National recognition and connections
Company awards and citations includes the City of Toronto’s Mayor’s Community Safety Award, a Mayor’s Award for the Arts, a Mayor’s Commendation for Dedication to Social Justice, The Safe City Award, the Pauline Julienne Award, Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations and The Montreal Gazette’s Best New Play Award.
Our professional affiliations include the Theatre for Young Audiences Association, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, Pegagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed, International Theatre of the Oppressed Organization, and Theatre Ontario.
Mixed Company Theatre produces innovative, socially relevant drama as a tool for positive change. Founded as an artist-run collective in 1983, Mixed Company today uses Forum Theatre and interactive arts to educate, engage and empower audiences in schools, communities and workplaces.
Recognized by UNESCO as a tool for social change, Forum Theatre bridges between theatre professionals and the community. The late Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Augusto Boal, activist and founder of Theatre of the Oppressed, in 1991 appointed Mixed Company as the first official Forum Theatre Centre in Canada. Awards and citations for civic engagement and artistic excellence include the Mayor’s Award for the Arts, a Safe City Award, The Pauline Julienne Award, Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations, Community Arts Ontario Best Practices Award and The Montreal Gazette’s Best New Play Award.
Led by Simon Malbogat, co-founder and Artistic Director, a broad range of established and diverse theatre professionals are engaged to create touring productions and community animations. Mixed Company Theatre develops workshops and presents original Forum Theatre focusing on educational and community issues for local, regional, national and international audiences. Among the organizations Mixed Company has partnered with are: Amnesty International, National Crime Prevention Centre, Canadian Red Cross and The Banff Centre.
More than 100 Forum Theatre productions have been developed for people of all ages and backgrounds, spotlighting issues of diversity, family relationships, peer pressure, sexual and mental health (including STI and HIV under the City of Toronto’s Public Health), racism, homelessness, leadership, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence. Mixed Company has toured internationally, facilitating Forum Theatre projects from Helsinki to Kiev, Istanbul to Rio de Janeiro.
Some of the highlights of Mixed Company Theatre’s work include:
- Project ACT – This exciting new partnership with the Ministry of Health Promotion empowers youth to live active lifestyles and avoid substance abuse. 30,000 students, from four regions of the province, in 120 schools throughout Ontario are expected to benefit over the 2 year span of this program.
- DISS – From the Streets to the Stage – In partnership with the Toronto Police Service, this collaboration included Chalmers Award-winning playwright, Rex Deverell, and youth from Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods. DISS presents the worst-case scenarios of gang involvement, catalyzing audiences to express their voices and make their communities safer.
- Showdown – Performed for over 100 000 viewers internationally, this anti-bullying play has been described as “one of the best educational experiences bar none that I’ve viewed in my 22-year teaching career.”
- Bouncing Back – This project offers a forum and voice for people who have experienced homelessness and street life. Transforming participants since 1990, a mini-performance circuit tours across Ontario.
In its earliest years, Mixed Company premiered original Canadian plays. Now all of Mixed Company’s new collectively-created Forum Theatre works remain 100 percent Canadian.