Stage Door News

Toronto: Outside the March will present “The Tape Escape” in July and “The Flick” in October

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Beginning this summer, Outside the March is inviting you to put your life on pause with a series of proudly analog movie-loving experiences harkening back to yesteryear—or at least to the days before Netflix and Amazon Prime. THE POPCORN DOUBLE FEATURE will see OtM take over the Annex’s historic Queen Video and open up its own VHS rental store (with a twist) for THE TAPE ESCAPE, and transform Streetcar Crowsnest into a classic cinema for THE FLICK.

As a company we’ve spent the better part of a decade staging work that celebrates the communal power of live experience,” reflects OtM’s founding Artistic Director Mitchell Cushman. “The easier it becomes to veg out in front of a screen, the hungrier we are, I think, for something shared. The Popcorn Double Feature explores how movies and community used to go hand in hand. When the last video store in town shutters, when another independent cinema gets turned into a Silvercity, when everything goes digital, what community rituals and neighbourhood identities are lost?


An Outside the March Experience
Created by Vanessa Smythe, Mitchell Cushman and Nick Bottomley 
Opens July 2019
480 Bloor. St. W.

 Co-created by Cushman, performance poet Vanessa Smythe and video artist Nick Bottomley, THE TAPE ESCAPE is Outside the March’s foray into the booming world of Escape Rooms—a series of story-based, puzzle-infused mysteries staged inside of a brick-and-mortar VHS rental store. Step back into the world of the 1990s with this love letter to the lost art of browsing, created in an installation of over 5000 VHS tapes. Audiences will solve a series of film genre-inspired puzzles that uncover the untold tales of the store’s staff and membership base.  

In a nod to Groundhog Day, the video store of THE TAPE ESCAPE eternally relives a single day in 1999. But the project’s impetus is more pressing than ever. THE TAPE ESCAPE will inherit the former venue of the historic Queen Video, which just a few weeks ago saddened Torontonians with the announcement that it will be shuttering after 38 years. THE TAPE ESCAPE will reanimate the space, continuing the storefront’s identity as a community gathering space for film-lovers citywide.
“There’s a hard-to-articulate sense of loss that feels tangled up with the closing of our last remaining video stores,” says co-creator Vanessa Smythe. “I remember going on my first date to a video store, walking the aisles and imagining our different possible futures depending on which movies we drew closer to. Now, when I pick up a tape, I remember how I felt when I first watched it. What. frightened me. Which character made me sweat. Who kept me company when I felt all alone. The Tape Escape will recreate that space of playground and possibility.”

“The escape room format is a bit of misnomer” adds co-creator Bottomley, “we don’t want you to escape from the past, we want you to linger in it!”
THE TAPE ESCAPE will open in early July and run throughout the summer at 480 Bloor. St. Space is extremely limited for this intimate experience, as each story is designed for four audience members at a time. Bookings will be available soon. To sign up for first access, visit

THE FLICK by Annie Baker

An Outside the March and Crow’s Theatre Production
October 6th to 27th, 2019
Streetcar Crowsnest

 Then, in early October, OtM teams up with Crow’s Theatre for the Toronto Premiere of THE FLICK by Annie Baker, one of contemporary theatre’s most exciting voices. Baker’s work has blown-away Toronto audiences thanks to recent award-winning productions of her plays JOHN and THE ALIENS. Written in her same signature style of uber-naturalism, Cushman describes her 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning THE FLICK as if Empire Records and Waiting for Godot had a baby.”
Hailed by The New York Times as “one of the best plays of the past 25 years”, THE FLICK is set in an independent movie theatre, where three ushers navigate life making $8.25/hour as they attend to the last 35mm film projector in town. This is Baker’s masterwork—a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.
Following OtM’s explosive, Dora-Award winning sold-out run of Jerusalem in 2018, OtM returns to Streetcar Crowsnest. This time OtM will transform both the theatre and lobby into The Flick Cinema for another unmissable immersive event - thanks to installation design from OtM frequent collaborator Anahita Dehbonehie. The production will also reunite director Cushman with the Jerusalem design team: set and lighting design by Nick Blais, costume design by Lindsay Junkin and sound design by Richard Feren.

Tickets for this limited run are on-sale now at
Founded in 2009, Outside the March is marking its 10th Anniversary in 2019-20with a year-long series of immersive experiences, celebration events and new commissions—kicking off with The Popcorn Double Feature. Over the past decade, the company has produced 15 productions that celebrate both the epic and the intimate—in kindergarten classrooms, funeral homes, movie theatres, churches, grocery stores, living rooms and up on stage at the Royal Alex. The company’s work has been recognized with 11 Dora Awards, including three for Outstanding Production, and a host of Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards. Past landmark productions include: Mr. Marmalade, Terminus, Passion Play, Vitals, Mr. Burns, TomorrowLoveTM, Lessons in Temperament, Jerusalem and Dr. Silver.

Stay tuned for more announcements about Outside the March’s 10thAnniversary Programming.

The Popcorn Experience hashtag: #Flicksinthe6ix 
Twitter: @OutsideTheMarch 
Facebook: @OutsideTheMarch