professional readiness©  for every performer ::: facilitating research & training for all abilities

"Practice is what makes a talented  person into a compelling performer."

PREP is in it 3rd year facilitating research of  wants and needs of Toronto performers with disabilities and performers creating in inclusive communities - to keep prepared for the gig tomorrow, next week, next year.

P.R.E.P. facilitates workshops, discussions, and practice in performance and creation for all abilities in response to the evolving ecologies we live and make art in. 

The circle of contributors includes performers, directors, choreographers and other creators and interpreters dedicated to advancing integrated performance within main-stream performance.

Master Classes with Extraordinary People :: practicing inclusive arts practice
for people of all ages, abilities and histories :: 2019 series toba
Autumn 2018 

Syrus Marcus Ware Master Class: Our Activist Sewing Circle

Artist and activist Syrus Marcus Ware led an exploration of activist aesthetics through the creation of textile banners themed around disability justice and the movement for black lives.


We discussed processes for creating activist inspired art practices while creating a series of new collaborative works for use in direct action.

Inspired by the Toni Cade Bambara quote about the role of the cultural worker from marginalized groups to make revolution irresistible, the beautiful textile pieces addressed disability arts large scale. 



Alex Bulmer : listening, hearing, and communicating with all voices


Theatre Artist Alex Bullmer shared her expertise in text and voice coaching and her experiences in how she has managed her creative life and career in the precarious world of performing arts. 


Vocalizers of all forms brought a monologue, poem, text to a popular or children's song you know well.  Togehter we explored how to express meaning and expression that is within the words and sounds, how we listen and receive a speech, ways to give feedback in groups and rehearsal environments, and discuss a life in the arts.

About the Artists

Alex Bulmer Award-winning writer, director, performer, teacher, Alex divides her time working in Canada & Europe. Alex is co-Artistic Director of Common Boots Theatre in Toronto, Artistic Director of Invisible Flash UK, Artistic Director of Toronto’s Cripping The Stage, & co-founder of Picasso Project, a ground-breaking disability arts initiative.


Alex applies her knowledge & sensitivities to coach performers with all voices. She has taught at The Central School of Speech & Drama London UK, The National Theatre School of Canada, George Brown College, & Ryerson University. 


In 2014, Alex was named one of the most influential disabled artists by UK’s Power Magazine. She recently shared a best actress award with co-lead Margot Carghill at the 2017 Moscow International Disability Film Festival for her performance in Awake. Alex was a UK Aria Prize finalist for her 2017 song driven radio feature Sounds Like She, & writer of the stage play SMUDGE, which earned two Best New Play nominations in Canada, & Time Out Magazine’s Critics Choice during its UK premiere.  


Companies she has worked with include The Royal Court Theatre UK, Graeae (UK’s leading disabled-led theatre company) Buddies In Bad Times, The National Arts Centre of Canada, The Boy Choir of Lesbos, London 2012 Olympics, Toronto Drag Kings, BBC radio (winning an AMI award for her adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Common Boots Theatre & Channel 4 series Cast Offs  (nominated for BAFTA & Royal Television Society Awards).


Syrus Marcus Ware, Vanier Scholar, visual artist, activist, curator & educator, Syrus uses painting, installation and performance to explore social justice frameworks & black activist culture. His work has been shown widely, including at the Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Art Gallery of York University, Art Gallery of Windsor & the curated content at Nuit Blanche 2017 (The Stolen People; Wont Back Down). Performance works have been in festivals across Canada, including Cripping The Stage (Harbourfront Centre, 2016), Complex Social Change (University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, 2015) and Decolonizing and Decriminalizing Trans Genres (University of Winnipeg, 2015). 


Syrus is part of the PDA (Performance Disability Art) Collective, co-programmed Crip Your World: An Intergalactic Queer/POC Sick & Disabled Extravaganza at Mayworks 2014. He is part of the Black Triangle Arts Collective (BTAC), a visual arts collective dedicated to exploring disability, racial & economic justice. Syrus' recent curatorial projects include That’s So Gay: On the Edge, TSG: Fall to Pieces, TSG: Come Together (Gladstone Hotel, 2016, 2015 & 2014), Re:Purpose (Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 2014), The Church Street Mural Project (Church-Wellesley Village, 2013). He is also co-curator of The Cycle, a two-year disability arts performance initiative of the National Arts Centre.


Syrus is a facilitator/designer at The Banff Centre & for 12 years Coordinator of Youth Programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario Youth. He was the inaugural Daniel’s Spectrum Artist-in-Residence (2016/17). He is a member of Black Lives Matter-Toronto & Blackness Yes!/Blockorama. Honours include the TD Diversity Award (2017), “Best Queer Activist” NOW Magazine (2005) & the Steinert & Ferreiro Award for LGBT community leadership & activism (2012). Syrus is working on a PhD at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies.

PREP Master Classes & Perform platforms are facilitated by Maxine Heppner & MIchelle Silagy. 

Across Oceans Arts has been producing platforms to deepen open & inclusive expression through the arts & humanities for over 25 years.


Across Oceans Arts Pilot Research leading to PREP has been supported by the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council’s Open Doors program.


Since August 2017 and ongoing, P.R.E.P. has conducted one-on-one discussions with performers, directors, choreographers and other creators and performers who are working in integrated and/or ability-specific performance.   By talking about how to practice what, where, when and with whom, the artists have voiced and clarified needs and desires. Individualities and commonalitities continue to surface. These soundings are guiding the research pathways that are leading to devising workshops and studio practicuums for 2019-20-21. 

We invite you to email if you want to add you voice and experience to these soundings that are ongoing. 
Contact :


Facilitating: Maxine Heppner, Michelle Silagy

1st Rounds: Melisa Webster-Addison, Adam Wilkinson, Brian Solomon, Max Tepper, Rose Jacobson/PicassoPro, Dan Watson/Ahuri Theatre

2nd Rounds: Ken Harrower, Spirit Synott, Max Tepper, David Connoly, Luke Anderson, Eliza Chandler, Frank Hull, Barak Ade Soleil, Dan Watson (Ahuri Theatre), Marjorie Chan (Cahoots Theatre), Cara Spooner (Workman Arts), Rose Jacobson (Picasso Pro), Ravi Jain (WhyNot Theatre), Fides Krucker, Peggy Baker, Jonathan Seinen, Katherine Duncanson, Lawrence Shapiro, Syrus Marcus Ware,  Alex Bulmer, all who have dedicated histories in disablilty and/or inclusive arts. 

3rd Rounds: Luke Anderson, Ken Harrower, Spirit Synott,  Max Tepper, David Connolly, Suzanne Liska, Takako Segawa, 

Theatre for Dramatic Change ensemble.




sessions were led by the group, individuals taking directorial roles according to their expertise


What does a performer do?

What does a performer practice?

What is a script?


Seeing and being seen

Proximity, interactivity

Breathe, mobility

Observe, identify

Differences in Time

Impulse into Action

Idea into communication


SOUNDINGS : ongoing.   To join in the discussion contact:

PLATFORMS for PRACTICE:  2019-20 to be announced

                                              To join in the planning circle contact :

                                              Email to propose a session, to recommend a workshop leader

AN OPEN PAPER sharing the research is projected for release in 2019-20