Clay and Paper Theatre
In 1994 as the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park began to envision a park that was "a community centre without walls", Clay and Paper Theatre was invited to establish its residency in the park's Field House. That same year, inspired by the newly built park bake ovens, Clay and Paper Theatre produced the play The Resurrection of Fornax, and thus the company's penchant for telling local stories with giant images and puppets, as well as building and rehearsing in public space, was born.
This is how Clay and Paper Theatre became a "theatre without walls", the vision that still lies at the heart of all of our work today.
Clay and Paper Theatre seeks to reunite art with the daily life of the community, to invite everyone to dance on this earth and to give ourselves permission to dream in metaphors. Clay and Paper Theatre promotes the sanctity, accessibility and vibrancy of public space for all citizens by creating multi-disciplinary, image-based theatrical experiences with and for the whole community, by telling today's urgent stories through plays, pageants, parades and spectacles and making sure large and diverse audiences can always participate. We are committed to educating and training emerging artists, theatre practitioners and communities alike in puppetry, material arts building and performance techniques for today's outdoor story telling needs.
Thoughts About Art and Community
Clay and Paper Theatre brings together seasoned arts professionals and practitioners, emerging artists, not-for-profit organizations and a wide array of community members and volunteers in both the co-creation and performance process of its productions. C&P has also long been a training ground for young actors, designers, builders, musicians, stage managers and arts administrators. Our Open Studio workshops for the public welcome everyone from children (10yrs+) to seniors within the City of Toronto and throughout the province of Ontario. In recent years, we have formalized C&P's curriculum offerings through the creation of our Centre for Insurgent Puppetry workshop series.
Clay and Paper Theatre works with multiple communities and partners throughout the year on a variety of projects, but we have three annual signature events that anchor our work within the Dufferin Grove community. Day of Delight, a festival of love celebrated near the summer solstice, is a curated arts event with community participatory elements. In late autumn, Night of Dread invites the public to build their private and collective fears and then to mock and banish them through parade and pageantry, music and masquerade. Lastly, Clay & Paper Theatre produces a new Canadian play almost every summer, built and rehearsed in full public view, revealing the art-making process as it happens to all park users. To date we have produced twenty-five original plays in public space.