By: Alina Butt, Astoria Felix



Photo Credits: Theatre InspiraTO

Festival season is on the horizon, and it’s not hard to get drawn to the sun and music that await you outside. But there’s something pretty unique and inwards-focused happening in the city in just a few days, and it takes place indoors. Theatre InspiraTO is hosting its 11th annual InspiraTO Festival, the largest 10-minute play festival in Canada, from June 2 to June 11.

Theatre InspiraTO is a not-for-profit theatre company that offers learning environments for emerging artists through the InspiraTO Festival. Playwrights new and old, up-and-coming and well-known, and local and global are all invited to bring their productions to life on the InspiraTO stages.

This year the theme is “shift,” an exploration of places outside of your comfort zone. The festival is formatted into four separate hour-long shows, each comprised of six 10-minute plays organized across four different categories.

Two of the categories, redShow and blueShow, will take place on a larger stage and a larger room. The themes showcased here are, respectively, passionShift, with plays that “pivot the direction of a passion” and are “intense, in-your-face and mischievous,” and viewShift, with plays that “adjust our perceptions of the world” and are “imaginative, mysterious and sublime.”


The two others, whiteShow and blackShow, will occur in a smaller, more intimate setting. These shows respectively showcase the themes innocenceShift, with plays that “disrupt our sense of innocence” and are “brash, personal and provocative,” and powerShift, with plays that “reposition character dynamics” and are “intimate, inventive and expansive.”


Beyond these play sets, there are various opportunities before and after the shows to interact with the creators and discuss their works.  InspiraTO even offers a free online webinar on the topic of writing 10-minute plays for all of those aspiring micro-playwrights out there!


It all makes for a great viewing and learning experience full of insights into theatre. More than anything else, it’s sure to be quite the interesting exercise in micro-storytelling. The compression of big ideas into small spaces is an art form that takes a lot of skill, so this festival is definitely one that looks to challenge. Judging by the lineup, the festival certainly aims to excite as well!


The festival is being hosted at the Alumnae Theatre at 70 Berkeley St. You can purchase tickets online and learn more here: 

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