DLT and Istituto Italiano di Cultura present:
“As someone born in Italy and as an immersive theatre practitioner whose practice is based on crossing the city and being close and intimate with others, I am deeply shaken by the current world situation related to the spread of COVID-19, as I’m sure all of us are. I feel the urge to respond and find a way of still being together while in isolation."
- Daniele Bartolini, Artistic Director DLT
Toronto-based immersive company DLT and Istituto Italiano di Cultura are launching “Theatre On-Call” a festival of performances that occur over the phone as well as other digital platforms, a way to keep staying connected during these uncertain times. Theatre On-Call is a dynamic response to the spread of COVID-19 in the world that supports artists and brings audiences together, generating dialogues and conversations. It is conceived as a platform that provides performers with a gig replacing one that they may have just lost. On the other end, as an initiative, it is a response to still provide an immersive experience offered to audiences reaching their homes: an act of resistance that we do together as a community.
Theatre On-Call would like to become almost a counter-virus that spreads and generates artistic responses and supports the two categories of people that immersive theatre brings together best: artists and audiences. In this difficult moment we still want to put the focus on being “live”. We want to find ways of interacting with one another while confined to the space of our homes. Still being connected - making sure that voices are being heard and dialogue is generated in this crucial moment of human history.
“As most of my upcoming creations got postponed or cancelled, I thought of a way to have an immediate response, providing my core team of artists and beyond with financial support for the hard times ahead. A way of still being active in this moment of immobility.” says Bartolini.
“Artists are one of the most affected categories of people touched by the spread of COVID-19. As all of our cultural events at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura were cancelled or postponed, I couldn't help but react with a prompt response in support of artists and the community of spectators. A sign of cultural resistance”, says Alessandro Ruggera, director of the Italian Cultura Institute in Toronto, the other mastermind behind this initiative.
All performances will run on a Pay What You Can basis.
The money will go directly to the artists involved.
The project aims to support as many artists as possible.
Questions about how to support the initiative can be directed to
Theatre On-Call’s first performance will be on Friday March 20th at 9pm EST, proposing the Episode 1 performance of “The Invisible City”, presented by the company at SummerWorks Performance Festival in 2017, with performers and co-creators of the piece Kalpak Bhave, Raylene Turner and Rory de Brouwer. A piece that connects six strangers over the phone. Performances of The Invisible City Episode 1 are foreseen to happen until March 31st with possibility of extension.
The Invisible City Episode 1:
You receive a call at night time. It will connect you to 5 people who you may never meet again.
A friendly voice invites you to speak about your dreams, your fears and your hopes for the future.
The piece is inspired by Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities.
Collective Bed Time Stories:
Starting from Saturday March 21st at 7:30pm join interactive storytelling over the phone with performer Danya Buonastella. A way to gather together in a moment of isolation where stories are read by a performer trained in working with youth and interactive games.Performances will run every night until March 31st will potential of extension.
Make a reservation at
On Monday March 23rd at 8pm, Theatre On-Call will be launching its second initiative: “Decameron Today”.
The project is inspired by the Decameron, a collection of short stories told by a group sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death during the 14th century.
The writer Giovanni Boccaccio conceived the book during the epidemic which was afflicting his city and the world.
Similarly, the project is a collection of short performances created by guest artists and DLT core members including the company's leading actors Rory de Brouwer, Danya Buonastella and Vincent Leblanc Beaudoin. The artists invited are asked to create a performance and share a story that they think is pivotal today.
The performances of Theatre On-Call will be available in English, French and Italian. Theatre On-Call is currently seeking artists fluent in different languages in order to provide performances in as many languages as possible. Full announcement of artists line up To Be Announced very soon and will include a final performance that bridges Italy with Canada. Taking inspiration from the ten day structure of the Decameron book, “Decameron Today” will run for ten consecutive days until April 1st, with the possibility of extension.
The project aims to bring together established and emerging artists, reaching audiences anywhere in the world. They will be able to connect at the times of scheduled performances giving them an opportunity to gather as a community in Canada and globally.
“Theatre On-Call” is a dynamic process that will be shaping organically as the days pass by, new events will be added to the line up. If you are interested in being a part of the conversation of shaping the festival please write to or iictoronto.esteri.it
TICKETS AND ONLINE INFORMATION
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