Launched in 2020, as part of Canadian Stage’s deep commitment to artistic innovation and development, the BMO Lab Residency Program runs in partnership with the BMO Lab at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Students (CDTPS), University of Toronto and is a unique paid opportunity that embeds professional artists with a live performance practice and interest in creation and emergent technologies, in a graduate-level, interdisciplinary course environment. Inaugural participants for 2020-2021 were Ryan Cunningham and Sébastien Heins, and Bronwen Sharp for the 2021-2022 season.
In the program, residents immerse themselves with the Lab’s technologies and research possibilities for application to live theatre performance. The aim of this residency is to provide resident artists with access to an educational space experimenting in the application of technology to live performance, and to work deeply with students and educators on the practical creation of new experiments in performance. Through this residency, artists gain valuable skills and knowledge to inform and support their existing artistic practice, while providing valuable insight for the students and course facilitators to the application of new technologies from their own experiences in the professional industry. The salary is jointly paid by Canadian Stage and the BMO Lab, with each recipient receiving a total of $10,000 (CAD).
“The Lab is very much a place to experiment at the intersection of performance and technology,” shares BMO Lab Director David Rokeby. “On another level, it’s a hub where we can bring together people from very different disciplines, because we think that this kind of open, creative and productive conversation across disciplines is essential if we are to navigate towards a future that we can feel good about.”
About the BMO Lab
An initiative of the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, the BMO Lab is a transdisciplinary hub providing a home for collaborative creative research across the Arts and Sciences. Grounded in the Arts, it is driven by a special but non-exclusive focus on emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence.
The Lab recognizes theatre as a vital locus of integration among the arts and a point of entry to a foundational inquiry of human experience in the rapidly changing world resulting from these technologies. With this as its gravitational centre, all the activities in the Lab are firmly placed in human, social, and cultural space, committed to engagement with the broader public, and addressing the growing complexities of the lived world.