About the Company

Common Boots Theatre is celebrating our 38th year of serious comedy. 

Common Boots Theatre operates primarily in the City of Toronto with strong partnerships with artists and organizations across Ontario and Canada. 

MANDATE

To collaboratively create new theatrical works that tell inclusive stories with comedy and play at the core.

MISSION

Common Boots Theatre creates original and collaborative theatre for traditional and non-traditional theatrical spaces. We tell diverse and inclusive stories through comedy, physicality, and play. Our goal is to make theatre accessible for artists and audiences starting with the rehearsal and creation process through to closing night. 

HISTORY

Common Boots Theatre began as Theatre Columbus in 1983 when Leah Cherniak and Martha Ross returned from France having trained together under renowned physical theatre master Jacques Lecoq. Together they developed their particular brand of collective creation. The most high profile works created by Leah and Martha include THE BETRAYAL, THE ANGER IN ERNEST AND ERNESTINE and; THE ATTIC, THE PEARLS AND 3 FINE GIRLS

Jennifer Brewin became the artistic director in 2009. Jennifer specializes in the creation and production of new work, with an emphasis on large-scale, outdoor performance and during Jennifer’s tenure, the company created an annual tradition of outdoor winter theatre. Common Boots was the only company embracing the absurdity of winter and using the outdoors as a theatrical venue. Brewin continued to guide the development of new works that were collectively created physical comedies, most notably THE PUBLIC SERVANT and THE STORY

In 2018 Jenny Salisbury and Alex Bulmer joined Jennifer as a triumvirate of Co-Artistic Directors. Jenny (previously Artistic Producer) continued to champion community and social justice partnerships and engagement, artist mentorship including dramaturgy of works in development and audience access initiatives. Alex propelled the company’s interest in physical audio theatre and ignited the priority for inclusion of disabled artists and audiences. 

In 2019 this trio inaugurated the new audio/immersive/site specific venture with SCADDING, and in October premiered THE ELECTION – one of Canada’s first audio description integrated plays. Jenny and Jennifer stepped down in 2020.

Alex Bulmer continued as Artistic Director and during the pandemic created THE LISTENING STAGE – a series of workshops, readings and performances in partnership with BALANCE for Blind Adults; continued the development of new works, experiments and explorations of sound; supported the hybrid digital production MAY I TAKE YOUR ARM, the short film POSTCARDS FROM MY BALCONY and the audio recording of THE STORY by Martha Ross at the Globe; commissioned and recorded THE UNPLUGGING – an exploration in adapting a play to include an accessible audio format. 

Common Boots has been honoured with 10 Dora Mavor Moore Awards and 53 nominations; and the Chalmers Best Canadian Play Award, for The Betrayal, as well as nominations for Dr. Dapertutto and The Attic, The Pearls And 3 Fine Girls.