The Fear of the Year for 2017

Clay and Paper Theatre Announces the 2017 Fear of the Year:


Saturday, October 28 – Parade Assembly 4 to 6; Parade 6 to 7; Mockery 7 to 8:30*
*Please Note: These times are approximations
Dufferin Grove Park (875 Dufferin St., South of Bloor St. W., across from Dufferin Mall)
Dress Code: Black & White & Dreadful
Admission: Pay-What-You-Are-Able $5 or $10 or $15


TORONTO, Oct 20, 2017 – At this year’s 18th Annual Night of Dread on Saturday, October 28th, Clay and Paper Theatre confronts, mocks and banishes the 2017 Fear of the Year, Mass Amnesia. Join us for this annual community parade and giant puppet spectacle as the Emperor of Amnesia and his minions, the Amnesiacs, descend upon Dufferin Grove Park. Will the community prevail? Or, will the puppet Emperor, “Make Amnesia Great Again?”

Every year for the last eighteen years of Night of Dread, Clay and Paper Theatre has been asking our friends, neighbours, community members and the public at large, “What should we choose as the big fear of the year? What is our deepest fear for the world? What should we be afraid of?” And this year’s conversations and discussions kept returning to a similar refrain: history is repeating itself politically, economically, socially, environmentally and why don’t we know better? Why does it seem like people have forgotten these lessons of the past that could help us today?

“Today we live as if we have no past that matters. We have lost our memories, our lessons – both our bad ones and our good ones. We have forgotten the lives of our grandparents, and their parents. And we have forgotten the beauty of the earth itself. When we have forgotten so much, how can we learn? How can we ever expect to move forward as individuals and as a society?” – David Anderson (Founding Artistic Director, Clay and Paper Theatre)

NIGHT OF DREAD is an evening of fearful pageantry, revels and mockery produced by public space theatre company Clay and Paper Theatre. At this much loved, family-friendly, community event, Torontonians are invited to call on, mock and banish their private and collective fears through parade and pageantry, music and masquerade, dance and a devilishly good party. Musical guests this year include Juno award winning Jazz saxophonist Richard Underhill and the Kensington Horns; powerhouse Afro-Brazilian percussion and song troupe Maracatu Mar Aberto; ragtime duo Captain Cowboy and the Money Maker; fire artists and circus performers The New Model Circus Army; the vocal and DJ ensemble Balkan Electro Experiment (a collaboration between Ukranian jazz-rock-fusion band DoVira , Polish folk outfit Polky Village Band, Balkan female vocal group Mokosh, as well as Flamenco dancer, vocalist, and Sephardic song specialist Tamar Ilana of Ventanas.) Music for the closing dance is provided by Celtic/ Middle Eastern/ Balkan/ band, Moskitto Bar.

Participants gather for the parade in Dufferin Grove Park from 4 to 6pm where Clay & Paper Theatre puppets and masks are made available for revelers to wear. After the hour-long procession, with its towering puppets, fire spinners and an assortment of marching bands, all participants return to the park where they are treated to a theatrical spectacle showdown with the “Fear of the Year” for 2017.

After-scenario ceremonial events include a shrine garden to those who have passed, a haunting shadow show, the Small Fears bonfire, a waltz with Death, and an opportunity to eat traditional Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) baked fresh in Dufferin Grove’s own park bake ovens. The dreadful night then swings into a boisterous closing performance with Moskitto Bar.

Now in its 23rd season and founded in 1994 by David Anderson (longtime theatre activist, producer of new Canadian work, and defender of public space), Clay and Paper Theatre has created, developed and performed multi-disciplinary, community-driven theatrical works using narrative theatre, music and large-scale puppetry in public spaces.  A little theatre company asking big questions with humour and irreverence, Clay & Paper Theatre is not funny and is never serious.

Clay & Paper Theatre gratefully acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, The City of Toronto, Parks & Recreation and Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment & Training.

PHOTOS:  Please contact us at for production photos. We also welcome media photographers at all Clay & Paper Theatre events.

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Downloadable Press Release: NOD_2017_Press-Release_Fear-of-the-Year