Early Ventures

I’m Tapingi Too! (2001)

A 6 month residency and theatre presentation at Lawrence Heights, Toronto, involving children’s, adult’s, senior’s Hispanic and East African programs in exploring different art forms, developing storytelling and performance skills.
Artists: Ruth Howard, Kim Renders, Four-in-Hand Storytellers, Cathy Nosaty, Anthony “Prime” Guerra, Kit Currie Michaela Otto and Yonah Lewis
Partners: Lawrence Heights Community Health Centre, Lawrence Heights Community Centre, Arts Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre
Funders: Ontario Arts Council, The City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council

Twisted Metal and Mermaid’s Tears (2000)

This project, involving hundreds of participants, was a central componant of South Riverdale Lives and Legends – a two-year community arts project. The play wove together a Chinese Folk-tale, oral histories and local imagery, using music, dance, storytelling, masks, puppets and text in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. It was performed in the Jimmie Simpson Park: the former site of the Dundas Tire Factory.

Winner of a City of Toronto “Our Millennium” Award in the Art and Culture division.

Writer/Designer: Ruth Howard Composer/Musical Director: Martin van de Ven
Directors: Loree Lawrence and Varrick Grimes Choreographers: Lisa Sandlos and Dahlia Obadia
Co-Designers: Chris Brydon and Chris Clifford
Funders: Laidlaw Foundation, Canada 2000, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto Millennium, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Riverdale Hospital

Harbourfront Centre Giant Puppet Project (1998)

Designing and making giant puppets with several community groups for site décor and parade of Global Village Festival, Harbourfront Centre.

Participating groups: Alpha Alternative School, WoodGreen Neighbourhood House, Camp Naivelt, Kensington Youth Theatre and Employment Services, City of York Arts Centre

A Mesiah for the New World (1997) & Arum Dem Fayer (1998)

Produced by Ruth Howard, Chris Bryden and Allan Merovitz

At Camp Naivelt, in Brampton, a secular, socialist Jewish summer community founded in the 1920’s
* Outdoor Processional Community Theatre Events interweaving fantasy, history, humour and current issues
* In A Meisheh for the New World Camp Naivelt’s children enacted the history of the community
* In Arum Dem Fayer, a group of children went on an underground quest for water in response to a current community crisis
* both written and directed by Chris Bryden, designed by Ruth Howard with musical direction by Allan Merovitz, with Martin van de Ven as the band leader for Arum Dem Fayer.

Funders: Ontario Arts Council (Artists in the Community/Workplace),Camp Naivelt

The Seven Ravens (1998)

A theatrical pageant Performed at Hart House Circle as part of the Sears Drama Festival. Produced by Ruth Howard with 6 school communities: Alpha Alternative School, College St. Secondary School, OASIS, Parkdale Secondary School, City of York Arts Centre
Artists: Ruth Howard, Rodrigo Chavez,Lisa Sandlos, Chris Bryden, Chris Clifford, Julie Salverson
Funders: Ontario Arts Council (Creative Artists in Education), Alpha Alternative School

Pageants and Parades (1995 – 07)