Our First Ever Charitable Campaign

Bygone Theatre is now a registered charity, and our first ever campaign is promising 100% of funds raised directly to artists.

Bygone Theatre’s last show was in 2019. Throughout the pandemic, we pressed pause on producing live theatre so that we could develop our company and strengthen our values, preparing to come back bigger and better than ever.

We developed a diversity & accessibility mandate to promote equity. We committed to the United Nations SDG Action Plan to ensure we are contributing to a sustainable world. And we became a registered charity to ensure that we had the structures in place to grow and support our community.

Now, as we prepare for our next season, we are looking for your help to create a sustainable Fund that will allow us to guarantee our artists fair wages all season long.

Over the past ten years, we have created outstanding theatre working with phenomenal actors who joined our productions in a profit-share format. We were voted Toronto’s Best Live Theatre (Toronto Star Readers’ Choice, 2021), were runner-up for NOW Magazine’s Best Small Theatre (2021), and our last production, The Rear Window, was nominated for 10 Broadway World Toronto awards, and won 4: we have done a lot with a little. This fund will allow us to hire our actors at Equity DOT rates – whether they are union members or not.

We are a small company – we have no operational funding and no salaries, the majority of our admin and production work is done by our Artistic Executive Director and Chair; we have learned over 10 years how to generate marketing, press, and create fantastic scenic design for cents on the dollar. But now it’s time to move into the next chapter, and we want to put artists first.

$25,000 will allow us to commit to industry standard rates all season – we will commit to reinvesting the profits of every show to top up this fund and provide fair wages for every show after.

In this way, you will help not just Artists today, but those we engage with on future productions.

Donations can be made directly through our Canada Helps page.

Thank you for your time and support.

  • The Bygone Theatre Team

Megan Mooney’s Fringe Reviewers Round-Up

Guest post by Megan Mooney 

It’s here – the last weekend of the 2022 Toronto Fringe Festival. People are buzzing about shows, and reviews have been posted. You want to plan your weekend of Fringing, but where do you find the information?

That’s where this list comes in. It’ll help you connect with the buzz and find the publications publishing reviews.

Twitter is where it’s at this year

Twitter is the main information hub this year. Not just for general buzz, but reviews too. In some cases, it’s the only place people are publishing mini-reviews. (Still longer than those old Eye reviews, amirite?)

The quickest way to connect with the Toronto Fringe Festival on the Twitterverse is the hashtag #fringeTO.

But don’t just rely on the hashtag. It’s easy to forget to add it to a tweet, and some folks aren’t using it at all. If you have a Twitter account, follow the folks listed below. Then, periodically check the #fringeTO hashtag to see what others are saying.

Speaking of hashtags, keep an eye on #TheaTO for news and reviews of Toronto theatre the rest of the year.

Don’t have a Twitter account but still want to see the reviews? No problem. Unlike Facebook, Twitter lets anyone see tweets, account or not. Start with any of the accounts listed below, and you’ll be good to go.

A final thought: The landscape is full of amazing people busting their asses to get the word out. Many for without being paid. All the reviewers deserve support. But please be sure to click on articles from publications paying their writers.

It’s how we show them coverage is valuable and it’s important they continue to pay writers to provide it. As readers, clicks and shares don’t cost us anything, but they send the message to publications that we’re reading the content and it’s important to us.

Now for what you came here for,  check out the list of reviewers after the jump:

Continue reading “Megan Mooney’s Fringe Reviewers Round-Up”

Careers in the Arts – A Bygone Theatre Webinar

Interested in working in the arts, but don’t know where to start? This unique workshop will provide students with a realistic view into the arts world, guiding them through a host of career paths and the steps to follow to get there.

Interested in working in the arts, but don’t know where to start? This unique workshop will provide students with a realistic view into the arts world, guiding them through a host of career paths and the steps to follow to get there.

Bygone Artistic Executive Director Emily Dix will cover topics such as;
– Post-secondary programs here and abroad
– Skill building without formal education
– Unconventional arts related careers
– How to network in the arts
– How to build a resume or portfolio, and more.

Aimed at secondary students, this webinar is open to all, and is being subsidized through anonymous support so we can offer it FREE to all who are interested.

While you do not have to be from a specific geographic area to participate, it will be focused primarily on opportunities and practises from South Western Ontario, specifically the GTA.

No experience necessary, just an interest in learning about arts related careers, particularly those related to theatre and film.

WHEN AND WHERE:
Saturday February 26, 1-3pm.
Online via Zoom: https://yorku.zoom.us/j/93663931843 

ACCESSIBILITY: 
The webinar is being delivered in English, with visual aids and automatically generated captions. If you require specific accommodation, please email us in advance and we will do our best to provide you the full experience.

INTERACTION:
We encourage participants to turn on their cameras, at least for the discussion section at the end, but this is not required. Questions can be asked via your mic, the chat, or sent by private message if you’d like to ask anonymously.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION:
This webinar is being hosted by our Artistic Executive Director Emily Dix, a white woman with an invisible disability. She will share her personal experiences working in the arts and will provide info for programs and opportunities that exist for marginalized people as well as those open to all.

