Events, Talkshows & More

Engage More

At Harbourfront Centre's World Stage, we want more than just a performance: more dialogue, more community, more tea. Take advantage of our season extras and enrich your theatre experience.

Pre-show Teas

Join one of our provocative World Stage Scholars-in-Residence for a pre-show tea! VK Preston and Matt Sergi, both professors at the University of Toronto, have created a series of structured, highly interactive discussions, custom-fit to each show in our season, to get World Stage audiences thinking, debating, and buzzing with questions as they enter the theatre. Pre-Show Teas begin at 7pm and admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance.

Matthew Sergi is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto. A recipient of the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society’s Palmer Award and Stevens Award, as well as the Medieval Academy’s Schallek Award, Matt uses his experience and training in live theatre to interpret practical challenges in early dramatic texts. His first major research project, on practical cues in the Chester plays, reveals irreverent camp festivity in the implicit conventions that shape biblical drama; his second project, on economic concerns in medieval play productions, has taken shape not only in publications but also in live productions of medieval plays that have toured the UK and North America.

VK Preston is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Her work investigates dance, performativity, critical theory, and history. Her writing appears in The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theatre, TDR/ The Drama Review, Performance Research, Canadian Theatre Review and Theatre Journal. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from Stanford University and completed her postdoctoral work at McGill University’s Institute for the Public Life of the Arts and Ideas. VK comes to scholarship by way of professional training in dance, theatre, and visual art.

Talkshows

The second performance of every World Stage production is followed by a talkshow event, where the artists connect with you outside their work, fielding your questions with the moderation of their colleagues in the community. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get.

Past Events

  • April 4, 2017

    Rankefod – Pre-show Tea

    In our first pre-show event of the season, World Stage Scholars-in-Residence VK Preston and Matthew Sergi meet over tea to host an open, thought-provoking chat about the purposes and limits of performance — the why of shows like this (a good way to start the season!). Danish artist Kitt Johnson’s solo studies what the artist calls a ‘pre-archaic’ body offering ‘evolutionary’ feeling and embodiment. But even by using dance as language, bypassing speech, can we really understand things beyond ourselves — without automatically reshaping things in our own image? Why do artists try so often to escape themselves, to represent and interpret the unknowable? How can we as an audience follow them there (and should we)?

    Performance details
  • April 5, 2017

    Rankefod – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Brandy Leary

    The founder of Ananda Dancetheatre, Brandy Leary, joins us as the talkshow host for Rankefod. Brandy creates contemporary performances through the body: active as a dancer, choreographer, aerialist, writer, arts advocate, community cultivator, space maker, Artistic Director, educator and curator. As a driving force in the evolution of contemporary movement practice in Toronto, working from values of discourse development, curiousity and collaboration, her discussion with Kitt Johnson and the X-act team should not be missed.

    Performance details
  • April 5, 2017

    LEAR: A Retrospective – Pre-show Tea

    For our pre-show tea event preceding Lear: A Retrospective, Scholar-in-Residence Matt Sergi will be joined by an exciting special guest: renowned Shakespeare scholar Holger Syme, whose controversial online remarks about King Lear erupted into a much-publicized war of words last year. Rather than lecture, the two early drama scholars will challenge the World Stage audience to join them in a game of “Scholar’s Advocate” — in which we try to counter every positive statement with a fair argument to the contrary. If we all play it right, then everything we think we know about being faithful to an authentic Shakespeare text, and about what it means to perform or witness King Lear in 2017, should get duly shaken up.

    Performance details
  • April 6, 2017

    Steer – Pre-show Tea

    Toronto-based ZataOmm experiments with the dancing body and the screen suggest profound intersections with the art and design movement sometimes also known as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). William Yong’s recent models of collaboration between dance-making and technology challenge the apparent siloing of disciplines between art and science. Join Scholar-in-Residence VK Preston to think with these multi-dimensional proposals.

    Performance details
  • April 6, 2017

    LEAR: A Retrospective – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Clyde Wagner

    Clyde Wagner is the President and CEO of Civic Theatres Toronto. His experience includes: Senior Producer, Park Avenue Armory; Executive Producer Luminato; Partner in PVW; Founder for Sweet Caesar Inc.; Associate creative director for eLUXURY.com.

    Performance details
  • April 7, 2017

    Steer – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Leslie Korrick

    Dr. Leslie Korrick is currently an Associate Professor in York’s Department of Visual Art and Art History. She is appointed to the graduate programs in both Art History & Visual Culture and Science & Technology Studies. Traversing periods and geographies, Dr. Korrick’s research focuses on intersections between the arts; constructions of culture through art forms, architecture, urban spaces, collecting, and display; art-science relations; and sound studies.

