Torono, Trawno, T- Dot, The 6…. TORONTO
Regardless of where you come from, how you say it or what you think it’s called, Toronto is a wonderful, bustling city, rich in culture and the arts.
The origin of the city’s name “Taronto” stems from the small channel of water between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, where it meets at the mouth of the Humber River. Various lexicons of the name evolved but eventually settled on Toronto in the late 1650’s, a word that means “plenty.”
Today the city’s namesake is representative of it’s vibrant arts scene, particularly within the theatre world. Here is a list of the top five theatre arts companies to take in during your next visit to this great gem of a city.
Founded by David Mirvish in 1987, this company boasts some of the best commercial theatre in the business. Known more for its’ ability to house and reproduce touring hits from and of Broadway calibre, the Royal Alexandra theatre is one of the oldest performance houses in North America. Success in the early 90’s made way for the Princess of Wales Theatre, a 2000 seat venue that saw a London co-production of Miss Saigon in the 1993. Since then, the Mirvish group has gone on to purchase The Canon Theatre, previously home to Wicked and The Panasonic Theatre which was long-time inhabited by The Blue Man Group.
The name says it all. Once upon a time, this small non-profit initiative was created as a place of study and performance while focusing on producing new and old classics. Today they are well-known for their immersive youth outreach initiatives, professional training programs, solid and grounded performances and their ongoing mission to redefine the culture of theatre and the arts in an ever-changing climate. They live in the dreamy Distillery District in the Young Centre for Performing Arts.
Canadian Stage Company
This company is Canada’s third largest not for profit theatre organization, followed by The Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival. Known for their contemporary lineup of both new and modern pieces, the CSC’s seasons are always beautifully and thoughtfully curated. Home to three stages, each serves a different purpose; the Bluma Appel Theatre and the two stages as The Berkeley Street Theatre. From in-house play development, outreach and audience engagement and a wide reach of avid supporters, this company is a trusted and true source for amazing theatre.
Founded and developed in a historical building, a row house mansion of sorts that was originally built in the late 1800’s with the addition occurring in 1910. Administrative offices, lounges, workshops, rehearsal spaces and stages are maintained onsite, making this a one size fits all type of operation. With a commitment to cultivate and showcase Canadian playwrights, this company has been maintaining its’ mission since company was founded in 1970, and their doors opened in 1983.
Buddies in Bad Times
This black sheep brother stands out amongst it’s kin, in all the best ways. Unabashedly pro whatever they want to be, this company strives to give voice to the works of emerging artists. From sexually evocative tales to politically charged rants to intimate one-man or woman shows, to experimental art space, this company thrives on not knowing it’s own boundaries.