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Creation Lab Blog

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

now in the creation lab: cow over moon children’s theatre present: hansel and gretel

Cow Over Moon is preparing for our December show, Hansel & Gretel, which will be taking place at the Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto and The Maja Prentice Theatre in Mississauga.

Cow Over Moon’s Hansel & Gretel is a modern twist of the classic tale. In our show the brother and sister duo, who have long relied on gadgets and technology, suddenly find themselves in a situation where they have to rely on their cunning and instinct instead.

Will they make it to the Enchanted Gingerbread House without an iPhone, and what will they do when they meet the witch?

Watch Hansel and Gretel discover the importance of teamwork and truly understand the meaning of the words family and home.

With dancing, singing, improvisation and audience participation Hansel & Gretel has something for everyone.


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Faisal Butt and Gene Abella.



Carys Lewis and Michelle Thibodeau












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Gene Abella and Michelle Thibodeau


Tickets can be purchased here:




Monday, November 10th, 2014

now in the creation lab: “This is why we Live …” by Open Heart Surgery

This is why we Live …

Is a new play inspired by the poetry and collage work of Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. Often called “The Mozart of Poetry”, her work is so relatable, honest, whimsical and ironic while also touching on universal topics of existence.  We have been taking her poems and finding ways of performing them, engaging with her words and text in a visceral way.  After leaving the Lecoq school in Paris we have come together to Toronto to create our first  piece.  This new work is inspired by surrealism, cabaret and the poetry of Szymborska – and we are excited to dive into the first phase of this project at the Fringe Creation Lab with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

This is why we live…Directed by Coleen MacPherson and Translations by Viktor Lukawski



Wislawa Szymborska






















Creating in the Lab!

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(Nick Storring, Alaine Hutton, Elodie Monteau)


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(Alaine Hutton and Elodie Monteau)

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

BIG SHOT: Running January 8-18 as part of the Fringe’s Next Stage Theatre festival

Surreal SoReal Theatre, an award-winning touring physical theatre company, comes to the Toronto Fringe’s NEXT STAGE THEATRE FESTIVAL, bringing their thrilling tour-de-force, BIG SHOT to Toronto for the first time since 2008!

Massively impressive… a challenging puzzle for the audience”  – The Georgia Straight

About the show: A shooting has just occurred on the Vancouver Skytrain, and a twelve-year-old boy who was at the scene of the crime retells it all for the audience, in the style of his favorite action movies. Complete with slo-mo stops, freeze frames and fast-forwards, the boy weaves in and out of every character involved, all a part of Vancouver’s diverse, fractured communities. Big Shot is a portrait of the tensions that rise when different cultures within the urban community are forced to fight for themselves – and a riveting piece of multi-media physical theatre.

The black-clad Stewart actually seems to change the planes of his face with every character he plays” – The Winnipeg Free Press (Big Shot)





Big Shot

Jon Lachlan Stewart



Written and performed by JON LACHLAN STEWART
Projection design by MATT SCHUURMAN and PAUL BEZAIRE
Videography by CINDY AUYEUNG
Stage managed by BRIAN KENNY
Japanese speech coach


Facebook: SurrealSoRealTheatre

Twitter: @SurrealTheatre


Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

In the creation lab now: Jasmyn Fyffe Dance presents PULSE

We are currently remounting Pulse for the 2015 NSTF and are so grateful to have access to the Creation Lab. We will be utilizing the space to rehearse/warm up before each performance day of the upcoming festival
-Trudy Lee Gayle
PulsePulse, Montreal Fringe, 2013
L to R: Roney Lewis & Bretonie Burchell
Photographer: Jamie Johnston



Pulse (2)
Pulse, Montreal Fringe, 2013 
L to R: Irvin Chow, Bretonie Burchell, Jessica Tomasone, Alyssa Petrolo, Daniel McArthur & Roney Lewis
Photographer: Jamie Johnston

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Rehearsing now in Creation Lab for NSTF: SNAFU Snack Music

Free Snacks! Live Music! Experience fiery grassroots storytelling where Real People share their personal True Stories, except the Real People are You, and professional animators replay your story using phantasmagorical puppetry.

