Last fall SpiderWebShow was invited into a residency at Queen’s University. During our time there we co-taught a class in the Stage and Screen Program that explored the range of activities found at SpiderWebShow and how these relate to concepts of “liveness”. By way of practice, students created their own Thought Residencies, Wiki Articles, CdnElder Videos, and we built the course towards the class creating original performances tailored to the demands of CdnStudio. The course concluded with a live performance, including all of the above, in the black box theatre at The Bader. There was a sizeable crowd for the student named event: MetaFriction.

IDIS410 @ QueensU. Aka the first artists to put together real scenes in a virtual environment connected thru wifi.

A photo posted by SpiderWebShow (@spiderwebshow) on

Participants also created their own articles for CdnTimes, using the same parameters that artists across the country use when curated by our Co-Editors. We never imagined that the work would be so good. All were strong, but here are three that really stood out. Publishing them in this special edition is actually a great way to put our values into action. It affords us the opportunity to share terrific writing and for you to meet new voices that you are bound to hear more from.  This week we are pleased to present three articles that our students created under the broad rubric of addressing “gender and/or the body”.

Vikki Sprenger addresses how disability is and can be incorporated into professional live performance; Hannah Brown investigates how technology is transforming gender roles relating to voice and performance; Megan Thomson unpacks how in Portlandia, drag is the crucial element that makes the humour work.
Sarah Garton Stanley and Michael Wheeler

From this edition

Drag: The Device That Makes Portlandia What It Is

What is performance? Is it reciting rehearsed lines to an audience? Is it adopting new behaviours? Is it getting into a costume? Is it...

Re/De-Gendering the Singer through Electronic Manipulation

I was recently sharing my love of Agnes Obel’s new song ‘Familiar’ with a friend, and I found myself realizing something interesting: I have...

4 Strategies Towards a More Inclusive Theatre Practice

In light of the recent first-ever Disability Inclusion Roundtable in Beverly Hills on in late 2016, it seems fitting to talk about bodies with...



Previous articleFacing the Fuck-Ups
Next article4 Strategies Towards a More Inclusive Theatre Practice

About the Authors

Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on. Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen's University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.
Theatre: Maker, Observer, Experimenter, Lover, Artistic Director SpiderWebShow, Co-Director selfconscious, Associate Artistic Director NAC English Theatre - Canada