Stage Door News

Toronto: “The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries” continues June 8-July 4

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Following the announcement last month that SummerWorks will offer a summer season of remotely presented work from May through September, they are pleased today to announce their focal presentation for the month of June. Beginning June 8 through July 4 SummerWorks will present The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries: Summer Passport - a Remote Immersive Experience from Outside the March. All experiences during this period will be free to the public - made possible by SummerWorks’ support. In addition, Deaf performers will offer performances exclusively in American Sign Language available from June 15 - July 4, continuing SummerWorks’ cultivation of Deaf related programming. 

Also, for the first time, The Ministry’s services will be available outside of North America. Twenty-five percent of the scheduled experiences will be reserved for international ticket buyers, with promotional support coming from international partner companies which include the English Theatre in Berlin/International Performing Arts Centre, Germany; Farnham Maltings, UK; MAYK, UK; Melbourne Fringe, Australia; and Projects Arts Centre, Ireland.  To accommodate the international time zones Ministry agents will be available between 11am-1pm, 3pm-5pm, and 7pm-9pm EDT. Clients who submit mysteries to the Ministry in Australia and New Zealand will be contacted by agents living in the past!

Outside the March are an important SummerWorks alumni company who we are always excited to collaborate with when we can,” says SummerWorks Artistic and Managing Director Laura Nanni. “They are visionaries and creative risk takers, who continually reinvigorate and redefine what is possible in the realm of immersive and site-specific performance in Canada. I was so impressed by how they responded in this moment to the challenge of social distancing. Amplifying and giving this project a wider reach felt really appropriate for SummerWorks to do

“The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries has received many deserved accolades over the last months. It is so well crafted in its simplicity, intimacy, and the fact that it is targeted to each participant is such a genuine way to create moments of much needed connection. When I went through the experience, I looked so forward to getting my phone call every day.

"SummerWorks has been a touchstone for both innovation and accessibility for as long as I've been making theatre,” adds Outside the March Artistic Director and Ministry Co-Creator Mitchell Cushman.We couldn't be more thrilled to be partnering with SummerWorks to make The Ministry's services freely available to audiences and to share the piece internationally for the first time."  

A remote, immersive experience to enjoy from home, The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries is a personalised and improvised narrative experience that unfolds over a week’s worth of short daily phone calls. The Ministry’s intrepid private investigators delve into participants’ very own micro mysteries using the investigative power of good conversation.

made-to-measure… executed so generously… [The Ministry] asked about my world, listened and then let me slip free of it, at 10-minute intervals.”

                                                                         – The New York Times

"There’s been a lot of immersive theatre in my little life. This was my favourite."

                                                                  – CBC Arts

The personalized phone experience is designed to be highly responsive to each audience member and be customized for individuals and family members of all ages. Multiple households can even share the experience together - a way of offering shared communal experience to many who are separated from loved ones during this difficult period. Throughout its initial nine week run, Outside the March has prioritized making tickets as accessible as possible through a Pay-it-Forward program and under-waged ticket prices, while ensuring that 100% of all ticket sales go to paying performers. 

For June’s “Summer Passport”, presentation support from SummerWorks will allow the project to continue employing artists, cover long distance phone charges, develop performances delivered in ASL, serving even more audiences equitably and free of charge. A percentage of the tickets will also be distributed through local community partner organizations, to ensure equity in who can access the free tickets.

Outside the March first opened the phones of The Ministry for Mundane Mysteries in mid-April and in its first two months of operations, The Ministry has solved over 350 personalized cases for individual households. Over that time frame, Outside the March has been able to pass on over $20,000 in fees to the actors involved (100% of the box office collected).

Tickets for June investigations are available to book now at www.summerworks.ca. Tickets for the ASL performances will be available for booking beginning June 1.

About The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries

Created by: Nick Blais, Katherine Cullen, Mitchell Cushman, Anahita Dehbonehie, Colin Doyle, Sebastien Heins, Amy Keating, Griffin McInnes

Performed by: Christy Bruce, Jamie Cavanagh, Shannon Currie, Colin Doyle, Sheri Godda, Sebastien Heins, Toby Hughes, Liz Johnston, Connor Low, Francis Melling, Anand Rajaram, Jonathan Shaboo, Jillian Welsh

Directed by: Mitchell Cushman & Griffin McInnes

Ministry Visual Design by: Nick Blais & Anahita Dehbonehie

Ministry Jingle by Britta Johnson, Arranged and Mixed by Adam Sakiyama