Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of April 26, 2010

by Leanne Milech

Five for Twenty (Or Less)

This week, we feature free Toronto theatre – yes, that’s right: all of our cheap Toronto theatre picks for this week cost nothing at all (well, one costs next to nothing, but it’s worth it!).  We also suggest theatre-ish experiences, rather than the usual play.  Comedy, readings and talent shows all qualify as theatre in their own way, and they should not be forsaken.  Toronto has so much to offer by way of all shows that we figured we should highlight some non-traditional free theatre in the hopes that you will attend one or two of our suggestions, and then keep on going back for more.  Enjoy!

1) Sing For Your Supper – Cold Reading Series (Red One Theatre)

– New scripts will be read at this monthly series, which takes place tomorrow, April 27 at 8 pm for free!

– Scripts are submitted by emerging Toronto playwrights, and audiences of Sing For Your Supper vote for their favourite play; Red One Theatre then donates $500 in prize money to the winning playwright in support of that play’s development!  Pretty cool, huh?  And it doesn’t cost you a thing to participate!

– See it at Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue).

– Get more info at

2) Pink Ink Zine Launch (Mayworks Festival)

– Our editor, Megan, is super excited about this zine’s launch, which features readings and rants by queer youth on Wednesday, Apr. 28 at 7:30 pm.  If you qualify as youth, this event is free!  (Otherwise it’s a piddly $5-$10 on a sliding scale.)

–  The event’s website made us even more excited about this launch, which supports a worthy cause.  In the words of Mayworks: “Pink Ink is a weekly creative writing drop-in facilitated by queer community artist and activist Karine Silverwoman. Pink Ink is a program of Supporting Our Youth and Sherbourne Health Centre and is sponsored by the Toronto Arts Council.  Stick around after the readings and rants for Elle Niño, co-founder and DJ of queer hip hop jam Yes Yes Y’all, spinning hip hop, R&B, reggae, electro and 90s classics. This is an all ages event – everyone’s invited!”

See it at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen W.).

3) The Door Prize Show (Zelda’s Living Well)

– If the Gladstone is too far west to hit up, try the equally entertaining weekly talent contest with hosts Richard Ryder of Proud FM fame and Shelitta Buffet this Wednesday, April 28, instead.

– Check out local talent at 8 pm at Zelda’s Living Well (692 Yonge) during this open mic competition, where the winner receives the PWYC pot from the door.

– Yes, this event is PWYC, rather than completely free, but if you’re ever been to Zelda’s for a night of rambunctious fun, you’ll already know that this talent show is worth the nominal fee!

– Call 416-922-2526 for more deets.

4) Isolated Incidents (Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts)

Free theatre events aren’t always bawdy and edgy; it’s possible to see high art for free too!  Take the Free Concert Series put on by the Canadian Opera Company, which takes place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen W.) most Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon and the first Wednesday of each month in the Richard Bradshaw Ampitheatre.

– This Thursday, April 29 at noon, the Canadian Opera Company presents solo classical bharatanatyam and contemporary dance by Nova Bhattacharya.

5) Friday Nights With Diaspora Dialogues (Diaspora Dialogues)

– Yet another event that our editor, the divine Miss M.M. is jonesing to see this week!  This series presents an excerpted play reading of A Song For Tomorrow by Christina Wong, plus readings by other professional Toronto authors on Friday, April 30 at 7 pm for – you guessed it – free!

– Part of the Keep Toronto Reading Festival, this is your last chance to attend the Friday night reading series, so don’t miss it!

– See it at the Palmerston Library (560 Palmerston).