The Modern Times Stage Company provides a true reflection of Canada's cultural diversity through theatre.
The Modern Times Stage Company's productions create employment opportunities and skills training for culturally diverse artists who are often left out by mainstream theatre companies.
The company was founded on the belief that individual voices, experiences and backgrounds can unite in a common vision and create theatre that expresses the essence of a shared human spirit. It has an interest in the artistic expression of all world cultures and in the ways that art can associate individuals as a human race as opposed to a system of unconnected cultures.
The artists of the Modern Times Stage Company believe in a world where human identity defies a singular definition and therefore their theatrical aesthetic draws from many styles of theatre. Within this diversity, they seek beauty in simplicity and truth in vulnerability. Their artistic process and award-winning productions are rooted in this unique approach, resulting in a timeless, placeless expression of reality.
Themes of loneliness, the mystery of existence, the search for happiness and truth, and the conflict between fate and will are often at the centre of the company's work. The productions are usually placeless and timeless: design elements are ultimately more like archetypes. Archetypes transcend cultural and political borders, and this is what the company strives for in its creation: to move away from ideology and towards a human vocabulary that speaks across civilizations.
Modern Times has a strong history of conceptualizing, planning and executing small- and large-scale projects, including international co-productions, symposiums, workshops and training programs. With its small core of artistic and administrative staff, the company has produced over 26 theatrical productions in 25 years. Its productions have been honoured with 50 Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations and 10 Dora Awards, and its Director Soheil Parsa has won several national and international distinctions.
Making a Difference
Modern Times has provided arts education and engagement programs for culturally diverse youth and young immigrants. Its Youth Theatre Unit, supported by the Canada Council, gave workshops that combined skills training in theatre with social action and current themes, many with respect to the challenge of being a new Canadian.
It has also taken its work into war-torn areas, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Colombia, to inspire exchanges on nationalism and identity through its "Dialogues" project.
Modern Times dealt with, and overcame, serious administrative challenges in its 2009-2010 season with the assistance of board members and long-time supporters. As a result, it has refocused its administrative planning and developed long-term strategies to ensure stability and future growth.
Vision for the Future
Modern Times explores stories from across the globe and produces adapted, translated and original works for audiences in Canada and internationally.
It would like to expand its practice of translating and adapting Iranian plays to encompass a larger intercultural and cross-cultural scope in response to Toronto's cultural intricacies; this would also include broadening its work with youth from different cultural and racial backgrounds.
About the Modern Times Stage Company
The Modern Times Stage Company was established in 1989 in Toronto. It creates original plays, revisits classical works and translates the plays of Iranian dramatists. Led by Iranian-Canadian Director Soheil Parsa, the company's work has been performed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark and Iran.
Best Practice Contact
Gia Nahmens, Head of Administration Modern Times Stage Company
Studio 310, 15 Case Goods Lane Toronto, ON M5A 3C4