Stage Door News

Toronto: Theatre Passe Muraille unveils the Bob Nasmith Innovation Backspace

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM) is pleased to open the newly renovated Bob Nasmith Innovation Backspace for our 22.23 season thanks to receiving a $142,600 Resilient Communities Fund grant in 2021 from Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario.

The funds were used to help with some renovation and equipment costs, in addition to offering virtual training programs and adapting marketing initiatives.

“Theatre Passe Muraille is a Toronto institution, entertaining audiences from across the city and beyond with its productions for over 50 years I was pleased to learn about what you’ve accomplished with the Bob Nasmith Innovation Backspace, and more, as a result of your grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.”

— Chris Glover, MPP for Spadina-Fort York

The space is named after former TPM Board Member and beloved artist Bob Nasmith, who shared in the company’s history since its very beginning.

“Bob Nasmith was an artist who represented the spirit of creation at TPM. Bob’s commitment to counter culture and questioning the status quo is continuing to inspire our company’s work and decisions today. In the honour of this new name; The Bob Nasmith Innovation Backspace, TPM is committed to keeping this space financially and physically accessible for Indie theatre creators”

— Marjorie Chan, Artistic Director, TPM

The Backspace theatre was an intimate, infamous space that kickstarted many productions and careers in the Toronto theatre scene. TPM is building on this legacy by adding upgrades to the space. The stage has been removed and a dance-friendly floor was installed throughout. Flexible and comfortable seating is also retractable in order to provide an open working space.

New filming and streaming equipment is being added so that we can continue to support digital productions. Over the next few years, we are also going to increase our digital capacity to be suitable for experimenting in extended reality (XR) such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) as well as other immersive techniques.

The Bob Nasmith Innovation Backspace will welcome audiences in October 2022 , with our 22.23 season show, The Year of the Cello by Marjorie Chan and Njo Kong Kie — a co-production with Music Picnic.

Photo: Bob Nasmith. © 2012 Aviva Armour-Ostroff.