Media Release

ARCHIVE: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | All Media Resources


Monster Makers at Harbourfront Centre
Interactive performance for kids and their grown-ups
explores the perils of success and freedom of failure
Oct. 13-16, 2011

TORONTO, ON (Sept. 14, 2011) - Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce the premiere performances of performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex’s exciting Fresh Ground new works commission, Monster Makers. This fun and interactive performance, which explores success and failure in a new light, is designed especially for children aged 5 to 10 and their parents

Monster Makers is one of Harbourfront Centre's 2010-11 Fresh Ground new works awards recipients. The national legacy programme commissions the creation of new, innovative multi-disciplinary art works. Created by Toronto’s award-winning experimental performance company, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Monster Makers is a fun and charmingly inventive new participatory work for both kids and their grownups. The show explores the perils of success and the freedom of failure, and looks into our desperate yet unreasonable desire to control them. The Sad Scientist just can’t get his monster to be monstrous. He needs help from the real experts: the kids.

Led by artistic director Darren O'Donnell, writing his first script since 2004, in collaboration with education scholar Stephanie Springgay, children's studies scholar Krys Verrall, new-media artist Faisal Anwar, visual and textiles artist Tania Sanhueza, street theatre and circus artist Daniel Nimmo, and featuring John Caffery as the Sad Scientist, Monster Makers enlists families in the creation of an interactive public encounter. The children work with the performers to create a monster and take him out into the world. Teaching him the skills and emotions they think he will need, the young audience is confronted with their own notions of what constitutes success. The show culminates in an out-of-theatre experience in which the audience is charged with taking care of the Monster as the performance moves through the Harbourfront Centre site.

Founded in 1993, Mammalian Diving Reflex is a cutting-edge and award-winning performance company with a strong history of creating work for children and young people. The Toronto company has brought boundary-breaking work to audiences around the world, winning a range of accolades along the way for their experiments in performance. Previous works include the smash hit, Haircuts by Children, The Children’s Choice Awards, Free Advice from a Teenager, Eat the Street, Free Skipping and Ballroom Dancing, featuring 10-year-old DJs in a room filled with 3000 rubber balls, which the National Post called "the unanimous favourite" of Toronto’s inaugural Nuit Blanche.

Monster Makers takes place in the Brigantine Room from Thursday, Oct. 13 through Sunday, Oct. 16. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are limited, and cost $10 for children, $15 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 416-973-4000 or email

For complete event details and full schedule, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

*MEDIA NOTE* High-resolution images available on request.

Since its creation in 2004, Fresh Ground new works has become a catalyst for new Canadian artistic works incorporating more than one discipline or field. Through open national submission calls, Harbourfront Centre has awarded over $400,000 in prize money toward nineteen new Canadian commissions. These awards add to Harbourfront Centre’s 35-year history of commissioning new Canadian works in dance, theatre, music, visual arts and craft.

Fresh Ground new works is made possible by the generosity of several major individual donors who have actively assisted in the creation of new Canadian artworks: Peter Allen, William J. S. Boyle, Lionel F. Conacher and Joan Dea, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Michael and Sonja Koerner, Judy and Wil Matthews, George E. Myhal, RBC Foundation, Sonja Smits and Seaton McLean, and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the J.P. Bickell Foundation.

HarbourKIDS programming presents contemporary arts and culture from a kid's point of view, making it accessible for all ages. Sign up for our HarbourKIDS eNewsletter and be the first to know about all the activities for kids and families at Harbourfront Centre!

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.

Media contact:
Jon Campbell

Where you are:   Home / Who We Are / Media Resources