Co-Artistic Director Ingrid Hansen collaborating with musician Steve Chmilar and puppeteer Andrew Young

Appearing at the Factory Theatre bar during Next Stage Theatre Festival!

Snack Music

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

now in the creation lab: Shotgun Juliet presents STEALTH


Matt Eger Headshot

Hello there!

My name is Matthew Eger and I am the Artistic Director of a new theatre company called Shotgun Juliet. Shotgun Juliet is a new Canadian theatre company devoted to creating new, innovative, and exciting theatrical works. Starting out, it is close to impossible to find affordable space, and without opportunities like the creation lab, productions like STEALTH would never happen.

A little bit about our show: Four women have vowed to be silent and in hiding throughout the night. Is what threatens them outside, or is it hiding with them in the shadows? When one attempts escape, nothing will ever be the same.

Directed/Conceived by Matthew Eger

Choreographed/Performed by Patricia Allison, Miranda Forbes, Darwin Lyon, and Amanda Pye

Cast Miranda Small
Cast of STEALTH                                                          Miranda Small


8-11 Gallery, 233 Spadina (Entrance in alley off Sullivan St.)

October 28th – Nov 1st


Tickets $17 @ the door (cash only)

Inquiries send to




Monday, October 20th, 2014

Now in the Creation Lab: Johnson Girls – My Treasure Island


Richard at C-Lab

Little Richard from My Treasure Island!!!


We rehearsed our show, My Treasure Island!!!, at C-Lab. It plays at Passe Muraille’s Backspace Oct. 24 – Nov. 16, 2014. It’s a comedy about a young woman who becomes obsessed with Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, Treasure Island. 

Rehearsing at C-Lab was great. Nice natural light and good floors. Love the café on the first floor and the supercool conglomeration of people doing work in that building, The Centre for Social Innovation. No issues with noise and the cupboard is a godsend!

Many thanks!

Karen Woolridge

Producer, Johnson Girls



My Treasure Island!!! stars Caitlin Driscoll (Punch Up) and Gemma James-Smith ( Directed by Kate Lynch.




For More Information visit:

Twitter hashtag: #MyTreasureIsland


Thursday, June 12th, 2014

now in the Creation Lab: The Kalamazoo Diaries

Esther and friends

Esther and her pet iguana

Several years ago, my boss told me that I needed to attend a medieval studies conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan—aptly referred to by the pros as The Zoo- with 3180 people who spend both their professional and personal time studying things like How to Properly Build a Trebuchet or How many Bees does it take to make a glass of Mead?

I’m not kidding.

To save my sanity during those 4 days, I kept a diary of my experiences in the margins of a book. Those notes became a blog and on the advice of a colleague, I turned it into a play, The Kalamazoo Diaries, which is having its first production at the 2014 Hamilton Fringe Festival.

Having never written or produced a play before, I wasn’t sure where to begin to look for accessible and reasonably-priced rehearsal space.

“Go right to the Creation Lab! It’s central, affordable and I love working in that space”, said my director, LJ Nelles, a veteran of the Toronto theatre scene. And so I did.

Booking space through the extremely user-friendly C-Lab online calendar was a cinch and when I had to make changes (I have since learned that arranging actors’ schedules is comparable to organizing a wedding), Rahel, a staff member from the Toronto Fringe Festival was most accommodating and helpful. But my biggest sigh of relief came when Rahel told me what the space would cost. It was so much less than other places I had checked out! And now, those savings will go happily to my hard-working cast and director.

So if you are walking on Bathurst and just south of Bloor, and you happen to hear Gregorian chant emanating from the 4th floor of the Centre for Social Innovation or see the shadow of Viking horns through the window, that would be LJ and the cast rehearsing gratefully in the Creation Lab.

