Platform 9 Theatre (begun in 1985)
Director Ken McDougall and I started Platform 9 as a way to get our work produced in what was a very competitive independent theatre scene.
We were interested in highly theatrical work that dealt with social concerns. I produced and wrote; Ken directed and organized development. We only did new Canadian plays.
Platform 9’s Mandate:
To develop and produce provocative theatre which highlights social issues.
The Artistic Vision:
Platform 9 responds to the world we live in. We create theatre that is urban, controversial and inspiring. We challenge individuals to reflect upon their society and we ask them to respond. We forge relationships with like-minded companies and individual artists. All our productions are Canadian and are usually developed by the company.
Founded in 1985 by Co-Artistic Directors Ken McDougall and Robin Fulford, Platform 9 has developed and produced numerous new Canadian works, challenging its audiences theatrically, emotionally, and intellectually.
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Steel Kiss (1987), written by Fulford and directed by McDougall, was inspired by the murder of a gay man in High Park, Toronto, in 1985. It continues to be produced throughout North America, an indication of its relevance.
Our first huge collective, White Trash Blue Eyes (1989), used audience interaction in a tavern to rail against community gentrification.
Gargoyle (1990) tackled the problem of mental health by looking at the life of a young schizophrenic.
Inspired by the mind-control experiments of the 1950’s, Sleeproom (1992) turned the theatre into the “The Institute of Inner Ecology”, trooping the audience around the institute as if they were potential inmates.
In 1994, Ken McDougall passed away, leaving Fulford as Artistic Director. After a foray into an adaption of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Platform 9 began Gulag, the sequel to Steel Kiss. Steel Kiss and Gulag ran in repertory for the first time in January 1999.
Megatropolis (1998) is our most recent collective. Part play, part film, part opera, part performance, it reinterpreted Fritz Lang’s 1926 silent film classic Metropolis in which he contemplated the year 2000.
Swahili Godot by Robin Fulford was redeveloped with 1157 Performance Group in England for the 1999 Edinburgh Fringe Festival followed by a UK tour.
In 2000, Franco Boni directed a taut production of Grace by Michael MacLennan for its Toronto premiere.
Five Fingers by Robin Fulford, was voted by Now in SummerWorks 2001 as one of four Outstanding New Plays. It was remounted in 2003 at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace.
Tunnel by Robin Fulford was produced in 2005.
Whitewash by Robin Fulford, a play about the death of Dudley George and the Ipperwash crisis was produced in 2008.
A Dora Mavor Moore Award to Ken McDougall for directing Steel Kiss, which was also nominated for new play, production and set. White Trash Blue Eyes, Never Swim Alone and The Last Supper received Doras for outstanding production. McDougall was nominated for directing Swahili Godot and received a Dora for his astounding acting in The Last Supper. Sleeproomand Gulag were nominated for outstanding production. Gulag had seven nominations, including direction, new play, set, sound and lighting. Stephan Droege received a Dora for the set of Gargoyle.