Four people sitting at a table. One person leans across the table holding out their hand, staring at another person. The title of the project is on top of the image.

Project Description

With the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, MCT worked to bridge the gap between Older Adults and Youth who live in culturally diverse Toronto neighbourhoods including – Weston/Mount Dennis, Humber Valley and Alexandra Park near Chinatown. Designed to increase understanding between older people and teenagers, the project sought to break down intercultural and intergenerational barriers by sensitizing both groups to the issues, realities, and concerns they had in common as well as those which could potentially cause conflict. This project encouraged social inclusion, volunteerism and community engagement

This three year project involved collaborations with UrbanArts, Heritage York Members at Historical Lambton House and Scadding Court Community Center. Through interactive workshops with participants both young and old we created theatrical scenes depicting people’s realities, concerns and their generational issues. In the forum theatre tradition, these scenes were presented for and by its communities to spark important discussions and generate ideas for positive change.

In the third and final year of the project, MCT’s Associate Artists, Project Participants, Mentors, and Community Partners collected the interactive workshop material to produce two Forum Theatre Productions. We wove together our stories, cultures, and personal discoveries throughout this creative process. The interactive performance showcasing Toronto’s Inter-Generational realities was performed for the public in Toronto.

Performances & Workshops

Seniors Workshops

MCT collaborated with seniors groups from Broadview Manor, and from Francis Beavis Manor in collaboration with Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre. We used various artistic mediums to prompt the sharing of intergenerational stories, including theatre games, spatial awareness and mirroring exercises, dance, drawing, and sculpting, as well as one-on-one discussion with participants, exploring the differences and similarities between their childhood experiences, compared to those of later generations.

Four photos of older adults engaged in theatre exercises.

InterGEN Workshop at Urban Arts

Thanks to everyone who came out to our workshop at Urban Arts and shared their stories!

We used these great insights to develop our InterGEN play, which was performed in December of 2016!

A promotional poster for an InterGen workshop.

Shelf Life

Mixed Company Theatre presented its first production of the ongoing InterGEN Project entitled Shelf Life, written by Luciano Iogna and directed by Simon Malbogat. This premiere play explored the intergenerational gap and was inspired by workshops held with residents living in Toronto’s neighbourhood of Weston / Mount Dennis, in association with Lambton House and Urban Arts Toronto.

Shelf Life was presented at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, Nov 30 – Dec 4, 2016.

For more, check out CBC’s coverage of the show.

A group of people are lined up single file during a performance of "Shelf Life". At the front of the line is a pharmacist handing out medication.

Script Development Workshops & Public Play Reading

With the support of the Trillium Foundation, MCT entered its final year in the three year Inter-GEN program. Continuing our work within two separate communities at Lambton House and Urban Arts in Weston/Mount Dennis, and Scadding Court Community Center in Alexandra Park/Chinatown, we hosted a series of in-depth workshops with teens and seniors to create two full length productions.

Our playwrights Luciano Iogna and Diana Tso took their inspiration from the workshops to create the first drafts of these community plays and presented them in-house at MCT through two separate readings. Readings included members from each community as well as our project leaders. The playwrights took the feedback and finalized their pieces.

A group of people reading documents at a table.
A group of people reading documents at a table. One person is standing and leaning over the table.

Theory of Change Workshop

We created visual representations of the changes we wish to make in our communities, which helped us focus on the issues that are most important to us, and find new and better ways of achieving these goals.

Spring Moon

An older adult is hugging the shoulders of a younger person on-stage during a performance.

Spring Moon was a milestone production of our InterGEN Project. It was the result of an exploration of Chinese intergenerational relationships in Toronto and featured community performers and emerging artists from across the GTA. The show was created with the input of Chinese youth and seniors from Eastview Community Centre, Scadding Court Community Centre, Broadview Manor, The Phoenix Arts Academy, the Markham youth and Toronto Community Housing.

Based on the real-life experiences of the Toronto Chinese community, Spring Moon told the story of a resilient immigrant peoples through the eyes of three Chinese grandmothers who survived hardship and crossed oceans to give their granddaughters a better life. Although separated by differences of language, culture, and distance, the unconditional love that exists between grandmothers and their granddaughters is a connection that cannot be broken.

Spring Moon revealed to us that to find out who we are, we will have to understand where we come from. Spring Moon was performed through 5 shows at the The Citadel in Toronto ON and was presented in Cantonese, Mandarin, English, and French with Chinese and English surtitles.

After almost a year of workshops, readings and rehearsals, the three seniors who played the grandmothers – who had never been on stage before – asked us “When do we get to do this again?” This, by far, was the biggest moment of the entire project for Mixed Company Theatre! We hope to bring Spring Moon to you soon again!

The logo for the Ontario Trillium Foundation.