“The production takes the audience on a journey, walking as part of a group while a choir singing traditional Christmas carols is never far behind. Volunteers with flashlights stay close by throughout the show, guiding the procession through five or six different location”

Victoria Bégin, Theatromania

“my six-year-old niece grabbed my hand at one point and said “This is too much fun,” as we raced to follow Gabriel. And, of course, enough humour to keep my 8-year-old nephew and 25-year-old son laughing. A credit to the production.”

-Ines Buchli, 2012


Each year, Common Boots produces an outdoor processional plays at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works during the December holidays.

These winter shows explore the role of myths and fables in modern life. Our themes are light and darkness, loneliness and community. We visit old traditions and aim to create news ones, inspired by and about contemporary life. Winter theatre is about moving and being together; we march into the darkness and generate light.

Common Boots introduced outdoor winter theatre to Toronto in 2011, at the Evergreen Brick Works. Jennifer had directed, written or produced 12 such shows at Caravan Farm Theatre and for Peter Hinton’s inaugural season at the NAC. Our first show in Toronto was Martha Ross’s The Story, which premiered at Caravan Farm Theatre. It drew strong audiences and garnered great reviews and six Dora nominations, including one award for directing. The Brick Works invited us to present winter shows for the next four years. They provide rehearsal, construction and performance space, as well as limited advertising, and a home-base for the winter show.


  • Show begins at 7:30pm
  • Running time is one hour
  • Audiences travel 1km over uneven terrain
  • Hot chocolate for sale before the show
  • Plenty of bon fires throughout the show
  • Heated washrooms are on site


  • Dress warmly, no kidding!
  • Wear suitable boots for wet and cold
  • Thick socks!
  • A good hat that covers the ears

VIDEO: A short story about Common Boots Theatre’s’ winter theatre tradition at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works.
Filmed during a performance of Haley McGee’s play, “Weather the Weather” in December 2013.





“There’s always a slight buzz in a theatre lobby minutes before a performance is to begin. But the atmosphere at [Common Boots’s] annual outdoor play is like no other: there’s the anticipation of a new production, of course, but that’s heightened by the slightly intimidating, slightly insane prospect of watching that new production entirely outside.”

By Carly Maga — The Torontoist

“A yarn involving trolls, gnomes, and orphans, Haley McGee’s amiably goofy play—loosely based on a Swedish folk tale—is a celebration of community in the face of brutal weather.”

By Martin Morrow — The Grid

“What is home? Is it where we live? Where we wander to and land? Is it in the mind? These are some of the questions playwright Haley McGee is exploring in this enchanting, beautifully executed production.

Jennifer Brewin has directed this with dazzling imagination, gentle wit and humour. You follow a woman who lights the way with glowing lampshade. Everything about this production will make you smile. The show lasts an hour. It is done outdoors so dress.”

By Lynn Slotkin — The Slotkin Letter

“Haley McGee’s script interweaves age-old themes of home and diaspora with just the right amount of Timbits and fireside banter to make this a truly Canadian celebration of the place we all call home.”

By Annie Hodgins — Theatromania