Bad Time Buddies: Ted Witzel

NOW Digital Residency: Buddies in Bad Times

As part of this month’s Buddies in Bad Times Digital Residency, we’re featuring some of the prominent artists associated with Toronto’s leading LGBTQ cultural destination.

Describe something in the LGBTQ community that inspires you. 

Above all, the fact that we’re a community defined more by difference than any kind of sameness – but that so many people within the broad spectrum of queer experiences engage in collective actions, even when the issues don’t necessarily benefit or even relate to their corner of queerness. The fights we’ve fought have taught us the importance of having each others’ backs.

What’s your favourite recent theatre production in Toronto?

I loved the Youth/Elders Project at Buddies. I thought it was a really moving and affecting piece that was constantly surprising, and I think it represents a greater shift in how we can understand what inclusivity means to art-making – not just in product, but creative process. 

How do you celebrate a great show?

Argue about it with friends for days after. Go out dancing. Get laid. The best shows inject you with intellectual, emotional and visceral energies and you’ve gotta put that somewhere.

What are you most looking forward to in the new Buddies in Bad Times season?

Making LULU v.7 // aspects of a femme fatale with a really exciting, dynamic, committed group of collaborators.

What is the best drink (alcoholic or not) in Toronto and where do you get it?

I have a map always going in my head of where the nearest good cortado is to whatever rehearsal hall or event I’m going to. Bar Raval makes a pretty killer vieux carré on the odd night I actually feel like a real drink. 

What was your first professional role in theatre?

I mean that’s all relative. I’m taking “professional” to mean I actually got some sort of money for it. It was pretty huge for me the first time my company could afford to pay people, including myself. But the first contract I could actually live on was an assistant directing job at a festival in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, a little town near Frankfurt that for all I could tell was home to more sheep than people. 

Name one of your creative peers that everyone should see/hear right now.

Only one? Oh man. Okay, I’m going to say Lauren Gillis because I don’t think there are enough people who know the kind of crazy, strange, hilarious and discomfiting take on the difficulty of being a human that she brings to her work. 

What’s next for you in your career?

Same thing we do every night pinky – try to take over the world.

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