I hope to see you in Hamilton this summer,

Natalie Fingerhut
Playwright and Producer, The Kalamazoo Diaries

Stuck at a medieval studies conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan (a.k.a. The Zoo) with 3180 die-hard medievalists, reluctant medieval studies editor, Natalie Fingerhut, struggles to make sense of the past while being haunted in the present. Believe it or not, this play is funny.

The Kalamazoo Diaries – a serious comedy asking a serious question: How do you really know what happened in the past.

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Natalie Fingerhut

Join our Facebook page for updates and details: “The Kalamazoo Diaries at the Hamilton Fringe!”


You can check out Natalie’s blog posts from her time time at The Zoo here

Monday, June 9th, 2014

now in the creation lab: we are knot rivals

We Are Knot Rivals will be presenting their latest work, I Was Born White, at this year’s Toronto Fringe (from July 2nd to the 13th). We were able to catch up with Melisse Watson as rehearsals were on in the C-Lab.

we are knot rivals c lab post


I Was Born White is a multi-media dance performance that tells the true story of my interracial adoption. My family made the decision to adopt and raise a white baby but soon learned that their new child was, instead, Black. This is the life of this Black child – of white and Indigenous ancestry – and how I grew to see myself holistically.

Telling my adoption story – and all of the complexity, beauty and hardship that comes with it – what has been made easy has been the new home Knot Rivals Company has been invited into to make our show a reality!

Rehearsing at the Fringe Creation Lab has not only been incredibly inspiring but also encouraging and accessible. As a dance company, rehearsals are critical – they can’t just be done anywhere! We’ve needed space to move and delve into the characters each dancer has been exploring over the last few months, and the Creation Lab has been by far the best option for us thus far to accommodate all the dancers and sound-makers involved!

In addition to the creative energy the space carries, I walk in and out with a little more change in my pocket than I normally would! We as a company appreciate how affordable the space has stayed, because with a small budget, there’s nothing like renting space to rehearse for single digits – we are more than happy to support a space that supports us as artists, and ultimately creates more space for more stories to make it to the stage.

This adoption into the arms of the Creation Lab has allowed the story we’re telling to thrive.  We cannot wait to present I Was Born White; from the womb to the stage, thank you Fringe Creation Lab, you’ve been wonderful company!

Come see I Was Born White, it will be a show not to be missed! For more information go to:

Robert Gill Theatre (214 College Street, 3rd Floor):

Wednesday July 2, 8:45 pm

Saturday July 5, 4:00 pm

Sunday July 6, 12:00 pm

Tuesday July 8, 10:45 pm

Thursday July 10, 7:30 pm

Friday July 11, 11:30 pm

Saturday July 12, 5:15 pm

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

now in the Creation Lab: Theatre Relay



The Theatre Relay is a new project in its first year, designed for dynamic new theatre artists to hone their creative skills in theatre creation, direction and performance. Participants each create a 7-10 minute solo piece around one central pre-determined theme. After being given opportunities to share and workshop their ideas, they direct the performance of their piece by another artist, as well as performing the work of someone else. These works are then brought together to form our first mounted production.

Having access to the Fringe Creation lab has been incredibly beneficial for the project. It’s so conveniently located and accessible, and the subsidized hours have made it possible to actually provide the company with a beautiful, open neutral space to explore the work (and to escape the pain of having to rehearse in our tiny living rooms!). We’re so excited to watch the work of these flourishing artists grow, and we can’t wait to see what happens!




 Collaborating Director: Shayne Monaghan

Producer: Julia Haist

Featuring:  Lisa Alves, Eduardo DiMartino, Julia Haist, Charles Manzo,

Franny McCabe-Bennett,  Ruthie Pytka-Jones, Shea Wojtus

The Box Toronto, 89 Niagara Street, Toronto ON


June 13th, 2014 -7:30 pm  – $10 admission by email (  or at the door

June 14th, 2014 – 2:00 pm -PWYC admission at the door

June 14th, 2014 – 7:30 pm -$10 admission by email or at the door


For More Information, Visit: