Call for 2023/2024 Submissions

Outside the March is thrilled to participate in the Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators Program funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

We welcome your wildest theatrical ideas, be it puppets at an aquarium, the circus in a closet, or whatever out of this world dreams you’re cooking up. We hope to support artists interested in immersive theatre, with projects that align with our company core values of curiosity, connection, care, thrills, and immersivity. We will prioritize artists from the OAC Priority Groups, as well as other equity-seeking communities.

Though we work in unexpected spaces and invite our audiences to participate in our shows in unexpected ways, our company focuses mainly on narrative-driven work. We are open to all theatrical ideas, but character and story are both main areas of interest. We are eager to meet you and your ideas and invite you to consider introducing you and your project to Outside the March via a RGTC application.
Through the OAC Nova Portal, we will be asking for:

  • A CV
  • Proposal (this can be in script form: up to 10 pages, or an alternative format such as video or
    audio: up to 5 minutes)

Deadline: December 15th, 2023, 1 p.m. EST

If you have any questions, or require support or accommodation with your application, please contact
Company Dramaturg, Jeff Ho at jeff@outsidethemarch.ca

2022/2023 Projects

Anansi v. God(s), a story in three parts – Paul Smith

Synopsis: When pages of a student’s private journal suddenly become public, a guardian must be chosen to help humanity regain control of their stories and balance the scales. Inspired by West-African folklore, the stories of the Bible, and other myths, ANANSI v. GOD(s) is a 3-part parable that uses poetry, storytelling, and mixed-media to remind humans and gods alike how to stay true to yourself, stay true to your story, and prepare for the end of the world.

Bio: Paul Smith (he/il, they/iel) is a Thursday-born actor, creator, and facilitator from Stittsville, ON based in Toronto. Using performance to explore how narratives that center marginalized bodies can be adapted into stories of reclamation, innovation, and protest. When not thinking about the symbiotic relationship between theatre and film, Paul is building his practice through the principles of Sankofa, and listening to Frank Ocean (on
repeat).

Eunuch X Pirate – Norman Yeung

Synopsis: A dying Chinese not-quite-billionaire goes on a journey to reconcile with his Canadian tech-entrepreneur daughter, with the meddling of Zheng He, the celebrated 15th Century eunuch admiral, and Ching Shih, the 19th Century woman known as the most successful pirate in history. This boisterous tragicomedy, invigorated by magical absurdism and metaphysical tomfoolery, spans seven centuries, several oceans, multiple countries, has dozens of characters and giraffes and camels and one spectacular sea battle… But at its heart is a story about a family torn by distance and time.

Bio: Norman is a writer and actor based in Toronto. He began writing Eunuch X Pirate as OAC Playwright in Residence at Outside the March. This work-in-progress received a Tyrone Guthrie Award (Stratford Festival) and grants from Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Other plays include Theory (published by Playwrights Canada Press), The Zoonotic Story, I Know I’m Supposed to Love You, and Pu-Erh. His plays have won the Voaden Prize and been nominated for the Carol Bolt Award and Dora Award. He was a finalist for the Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize. He performed in the Stratford Festival’s 2022 season in Hamlet (as Rosencrantz) and Death and the King’s Horseman. Norman’s personal mandate is to create opportunities for the under-represented, informed by growing up in East Vancouver.

Red Heifer – Stephanie Zeit

Synopsis: “Today I turn 13 years old. I’ve been waiting for this day all my life. I walked on this stage as a child, and I will leave it as a woman” Red Heifer is a new comedic coming-of-age play about a twelve-turning-thirteen year old Jewish girl becoming an adult on the day of her Bat Mitzvah. As she attempts to prepare the perfect speech, she confronts traditional and modern expectations of womanhood, the vagueness and unidentifiable qualities of being a lesbian child, and flawed role models. Her childhood conclusions about womanhood might just lead her to hilarious and disastrous consequences. 

Bio: Stephanie Zeit is an actress, writer, and theatre creator. She is excited by the moments that define us as people: weddings, pregnancies, deaths, first loves, and life changing events.  The content of her work varies. It has centered on coming of age narratives, lesbianism, examining Jewish identity, and the struggles of a young actor. Stephanie’s kind of theatre is a reflective processing of life as she lives it. Stephanie was accepted into the NTS class of 2023 and the McMaster Medical School class of 2022. She chose not to attend either. She is smart, but often makes very bad decisions as she tries to find a life that balances passion with real-life logistics. She was shortlisted for the Tarragon Young Playwright Unit in 2023 and continues to write, act, and make work.

No Sorry – Lucy Coren

Synopsis: No Sorry asks the question, where do unhoused people go when the shelter system is full? It is a curation of verbatim stories gathered from Torontonians from both sides of this question: those who have needed access to the shelter system and been denied, and those who offer shelter and care to the unhoused outside of the “duties and responsibilities” of their primary roles—when the city’s housing system has failed. Some of these stories include McDonald’s employees at Queen and Spadina, a pharmacist at Broadview and Bloor, a night-shift TTC bus driver along Bay, and librarians across the city.

Bio: Lucy Coren is a theatre creator, producer and dramaturg.  Her work centres around engaging real-life people, and unpacking and repackaging their stories with them to create a dramaturgy which allows them to safely and insightfully communicate their identities and experiences. Lucy trained and worked in the UK for several years before returning home to Toronto in 2019. She has since created and developed It’s a Shame in Project: Humanity’s Proximity Lab, Transfers (SummerWorks 2022), and How We Play(ed) (Forward March, 2023.) She is the Producer for Native Earth Performing Arts and is a very proud mum to her baby boy, Moss.

Louisiana Purchase Exhibition of 1904 – Marissa Orjalo

Synopsis: Based on the St. Louis World Fair of 1904 where over 1,100 Filipinos were imported to America to be featured in a human zoo, we follow the story of three Filipina women, seventeen-year-old Maria, ten-year-old Small, and the one-hundred-and-thirty-six-year-old Perra. Commenting on the exploitation of the Filipino Igorot, scientific racism, Eugenics, and the meaning of land to a people displaced, this is a narrative about the erasure of identity, the strength of women, and our relationship to land. This play is an act of documentation, to record the story of these women who have been forgotten and buried 13,000 kilometres away from home.

Bio: Marissa is a Filipina Canadian theatre artist based in Toronto, Canada. She has recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Arts and her thesis focusing of Filipinx Canadian theatre processes. Marissa has appeared as Nina in Lucky by Marie Barlizo, Hermia in A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lucky in fu-GEN Theatre’s FEARLESS, and Olivia in Twelfth Night. She is currently developing her play twice blessed with the amazing support of RGTCs from organizations like Outside the March, and will be appearing in the Stratford Festival this season as Lise Paquette in Les Belles-Souers, and as the understudy for Cordelia in King Lear.

Alone, Together – Rookies with Friends

Synopsis: Skater Girl lives in the present and has just lost her best friend to the pandemic. Desperate to keep his legacy alive, she travels back in time to the summer of 2020 in a city much like yours. The first wave of Covid is just starting to slightly lift with the changing of the seasons, and a city park has become a refuge for disparate twenty-somethings hoping to escape the isolation of their homes. Upon arrival Skater Girl sets out to expose the utopian possibility of public space to these young people, using the subversive nature of skateboarding as a jumping off point, which begins to reshape their vision of life. With the support of Outside the March, Rookies with Friends Collective will be teaming up with Queer Skate Toronto to conduct a skateboarding workshop, investigating new ways to frame queerness through skateboarding and the theatrical potential of skateboarding.

Bio: Rookies with Friends, is an ad-hoc collective which aims to tell stories for marginalized young adults by marginalized young adults while experimenting with theatrical form, content, and creation methods.  The collective first came together in late 2020 to do an independent workshop production of Reid Millar’s play Just Pervs, which later went on to have a well-received run at 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe Festival. Since this production they have also gone on to collaborate with Canadian Stage on their 2022 FIC, curating a Cabaret Night. They have also published two collaborative zines, the second of which, titled Youth in Revolt was nominated for the 2022 Broken Pencil CanZine Awards. Currently they are developing two new works of theatre: The Liminal Years by Jahnelle Jones, a play about marginalized adults in their early twenties navigating mental health, as well as Alone, Together by Reid Millar. Rookies with Friends aims to create what they refer to as “scrappy theatre”, which means using the skills and resources they have to put on new shows which centre their creation abilities, allowing them to take risks and learn as they go.

The Winter Fell Upon Her Back: The Story of Heather Winterstein – Genevieve Jones

Synopsis: The Winter Fell Upon Her Back: The Story of Heather Winterstein is a social justice piece told through the lens of Heather’s mother. On December 10th, 2021, Heather Winterstien collapsed on the St. Catharines General Hospital waiting room floor and died. Heather had been told to go home earlier and was given Tylenol for her pain. This story looks at the intersections of medical neglect in the healthcare system and uses traditional native storytelling, music and poetry.

Bios: Genevieve Jones is a non-status Indigenous artist living and creating work on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. She holds a Master’s degree in Theatre Studies from Guelph University and runs a small not-for-profit multi-arts company, Lumen and Jupiter. Her research looks at empathy, creative nonfiction and the voice of the mother. 

Francine Shimizur is a six nations woman and a survivor of the 60’s Scoop. She was adopted by a Japanese physician and a British artist. She is a Registered Nurse and works at a Long Term Care facility in St Catharine’s. She has two children. Her daughter, Heather passed on on December 10th, 2021 in the waiting room of the St. Catharines general hospital.

The Hands of Hypatia – Dandelion Theatre

Synopsis: Planet Earth is gone, exploded two hundred years ago by the cosmic giant Hypatia. Now, humanity’s sole survivor, Adamah Borealis, wanders the starways with her cyborg companion Shem in search of new life and old memories. When a mysterious benefactor enlists her services, Adamah must scour the universe for a clean energy source. Her search leads her through the vast cosmos, back to the very hands that sent her out two hundred years ago. Along the way, she discovers the most ancient secrets of the universe, and just how significant one life can be. What results is an epic story, and an immersive journey through the cosmos for characters and audience alike.

Bio: Dandelion Theatre is a Toronto based company with a primary goal to create immersive artistic experiences, with oral storytelling being the foundational element of all our creation.  To us, immersive means utilizing our collective skill-sets to create shows that engage all five senses in their full execution. That way the work is not only physically immersive but also comprehensive and encapsulating of our communal environment.  Our company is founded on a mandate of community building and education through storytelling, and sustainability in both in production and in meals we share as part of the storytelling experience.