If you have any questions prior to the webinar, or to request accommodation, please email emily@bygonetheatre.com.

Toronto’s Best Live Theatre!

Thank you for voting us Best Live Theatre, Diamond Level, for this year’s Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Awards!

Thank you for voting us Best Live Theatre, Diamond Level, for this year’s Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Awards! We’re thrilled to be on a list that includes incredible companies like the Stratford Festival, Soulpepper, Ed Mirvish Theatre and Young People’s Theatre, and we promise we’ll live up to the title!

We’re up there with the Stratford Festival! Definitely what we needed to brighten this gloomy November.
We were also NOW Magazine’s Runner-Up for Best Small Theatre.

Building a More Sustainable Stage Manager Kit

For the first of our Sustainable Sunday posts, we’re going to look at environmental sustainability and how we can work towards that in theatre. First up! Stage Manager kits.

For the first of our Sustainable Sunday posts, we’re going to look at environmental sustainability and how we can work towards that in theatre. First up! Stage Manager kits.

ECO Highlighter Pencil Highlighters Ecological and 100% image 1

Highlighters:

I’ve never known an SM who doesn’t have a wide variety of highlighters in their kit – unfortunately, on top of being made of plastic, these can be prone to drying out, creating a lot of unnecessary waste. Try for pencil highlighters instead – no plastic, no risk of drying out, fit easily in your pencil case. Check out Etsy for ones like these.

Sticky Notes:

As much as I hate the waste, I’ll admit, sticky notes are a big part of my life. Ideally, of course, you’d use none, or at least fewer than you likely do now, but if you’re like me and find every prompt book is doubled in size by your stickies, try some like this: 100% recycled material, 100% recyclable, and plant-based adhesive. And after the show, recycle those bad boys!

Staples:

Instead of staples, try using paper clips! I was pleasantly surprised to find these recycled ones on a Canadian site, made with 90% recycled materials.

Staples Binder Clips - Classic Colours & Sizes - 30 Packs | staples.ca

Staples (Again):

If you’re looking for something more heavy-duty than paperclips, binder clips are a great alternative. I like to have a variety of sizes and colours as I use that to sort things as well. After the show, just pop them back into your kit! I haven’t had any luck finding recycled ones, but if you come across some, post the link in the comments.

Batteries:

All SMs need at least some AA batteries in their kit, for things like flashlights, on-set practicals, what have you. These eneloop pro rechargeable batteries are praised on several sites for having great charging power and capacity – and look! You can get them somewhere other than Amazon.

Brown Kraft Paper Packaging Parcel Tape Eco Friendly image 1

Spike Tape:

Another SM necessity, unfortunately there aren’t too many eco-friendly types out there (it’s the nature of the glue needed). While you may be stuck with the usual glow & electrical tape, when you’re blocking rehearsals try for something paper based, like this.

Gaff Tape:

As mentioned above, it’s difficult to produce a truly eco friendly tape as the glue needs to be something that sticks to surfaces, without sticking too much to itself on the roll. The best I’ve found so far is this UK import that uses recyclable packaging, rubber-based adhesive and reduced chemical agents. (Of course, if you need to import it from overseas, consider the environmental costs of doing that – no perfect answer for us Canadians, yet).

LastyBands: 6 Handy and Reusable Elastic Fasteners for image 2

Cable Ties:

Now, if you’re looking for strength, admittedly, the typical plastic zip ties may be what you need to use, but when it comes to organizing your cables and keeping them safely bundled away, there’s no reason not to go reusable.

In addition to these you can also save by investing in quality items. Instead of grabbing a binder from the dollar store that needs to be replaced every show, try for a sturdier one that can be used time and again. Use pencils instead of pens (don’t forget to pack a sharpener!) or try for refillable pens. Bring your refillable water bottle, pack it all in a sturdy kit and you’re good to go!

Got more ideas for sustainable SM kits? Let us know in the comments below.

E.

National Truth and Reconciliation Day

Our support and commitments in honour of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation.

In preparation for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (“Orange Shirt Day”) Bygone’s Artistic Executive Director, Emily Dix, has re-read the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action report.

In searching for a way that we, as a small non-profit theatre, can best support these practises, we found that call to action number 79, under Commemoration, stood out most. It reads;

We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to:​

  • Amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat.
  • Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.
  • Developing and implementing a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, and the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s history.

Bygone Theatre’s current mandate can be read here.

​A key part of our mission and mandate is the connection of audiences to “parts of our past that remain relevant today”, and clearly the treatment of Indigenous Canadians, both past and present, is something that should be at the forefront of Canadian heritage and commemoration. While we cannot change Federal or Provincial policy (at least not yet!) we can ensure that our practises align with these goals.

Going forward, Bygone commits to the following in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action:

  1. To include for artists and audiences, relevant Indigenous history whenever we make a presentation, production or program that cites or explores a particular place or time in Canada.
  2. To, within the next three years, hire an Indigenous artist as a consultant to help us examine and possibly revise our policies and practises to ensure we are acknowledging and respecting not just Indigenous people and their history, but their unique values, memory practises and artistic practises that could benefit our future works, regardless of subject.
  3. To acknowledge that racism and unfair practises on behalf of the government and largely our society as a whole, have, whether intentionally or not, disproportionately affected Indigenous Canadians and deprived them of opportunities that their fellow Canadians have enjoyed.

As a first step, we will now be offering free tickets to Bygone produced productions and workshops for all those who self-identify as being of Indigenous descent.

Additionally, we will continue to honour our commitment to accessibility and diversity as written on June 30, 2020.

Emily Dix
Artistic Executive Director
Bygone Theatre

Broadway World Toronto Award Nominations

Broadway World Toronto is currently accepting nominations for their regional awards, and this year they are not only giving them out for streaming productions, but also for Most Innovative Theatre, Most Anticipated Upcoming Production and Theatre You’re Most Excited To Get Back To! If you think we’d be a good fit for any of those categories we’d love your support! Nominations for those (and other awards) can be submitted here.

Will You Be A Booster?

Will you be a booster for Wayne & Shuster?

Will you be a booster for Wayne & Shuster? Bygone is looking for people who want to share their fond memories of the men or their work. If you have something you’d like to share, email us at info@bygonetheatre.com. We’ll be doing a series of short interviews to be posted on our social media channels, and possibly our future documentary. Please share the word!

Careers in the Arts Workshop

Interested in working in the arts, but don’t know where to start? This workshop, geared towards high school students & recent grads, will show you the way. Oct 23, 2-4pm, $20.

Interested in working in the arts, but don’t know where to start? This workshop, geared towards high school students & recent grads, will show you the way. Oct 23, 2-4pm, $20.

WHAT: Careers in the Arts Workshop

WHEN: Saturday October 23, 2-4pm ET

WHERE: Online

HOW MUCH: $20 CAD (payable via PayPal or e-transfer)

WHAT’S NEEDED: Access to a computer with a steady internet connection, a computer with a working speaker and either a microphone or the ability to type.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Interested in working in the arts, but don’t know where to start? This unique workshop will provide students with a realistic view into the arts world, guiding them through a host of career paths and the steps to follow to get there. Bygone Artistic Executive Director Emily Dix will cover topics such as;

  • Post-secondary programs here and abroad
  • Skill building without formal education
  • Unconventional arts related careers
  • How to network in the arts
  • How to build a resume or portfolio, and more.

WHO IT’S FOR: This course has been designed for Ontario senior high school students but is appropriate for recent graduates as well. Best suited for those living in the GTA. Recommended for people aged 17-20, however there is no age cut-off.

ACCESSIBILITY: Auto-captioning is provided through the program, however it is not always the most accurate. If this is something you’d require, please reach out at info@bygonetheatre.com and we will do our best to accommodate. Program is delivered in English and is best suited to fluent English speakers. Financial assistance is available for those who require it – email info@bygonetheatre.com for more details.

WHO’S RUNNING IT: Taught by Emily Dix and Conor Fitzgerald.

School Workshops

Bygone is thrilled to be offering three new student workshops for our 2021/22 season – available in-person or online.

School Workshops | Grade 7-12 | Online or In-Person | $175 per class of 30

Bygone is thrilled to be offering three new workshops for our 2021/22 season.

Careers in the Arts: 

Interested in working in the arts, but don’t know where to start? This unique workshop will provide students with a realistic view into the arts world, guiding them through a host of career paths and the steps to follow to get there. Bygone Artistic Executive Director Emily Dix will cover topics such as;

  • Post-secondary programs here and abroad
  • Skill building without formal education
  • Unconventional arts related careers
  • How to network in the arts
  • How to build a resume or portfolio, and more.

This workshop can benefit not only arts students, but any senior high school students who are considering future career paths. Also available as a large-scale presentation for an entire grade or school; contact us for pricing. 

The Audition Process:

There’s so much more to auditioning than what happens in the audition room, and how you prepare is just as important as how well you perform. Director Emily Dix will walk students through all the key aspects of the audition process, including;

  • Where to find auditions
  • How to get an agent
  • How to pick a monologue
  • How to format a performance resume
  • What to look for in a headshot
  • How to build your “brand” online
  • Audition etiquette, and more. 

Something From Nothing: How To Produce Your First Show:

Recommended for senior high school students, this workshop is a crash-course in indie theatre producing. Topics include:

  • Picking the right show
  • Casting
  • Creating a budget
  • Dealing with venues
  • Raising funds
  • Marketing, and more.

Workshops are available both in-person (in Toronto) and online via Zoom starting September 2021. Email emily@bygonetheatre.com for more details or to register a class.