Happy World Theatre Day

Theatre and Standing on the Threshold of Change

We often speak of theatre taking place in the dark, in a black box, on a stage. Yet theatre is that, and so much more than that; it’s a sacred space between the audience and performer, between citizen and citizen, between the heart and the seeker. 

What better way to celebrate World Theatre Day but to remember that Clay and Paper Theatre has been lucky enough to have been doing this work for twenty-five years, always seeming to have been placed at an intersection of the earth, on the ground, in a park – our scared space with our audience. We remember that other countries have un-roofed theatrical traditions that abound everywhere and every-when, with beauty, concise thoughts, laughter, trickery, sound, epic imagery, magic and so much that is un-sayable. Theatre is worthy of our praise because of its ability to bring us into this relational/liminal space that connects us in place and time, always standing on the threshold of change together. 

And it is this threshold of change that Tamara and I wish to celebrate with to you today. As artists, let us not shirk, or shy away from it. Let us not be afraid of the real world as it bores its hard eyes into us. Let us not be fearful of excessive magic, or metaphors and mockery and laughter and contemplation. Let us not be afraid of suddenly invoking another world, another way. Let us not be afraid of sending the enemies of art withering into the purgatory of memory. Let us remember that in the theatre we always stand on the threshold of change, and as theatre makers we are guardians of that precious, liquid space, for all the seekers who have been and who will always, always come.

Tamara Romanchuk & David Anderson

Join Clay and Paper Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Volunteer Committee

Event planners! Fundraisers! Publicity people! Production folks! Lovers of puppetry!!!! Lend us your ears – and your generous volunteer hands.

Clay and Paper Theatre is gearing up for its glorious 25th anniversary (WOW. How did that happen?!?!) as the resident theatre company of Dufferin Grove Park (YIPPEEE!!!). We’re calling it The Big Smooch – Clay and Paper Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Party & Dance and it will take place mid-June. We’re striking up a volunteer committee of some fine expert, talented event, communications and production pros, to help us celebrate all of the extraordinary young emerging artists, dedicated professional theatre practitioners and generous audience members, who have supported our not-for-profit arts org of feisty puppetry revolutionaries since 1994.

The first meeting of the committee will take place the week of March 18th. Over the two months leading up to the event, we expect you will need to volunteer from 16 to 24 hours (i.e. 2 to 3 hours/week for 8 weeks) and then the day of the event will be a full day (Don’t worry – On the day of we’ll also have lots of apprentice artists on hand to assist.). We need to fill the following positions on the committee:

Event Planner(s): You can guide people through the imagining and planning process, build a budget with input from committee members and a C&P staff member, help create the event blueprint, can rock a critical path and can keep an eye on the overall arc of the event.

Fundraiser(s): Clay and Paper Theatre is a charitable organization and we’ll need your assistance to strategize around our ask and how to get the word out. We’ll need funds to pay the bands, or in-kind donations (like a party venue or sound equipment) or reduced costs for food/snacks. C&P also has a lot of contacts and networks so you’ll definitely have a place to start. Maybe you can introduce us to some of your networks too?

Publicity Maven(s): Kaboom! You use words like rocket fuel. You know how to grab and keep attention with party invites, press releases, social media posts. Can you get us organized and focused with a communications plan? Maybe you’re also a photographer or designer? We’ve got a ridiculously humongous archive of photos. Can you create a looping PPT for us of photos that we’ll project on the walls at the event? Lots ‘o creative possibilities.

Production Manager(s): Could the theme décor include… hmm… Puppets? 😉 You’ve got a great eye for staging and onsite problem solving and are comfortable with a/v setup. Maybe you also have contacts who could donate a/v equipment? Driver’s License is required. You’ll also guide the team (and work with the event planner to create a runsheet) in setup and strike.

Production Assistants: You do not have to be an expert for this job (i.e. come from the theatre production or event planning world.). You can come to Committee Meetings, learn a bit about live event planning, assist the Production Manager the day of the event. There will be plenty of varying, small jobs if you’re keen to join us and are motivated and a self-starter.

If you’re up for the adventure with a bunch of insurgent puppeteers, please send us an email before March 18 at volunteer.clayandaper@gmail.com. And be sure to tell us something about yourself, which volunteer position interests you and your experience. If you need more info about C&P, be sure to check out our Instagram and Facebook accounts. If you have any questions, you can also call us at 416-708-3332.


Clay & Paper Theatre presents:

A Celebration of Love, Courtship & Desire

On Sunday, June 19th 2016 from 1 to 4:30pm, Clay & Paper Theatre invites you to lush and beautiful Dufferin Grove Park for the 14th Annual Day of Delight: A Toronto celebration of Love, Courtship and Desire. Join us and some of Toronto’s most amorous artists, puppeteers, actors, clowns, circus arts performers, singers and dancers as we celebrate the themes of Love, Courtship and Desire for Place, People and Planet!

