Ethics and intent – map

Thinking about making a show that involves historical people, especially recently passed ones, means there are some things to think about and articulate. Part 1 of that for The Summer Spectacular is sharing this map. also – a movie about Aaron Swartz is at Hot Docs – I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Conte D’Amour and self-aware problems

Conte D’Amour – which ends it’s run tonight at Harbourfront Centre has been the cause of much chatter on the internet. From a zero-star review in the Globe to reviews not worth linking to, with lots of Facebook stuff thrown into the mix. If you like this discussion, you might like the CopyCat Academy that’s […]

Public Funding – Mixing stability and agility

A little twitter back and forth with Praxis folk plus a desire to respond to Shannon Litzenberger’s Metcalf report, Choreographing Our Future: Strategies for Supporting Next Generation Arts Practice has inspired me to post some thoughts on public funding models. I’ve been thinking lots about this and below is an edited version of some writing about this for a […]

Policy, politics, Rhubarb

The Rhubarb Festival did not receive Department of Canadian Heritage (DCH) funding. Read the letter and response here. Nothing New The DCH is an arm of the government in power. That was true under the Liberals and PC’s when it was used to promote “Canadian” culture abroad and in Quebec. (oh for the ¿golden age? […]

I don’t actually want Batman.

A day after reaction to the Summerworks Shoptalk debate from August 14. There were other triggers as well, but I think those will be integrated into later posts. There’s a fantasy about the rich guy (and sometimes his friends) with the great heart, skills and all the best toys who protects the rest of us […]

2 things on The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic

1. The formal in conversational formalism Seeing Robert Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (LADOMA) reminded me of his influence on my theatre. I’m interested in the smile of complicity and in the immediate, the rough, cheap and the fast but I also love the beauty and precision, the rigour and evocation of […]

Hammer OK/OK/OK – Intimating the Intimate

A few Fridays ago, I went to Hub 14 to see Chad Dembski and Cathy Gordon’s Hammer OK/OK/OK. Both were vulnerable and generous, honest and raw. Both Chad and Cathy are great performers, artists who have a wealth of experience and skills at being vulnerable and generous, honest and raw. They have the internal dramaturgy […]

Otherwise it’s not a change.

I just returned from participating in a meeting convened by the Edmonton Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council that had fifty of us discussing the future of arts research, advocacy and topics spreading out from there. It’s the beginning of a conversation. Here are the notes I spoke from. Who has a relevant voice […]

Images Festival: Material surprise

I caught two programs at the Images Festival this weekend and wondered if –The nature of surprise is different in analog and digital (for the sake of a very digital either/or I’m including live performance in analog and – importantly for my experience at Images – including film as opposed to digital video) maybe In analog, […]

Story Structures for Learning Creative Learning

As part of MIT’s free online course on Creative Learning that I’m taking, they assigned us to learn something and teach something to the online community. After taking a helpful Project Management 101, I decided to give a Freemind talk on Story Structures in a way that could be useful for people across a broad spectrum of backgrounds.

Adding Desire to the Viewpoints.

I’ve started regular idiosyncratic Viewpoint workshops. More hereWhat follows is some thoughts on the nature of those idiosyncrasies. Overlie included “Emotion” and Bogart took it out.1 And I’ve been missing something, in the eyes and at the fingers. In the centre and in the lips. Objective, intention and action are all words that might try to […]

The right blend: formal/informal learning

Without form, I have no space for the informal. I’m looking for a fluid space where slipping from craftsperson to hacker to philosopher to entertainer and back again is possible. Very formal structures help me avoid the anomic paralysis produced by the gap between the “infinite becoming” of what is possible and my clearly finite human nature.

Slow down with those numbers.

