The only program in the country solely devoted to the creation of original queer performance works.

Through this program, Buddies commissions and develops queer work. Resident artists may include writers, theatre collectives, directors, performance artists, choreographers and other inter-disciplinary artists. Projects undertaken in residence can be new plays, explorations of existing texts, non-text-based performance, and everything in between. Resident artists are offered space in the building, dramaturgical support from the Company Dramaturge and Artistic Director, technical support, opportunities to present the work to a general public as it develops, access to the Buddies’ network of contacts and partners, and any other artistic and administrative support that is appropriate to a piece’s development.

Resident artists for the 2016-17 season will be announced at our Season Launch Party on September 8.

Artists in Residence

Birdtown and Swanville

Credit River

Why do we do vicious things to the vulnerable? Why do we try to tell ourselves we’re good? Can we know the dark spots of our hearts? What do we ignore so we can live with ourselves? Credit River is about the things we are capable of and the things that we do.

Birdtown and Swanville is a theatre company that’s dedicated to new work created by Nika Mistruzzi, Aurora Stewart de Peña and Mark Aikman featuring performances, visuals, and sounds by our company members. Founded in 2006, we’ve been developing and producing shows in the West end of Toronto. We work with a strong community of collaborators (the Citizens of Birdtown) to make design conscious theatre that mashes the worlds of performance and visual art.


Bruce Gibbons Fell + Cocodrilo Triste

The Communist Manifesto for Children

The Communist Manifesto for Children is a new dark comedy, written in Spanish and English, which explores class, conscience, language and power. Set in South America in the 1950s, four children of different backgrounds discover The Communist Manifesto, and as they play and act out passages from the book, they go through introspective journeys, treason, betrayal, and a love triangle amidst the threat of a deadly scorpion on the loose.

Cocodrilo Triste Theatre Collective, helmed by playwright Bruce Gibbons Fell, is all about pop culture, dark comedy and the world’s history of oppression, through a queer Latin American lens.

Jenna Harris


A bar, two strangers and a Fuzzy Navel. Mine is a rhapsodic odyssey of love, loss, laugher and the lives of two women as they try to navigate each other and their relationship. Mine is a play that speaks to our desire and desperation to be understood, valued and loved. Our human need to belong.

Jenna Harris is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts theatre conservatory program in New York City. She is an actor, playwright, devised theatre creator, arts educator, dancer, and the Founder and Artistic Producer of Discord and Din Theatre. As a writer, Jenna has written everything from radio shows to animated shorts, webseries to feature films, site-specific work to full-length plays, and is the Editor-in- Chief of City Voices: A Book of Monologues by Toronto Artists. Jenna was part of Studio 180 Theatre’s inaugural IN DEVELOPMENT month (Nov. 2015), the Tarragon Playwrights Unit (2015-2016) and is currently a member of the Thousand Islands Playwright’s Unit.

Jenna is a Playwright in Residence at Buddies – her residency is supported by the Ontario Arts Council

Johnnie Walker + Pandemic Theatre

Shove It Down My Throat

On New Year’s Eve 2013, Luke O’Donovan was involved in a physical altercation with five other men in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, he’s serving a ten-year sentence for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. But was he a violent aggressor, or the victim of a brutal queer-bashing who dared to fight back? Writer/performer Johnnie Walker explores the case through found text, interviews with O’Donovan and others connected with the incident, and wild flights of fancy in a politically charged, formally experimental, and highly personal piece of theatre.

Johnnie Walker is a writer, performer, director, producer, filmmaker, journalist, and DJ. He runs Nobody’s Business Theatre with Morgan Norwich and hosts shows for Boylesque TO. He has toured North America with his solo show, Redheaded Stepchild, which will be published this September by Playwrights Canada Press.

johnniewalkerartist.com / pandemictheatre.ca

ted witzel + susanna fournier (the red light district)

LULU // aspects of a femme fatale

A multi-part series created in residence at Buddies, about a girl who has a lot of s-e-x and then comes to a bad end, cause she’s a bad girl after all. At least it started off being about that. Now it’s about queers and feminists and pleasure and power and there’s almost always a fog machine, an orange wig, and some plastic wrap involved. There have been four installments so far. There are at least 3 more to come.

ted witzel & susanna fournier are multi-whatever theatre-maker-sorta-people kinda based in Toronto for now-ish. susanna is a bad feminist and ted is a bad queer and they are both pretty good anti-imperialists. the red light district is the name ted puts on stuff when he produces it himself or with friends.


ted is a Playwright in Residence at Buddies – his residency is supported by the Ontario Arts Council

Teneile Warren

Random Closeness

Random Closeness is a personal exploration of dating while lesbian, immigrant, and Black. The play was born out romantic encounters with Black Canadian women. It delves into the intersection of culture, racial, and gender identity and how these ideas often go unexplored in same-race queer relationships. It is a love story between two “Black” women in a world where the personal and political are synonymous and social media always gets in the middle.

Teneile Warren holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. A Jamaican-born immigrant, her cultural and immigrant identities are very evident in her work. She considers the theatre the place that found her. When she is writing, she is cooking. Teneile owns a gluten-free catering company, Life in Homemade, with her wife, Rebecca.

How Do I Get in on This?

The Buddies Residency Program accepts new members through an open call for submissions that is posted annually in the spring for terms ranging from one to three years.

This is a program for theatrical and performance works in the early stages of development that have not been previously produced, driven primarily by artists who are LGBTQ, QPOC, or Trans identified individuals. We are looking for work that reflects the Buddies spirit and mandate: inclusion, rebellion, asking hard questions, pushing boundaries, transgressing societal expectations, exploring identity, gender, and sexuality, and more.

Since its launch in 2010, the Buddies Residency Program has yielded the following Mainstage productions

If you have questions about the Buddies Residency Program, please contact Mel Hague at mel@buddiesinbadtimes.com

photo of Gavin Crawford, Kyle Travis Young, Chy Ryan Spain & Bruce Dow from Of a Monstrous Child: a gaga musical by Alejandro Santiago