    Performance details
  • April 11, 2017

    The Radio Show – Pre-show Tea

    Kyle Abraham’s virtuosic performance takes community radio as a site of study embodied by cutting-edge dancers. Exploring intergenerational politics and black radio, embodied and cognitive studies of Alzheimer’s and aphasia here also become political investigations in Abraham’s stylized, interdisciplinary, and rich movement vocabularies. Before the opening, join World Stage Scholar-in-Residence VK Preston to address Abraham’s innovative and popular choreographies, inviting complex entanglements of hip-hop and modern dance, politics and memory.

    Performance details
  • April 12, 2017

    Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry – Pre-show Tea

    Join Scholar-in-Residence Matt Sergi for a pre-show tea preceding Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry. Matt will invite World Stage attendees to join him in a structured brainstorm, in which we think through the technologies and tools we use (and use up), and the way that these objects tell our stories and preserve our memories imperfectly (and since Matt is a medieval theatre scholar, he’ll help us extend that brainstorm well into the past!). We’ll talk frankly about what traces can be seen of us from the scraps we leave behind, and about what happens when those scraps get pieced together after the fact — or simply thrown away.

    Performance details
  • April 12, 2017

    The Radio Show – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Sean Robertson-Palmer

    Sean Robertson-Palmer is an interdisciplinary performer and founding member of the Kadozuke Kollektif, a Toronto-based performance company that has been producing theatre and performance installations since 2005. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Performance Studies at York University, where he focuses on Hip Hop performance, audiences and globalization. Sean’s editorial work and writings on music, culture and fashion can be seen in GQ Magazine.

    Performance details
  • April 13, 2017

    KAMP (CAMP) – Pre-show Tea

    KAMP (CAMP), according to its makers Hotel Modern, is in some ways a response to Theodor Adorno’s provocative suggestion that “to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Before opening night, Scholars-in-Residence VK Preston and Matt Sergi will engage in an open debate about what the role of the poet, artist, or theatre-maker can or should be at our current moment in history, when concerns about fascism seem newly relevant, and when highbrow culture is frequently made the target of populist complaints. The debate will take form around audience response, so please join us and let your voice be heard.

    Performance details
  • April 13, 2017

    Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Shannon Cochrane

    Shannon Cochrane is the Artistic Director of FADO Performance Art Centre, a Toronto-based artist-run centre established in 1993, which presents the work of contemporary performance artists from across Canada and around the world. As a platform, FADO exists nomadically, utilizing venues and sites that are appropriate to individual projects. Shannon is also a co-founding member of the Toronto Performance Art Collective, which presents the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art (established in 1997). Shannon’s own performance work has been presented across Canada and the United States, and in over 18 countries in Asia, Europe, and the UK

    Performance details
  • April 14, 2017

    KAMP (CAMP) – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Shira Leuchter

    Shira Leuchter works as both an actor and theatre creator, and she is the Creative Director with UnSpun Theatre. She has performed with award-winning theatre companies including Cahoots Theatre, Convergence Theatre, Native Earth and fu-GEN, and she is also a freelance illustrator and painter. She has created commissions for companies including Harbourfront Centre and the Gardiner Museum.

    Performance details
  • April 18, 2017

    My Arm – Pre-show Tea

    The more experimental a performance presents itself as, the more it can feel like a kind of con. Are these strange performers truly creating art, or — if some critics are to be believed — are they gaming the system to get paid for useless nonsense? Is art, to quote Tim Crouch out of context, simply “anything you can get away with”? Before the opening performance of Crouch’s My Arm, join Scholar-in-Residence Matt Sergi for a structured opportunity to share with fellow audience members your opinions, inspirations, and even frustrations for what performance makers “get away with,” or to defend such artistic roguery as a cultural necessity.

    Performance details
  • April 19, 2017

    Mies Julie – Pre-show Tea

    Yaël Farber’s acclaimed adaptation of August Strindberg’s canonical script takes up decolonization movements, politics, and casting. Setting Miss Julie in the context of a rural South African farm during festivals celebrating emancipation from apartheid, this engagement with the unequal privileges and desires of Xhosa and Afrikaans characters collides in what is perhaps the most well-known contemporary version of this classic work. Join VK Preston for a pre-performance conversation on Mies Julie focusing on intersectional approaches to dramaturgy and the canon.

    Performance details
  • April 19, 2017

    My Arm – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Chris Reynolds

    Chris Reynolds is a freelance producer and consultant who co-founded CRATE productions. He was formerly artistic associate in the performing arts department at Harbourfront Centre where he played a vital role in the management of seven World Stage seasons, including commissioning and touring of new theatre and dance works, and presentation of international projects from one-person shows all the way to a 60-dachshund durational performance.

    Performance details
  • April 20, 2017

    Mies Julie – Talkshow

    Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.

    Hosted by Salvatore Antonio

    Salvatore Antonio is a Governor-General’s Award nominated playwright and actor. His most recent play ‘Sheets’, just finished a successful run at The Theatre Centre. He was last seen on stage playing the title-role in ‘Botticelli In The Fire’ by Jordan Tannahill. Salvatore is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

    Performance details