FOOT 2021: Bordered States registration is now open!

January 20, 2021 by Tara Maher

We’re excited to announce that this year’s Forum of Original Theatre/Theory/Thought (FOOT) 2021, formerly the Festival of Original Theatre, is now open for registration. This year’s conference will take place over three days from February 25 to 27, 2021, and will be hosted online. 

With the theme of Bordered States, the conference seeks to engage the bordered existence we currently find ourselves in through the lens of performance. The conference will examine the following questions: How are borders performed? How are bordered identities expressed? How have borders been explored in creative ways through art, theatre, music, media, and dance? The conference will also examine the multiple meanings that “bordered states” present.

The conference agenda is filled with a variety of workshops, lectures, panel discussions and performances. Highlights include a roundtable keynote panel discussion moderated by CDTPS Professor Seika Boye. The panel guests include the following: Professor Yana Meerzon from the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa; Gabriela Soto Laveaga, Professor of the History of Science and Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico at Harvard University; Rebecca Belmore, an interdisciplinary Anishinaabekwe artist known for her politically conscious and socially aware performances and installations; and Syrus Marcus Ware, a Vanier Scholar, visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate, educator, and core-team member of Black Lives Matter Toronto.

There will be a feature presentation, "Breached Boundaries, Imposed Borders: Gestural Explorations and Somatic Remapping in the Hyperlocal" led by CDTPS Professor Jill Carter and Associate Artisitic Director of Jumblies Theatre Ange Loft. In this lecture-workshop, participants will be carried through and invited to respond to a series of explorations devised for the forthcoming Treaty Guide for Torontonians. Participants will have the opportunity to undertake a gestural exploration through which to better apprehend an Indigenous perception of borders and boundaries.

"Black Women's Work and Joy" will be a presentation led by undergraduate student Ahlam Hassan in conversation with fellow Black women, who have been advocating for anti-racism initiatives within the CDTPS community, and Lisa Karen Cox, author of an open letter to the National Theatre School on systemic racism. This discussion will be followed by a practice of collective care, love, joy and investment in Black art forms, namely a short DJ set by Khadijah Salawu and a short reading by a Black playwright.

The conference will also host a BIPOC Emerging Scholars Group, which will bring together five BIPOC-identified participants at this year's conference for a frank discussion about navigating academia as a racialized emerging scholar. This will be a closed discussion and a space for BIPOC emerging scholars to build community. 

The Forum of Original Theatre/Theory/Thought is an annual conference held by the CDTPS led by graduate students. This is the 29th year for the conference. The theme of FOOT changes every year, according to the research interests of the new artistic director of the conference, but its main goal is to provide graduate students and the performing arts community an academic outlet to showcase, critique, review, perform, discuss, and analyze the changing world of drama, theatre and performance.

This year’s conference will run concurrently in two zoom rooms. Please register to receive the meeting details and agenda. 
Start and end times are as follows: 

  • February 25 – 3:30 to 8:30 pm
  • February 26 – 1:00 to 8:00 pm
  • February 27 – 10:00 am to 8:30 pm

To learn more about this year’s conference, visit