This is Nowhere by Zuppa Theatre (photo by Mel Hattie) 

Network Laboratory #2

GIFT: Recipes for Solitude

Alex McLean and Bruce Barton

16 December 2022
:00 MST / 13:00 EST / 18:00 GMT


What greater gift ? This Lab will provide a framework for  offerings of personal solitude–recipes for reflection, if you will.  Like all good recipes, the key is parameters rather than rules, gestures rather than precise measurements, as evocations for individual exploration. Bring your appetite for discovery.

Alex McLean is a theatre artist based in Kjibuktuk/Halifax. He is a co-artistic director of Halifax’s Zuppa Theatre Co. and has co-written and directed the majority of that company’s shows. Recent works with Zuppa are Vista20, tiny (in collaboration with Vertical City), touring shows The Archive of Missing Things and Pop-Up Love Party, and This is Nowhere, a large-scale live/digital performance for places that aren’t considered cultural centres. With his ad hoc group Surplus Production Unit, he directed and wrote (from verbatim sources) A Timed Speed-Read of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Trial Transcript with Additional Notes. With Ker Wells he was a founding member of Number Eleven Theatre (1998 -2006), and he holds an M.A. from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. A specialist in devising, Alex has taught extensively, published scholarly articles, and collaborated with practitioners across multiple disciplines. His work explores the past, the present, and things that are too big to grasp or too small to contain.

Bruce Barton is a performance maker and research-creation scholar. He works extensively as a professional director and dramaturg, and is the Co-Artistic Director, with Pil Hansen, of Vertical City. Recent Vertical City productions (as writer and director) include reset, Did you mean ‘rocket’? and Trace. As a playwright, Bruce’s stage and radio plays have been performed across Canada, received multiple awards and nominations, and anthologized. He is the author or editor/contributor of seven books focusing on dramatury and artistic research, including Performance as Research: Methods, Knowledge, Impact (Routledge 2018), Mediating Practice(s): Performance as Research and/in/through Mediation (U of Winchester P, 2013), and At the Intersection Between Art and Research (NSU 2010). Bruce is also the Director of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary and the co-convenor of the Artistic Research Working Group of Performance Studies international (PSi).