#URGENTEXCHANGE

Generator's Executive Director Michael Wheeler and panelists S.Bear Bergman, Michelle MacArthur, Glenn Sumi and Carly Maga talking Theatre Criticism in a digital age at Theatre Passe Muraille on Jan. 13, 2017.

Generator's Executive Director Michael Wheeler and panelists S.Bear Bergman, Michelle MacArthur, Glenn Sumi and Carly Maga talking Theatre Criticism in a digital age at Theatre Passe Muraille on Jan. 13, 2017.

#URGENTEXCHANGE

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In partnership with the Toronto Fringe Festival and Next Stage Theatre Festival, we host #UrgentExchanges on important and timely issues for indie artists. To ensure we are discussing the things YOU want to talk about, we crowdsource one of the topics using the hashtag #UrgentExchange, the other we pick from artists’ concerns we keep hearing. These are free events to attend in person and everyone is invited to participate in the conversations leading up to, during and afterwards through the hashtag and via Periscope through @GeneratorTO.  Be part of the exchanges that engage artists from coast to coast debating indie arts issues!

HOW WE CROWDSOURCE A TOPIC:

For two weeks people are encouraged to propose topics using the hashtag #UrgentExchange.

Based on retweets and favs, we select the top three finalists which are announced at the Fringe Festival Lottery Party or Fringe Festival Opening.

People then have one week to vote for the final topic via Twitter poll. 

 

 

RETURNING TO THE NEXT STAGE THEATRE FESTIVAL (NSTF) JANUARY 2018: 

THE VOTES ARE IN. THE WINNER IS....

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As always, the last couple weeks we've crowdsourced topics and voted on the final topic YOU want to discuss at #UrgentExchangethis January in partnership with the Toronto Fringe and the Next Stage Theatre Festival. It was a very close race with the highest number of twitterpoll votes to date. Thank you all for your suggestions and votes and now without further ado, here are our two topics for January's #UrgentExchange:
 

Who is a Monster? What makes a Monster? Am I a Monster? #MeToo What next?

Saturday January 6, 1-3pm
Theatre Passe Muraille


Our news feeds and social media have been flooded with how women, men and gender non-conforming folk are treated in our workplaces. New accusations, and firings, are happening almost daily. You tweet #IBelieveYou, but are you wondering if you’ve ever crossed a line? Are you unsure what to do #AfterMeToo? Is #YesAllWomen making you wonder what you aren’t seeing?

Join #UrgentExchange on Saturday, January 6 from 1:00-3:30 PM for an afternoon of learning and unlearning about Toronto’s live performance workplace through eight different models for change. Come to be heard or to listen. Together we will come up with solutions and strategies for transforming how we make work together and the spaces where art happens.

Have an idea to bring forward? Email kristina@generatorto.com
 

Desiring Diversity, but who can afford to work for free?

Thursday January 4, 7-9pm
Theatre Passe Muraille


The desire to do work with more diversity, inclusivity and accessibility is strong in Toronto’s independent performance community but can our communities be truly inclusive if financial obligations keep many artists out of our rehearsal halls? Who has the ability to ride the financial risk of a career in the arts? What can creators with financial privilege do to shift the systemic classism in the arts? Join us on Thursday, January 4 from 7:00-9:00 PM for a conversation with artists on class and the arts.

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PREVIOUS TOPICS

MID-CAREER CRISIS: Can you get your mojo back?*

Monday, July 10, 5-6:30pm at Neville's Nook Tent @ The Fringe Club

*AS PICKED BY YOU! Hannes Schwandt, a researcher with Princeton University states that "Mid-career crises are, in fact, a widespread regularity, rather than the misfortune of a few individuals." If satisfaction is indeed a U-shaped curve what can we learn from those who have gone before and how can we create new opportunities in our practice and in our lives? Join the respected panelists David Yee (Artistic Director at fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company),  Deanna Fleyser (Fringe artist, Butt Kapinski), Elenna Mosof (CEO of The Mission Business & Life Coach) and moderator Kristina Lemieux as we delve into ups and downs of mid-career. #UrgentExchange

MISSED THE CONVERSATION? We captured all the tweets in a coherent thread with Storify. Read it on our vlog. 

