What is Play Play?

Workshops for performers to play, stretch, flop, learn and grow

Play Play is a workshop series where we train live performers of all experience levels to be well-rounded in a wide variety of skills. We envision a theatre and clown community that is artistically interesting, politically relevant and invested in audience connection. We foster a community of diverse performers who are treated equitably. We aim to offer financially accessible professional training where artists feel they belong to a community.

Play Play started in September 2022 by Janice Jo Lee and Oliver Georgiou with a vision to offer a variety of performance training based in clown and improvisation. We brought in guest teachers and covered an array of topics such as: physical theatre, Viewpoints, voice, contact improv, melodrama, artist statements, and more.

In Spring 2023 Janice Jo Lee directed the first Creation Lab. The vision was to create theatre that matters in the world, using clown and physical theatre as a foundation. Ten performers created an ensemble and devised scenes together drawing from their skills and life experience. The Lab culminated in a final show which had movement, monologue, physical theatre storytelling, comedy and poetry. 

Play Play continues this Winter 2024 with rotating guest teachers. Workshops are $16-21 in advance, or at the door via cash or card.

We anticipate the next Creation Lab to run in the Spring (May-July 2024.) Stay tuned for more info. 

We encourage people of all abilities and backgrounds to join Play Play. Folks who are 2SLGBTQI+, racialized, or have different physical abilities are especially encouraged to attend. Contact Janice if you have any questions.

Our workshops are held Monday nights 8-10pm at Sweet Action Theatre, in the Artscape Youngplace building, 180 Shaw Street, Unit 106.

HEALTH, SAFETY AND ACCESSIBILITY
Sweet Action Theatre has 3 HEPA filters and air conditioning. Performers may choose to wear a mask for the entire duration. Performers are asked to self-screen and stay home if feeling ill.

Sweet Action is a wheelchair accessible venue. Performers with access needs are invited to participate and contact Janice in advance.

FRONT OF HOUSE PROCEDURE

When you arrive, every person must check in with Adam or Josh. Anyone who is dropping in will be marked with a number on their hand, up to our maximum. People who arrive after we've hit capacity will be given a beaded necklace to wear and you can sit in the audience as part of the Overflow Gallery.

If you have a friend who is a non-performer who wants to come and watch, they can sit in the Overflow Gallery.

If you arrive late, check in with Adam or Josh before you join the workshop. Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

REFUND POLICY
There are no refunds but you can transfer your ticket by forwarding your ticket email to someone else. If you become ill and can't come, you can use your ticket as credit for next time.

PLAY PLAY COLLECTIVE
Janice Jo Lee - Artistic Director
Stephanie Carpanini - Associate Director
Adam Mohammed -  Artistic Associate and Graphic Designer
Joshua Bonnici - Artistic Associate and Venue Liaison

ABOUT STEPHANIE CARPANINI
Stephanie is delighted to be co-teaching with the wonderfully dynamic artist/performer/musician: Janice Jo Lee for Play Play’s Creation Lab! She’s a performer who loves to explore the darkness of humanity through Clown work and the irreverence of Bouffon as these mediums provide her with great catharsis and joy. Grateful for having the opportunity to have trained with clown master Philippe Gaulier, it has influenced her pedagogical style as well as ignited a freedom and rebellion in her work

Creator of DONNA CARNIVORA’S KILLER PARTY which premiered to rave reviews at The 2022 Edmonton Fringe Festival. Stephanie will be reimagining KILLER PARTY  and  bringing it to The Edinburgh 2024 Fringe Festival next August. Furthermore if you’d like a Donna Carnivora teaser, she will be opening for Sam Chaulk’s INFLUENCED on Friday The 13th (October) at Sweet Action Theatre! 

“Stephanie Carpanini does an amazing job as Donna Carnivora, stepping back and forth between pleasant interactions and outrageous outbursts. She’s creepy, yet oozes enough charisma to keep the audience from running out the doors.” -The Edmonton Journal

Inspired by her love of BOUFFON and campy horror films, KILLER PARTY is an apocalyptic comedy of female neurosis.  In the spirit of John Waters and David Lynch, her interactive show features the unraveling of a housewife gone wild who’s ready to party and kill until curtain call. Think Marilyn Monroe meets American Psycho!

ABOUT SHANDA BEZIC
Shanda Bezic is an actor, director, educator and clown. A Graduate of George Brown Theatre Conservatory and certified in the Lecoq pedagogy. 

Recent acting credits include: Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Culprits (Disney +), Accused (FOX), The Way Home (Hallmark Channel) and animated feature Red Iron Road (Plex and Amazon Prime). 

Shanda has a passion for creating original work. She is a founding member and director of A Bit Much Productions recently premiering Canoe Lake for Theatre By the Bay. Bezic’s directing credits also include three original award winning one woman shows that have toured the Fringe circuit playing in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, NYC, San Francisco, and Australia. All of Shanda’s directed works use a feminist lens, physical theatre, and the clown spirit. 

As an educator, Shanda has worked with Bad Dog Theatre, Pro Actors Lab, U of T, and The School for Theatre Creators (Italy) She has self produced numerous workshops and collaborated with experts from all over the world. Her most recent offering, Clown Witch, was crafted for women and non-binary artists of all disciplines to discover the power of Clown and physical theatre. 

Her clown duo, The Sensationals have been playing together since they accidentally got thrown into BusketFest in 2014. Bezic and her creative partner, Michael MacEachern, create work that blends this serious with the absurd. Always physical. Always very dumb. 

Shanda is so excited to be doing an extended teaching residency with Play Play. 

Every week, we will try different methodologies to activate the creative engine, connect with our playmates, stretch our physical presence, and create bits and content. 

My goals for each week, is to make you feel: 

💪Empowered to use your body as a tool for creation, inspiration and source material 

🎈Experience Clown foundations in a safe and nurturing space 

🌳Expand and grow your self definitions (at least a lil bit) 

🙌Through play, encourage you to become more authentically YOU and everything you are 

😂 Most importantly, to connect with other creators and folks to engage in some silly weird wonderful fun together

Come Play! I promise you’ll have fun. 

-Shanda

Play Play: The Show 2

THE HEARTCRACKER. A Ballet.
PLAY PLAY: The Show 2

Mon Dec 11, 2023. Doors 8:15pm. Show 8:30-9:30pm. Reception to follow.

How do you take off your armour?
The final show for the Play Play Creation Lab Fall 2023.  A one act physical theatre and clown performance. Themes of division, loss of innocence, and love.
The Ensemble: 
Fatma Ozbek, Kendra Ward, Angelic, Chantal Bassous, Adam Mohammed, Magdalena Borkowski, Jennifer McKinley, Srutika Sabu, Michael Higginson, Sue Carroll, Gibum Dante Lim

Directed by Janice Jo Lee and Stephanie Carpanini
Co-Producers/Volunteers: Adam Mohammed, Josh Bonnici

Tickets $15/25

ACCESSIBILITY:
- 3 HEPA filters
- Masks recommended
- Wheelchair accessible space (Please note in purchase to reserve a spot)
- Seats are padded folding chairs on risers. 
- Male/Female washrooms on 1st floor, Single stall washroom on 3rd floor
- Elevator
- Free street parking

Play Play Creation Lab