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.

Artists in Residence

Birdtown and Swanville

Seashell Sweetie

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


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

  • Obaaberima by Tawiah M’carthy (Buddies 2012-13 // National Arts Centre + The Cultch 2014-15)
  • Of A Monstrous Child: a gaga musical by Ecce Homo Theatre (Buddies 2012-13)
  • The Gay Heritage Project by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir (Buddies 2013-14 // Buddies, The Citadel, The Cultch + The Belfry 2015-16 )
  • Freda and Jem’s Best of the Week by Lois Fine (Buddies 2014-15)
  • Gertrude and Alice by The Independent Aunties – Anna Chatterton, Evalyn Parry, and Karin Randoja (Buddies 2015-16)
  • Body Politic by Nick Green (Buddies 2015-16)
  • Black Boys by Saga Collectif – Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah M’Carthy, Thomas Olajide with Virgilia Griffth and Jonathan Seinen (Buddies 2016-17// Buddies, The Cultch, High Performance Rodeo + Black Theatre Workshop 2017-18)

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