What counts as theatre to you?

by Megan Mooney


When you think of theatre, what do you think of? I’m betting for the most part people think of a proscenium arch, actors on a stage behind that arch acting out a story for the audience.

One of the best lessons I have ever learned about theatre I learned in my first year of university. I was in an ‘Introduction to Theatre’ being taught by Ric Knowles. Ric taught us that theatre was everywhere. We went to a baseball game, to a religious ceremony, we went to dance performances and the opera, and we even when to a few shows that could be considered almost ‘traditional’ theatre.

It was a great eye-opening experience. It showed me that theatre is all around. There are so many things that follow a type of script, that have costumes, that are performed for an audience. Baseball games follow a script, have costumes and an audience.

It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of theatre. It helped me to appreciate some of what was out there for me to appreciate and enjoy.

Ric taught me a lesson that I will treasure forever. I loved having my eyes opened to theatre all around me. Of it being part of day to day life. It’s part of what makes me so passionate about the idea of theatre being for everyone.

People get so caught up the idea of theatre, the idea that you have to get dressed up to go to a show, or the idea that you have to have some kind of training so that you can approach a piece with artistic dissection.

But the truth is, none of that matters. Theatre can be enjoyed on so many levels. If you want to get dressed up and make a big deal about then go for it. But if you want to just do something to pass the time on a Thursday night, then it’s great for that too. If you look for it, this city is FULL of reasonably priced theatre, generally for not much more than the cost of a movie. The trick is just to go to shows that aren’t the big mainstream $100 a ticket shows.

Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Buddies In Bad Times, Alumnae Theatre, these are all places where you can see a show from in around $30. Then there are the smaller companies, the ones that don’t have a steady venue, often those run in the $10-$15 range. So, if you’re bored some night, take a minute to dig through some theatre listings and get your evening entertainment while also supporting the arts community in Toronto directly.

Good places to check out for listings include:

Toronto Live Theatre

NOW Magazine

Eye Magazine

Image by joshb_md