What was #IntersectionTO?

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It’s not every day an artist’s event starts trending on Twitter, but on March 13 #IntersectionTO lit it up. Not that online representationcould fully captured the vibe - you had to be there for that. The excitement in the line-up outside of registration carried throughout the workshops, into the debate and, if Twitter is any indication, people brought that energy home.

While Paprika staff bustled inside laying final touches on the space before registration, a horde of keeners crowded. Theatre Passe Muraille’s lobby playing a special Paprika edition of “human bingo” (the prize was festival tickets). An onlooker would have thought it a gathering of old friends, but truth be told most interactions began with introductions: a check mark earned beside The Intersection's goal to provide “professional networking” before the event had even begun!

The workshop portion of the day came next, with two to choose from in each of the three time slots - and it was always a hard choice. Legendary professors, a world class conversationalist, industry experts and artists and directors all at the forefront of their craft filled the roster of presenters. Taken altogether, the workshops leaders were an impressive breadth of samples from the theatre community’s ecology. If there is one criticism of the event, it is that each workshop was too short at one hour to fully take advantage of the great minds leading the conversations.

2016 Schedule

The theatrical highlight of the day came during the debate series, when Amelia Sargisson and Susanna Fournier duked it out over the role of cellphones in the theatre. It had all the ingredients of a successful debate – sabotage, straw man fallacy, air horns – and by the end there was no clear winner. Both arguments hinged on the idea of human connectedness, so the debate largely ended up being: cellphones allow more people to connect with art vs. cell phones inhibit empathy. It will be fascinating to see what transpires surrounding this issue in the coming years.

Those with leftover energy (and no class first-thing the next morning) finished off the day at Tequila Bookworm for booze and continuation of the conversation. Everything I heard pointed to the second edition of #IntersectionTO’s success. The illustrious team behind #IntersectionTO, including Rosamund Small, Richard Lam, Anika Johnson and Jeff Ho, have big dreams for the conference. They will be realized and artists under 30 will bask in all of its wisdom and glory.

Until next time,

Brooklyn Bohach
Advisory Board 2016