1pm – 4:30pm
Cardboardia (Kids’ Exploratorium)

1pm – 3:30pm
“Looking for Love” Treasure Hunt

1:30pm – 2:00pm
Balfolk Family & Community Dance

2:00pm – 4:30pm
Clay & Paper Theatre – Parade & Pageant of Love
Broulala – Songs of Love
Paromita Kar – Dances of Love
Philip & Lucinda – Circus of Love
Birdbone Theatre – Puppets of Love
Rutherford – Clowns of Love
Matti Palonen – Harps of Love
Akhilanda Collaborative – Mermaids of Love
Clay & Paper Theatre – A Mummers Play of Love
Maracatu Mar Aberto – FINALE – Drums of Love

Featuring Puppetry, Music, Circus Arts, Clowning, Installation, Dance and Theatre by:

– Kids get to explore a cardboard version of the Great Barrier Reef in returning favourite CARDBOARDIA
– A family friendly LOVE TREASURE HUNT throughout Dufferin Grove Park
– Folk dance workshop and all around folk party band, BALFOLK TORONTO
– Opening parade and PAGEANT OF LOVE
– THE COLOURS OF LOVE, a giant puppet and a carnival of colours , inspired by “Holi” a Hindu spring festival. (NOTE: All dry coloured powder and coloured water are water soluble.)
– Innovative accapella jazz ensemble BROULALA
– Central Asian dance mistress PAROMITA KAR peforms accompanied by musician MIKE ANKLEWICZ
– Acrobatic-comedy-kazoo duo PHILIP & LUCINDA
– A table top puppetry show by innovative Canadian puppeteers BIRDBONE THEATRE
– RUTHERFORD in “Barn-Barns for All!” A red nose love story with bananas.
– A giant harp installation built into the trees of Dufferin Grove Park by adventurous luthier and musician, MATTI PALONEN
– The reunion of three mermaid sisters in an aerial, movement and live music performance piece, “the way back home”
– FINALE with Toronto’s own Afro-Brazilian drumming powerhouse, MARACATU MAR ABERTO


Dufferin Grove Park
(875 Dufferin St., south of Bloor St.W. Across from the Dufferin Mall)
2:00 – 5:00pm
INFO: 416-708-3332

Call for Submissions – Too Short to Suck: Too Little Time to Die


Deadline: February 19, 2016


Too Short to Suck is an evening dedicated to works-in-progress. The second edition of Too Short to Suck will be held March 11, 2016. This is an evening where people can perform in a low-pressure environment for an encouraging audience and experiment with new ideas.

– performances must be in the categories of puppetry, object theatre, street theatre or circus arts
– 250 word max description of your project
– 100 word bio or you/your group

It is the fervent desire of Clay & Paper Theatre to encourage people to abandon propriety, escape the mundane, astonish the innocent, and perplex the sophisticated. With this in mind, shows that are scrappy and have something to say are more exciting to us than polished shows that are vapid. If you have a show that can change the world in under 10 minutes, you’re our kinda creative rabble-rouser!

Please send your questions and/or submissions to Kristi at clay.paper.theatre@gmail.com by February 19, 2016.

Call for Submissions: W.I.P. Night!

On January 15th, 2016, Clay and Paper is hosting a Work-In-Progress Night — an entire evening dedicated to sharing new performances and projects!

This is our invitation to you to perform short, work-in-progress or experimental pieces that fall somewhere within the categories of puppetry and/or street theatre. This evening is intended to be a space where people can bring projects they have been working on, or beginning to work on, and perform in a low-pressure environment for a friendly and encouraging audience. (We are especially interested in works that vibe with the C&P thematic canon, but are welcoming of all.)

This is also an opportunity for us to gather our friends and make good use of our beautiful studio space before it gets torn down to make way for nasty condos. Let’s help 35 Strachan go out with style!

Anyone interested in performing, please e-mail Kristi White at clay.paper.theatre@gmail.com before December 20th with a short description of your proposed performance (max. 250 words).

Please feel free to spread this invitation to folks who may be interested in performing. The time allotted to each performer is 2-10 minutes (in the style of “Too Short to Suck”). We will be charging an admissions fee to non-performing audience members, which will be split amongst performers as payment.

Cranky Movie Performance and Demo!


David Anderson in Yaroslava, Russia, 1989

A rarely seen street theatrical device, the CRANKY MOVIE will be demonstrated this WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2nd, at the Clay & Paper Studios. The fantabulous Mister David Anderson will be putting on a performative demonstration the likes of which have nary been seen on these Toronto City streets in o’er a decade.

Join us for an evening of learning, laughing, and raucous-theatrics from one of the proper Masters in CRANKY MOVIE un-technology! David Anderson has been a street performer for over 45 years, and has graced the international common “stage” countless times throughout. Although his methods may seem mad, his insights are true.

Where: 35 Strachan Avenue
When: 6:30pm – 8pm

We even have snacks!

E-mail our Production Manager, Sandra Mannila, at sandra.clayandpaper@gmail.com to RSVP!

Miniature Theatre Workshop – Open Call!

Miniature Theatre Workshop

Hosted by Roberto Sainz De La Pena Montenegro

Wednesday, September 16th from 1-4PM

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Join us tomorrow afternoon for a workshop in miniature theatre with our visiting artist and puppeteer, Roberto. Miniature theatre, or toy theatre, was originally conceived in early 19th century Europe and quickly took hold as a popular and accessible form of home and street entertainment. In recent years it has a seen a revival amongst puppeteers and actors across Europe and the Americas, especially in Roberto’s hometown of Valparaiso, Chile. The workshop will go over the basics of design, construction, story-telling and movement.

The workshop has the capacity for 6 people. It is free and open to the public.

A little bit about Roberto…

Hailing from the puppet-enthused city of Valparaiso, Chile, he has come to Canada to share in his love of puppetry with Toronto’s own puppeteering community, and introduce to us the art of miniature theatre. He spends his days in Toronto volunteering with us at Clay and Paper, or performing his one man show, Pesadillas, in our city parks. Roberto is an actor, teacher, and puppeteer who works with Teatro Lambe Lambe in Santiago.