The Election

Theatre Passe Muraille presents a Common Boots Theatre Production
in association with Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Direct

Using integrated audio description with a live vocal score, all performances are accessible for Blind audiences and those with low vision.

In 2015, a group of theatre makers infiltrated the Canadian Federal Election as volunteers for three major political parties and documented their interactions. Exploring the intersection of Indigenous, Settler and Newcomer experiences with the political process, The Election sparks urgent dialogue just as Canadians are about to take another swing at the ballot box. With a live vocal score, this play asks: Do we have a voice and does that voice count?


Mainspace Theatre  |  16 Ryerson Ave.

Running Time:

2 hours & 20 minutes

(with a 15 min intermission)

If you would like information on the topics or themes in our productions, or to determine the suggested age for attending a performance, please reach out to our Box Office staff at 416-504-7529 or by email.

October 2019

Oct. 15 – Emerging Artists Night is a casual Q&A with ADs/GMs at the bar (post-show)

Oct 16 – The Prelude (pre-show at 6:45pm)

Oct. 17 – The Democratic Exchange Panel – hosted by John Beebe (Director, Democratic Engagement Exchange, Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University) with special guest Kathleen Wynne (post-show)

Oct. 20 – Relaxed Performance with Babes-in-arms allowed. Post- Show Q&A.

Oct. 23 – Women in Politics Panel (pre-show at 6:45pm)

Oct. 25 – Disability and Politics Q&A (post-show)

Oct. 26 – Discussion about Tamil Community and the Canadian Political
Landscape (evening performance | post-show)


Augusto Bitter

Rachel Cairns

Joelle Peters

Anand Rajaram

Rose Stella

Courtenay Stevens


Written by Natasha Greenblatt & Yolanda Bonnell with The Company*

Directed by Jennifer Brewin

Set and Projection Design by Anahita Dehbonehie

Lighting Design by Kaitlin Hickey

Costume Design by Jackie Chau

Composition and Music Direction by Alex Samaras

Dramaturgy by Yvette Nolan

Accessibility Dramaturgy by Alex Bulmer

Developed with the support of Studio 180 Theatre and the Banff Playwright’s Lab

*Original company members: Natasha Greenblatt, Yolanda Bonnell, Jennifer Brewin, Anand Rajaram, Courtenay Stevens, Qasim Kahn

What is integrated audio description?

For years, theatre productions across Europe have understood the creative potential of integrating sign language within performances. The UK’s disabled-led Graeae Theatre Company, with Deaf Artistic Director Jenny Sealey, has transformed theatre and access for Deaf audiences and actors world – wide.

Blind co-Artistic Director of Common Boots, Alex Bulmer, worked across Europe and with Graeae for over fifteen  years and observed how differing approaches to accessibility could deepen the artistic integrity of a play, and become part of it’s design and dramaturgy. She also considered how this integrated approach could not only apply to sign language for Deaf audiences, but also to audio description for blind audiences. She coined the term “blind imaginings” to refer to any creative process that is impacted by imagining blind audiences or artists as theatre participants.

In 2019, Common Boots will premiere The Election, the companies first production informed by “blind imagining” and will feature spoken stage directions and an enhanced vocal score, making the performance engaging for both sighted and blind audiences.

This is not only an artistic leap forward for the company but equally for theatre across Canada.

What is open captioning?

Open captioning is a technique which  translates the spoken dialogue and all elements of sound into a screen based format to enable access for Deaf and low hearing audiences, those with dyspraxia related needs or anyone who needs additional visual or text based reinforcement of the play. It is created with both practicality and artistry in mind, and is seen by all sighted audiences.

When are the Touch Tours?

The Touch Tours are scheduled to begin at 6:30pm on Friday Oct. 25 and at 1:00pm on Saturday Oct. 26. The Touch Tours will run for 20-25 minutes.

Child Care Support:

Child care support is available on Sunday, October 20 at 2:00 pm. To sign up for child care please contact

Ticket Prices:

General Admission $38

Senior $33

Arts Worker  $25

Under 30 $17

*PWYC at the door on weekend matinees, Fri. Oct. 25 and Tuesday evenings. (No PWYC on Sun. Oct. 27)

Common Boots Theatre is one of over 250 professional performing arts organizations in the city of Toronto. It is part of vibrant group of independent theatres that create collaboratively-devised theatre for specific spaces, and one of only a few whose works feature women as central characters and use humour as a primary dramaturgical agent.

Nightwood Theatre is the oldest professional women’s theatre company in Canada. Founded in 1979 by Cynthia Grant, Kim Renders, Mary Vingoe and Maureen White, Nightwood has produced, developed and toured landmark, award-winning plays by and about Canadian women.

Theatre Direct is one of the Country’s leading theatres for young audiences whose award-winning productions have reached audiences in schools and theatres across Canada and overseas. Theatre Direct’s work has been recognized with multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and nominations as well as 10 Chalmers Canadian Play Awards, and the Canada Council Theatre for Young Audiences Prize.