'We Live Together': 31st annual Festival of Original Theatre conference

January 20, 2023 by A&S News

The 31st annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) Conference at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies is now open for registration. Our conference entitled “We Live Together” is taking place February 9-11th, 2023.

“We Live Together” is as much a question as a mission statement. This phrase suggests broad responsibility to each other, to the sciences, to supporting movements toward social justice, to realizing indigenous protocols, to engaging with economics, and to fighting for ecosystems. "Together" prompts us to grapple with a variety of contradictions between individuality and community, hospitality and hostility, and solidarity and exclusion. Working within these contradictions, we call on performance to create spaces in which we can imagine ways to live a future together. 

This year there will be both a keynote lecture and keynote performance. 

Keynote Lecture: “We Other Digitarians: The History of Intermediality & the Changing Face of ‘We” by Sarah Bay-Cheng
Friday, February 10th @ 2pm

Sarah Bay-Cheng is the Dean of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design and Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies at York University. Her presentation will ask who is the ‘we’ of today, and more importantly, who gets to say so? This talk breaks down key ideas in the conference core terms: ‘we,’ ‘live’ (both verb and adjective/adverb), and ‘together’ within both performance theory and practice from the perspective of intermediality in theory and practice. Beginning with a nod to Foucault’s opening to The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, this talk looks (briefly!) at the history of intermediality as discipline, subject, and practice as forerunner to contemporary ideas of theatre and our ever-changing audiences.

Keynote Performance, Benevolence, written, directed and performed by Kevin Matthew Wong
Friday, February 10th @ 5:30pm

Kevin Matthew Wong is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Broadleaf Creative and Senior Producer and Artistic Associate at Why Not Theatre. Benevolence was developed at Tarragon Theatre and produced by Broadleaf Creative & Benevolence Collective. The play examines and celebrates the history of the Hakka (客家) diaspora in Canada, who represent some of the first Chinese in Canada. Intimate, epic, personal, and playful, this solo-performance tells the story of the 2000-year migration, and their struggles and triumphs as early Chinese-Canadians.

The conference — including the keynote lecture and performance — is free and open to the community. Please register to receive the meeting details and full agenda, which will be coming soon and will be available on the Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies website

Start and end times are as follows:

  • Thursday, February 9 – 12 pm to 7pm
  • Friday, February 10 – 10:30 am to 9pm
  • Saturday, February 11 – 10 am to 9pm