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Theatre and Performance in Toronto

Theatre and Performance in Toronto

Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in Engli

Edited by Laura Levin

Playwrights Canada Press

Volume 21 in the series Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English


Gathers together for the first time a set of provocative critical essays that explore the development of Toronto as an important national and global site of cultural production. By highlighting a variety of strategies for reading theatre in Toronto, these essays ask timely questions about what it means to historicize performance in an urban context and how performance can serve as a useful lens for coming to terms with contemporary urban processes. They remind us that the specific cultural economies and ecologies of Toronto have not only been instrumental in shaping the identity of theatre in the city, but also that theatre and theatricality shape the way that Toronto’s civic identity is performed.



Toronto’s Baby Building Boom by Sandra Souchotte Ketchum (1979)

Growing Pains: Toronto Theatre in the 1970s by Robert Wallace (1980)

from In the Beginning Was Toronto: The Emergence of an Alternative Theatre Movement in English Canada by Renate Usmiani (1983)

from A Dialectical Drama of Facts and Fictions on the Feminist Fringe by Amanda Hale (1987)

Erasing Historical Difference: The Alternative Orthodoxy in Canadian Theatre by Alan Filewod (1989)

Six Million Dollars and Still Counting by M. NourbeSe Philip (1993)

Space Administration: Rereading the Material History of Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto by Michael McKinnie (1999)

Toronto’s Spectacular Stage by Susan Bennett (2005)

Multicultural Text, Intercultural Performance: The Performance Ecology of Contemporary Toronto by Ric Knowles (2009)

Evicted in—and from—Toronto: Walker’s Beautiful City at Factory Theatre by J. Chris Westgate (2009)

Building Utopia: Performance and the Fantasy of Urban Renewal in Contemporary Toronto by Laura Levin and Kim Solga (2009)

Decolonizing the Gathering Place: Chocolate Woman Dreams a Gathering House in Toronto by Jill Carter (2011)

The Foster Children of Buddies: Queer Women at 12 Alexander by Moynan King (2011)


Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English sets out to make the best critical and scholarly work in the field readily available. The series publishes the work of scholars and critics who have traced the coming-into-prominence of a vibrant theatrical community in English Canada.


Laura Levin is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at York University. Her research focuses on contemporary theatre and performance art, performing gender and sexuality, and site-specific and urban performance. She is editor of a number of collections and her writing appears in several books including Performance and the City and Mapping Landscapes for Performance as Research. She was recently awarded the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s Richard Plant Essay Award for her article, “Can the City Speak? Site-Specific Art After Poststructuralism” (2009).

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