Generator and The Riser Project: Sector Developers for Independent Theatre in Toronto
Helen Yung

Generator and The RISER Project: Sector Developers for Independent Theatre in Toronto highlights two initiatives designed to allow Toronto’s independent theatre to flourish. Commissioned by the Toronto Arts Foundation and published with the support of the Metcalf Foundation and Toronto Arts Council, the research paper illustrates how both projects address issues of scarcity that are endemic to the sector.

Generator originated out of the Small Theatre Administrative Facility (STAF). Created in 1992, for decades STAF offered support services to companies, enabling them to mount productions. Generator evolved out of this small organization and now helps independent theatre makers by offering shared office space and other resources such as workshops and mentorships and the use of two full-time staff to assist producers.

In 2014, Why Not Theatre developed The RISER Project. Designed to look like a theatre festival, it is a new collaborative producing model for theatre artists and companies, which has multiple independent productions running annually in repertory for several weeks in April and May.

It is hoped that the publication of this report will result in the sharing of these innovative ideas with other jurisdictions and inspire the development of other capacity building ideas.