FOOT 2019: Equity & Diversity in Performance (Feb. 15-17, 2019)

deadline for submissions: 
October 20, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance (University of Toronto)
contact email: 

FOOT 2019: Equity & Diversity in Performance


Proposals Due: Saturday, October 13th, 2018



The 27th annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) conference at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies invites proposals to our conference entitled ‘Equity & Diversity in Performance’ taking place February 15th to 17th, 2019. It asks the following question: What is the changing relationship of drama, theatre, and performance to practices which centralize equity through Intersectionality?

Intersectionality, a term first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, asserts that the “various forms of discrimination centred on race, gender, class, disability, sexuality, and other forms of identity, do not work independently but interact to produce particularized forms of social oppression” (OED). Despite renewed international attention on the changing understanding of equity and diversity sparked by the #metoo and #timesup movements, in what ways are historically-minoritized communities further marginalized by mainstream equity discourse? ‘Equity & Diversity in Performance’ will focus on the changing nature of the field amidst these paradigm shifts in public discourse, aiming both to critically analyze these relationships and to raise awareness of persisting inequities.

On January 5, 2017, Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company released a statement from its Board of Directors indicating that it is severing ties with its founder and former Artistic Director Albert Shultz after actresses Hannah Miller, Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley, and Patricia Fagan publicly accused Shultz of being a “serial sexual predator”. Since the revelations, students in performing arts training programs across the country have come forward to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault within the institution. This incident, in conjunction with performances of violent discrimination, police brutality, resistance and compassion which have received widespread attention in North America and abroad in recent months, prove that a need for rigorous critical inquiry in the interplay of power within performance, and the potential performance presents for changes toward equity.

While we acknowledge that through the Toronto performing arts community’s direct implication within the #metoo movement sexual harassment will be a central focus of conversation, the intersectional feminist outlook of the conference means that related issues of accessibility and accommodations for historically-marginalized communities will also be discussed. This conference engages the work of equity and diversity, including how the work happens in the industry, interrogates how the terms themselves work, and puts pressure on the disproportionate onus of historically-minoritized communities to perform this equity labour.

The Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) began as an opportunity to showcase dramatic works at the University of Toronto’s Drama Centre, growing to become one of the largest student-organized academic conferences in the field nationwide. In an effort to return to its roots and address the importance of centralizing artists and performers in critical conversations about their work, ‘Equity & Diversity in Performance’ will be accepting submissions for both academic and artistic pieces. As such, it will be open to participants of all experience levels in performance and critical theory.

We celebrate and welcome artistic, academic, activist, and interdisciplinary proposals for workshops, lecture-presentations, papers, audio-essays, performances, readings, and other creative and participatory explorations of equity in and through performance. In the case of performances, we encourage submission of short, low-tech or no-tech pieces.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

– intersectional feminism

– approaches to theatre training that

deconstruct gender

– sex work, decriminalization, and


– non-Western theatre pedagogies

– theatre and globalization

– (dis)ability, neuro-diversity,

and performance

– accessibility in spaces of performance

– access to arts education

– international equity initiatives

– performing race

– discriminatory violence

– indigeneity and performance practices

– indigenous performance in the era of

the Truth & Reconciliation Commission

– anti-racist theatre in multiculturalism

– troubling the canon

– status of women in Canadian theatre

– challenges to “professionalization”

– equity, public policy, and ethics

– sexual harassment in the performing


– trans performance


Please submit your proposal before October 20th 2018 by filling out THIS FORM

Thank you for your interest in FOOT 2019: ‘Equity & Diversity in Performance’, we look forward to working with you!



Julia Matias

Sarah Robbins

FOOT Organizing Team 2019