Stage Door News

Toronto: Expect Theatre and Arts Etobicoke present multimedia “BABBLE” online

Friday, December 18, 2020

On Friday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m., Expect Theatre and Arts Etobicoke streamed BABBLE a new multimedia, multi-disciplinary musical created by Expect Theatre’s Beats + Intentions program during the age of physical distancing. This program was made possible thanks in part to a $249,800 Grow grant that the two organizations received in 2017 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

“I am so pleased to hear that Expect Theatre and Arts Etobicoke are able to introduce this new, exciting multi-media program with aid from the Ontario government. It’s innovative programs like these that show us that even during a global pandemic, the arts community can thrive. This will go a long way in getting us through these tough times.” - Christine Hogarth, MPP Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

Funds from the grant were used by Expect Theatre and Arts Etobicoke to expand on this innovative program designed to promote emerging artists in Toronto, helping with staffing, production costs, communications and workshops.

This fall, Expect Theatre’s Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolleywere set to host the 6th year of the successful Beats + Intentions program, which invites up to 20 emerging performers to train and collaboratively create, with top industry professionals, a one-of-a-kind performance for Nuit Blanche. However, the program was disrupted due to Covid-19 and it was forced to move online. What seemed like a setback turned into a unique opportunity to capture the talent of 20 talented artists who created original music while never getting to meet in person.

For three weeks performers collaborated with Musical Director Barbara Johnson (Dora Nominee), Choreographer Nicola Pantin (Dora Winner) and Designer Jackie Chau (Dora Nominee) to create an online performance on the theme of “normal”.

The end result is a moving and mind-bending experience that was created without the performers or trainers ever meeting. It features 10 original songs composed and performed by the group with accompanying dance pieces. All were shot by the performers and members of their household. The videos were then sent to editor Eric Andrews who pieced the show together.

About Beats:

Beats + Intentions is a devised interdisciplinary creation project featuring 20 emerging artists from across Toronto. Artists who specialize in theatre, music, spoken word, lyric writing, and/or dance will come together in September to create an original performance using material from their lives’ as a starting point. This project is part of a pre-professional training and creation program that was developed to provide education, mentorship, and a creation opportunity to future arts and culture professionals. The show is normally presented at Nuit Blanche.


Babble will be available online as of December 11th at 7pm. For tickets, please RSVP to