Stage Door News

Toronto: “I love the smell of gasoline” by Claren Grosz runs March 8-19 at Daniels Spectrum

Monday, January 23, 2023

Nightwood Theatre is delighted to present Pencil Kit Productions’ I love the smell of gasoline with support from Aluna Theatre at Aki Studio, March 8–19, 2023. Overhead projection meets performative research essay meets personal narrative as Creator-Performer Claren Grosz attempts to reconcile her Alberta oil-industry roots with the current environmental emergency. I love the smell of gasoline was born of a frustration with divisive Canadian politics, rampant hypocrisy, and a lack of team spirit when facing impending doom. What does it really mean to sacrifice and to survive? How can we harness our agency and responsibility in a global crisis?

Claren Grosz (she/her) is a Toronto based theatre and visual artist. She is also the Artistic Director of Pencil Kit Productions, a company dedicated to generating new work. Her theatre practice focuses on physical, visually compelling work and collaborative, alternative theatre making processes. She is the recipient of the 2018 Ken MacDougall Emerging Director Award and the 2015 My Entertainment World Outstanding Direction (Small Theatre) Award.

Grosz shares, “This work has allowed me to bring together so many different parts of my life. Designing the projections means I get to show up as a visual artist. Analyzing statistics and research means I get to draw on my background as a math and science tutor. And I get to talk about Alberta! This play is a very fraught and complicated love letter to my home province.”

Nightwood Theatre’s Artistic Director, Andrea Donaldson says, “I love the smell of gasoline is a vividly handcrafted work that not only interrogates the impact of fossil fuel but more interestingly, of an assumed left leaning perspective on the complex conundrum of consumption. Drawing on both facts of science and facts of the heart, this show offers an unparalleled opportunity for audiences to loosen their grip on a ‘stance’ to welcome complexity, hope and togetherness as we face the unknown.”

Nightwood Theatre presents a Pencil Kit Production of

I love the smell of gasoline

with support from Aluna Theatre Created and Performed by Claren Grosz Directed by William Dao

March 8–19, 2023 at Aki Studio Opening Night: Wednesday, March 8


Wednesday, March 8 at 8 pm [Opening night] Thursday, March 9 at 8 pm

Friday, March 10 at 8 pm [ASL-English interpretation] Saturday, March 11 at 8 pm

Sunday, March 12 at 2 pm [ASL-English interpretation]

Wednesday, March 15 at 8 pm Thursday, March 16 at 8 pm Friday, March 17 at 8 pm Saturday, March 18 at 8 pm Sunday, March 19 at 2 pm

Show runtime: approximately 75 minutes with no intermission


General tickets $35, Arts Worker, Senior and Student tickets $25.

$10 Community Access tickets will be available for the performances on March 10 and 17. 

Limited pay-what-you-can tickets can be purchased at the door for all performances. 

Taxes and fees are already included in the ticket price. Tickets can be purchased online HERE or by calling the Aki Studio box office at 416-531-1402.


At this time, Native Earth no longer requires audience members’ proof of vaccination to enter the theatre, however their mask mandate still remains in place. Please note vaccination policy is subject to change based on community and artist needs. Please click here for the full Covid policies at Aki Studio.

Photo: Clren Grosz. © 2022 Fran Chudnoff.