City Stages: Theatre and Urban Space in a Global City by Michael McKinnie

By Michael McKinnie

In each significant urban, there exists a fancy alternate among city house and the establishment of the theatre. City Stages is an interdisciplinary and materialist research of this dating because it has existed in Toronto seeing that 1967. finding theatre businesses - their websites and practices - in Toronto's city atmosphere, Michael McKinnie makes a speciality of the ways that the theatre has tailored to adjustments in civic ideology, atmosphere, and financial system.

Over the prior 4 many years, theatre in Toronto has been more and more implicated within the civic self-fashioning of the town and preoccupied with the results of the altering city political economy. urban Stages investigates a couple of key questions that relate to this development. How has theatre been used to justify yes kinds of city improvement in Toronto? How have neighborhood actual property markets stimulated the ways that theatre businesses collect and use functionality area? How does the research of theatre as an city phenomenon complicate Canadian theatre historiography?

McKinnie makes use of the St. Lawrence Centre for the humanities and the Toronto Centre for the appearing Arts as case experiences and considers theatrical businesses corresponding to Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto Workshop Productions, acquaintances in undesirable instances, and precious Angel in his analysis. urban Stages combines basic archival examine with the scholarly literature rising from either the arts and social sciences. the result's a entire and empirical exam of the connection among the theatrical arts and the city areas that residence them.

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Does the ‘civic’ in ‘civic theatre’ signify a theatrical intervention in Toronto’s urban development? It is also worth asking if the other, more recently developed, civic theatre in Toronto played a role in the urban development of its neighbourhood, and, if so, how this civic theatre interprets the relationship between theatre and the city. The North York Performing Arts Centre (NYPAC) was completed in 1993 in downtown North York, a suburban city built after the Second World War north of the old city core.

North York was Toronto’s second city in terms of population, but, in terms of urban planning, was practically indistinguishable from Scarborough and Etobicoke, the other large suburban communities that make up Toronto. North York thought that building a downtown would differentiate it from Toronto’s other suburbs and give the city a distinct civic identity. For many years North York had promoted itself as ‘the city with a heart,’ and the construction of a downtown gave an advertising slogan physical and sentimental form.

39 Instead, the City largely financed the Ford Centre through a complex land deal that depended on the increasing value of the area’s commercial real estate market. When the Conservative provincial government of Bill Davis decided to build a domed sports stadium (later named SkyDome) in the old downtown south of Front Street West, Mel Lastman, then mayor of North York (a Conservative and subsequent mayor of the amalgamated Toronto), extracted a parcel of provincial land next to North York city hall in 1985 as his political price for the government’s failure to build the stadium in North York.

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