WORK/WORK BALANCE

Thursday, July 13, 5-6:30pm at the Neville's Nook Tent @ The Fringe Club

How can we balance what we do for love vs. what we do to live and is there room for overlap? Is it possible to find work that inspires you artistically and pays the bills? 

Let’s collect our experiences and share our strategies on balancing the beast of living in Toronto with being inspired as artists. You might be the novice or you might be the expert at this #UrgentExchange.

MISSED THE CONVERSATION? We captured all the tweets in a coherent thread with Storify. Read it on our vlog. 

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WHAT IS CRITICISM IN AN AGE WHERE ANYONE CAN BE A CRITIC?

Thursday Jan 12th, 20177:00pm-8:30pm
Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave

*Twitter sourced topic* When reviews can be crowdsourced and galvanized with a click of a button, what does that mean for theatre criticism? Generator's Executive Director Michael Wheeler leads a discussion on the on criticism in a self-publishing digital age. Are there new parameters to determining merit and informing audiences? Do critics require qualifications? What IS a review? Join the panel to discuss if we should we embrace all opinions as equal or leave theatre criticism to the experts.

Panelists:

 
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S.Bear Bergman is a storyteller, a theater artist, an instigator, a gender-jammer, and a good example of what happens when you overeducate a contrarian.  He has great faith in the power of theatre to make change, and has been putting his money where his mouth is on that one for some time. A writer, performer, and lecturer, Bear works full time as an artist and cultural worker and is a Senior Writer for Mooney on Theatre.

 

Carly Maga is a theatre critic for the Toronto Star, and has covered Toronto theatre since 2010. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University and a Master's in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University.

 

 

Michelle MacArthur is Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor's School of Dramatic Art. She is editor-in-chief of alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage and co-editor of the Fall 2016 issue of Canadian Theatre Review on Theatre Criticism. Her research on theatre criticism in the digital age has been published in Theatre Research in Canada, CTR, and the edited collection, Theatre Criticism: Changing Landscapes (2016).

 

 

Glenn Sumi is the associate entertainment editor (stage/film) at Toronto’s NOW Magazine where he’s written about theatre, film, dance and comedy for over 15 years. He’s written for several newspapers and magazines, has been a pop culture correspondent for CBC Radio and, for three years, was a weekly arts contributor to CTV NewsChannel’s weekend show.

Group shot of the brave participants wanting to tackle challenges with hiring practices in Canadian theatre at The White Guy Shuffle on Jan 15, 2017.

Group shot of the brave participants wanting to tackle challenges with hiring practices in Canadian theatre at The White Guy Shuffle on Jan 15, 2017.

THE WHITE GUY SHUFFLE: CHANGING HIRING PRACTICES IN CANADIAN THEATRE

Check out our vlog post with responses to this #UrgentExchange! (click to go to the vlog)

Sunday Jan 15th 2017.  2:00pm-3:30pm
Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave

This past year over half a dozen Artistic Director jobs were up for grabs across Canada. While many were excited at the chance to finally diversify the leadership of some of our country's most recognizable institutions, all of the positions were filled by white men. How can we influence boards and hiring committees to change homogenous hiring practices? Come participate in a community conversation that will examine the mechanics of how these decisions are made and strategize how the community can be of influence. 

Some background reading to prepare for the discussion (links in the article title):

THE FUTURE OF THE STOREFRONT MOVEMENT

Monday January 11th, 2016 @ 7:30pm
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street

With the surge of storefront theatres in Toronto, indie artists are moving away from studio theatres in favour of more transient locations. Is this a sustainable model or simply the latest fad? Many wonder if it is truly helpful in developing audiences. Join our esteemed panel as we discuss the future of the storefront movement.

Panelists: Claire Burns, Diana Bentley and Cole Alvis

THE MYTH OF A PROFESSIONAL CAREER IN THEATRE

Tuesday January 12th, 2016 @ 7:30pm
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street

A candid and informative discussion on the ever elusive career in professional theatre. Is there enough work available in Canada to expect regular employment? Can you sustain a decent lifestyle on your artistic earnings? Our panelists will speak from their own personal experience, offering thoughts on the challenges of raising a family as an artist, preserving mental health amidst multiple projects, and sustaining passion for your art.

Panelists: Marjorie Chan, Richard Rose and Nigel Shawn Williams

IS "EMERGING" A USEFUL LABEL? 

Sunday, January 17, 2016 @ 7:30pm
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street