Good things, short notice

Some today, some this week  -

  • Today at 4pm you should be at the Theatre Centre if you can. Nadia Ross and STO Union are in town and showing new ideas as part of the Tracy Wright Global Archive . It’s a treat to visit with the the 3 part work (installation, film and performance) about her travels to India seeking the seeker. The whole archive is a pretty amazing project and hats off to Franco, Ravi and Roxanne and co. for a rare, special and meaningful form of commissioning between an institution and artists. Also, a really lovely way to spend the afternoon. STO is company one should spend time with whenever available.
  • The Animal Project is a film by Toronto filmmaker (and previous STO Union collaborator) Ingrid Veninger . Small Wooden Shoe collaborator Hannah Cheesman is in it. It is very good and this is it’s opening weekend. As much as I love comic book movies and blockbusters – it’s a treat[1] a good indie film in the cinema and so this is your chance to do that:TIFF LightboxToday: 12:15, 2:30, 7:15, 9:30 and then through to Thursday.
  • Luminato is on and amongst celebrity and questions of stability – there’s actually some art happening too.
    • I’m looking forward to seeing Cineastas tonight. I saw a show by Argentine Mariano Pensotti at PuSh a few years back and really enjoyed it. For a theatre culture a little over-focused on Europe and the USA – this something different than that.
    • and we finally get Mammalian Diving Reflex’s All the Sex I’ve Ever Had in Toronto in full glory and that’s good news.
    • There’s a bunch of events and talks happening around the Copycat Academy that I’m curious about too. I’m catching Jennifer Doyle talk about emotion in contemporary art on Tuesday and while I don’t necessarily agree with Mårten Spångberg about much, but he made a big splash in the dance community last time he visited.
  • If talking Canadian dramaturgy is your thing – the LMDA Canada Mini-Conference is back on Monday at Tarragon to fill that need. Here’s the Facebook page. I’ll be there after rehearsals for The Summer Spectacular

Maybe see you in the next couple days.

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  1. And an important thing to do if you want to keep seeing independent films on screens in the future.  ↩
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Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 4.43.03 PM

We now return to our regular programming.


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Puppets are great, but not enough

We reached our target – thanks so much.

In talking about The Summer Spectacular – often I’m all “Big Puppets! Spectacular! Summer!”

Which is all true
but not everything.

We’re making the mash-up of history, science, politics and fun that I like so much and want more of in our theatre (and our world.)

We’re going to create the show by touring the park and telling each other [1] a mix of stories:

  • The Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus forms the scaffolding of the narrative. Often told as a warning to not get too big for your britches – “Don’t fly too close to the sun!” – I wonder if maybe we should ask “Why were they imprisoned on an island that they needed to invent wax wings to fly away from?”
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer is an iconic figure – physicist, activist, leader of the Manhatten Project to develop the Atom Bomb and accused communist and security threat.
  • Aaron Swartz was an activist and much loved citizen of the internet and democratic reform. While being over prosecuted by the US government and MIT he took his own life at 26.
  • A new barely science fiction story set in 2018 about a Canadian scientist having some trouble with the government about what she wants to say.


“Trying to poison your tutor is no small infraction. Then again, you might decide, as the dons at Cambridge clearly did, that what had happened called for a measure of leniency. They knew that the student had never done anything like this before, and that he wasn’t well.” – Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker

“Two years ago, he was indicted on multiple felony counts for downloading several million articles from the academic database jstor. It is not clear why he did this. He may have wanted to analyze the articles, or he may have intended to upload them onto the Web, so they could be accessed by anyone. It is clear that he did not anticipate the astonishing severity of the legal response.” – Larissa Macfarquhar in The New Yorker

“This story thus encourages others to consider the long-term consequences of their own inventions with great care, lest those inventions do more harm than good” – Somebody on Wikipedia

“I’m pleased to announce the Support Our Strengths Act – ensuring that our leaders in extraction science will be able fast track their work without interference from destructive fringe elements.” Prime Minister Vic Toews, 2018 press statement. Elected to Majority Government with the support 13% of eligible voters.[2]


I made a map of some thinking around the ethics and reasons for telling stories about people who are real. I’m only one degree of separation from people who loved Aaron and so I felt it was important to think through and articulate. Click to see the whole thing.

Ethics mindmap

  1. So that we can tell you
  2. This is fiction. I hope
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Be 1 of the 67.8 10!


For just $25 you can make sureScreen Shot 2014-05-20 at 9.48.13 PM
The Summer Spectacular
is as spectacular as it should be.

Give now

With only 5 days left,
we need 67.8 40.8 of you to
give $25 to reach our goal. [1]

“I can do that. Take me there.

Your contribution will help us get the fabric, rope, paint, wood and aluminum that we’ll use to make the three giant puppets.

It will help us pay for the 3D printing and miniatures that will create the tiny worlds we’ll tour in the park.

It will mean that everything from the door goes directly to the artists.

“That all sound great – I’ll give now”

If you have more than $25 to give, AMAZBALLS. There’s some fun and/or ritualistically satisfying treats for you.

“I like treats!

Thanks so much

let me know if you have any questions

  1. That’s 13.56 a day, if you’re curious  ↩
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