FOOT 2024: Handle With Care registration is now open!

January 11, 2024 by Tara Maher

The 32nd annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) Conference at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies is now open for registration. This year’s FOOT Conference with its theme “Handle With Care” will take place on February 8 and 9, 2024 at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse at 79 St. George Street.

“Handle With Care” responds to a trend witnessed in academic and artistic spaces alike: that research and performance be treated as acts of care for others and ourselves. “Handle With Care” represents caution in proceeding with a statute of care that has universally positive implications. The conference aims to understand how artists, academics, and activists handle the mandate to perform acts of care.

This year's keynote lecturer is Dr. Ajay Heble, the founding director of the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) and professor of English at the University of Guelph. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2023 Killiam Prize in the Humanities, one of Canada’s most prestigious research awards. Dr. Heble will speak on Friday, February 9 at 10am in the UC Croft House.

The keynote performer is Donovan Hayden, a Black Canadian theatre creator and political organizer. Hayden strives to tell stories that engage, challenge, and activate audiences. He values doing theatre that is communal and centers the dynamic lives of Black people in North America. Hayden is currently based in Toronto and is an organizer at the political nonprofit Progress Toronto. Blending his politics with theatre has become a way for him to ask questions and play around with answers. Hayden will perform on Friday, February 9 at 7pm in the Playhouse.

The program will be available soon and will offer multiple presentations, performances, roundtables, panel discussions and workshops. Register in advance to receive the meeting details and full agenda.
To learn more about this year’s conference, visit
About FOOT

The Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) is the annual conference held by the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Organized by graduate students at the Centre, its goal is to provide scholars and artists an outlet to showcase, critique, review, perform, discuss, and analyze the changing world of drama, theatre, and performance.