Cutting-Edge Performers in Toronto
Dedicated to the nurturing, protection, and celebration of queer culture, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre creates vital Canadian stage life by developing and presenting voices that question sexual and cultural norms. And they've been at it for thirty five years, working with some of Canada’s most innovative artists, including Atom Egoyan, Ann Marie MacDonald, Sonja Mills, Daniel Brooks, Nina Arsenault, and Daniel MacIvor.
This past winter Buddies premiered The Gay Heritage Project, which was developed by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn and Andrew Kushnir, members of its Artistic Residency Program. The show asks “is there such thing as gay heritage?” and attempts to offer an answer through presenting culture icons, heritage moments, and personal narratives. It was reviewed as educational, and wildly entertaining.
Queer Pride kicks off at Buddies on May 31st and continues until the end of June. The troupe will be hosting over fifteen different shows and events during the month including some Queer Pride-staples like B-Girlz, Bitch Salad and Miss Conception, and a bunch of new pieces. Newest projects will have the troupe producing two shows in conjunction with WorldPride Toronto 2014 this year, The Lady Hamlet and Just You, Me and The Silence, the first time either has been presented in Canada.
Over the years Buddies has morphed and grown and is now a registered charity with an operating budget of just under $2 million! Funding is split between government grants, bar sales, ticket sales, venue rentals, donations, sponsorships and events. Throughout the season the troupe hosts multiple productions from guest theatre companies, while producing three to four of its own shows over the year. They also rent out their Cabaret to community groups and theatre companies as a rehearsal space and a venue.
Keep an eye out for this group's transformative work, including productions like Strange Sisters (now Insatiable Sisters), and Rhubarb, that give queer and trans women and emerging artists opportunities to explore and share their stories in safe, welcoming spaces. Upcoming productions, events, as well as stage opportunities for queer youth, and be found at http://buddiesinbadtimes.com