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

Through this program, Buddies commissions and develops new queer work for the stage. Using an artist-centred approach, we work with writers, theatre collectives, directors, performance artists, and choreographers to create meaningful opportunities to explore new work and the creation process through a distinctly queer lens.

This season, with our building largely closed to public performances, resident artists will be able to make use of the Chamber space to develop their works throughout the year. These may involve small public presentations, but the main goal for the time is to allow resident artists to develop their work. As our focus shifts this year to reflection and experimentation, we are excited to approach new working models through our Residency Program.

2022-23 Artists in Residence

Julie Phan (潘家雯) – Never Walk Alone

Never Walk Alone is an endurance piece combines Julie’s passions for writing and pole dance.

The show follows Honey’s trajectory from coddled child to isolated adult, and how she manages family dynamics, expectations, legacy, and independence over time.

Through the tension of fighting gravity and holding back truths her loved ones, the piece is about the personas we create for ourselves and the people around us; to be seen, to love and to be loved.

Never Walk Alone‘s development is support by the Wuchien Michael Than Fund at the Ontario Arts Foundation.

Bilal Baig – Kitne Saare Laloo Yahan Pey Hain + Kainchee Laga

Award-winning theatre and TV creator Bilal Baig develops two works with support from Buddies.

Pencil Kit Productions – WHITE MUSCLE DADDY

When masculine and muscular beauty Eugene walks into night-shifter Jeremy’s gym it’s like a bolt of lighting – a reminder of how inadequate Jeremy’s life has begun to feel. It’s not long before an obsession grows, upending Jeremy’s entire world. Nothing can deter him from his lust, not even suspicions that Eugene could have something to do with a rash of missing gay men, or that he could be an actual vampire. When Jeremy gives in to his desires, it’s his partner, non-binary community worker Gustavo, and their best friend, trans filmmaker Lucy, who must deal with the fallout, leading to a final showdown that could alter the balance of power for good. WHITE MUSCLE DADDY is a large-scale subversive horror/thriller that will be staged in an immersive, cinematic theatre style, including the use of projections, live video, and shadows.

Heath V. Salazar – MARIPOSA

Now entering the fourth year of their residency, Heath V. Salazar continues writing and developing a new canon of work. MARIPOSA, in Spanish, not only means butterfly but doubles as a slur towards queer people. As in other languages, it’s one that many within the community have chosen to reclaim. A love letter to Toronto’s drag and burlesque scene, MARIPOSA is a tribute to this butterfly & to the many Mariposas that guide us in the deaths and awakenings that we experience during our time here. Less so with altars and hymns, and more so with pasties and rock music.

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

  • Obaaberima by Tawiah Ben M’carthy (Buddies 2012-13 // National Arts Centre + The Cultch 2014-15 // Buddies 2018-19)
  • 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)
  • LULU v.7 // aspects of a femme fatale by ted witzel, Susanna Fournier, and Helen Yung (Buddies 2017-18)
  • Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools by Evalyn Parry, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Erin Brubacher + Elysha Poirier, with Cris Derksen (Buddies 2017-18 // Qaggiavut, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Espace Libre, Luminato 2018-19 // Edinburgh International Festival, NAC Indigenous Theatre 2019-20)
  • Shove It Down My Throat by Johnnie Walker (Buddies 2018-19)
  • White Girls in Moccasins by Yolanda Bonnell (Buddies 2021-22)
  • Distant Early Warning by Justin Miller (Buddies 2021-22)

If you have questions about the Buddies Residency Program, please contact Daniel Carter, Interim Programming Director at daniel@buddiesinbadtimes.com.

collage design by Awake Studio
photo of Julie Phan (潘家雯) by Dylan Mitro, styling by Cat Calica, hair and makeup by Robert Weir