For the record: I believe that going out can have a positive effect on a persons life. I believe that going out to meaningful and delightful things should be part of peoples lives. I believe a function of art might be ease alienation without denying complexity or difference. I belive the simplifying tendancy of lobbying […]

Artist as Producer pt3

The problem with DIY is the singularity of “yourself.” Theatre has never been an individual pursuit for me – it’s been an excuse, a need and a generator of working with other people to get something done. This means artistic collaborators, advocates and advisors, producers, teachers, and (very important) audience. All of these people invoke […]

Other people’s podcast

After a “podluck” at the Academy of the Impossible on Thursday, I am inspired to share my podcast list – partly because I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and sometimes people ask and so other people might be interested – and partly because I would like to know if there are any […]

Maker – Artist as Producer Pt 2

I’ve been thinking about maker culture and theatre lately. Briefly – “Maker” gets used to describe a hacker/DIY culture that values getting involved in building tech and stuff from the ground up (see: Wikipedia, CBC’s Spark.) There’s a leaning towards digital, robots and 3D printing, but I might toss in the resurgence of craft and […]

2012 Open letter…

As we prepare to sing songs from 3penny together, an event that warms my heart every year, I want to share an open letter to the collaborators and supporters of Small Wooden Shoe.It is bolder in tone and more forthright than my Cape Breton upbringing usually feels comfortable with – but it is all also honest and true.  […]

A big list of things I did in 2012

January Dancemakers development for The Adpatation Project Antigone Dead People planning and plotting. Upper Toronto planning and plotting. February JZ travels to the PuSh Festival to pitch Antigone Dead People and see some shows. Upper Toronto at Parkdale Arts and Recreation Centre. JZ attends EMERGENCE: A Symposium on Community Arts Practice Boys who say no […]

2012 Big list of thanks

Along with choir singing (ours, where we sing 3penny Opera, is on Sunday the 30th – click here)It’s the time of year for lists, including lists of people – so I thought I’d make one of the people I’ve been blessed to collaborate with at Small Wooden Shoe this year. More or less in chronological […]

Artist as Producer Part 1

The first in a series of posts I’ve wanted to do for quite awhile – a post-internet, probably more mangled with logistical concerns, response to Walter Benjamin’s Author as ProducerSheila Heti’s Back to the World post on artists talking art is worth a read (click here), but a useful sample to start us off is: […]

Notes on “casual” performance.

Recently I was asked for some thoughts and red flags for moments of “casual” performance and audience interaction. This is a slightly edited version of what I wrote, in case it can be of use to anyone else. First, I mostly try to replace “casual” with “conversational” these days, since there’s little about casual about […]

“Contemporary theatre” and storytelling.

This is a long removed continuation of the conversation with Holger. But takes no account of the comments section which looks really good, but editing this post is more procrastination than I can afford. For the other ways I deal with theses questions: – Please join us at Koerner Hall any time (come and go) […]

To talk about depression.

I read Jacob Wren’s post on the day I woke up feeling it and wondered about writing about it. About why I don’t. I take two little pills a day and go see someone twice a week. I try to routinize my mornings and to exercise as part of that. I look for mindfulness training […]

On absolutely silly shit

One of the troubles of Dedicated to the Revolutions (and maybe many Small Wooden Shoe projects) was reconciling some of the big idea thinking with the often absurd, stupid and/or plain silly stuff that happens on stage. But in this trouble is something important to me – part of the big idea itself. A goal […]

Factory: Unthrowing my name

[Background] I am revoking / not going to submit my application for the position of Artistic Director of Factory Theatre. There are some very practical reasons.[1] but more than those – My application was made in an effort to have a conversation. This hasn’t materialized. I’ve had some interesting private chats with people I run […]

Attention and behaviour in the theatre

Some recent (slightly cranky) thoughts on attention and good audience behaviour: Be interesting enough to take photos of and record If the person next to me taking photo is more interesting or too distracting compared to what is on stage – that’s the performances problem not the audience members. That person is a fan – […]

Factory: Public Application

On the day that the situation is back in the news, Here is a draft of my Letter of Experience for the position of Artistic Director of Factory Theatre. I’ve broken it, for the purposes of the blog, into three posts plus the older cover letter Lots of people have asked if I expect that […]

Public Application Part 3: @Factory

@Factory Theatre [In which I talk about what imagine for a space like Factory. This is the first stage of the application and I haven’t seen any numbers or talked with staff, so there is an aspirational tone without the specifics, but I believe in collaborating based on aspirations and then working hard on the […]

Future thinking (from the past)

I just did a little survey that Eventbrite asked me to, and there were a couple interesting things for theatre: … over the next 12 months, how important do you think information from social networks will become in identifying the best attendees for events you plan to organize?” [emphasis mine] Not any attendee, not “new” […]