to be seen and fumbling towards their healing.

Engage with this work mid-development in an innovative digital adaptation! 

Recommended for grades 9-12. Content Warning: Strong language, sexuality, themes of colonial and sexual violence and suicide.
My Sister's Rage Poster
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

6X10 by Rachel Mutombo

A 2020/21 IN CLASS favourite, 6×10 is back by popular demand with workshops examining issues of family, trauma, forgiveness, mental health and Black identities. In pre- and post- show sessions, students get to meet the show’s creators and engage with this provocative new work at an early stage in its development. Students provide feedback to the playwright, delve into conversations about the play’s complex themes and generate their own creative writing.

Rachel Mutombo is an award-winning actor and one of last season’s RBC Emerging Playwrights, who has been recognized as, “…one of the most exciting, original voices to come out of Canadian theatre in many years” (Infinitheatre). A graduate of the Nation Theatre School of Canada’s acting program, Rachel has performed on TV and on stages across the country. In her play 6×10, years of resentment and pain threaten to disrupt the lives of siblings Isabelle and Jamal when they learn of their father’s impending release from prison.

Engage with this work in the early stage of development! 

Recommended for grades 9-12. Content Warning: Strong language and themes of incarceration and trauma. The N-word appears in this reading. It is not used as a slur in this context.
6x10 Poster
Rachel Mutombo

Rachel Mutombo and Marcel Stewart made me feel comfortable and very involved. It felt like we were both teaching each other while having lovely conversations instead of just sitting there listening to them… I felt appreciated and listened to.

Grade 11 Drama student, St. Anne Catholic Academy, TCDSB

A Public Display of Affection by Jonathan Wilson

In our fourth year of collaboration with award-winning playwright, actor and improvisor Jonathan Wilson, this funny, poignant and deeply personal memoir receives a digital adaptation. Informed by the current pandemic, Wilson reflects on queer lives lived, lost and erased in this innovative solo performance that is part history lesson, part stand-up; examining plagues, resilience, love and community.

For several seasons now students have been inspired by this workshop, illuminating aspects of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ history and delving into personal reflections on identity and community. We can’t wait to share the newest filmed adaptation of this powerful work and collaborate with youth inspired by the show to generate their own creative expressions.

Engage with this work during the final stage of development in an innovative digital adaptation! 

Recommended for grades 11 & 12. Content Warning: Strong language and mature themes including sexuality, sex work, homophobia, transphobia, and sexual violence.
A Public Display of Affection Poster
Jonathan Wilson

It was eye opening. I didn’t realize what the LGBTQ2S+ community has been through & how much the acceptance of this community has changed.

Grade 11 Drama student, Mayfield Secondary School, Peel

Gone To See A Man About A Dog by Marcel Stewart

New for Winter/Spring 2022! Studio 180 RBC Emerging Playwright Marcel Stewart leads interactive creation-based workshops inspired by his latest work in development. In this epic tale, a young Jamaican boy named Bwoi Son is left in the care of his grandfather after his parents leave for England. When a storm kills his grandfather, Bwoi Son and his younger siblings are forced to go as well. 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.

Marcel brings years of experience as a celebrated actor, organizer and artist educator to sessions that examine complex themes of Black masculinity, fatherhood, trauma, our relationship to “home,” and conquering fear of the unknown. Fun, interactive and empowering workshops will encourage students to bravely explore poetry, spoken word and monologue creation.

Engage with this work by an RBC Emerging Playwright in the early stages of development.


Recommended for grades 11 & 12. Content Warning: Mature themes and language
Gone To See A Man About A Dog Poster
Marcel Stewart

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.

The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh

Back by popular request, this workshop developed in partnership with 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.

Allegedly the first Chinese woman to set foot on U.S. soil in 1834, 14-year-old Afong Moy is put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.” As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Inspired by the true story of Afong Moy’s life, it is a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America through the eyes of a young Chinese woman. This play resonates deeply for young people navigating life during Covid-19 and the many prejudices and inequities exposed by the pandemic.

Recommended for grades 11 & 12. Content warning: Some mature themes including mild sexuality and descriptions of violence.

The Chinese Lady was a beautiful, yet heartbreaking play that highlighted the past as well as current struggles. I love how interactive and informative these workshops are and honestly, they always bring our drama classes closer together as we often share personal experiences and get to know each others’ thoughts.

Grade 11 Drama student, Mayfield Secondary School, Peel

The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess

New in 2021/22! This workshop, featuring American playwright Eleanor Burgess’s provocative two-hander, is an excellent choice for senior students eager to engage in difficult conversations about race, history, power and activism.

Zoe, a Black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate with devastating consequences.

The Niceties Poster
Recommended for grades 11 & 12. Content warning: Strong language and mature themes including racism and trauma.

The Soap Myth by Jeff Cohen

We are proud to partner with Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company to present this critically acclaimed play in a digital reading during our 2021/22 180 READS series. More than a half century after WW II at the desperate urging of a passionate Holocaust survivor, a young investigative reporter finds herself caught between numerous versions of the same story. Inspired by real events, The Soap Myth asks who has the right to write history – those with lived experience, those who study and protect it, or those who would seek to distort its very existence?

The Soap Myth Poster

During IN CLASS workshops, this powerful play becomes a springboard to essential conversations about genocide, denial, honouring the past and paving the way for future generations. Students examine the play’s themes and characters, engage with the artists and activate their own creative expression.

Recommended for grades 9-12. Content warning: Themes of brutality and genocide.

topic-based workshops

Don’t see a play suitable for your class? Looking for an experience with an explicit focus on student writing and creation? Our topic-based workshops are a 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 as a launching point for final assignments and performances!

Topic-based workshops are flexible and recommended for all Middle School and Secondary School grades.

Finding Your Voice: Culture & Community

One of our most popular workshops, in these empowering and uplifting sessions, students reflect on themes of culture and community, excavating their own responses and opening 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 also learned things about myself that I didn’t really acknowledge … the different communities I contribute to and how each one of them actually affects me and my role in them… This made me feel more confident in expressing my creativity in the classroom.

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

Finding Your Voice: This Is Me

Inspired by our 2021/22 season’s focus on history, memory and intergenerational dialogue, this brand new adaptation of our beloved Finding Your Voice 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. Choose a process-oriented approach with stand-alone activities, or a workshop tailored specifically to monologue work, culminating in the creation of a solo performance piece.

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.

It helped me understand who I am more.

GRADE 10 DRAMA STUDENT, DON MILLS CI, TDSB

professional development

Workshops for Teachers

Having successfully pivoted to remote synchronous learning, delivering virtual drama- based workshops to more than a thousand students across Ontario, 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?