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    What Goes on Behind the Scenes of a Professional Theatre Production?

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Countless design concepts, technical innovations, and personalities go into a theatre production, many of which are not immediately obvious to audience members.

    If you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a professional theatre production, then read through this helpful overview—you’re sure to gain an even greater appreciation for what you witness on stage.

    • Set Design and Props

    Set and prop design transforms the visions of the writer and director into a physical setting for the stage. The design process itself involves a mix of creativity and practicality. Design experts rely greatly on technical experience with stage construction and carpentry, prop placement, prop mobility, painting and colour, and also expertise in working within a budget.

    • Lighting and Sound

    Lighting and sound play a crucial role. Technicians behind the scenes are largely responsible for what the audience sees and hears at a performance. Lighting relies on secure rigging techniques, accurate signals and cues, and a creative and thematically appropriate use of colour. Superior sound will depend on an expert familiarity of venue acoustics, microphones, sound effects, and music. Both elements must be designed to complement the concepts outlined by the writer and director of the theatrical piece.

    • Costume and Makeup

    The costume and makeup departments are responsible for bringing characters to life through clothing, hairstyling, and general appearance. To do so effectively, experts in the field will not only need to be familiar with fashion, the construction of garments, and the application of makeup for theatre, but also trends of various time periods. All of these elements must be incorporated in a way that highlights facial expression and body movement, but also coincides with the themes and personas associated with each actor’s character.

    Toronto Centre for the Arts | (416) 250-3724 |

    If you want to learn more about our recent blog topics, then visit these great resources below.

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Are you looking for the perfect gift or a romantic getaway idea? Do you want to learn more about live theatre and opera? Find more information about these topics on these helpful websites and check out our upcoming events!

    • Take a look at this page for some tips and suggestions on how to gift concert or show tickets.
    • Visit this page from for even more information on the history and characteristics of Cantonese Opera.
    • Read more about how Cantonese Opera has changed and evolved over the years.
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    • Find out more about the great features and amenities at Novotel Hotel with their official website.
    • Take a look at this page from Baton Rouge Restaurant to browse dinner menu items available at this fabulous restaurant.
    • Want to learn more theatre terminology? Explore a list of important theatre terms and definitions.
    • You can find more important theatre terms and what they mean on this page from

    Theatre Information | A Brief History of the Musical

    Last updated 5 years ago

    The spectacle and joy of musical theatre has a long and dynamic history—one that crosses countless artistic, social, and geographical borders. Learn more about the origins and evolution of the musical.

    • The Musicals of Old

    Musical theatre has its origins in productions by ancient Greeks, who frequently combined theatrical performances with song and dance. Later, the Romans appropriated this tradition and added their own technical innovations, including the precursor of the tap shoe. With the Middle Ages came the popularity of minstrels and travelling performance troupes, while the 12th and 13th centuries witnessed a rise in travelling pageant wagons.

    • The Operetta

    Traditional musicals as they are recognized today began in the 1800s with the introduction of the French and Viennese Operetta. The two most prominent composers of these satirical musical theatre comedies were Jacques Offenbach and Johann Strauss II, both of whom laid the foundation for musical theatre’s transition to North America. There, musical theatre became popularized as minstrel shows and vaudeville acts, with the first major musical theatre success arriving with the production The Black Crook in 1860.

    • Musicals of the 20th and 21st Centuries

    The popularity of musical theatre increased enormously during the early decades of the 1900s, leading up to a fruitful period of production in the 1940s and 50s. Theatrical performance classics during this era included Oklahoma, The King and I, My Fair Lady, and many more. Not to be outdone, the artists and composers of the 1960s followed with Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, and other more progressive performances.

    Within the latter half of the 20th century, musical theatre benefited from technological advancements in lighting and sound, allowing for more experimental works that incorporated visually and aurally stunning spectacles. As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, musical theatre is continuing to evolve, achieving ever greater heights in artistic expression and social commentary across the globe.

    Call the Toronto Centre for the Arts at (416) 250-3724 for more information on our shows or check out our upcoming events!

    Travel Guide – Top 5 Travel Attractions in Toronto

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Are you planning a trip to Toronto? Before you go, you may want to compile a list of sights and attractions to visit.

    Get a head start by watching this video clip on the top five travel attractions in Toronto. The list includes the Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, Old City Hall, CN Tower and Niagara Falls (ok, not quite Toronto but it’s just over an hour away, and a fantastic city to visit!). At these attractions, you’ll find interesting historical trivia and great things to do, eat, and buy.

    Find out more about the many things to do and see in Toronto, including checking out live a live show! Call the Toronto Centre for the Arts at (416) 250-3724 or check out our upcoming events!

    5 Essentials You Need to Bring to Your Next Theatre Performance

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Did you recently purchase tickets to a live theatre performance or concert? Whether you are a long-time enthusiast or are new to the performing arts scene, there are a few items essential to your experience at the theatre.

    1.      Binoculars. Don’t squint and crane for a view of an interesting character or on-stage prop, and definitely don’t attempt to film the performance for later viewings. Instead, opt for a pair of small binoculars easily stowed in a bag or pants pocket. These will magnify your view of the stage and give you amazing visual access to the expressions and physical nuances unique to each character or performer.

    2.      Tissues. Experiencing a powerful swell of emotion during a performed speech, onstage event, or piece of music is not uncommon. Sneezes and sniffles are also unavoidable. To avoid disrupting the performance for others, be sure to carry tissues with you at all times.

    3.      Money for Refreshments. Intermission will likely bring an irresistible urge to purchase refreshments or souvenirs. Come prepared with a little extra cash so you can enjoy the performance with tasty snacks and beverages.

    4.      A Jacket. To ensure the actors and performers onstage do not overheat under the many lights focused on them, temperatures within theatres are usually lower than most indoor spaces. Equip yourself with an extra jacket, sweater, or scarf to keep from shivering through the performance.

    5.      An Open Mind and Positive Attitude. If you are unfamiliar with performing arts and are attending an event to please a loved one or friend, then try to be open to the theatrical experience—you may discover a new passion.

    Toronto Centre for the Arts  | 5040 Yonge Street, Toronto |  (416) 250-3724
    Visit our website to check out some of our upcoming events.

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  • Closed Monday
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  • 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday
  • 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
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