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Means of Production is the short-hand name (with a challenging history) for a two-year research and evaluation study for a pair of innovative theatre projects currently underway in Toronto.

Stripped down to its essence, this study is investigating two questions. Why Not Theatre’s RISER Project is asking, “What can a community do (to leverage the community’s resources)?”, while Generator (formerly STAF – the Small Theatre Administrative Facility) is asking, “What can the individual or collective do (to leverage one’s own resources)?”

Welcome to the Means of Production site: an ongoing documentation of the process of answering these questions, and an evaluation of the results.

The final year of this research and evaluation study will be conducted by Helen Yung; the initial iteration was evaluated by Sherri Helwig of S.L. Helwig & Associates. The evaluation is administered through the Toronto Arts Foundation, and generously supported by the Metcalf Foundation and Toronto Arts Foundation.

RISER Project, Why Not Theatre
First introduction to the Incubator Space - 06 December 2016

RISER 2017

The RISER Project is a collaborative producing model for theatre artists and companies to create and present new work. It was developed by Why Not Theatre in order to address some of the challenges of producing independent theatre in Toronto, including the high cost of production, difficulty of building audiences and inefficient use of resources and infrastructure. Planning in earnest for RISER 2017 is just now underway – more information will be shared as the progress continues.   For more…
Artist Producer Training (APT), Generator
End-of-stage Testing - 17 November 2016

APT at Generator – Second Iteration (2016-2017)

The second iteration of Generator’s Artist Producer Training (APT) initiative began in October 2016, and will be complete in spring 2017. APT participants in this second round are studying and practicing within a wide range of subjects. For example, the following is the list of the focus for the first stage of classes (October-November 2016): FIELD TRIP to see LITMUS THEATRE’s Brave New World Budgets – Naomi Campbell (Luminato Festival) Information Management – Katie Leamen (Generator) Production Management – Pip Bradford (Freelance PM and The Bellows organizer) Grantwriting…
RISER Project, Why Not Theatre
RISER 2016 Initial Meeting - 08 December 2015

RISER 2016

The RISER Project is a collaborative producing model for theatre artists and companies to create and present new work. It was developed by Why Not Theatre in order to address some of the challenges of producing independent theatre in Toronto, including the high cost of production, difficulty of building audiences and inefficient use of resources and infrastructure. In 2016, four shows were produced in repertory over five weeks total. “Dead Roads” by Neema Bickersteth, Darwin Lyons, Clare Preuss,…
Artist Producer Training (APT), Generator, STAF
Grantwriting with Adriano Sobretodo Jr., Litmus Theatre - 03 November 2015

APT at Generator – First Iteration (2015-2016)

The first iteration of Generator’s Artist Producer Training (APT) initiative was conducted between October 2015 and April 2016. The goal of APT is to have its graduates “create and implement projects and budgets that have the goal of paying a better wage to artists, gain skills to sustain a career in the arts, and improve the overall health of the theatre ecology”. APT involved some regular classroom-style learning in the Generator offices, led by professionals working in…
Annual Resident Companies, Generator, STAF
Generator Offices

Annual Resident Companies at Generator

Generator offers office space, equipment, and rehearsal time to project-based, independent theatre companies over one year of growth or change as Annual Resident Companies. For 2016/17 – the second year of the Annual Resident Companies initiative – Generator is introducing a two-tier residency system accepting two new resident companies as First Generation Resident Companies, and allowing companies from the previous year a repeat residency with more individualized focus (Second Generation Resident Companies). Each First Generation company…
RISER Project, Why Not Theatre
Collaborative Lights

Collaborative Producing – an article by Ravi Jain

[The following is a pre-publication draft of an article, with minor edits, subsequently published in the Canadian Theatre Review, issue 163, Summer 2015. Reproduced here with permission of CTR / the University of Toronto Press and the author.] To answer a question about the future, I will speak about some­thing I am doing in the present to address major challenges inde­pendent artists face, which I hope will shape the future. Of course, this present is…