Urban Jungle Theatre


Jungle 1 and Central Technical School

(see also Jungle 1: i Spy for show details.)

This site-specific collaborative creation explores the life of a spy, as imagined by the people that have found his body. The piece combines elements of text, physical theatre, dance, music and circus arts as the characters discover who this person could have been and, at the end, who he was. Check back in the coming weeks for photo and video updates of the creation process.

Why we chose Central Technical School

We have chosen Central Technical School, a high school located near Bathurst and Bloor (downtown Toronto) as the site for our first project. It is set back far enough from all major streets so that traffic noise should not be an issue, and it is literally a football field a way from the Toronto Fringe Festival main hub and two other Fringe venues. In positioning ourselves centrally to the Festival we hope to attract foot traffic, lure people from the Fringe tent, and be an attractive event to all Fringe goers. It is also within walking distance of two major subway stations, and two streetcar lines, providing easy access for audience.

The space was also chosen for the variety of architectural features it offers; an open enough space to accommodate a large audience, a large ramp, a gentle slope that creates an natural amphitheatre, variations in the shape of the building itself (a rounded edge, jutting triangles on one side, tall almost cathedral like windows in another). There is also the contrast between the two buildings - the first is grey,concrete, industrial looking, the second is stone, with huge front steps and arching entryway - evoking more of a university, or even parliamentary feel. These features will provide inspiration for the creation of the piece, and a variety of playing spaces and natural backdrops for the performance.

This is the first time a site-specific work has been created on school grounds in Toronto, and we are very excited about creating a new relationship between our organization and the Toronto District School Board. Ms. Niedoba has already been in contact with Central Technical Staff to get them on-board with Jungle 1, and has invited the high school's drama students to become involved in the work. We hope that the parents, friends and families of the students involved will come to see the show, creating an opportunity for the community to come together through their shared experience the work.

Regis College - Christie Mansion Project

Urban Jungle Theatre is currently discussing the possibility of creating a piece for Christie Mansion, the current home of Regis College. We have met with the artistic manger of the space, Father Gilles, and he is excited by the idea and the nature of our creation process. The project is tentatively scheduled for late fall 2011.