Stage Door News

Toronto: Canadian Stage, SummerWorks and Club Quarantine unite to present live-streaming party “ESSENTIAL PLAY”

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Canadian Stage, SummerWorks and Club Quarantine unite to present ESSENTIAL PLAY, a nation-wide virtual/live streaming party. This FREE online club experience invites artists and art-lovers, from coast to coast, to come together for an unapologetic, unpredictable, imaginative, weird and wonderful night that celebrates the strength and resilience of artists. The revelry begins at 9pm on May 29th on Club Quarantine’s Instagram page where a Zoom link for the evening will drop right as the party starts. In a first for Club Quarantine, ESSENTIAL PLAY will have ASL interpretation throughout the event.

Bringing together artists from across Canada to celebrate our nation’s creative community - ESSENTIAL PLAY exists at the provocative intersection of club culture, cabaret and performance art. For the first time, two contemporary performing arts organizations are teaming up with Club Quarantine, an internationally recognized collective that is a leader in presenting and creating virtual parties, to take Club Q’s massively popular party platform to the next level. Along with pulse pounding DJ sets by L’Oquenz (Toronto), Chivengi (Montreal) and Bliptor (Toronto), Canadian performance artists in the line-up include Indigenous Vancouver drag artist Continental Breakfast, Kingston-based aerial artist Erin Ball, Toronto dancer/activist Rodney Diverlus, Sébastien Provencher from acclaimed Montreal choreography collective Lorganisme, and Toronto drag super-monster Yovska (Dragula/Netflix). Hosting duties will be shared by Vancouver-based, Indigenous-trans artist and house musician Quannah Style (Canada’s Drag Race), Toronto creator, performer and ASL accessibility advocate Sage Lovell (DeafSpectrum), and Toronto pop-star drag performer Priyanka (Canada’s Drag Race).

“This nation-wide party is about celebrating the enduring vitality of art and artists, despite the pandemic,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “As a national institution that brings together the most brilliant and creative individuals in our country, we are inspired by the innovation and spirit of both Club Q and SummerWorks, and we are thrilled to be working together on making our social distancing a little less isolating."

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with the adventurous and visionary teams at Canadian Stage and Club Quarantine on this wide-reaching celebration” adds SummerWorks Artistic and Managing Director Laura Nanni. “Our organizations have many shared values that brought us together in the moment of global social distancing. I’m excited that we’ve been able to assemble such a diverse group of artists from across the country that represent the spirit and ingenuity of contemporary creators today. We can’t wait to kick off our summer with them, and with you!”

Club Q is a Zoom hosted club party launched in Toronto on Monday, March 16th, just after official social distancing measures were imposed. It is the brainchild of four friends — recording artist Andrés Sierra, producer Casey MQ, comedian Brad Allen and digital creative Mingus New. The party has gone down every night at 9pm since, quickly building a massive following and garnering international media attention. Each night, Club Q drops that night’s Zoom link right at 9pm on their Instagram page ( and the party starts, accommodating up to 1,000 partygoers at a time.


Club Quarantine (Club Q) is a creative, entertainment-based entity that exists virtually, creating a platform where the artist and audience are in symbiosis. Through the curation of live-streamed parties, established artists are paired with emerging talent from global local scenes, with a focus on uplifting artists from marginalized communities (QTBIPOC/PWD). Club Q brings the world together through music, bridging gaps and eliminating borders between artists and their audiences.