Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

The largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world

Established in 1979, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is Toronto’s leading destination for artistically rigorous alternative theatre and a world leader in developing queer voices and stories for the stage. Buddies offers a year-round program that includes a full season of queer theatre, new works festivals, artist residencies, and intergenerational training and education initiatives. In its 45-year history Buddies has welcomed over one million people into its home in the heart of Toronto’s queer village and has premiered over 1,000 new works for the stage, making it the largest and longest-running queer theatre company in the world.

Our Artistic Mission

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre creates vital Canadian theatre by developing and presenting voices that question sexual and cultural norms. Built on the political and social principles of queer liberation, Buddies supports artists and works that reflect and advance these values. As the world’s longest-running and largest queer theatre, Buddies is uniquely positioned to develop, promote, and preserve stories and perspectives that are challenging and alternative. Buddies achieves artistic excellence through its mainstage season programming, artist-residency program, and community initiatives. Buddies serves a broad segment of the population who share a passion for theatre that celebrates difference.

Our Values

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre has identified three core values that serve as guiding pillars for all our activities and operations.

DIFFERENCE: With our art, we simultaneously celebrate difference and question the mechanisms through which differences are constructed and maintained. With our space, we create an accessible, non-judgmental, and inclusive environment for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, economic position, race, creed, age, national origin, physical ability, or mental ability. With our daily interactions, we foster respect and dignity among all people.

EXCELLENCE: We provide our audiences with unforgettable theatre experiences, and we give our artists and staff the resources they need to achieve the highest standards of excellence.

COMMUNITY: We believe that the theatre plays a vital role in the educational, social, and economic health of a community. We strive to be a positive force by encouraging collaboration and constructive dialogue among the various groups and individuals who make up our community.

Buddies in bad times
I’m gonna say good-night
I’m gone
The show tanked
It’s all my fault
Nobody else to blame
I should have listened to you
I should have played the poodle
That always works
But I did whatever the hell I wanted
And now I’m done
When you play the tough-haired bitch
You have to sweeten your tone
No one goes to concerts
to hear you howl at the moon
And that song about the humane society
was such a mistake
Buddies in bad times
I’m gonna say good-night
Sleep well
dream good dreams
I’m taking my hat
and the last two or three cigarettes
and I’m gone
Buddies in bad times
think of me every now and then
When you wake
think of me
somersaulting like a river otter
with candied salmon
at night
by the lakeside
then passing round a jar
for change
for something to eat and drink
Buddies in bad times
I’m gonna say good-night
I’m gone

–Jacques Prevert, Le Concert N’a Pas Ete Reussi
translation by Soraya Peerbaye (commissioned in 2018 to celebrate Buddies’ 40th Anniversary)

photo by Jeremy Mimnagh