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FORWARD MARCH FESTIVAL ~ Stand in the Place Where You Live

Amidst the on-going shifts in COVID-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to announce that the fourth annual edition of our festival of new work for young audiences will go ahead this spring at Earlscourt Park in Toronto!

FORWARD MARCH FESTIVAL ~ Stand in the Place Where You Live premiered SIX new outdoor, in-person, site-specific Festival Shows created by emerging artist companies and commissioned by Theatre Direct on Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10.

Our Forward March Break Camp offered a sneak peak of these productions in progress at the park to the campers, who also presented a brand new piece of their own as part of the week’s activities. The camp was followed by an online Industry Series for emerging artists (March 23, March 30 and April 6). This conversation series spotlighted alternative practices and features insights from emerging theatre-makers and innovators from across Canada.

Photo Credit: Sam Polzin Photography


FORWARD MARCH FESTIVAL ~ Stand in the Place Where You Live
Festival Shows

Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10, 2022
Morning Program (10am) and Afternoon Program (2pm) daily

Earlscourt Park (1200 Lansdowne Ave., Toronto)

The festival includes a Morning Program (10am) and Afternoon Program (2pm) each with three different shows. Audiences will promenade together across Earlscourt Park from one show to the next. Join us for the morning, the afternoon, a whole day, or across two days!

Each show runs approximately 30 minutes with a 15-minute Q&A followed by a 15-minute travel time to the next show. 

Visit our festival hub throughout the weekend featuring a participatory art installation for all ages created and hosted by artist-run, community arts organization MUSE Arts. Drop-off on-site childcare will be provided for younger kids who need a rest while other members of their family are attending shows.

See the show descriptions below for available accessibility measures. There is accessible parking and washrooms available at the Joseph P. Piccininni Centre located next to Earlscourt Park. 

Due to the promenade nature of the festival, and performances being held on outdoor surfaces including grass, dirt, and pavement, shows may not be accessible to audience members with limited mobility, or those using mobility aids. Audiences will be standing and/or seated on the ground for the duration of performances. Limited chairs will be available.

For questions related to accessibility, please contact Access Producer Cassie-Hope Aubin at cassie-hope@theatredirectica.

Free Tickets and Tickets by Donation are available. By selecting Tickets by Donation, you help support Theatre Direct in continuing to provide subsidized programming.

For questions about tickets, please contact Company Producer Madeleine Brown at madeleine@theatredirect.ca.

Start Time: 10am
End Time: 1pm
Start Location: Earlscourt Park Track
Recommended for Children


by Seeking Giants Collective

Zita Nyarady
Vanita Butrsingkorn
Caitlin Morris-Cornfield
Hayley Landry
Melissa Mather

Original Music Composition by:
Melissa Mather

Costumes Designed by:
Jennifer Jakob

Indigenous Consultant: Rose Stella
Accessibility Consultant: Kat Germain

From the trees. Around the corner. Under that rock. We return in ways never seen before. A theatrical circus promenade to exit our hibernation to rediscover home.

Access Point: Audio Description 
Audio description is embedded into this piece, offering a verbal description of the visual elements of the show.


by Tita Collective

Alia Rasul
Belinda Corpuz
Maricris Rivera
Ellie Posadas
Ann Paula Bautista

Indigenous Consultant: Rose Stella
Accessibility Consultant: Ophira Calof

KWENTO is a fun and exciting new show created by the Tita Collective that explores and celebrates Filipinx folklore. Based on the Tausug folktale, Ararabuntu In The Animal World, the show will follow the journey of Ara, a young Filipina, as she enters the Animal Kingdom and learns what it means to be a part of a community.

Access Point: Relaxed Performance
Relaxed performances include a pre-show description, no lighting effects, and less intense sound effects. We welcome noise and movement from audience members.


The Pigeon and The Snail
by Arts4All

Tijana Spasic
Tuyaara Federova
Camilo Diaz Varela
Karis Jones-Pard
Liza Konovalov
Malika Daya
Pesch Nepoose
Monica Olvera
Ximena Huizi
Arts4All Community Players

Indigenous Consultant: Rose Stella
Accessibility Consultant: Rachel Marks

A fable told by snails, pigeons and other creatures about the places we call home.

Access Point: Touch Tour
Touch tours are held before the performance and offer audience members a visual and tactile introduction to props, costumes, and scenic elements that will be used in the show.

Start Time: 2pm
End Time: 5pm
Start Location: Earlscourt Park Gazebo
Recommended for Children and Teenagers


The Assembly at Earlscourt Park
by Colouring Book Theatre

Deivan Steele
Breanne Tice

Indigenous Consultant: Rose Stella
Accessibility Consultant: Sage Lovell

In this interactive theatre-meets-board game experience, you’re invited to join the Labyrinth Assembly and decide the fate of your community. Working as a team with other audience members, you’ll be tasked with bringing prosperity to your surroundings for years to come.

Access Point: ASL Interpretation
This performance includes American Sign Language interpretation.


Why the River Sings
by Passing Through Theatre

Shanice Bowrin
Rebekka Gondosch
Lily Sutherland
Manisha Maharajh
Monique May Dion
Collette Radeau
Helen Peever
Kelsey Dann

Original Music Composition and Music Direction by:
Chris Thornborrow

Indigenous Consultant: Rose Stella
Accessibility Consultant: Sage Lovell

Through storytelling, puppetry, and choral music, audiences are invited into an immersive theatrical experience inspired and informed by the history of Toronto’s famous lost river, Garrison Creek.

Access Point: ASL Interpretation
This performance includes American Sign Language interpretation.


A Perspective on Humanity
by Simaiya Shirley

Simaiya Shirley

Original Artwork by: 
Simaiya Shirley

Sound Design by: 
Keira Marie Forde

A selection of exciting new writing and original artwork created and performed by Theatre Direct’s dynamic Teen-in-Residence Simaiya Shirley including poems “A Sleeping Femme Fatale,” “Plastic Love,” “Anatomy of A Black Man” and “Oh! to Be A Black Woman.”

Recommended for Children Ages 9+
touches on themes of Anti-Black racism and police brutality

Access Point: There are no access measures available for this show.