Theatre-goers and transit lovers get to celebrate both of their passions this week. Theatre Passe Muraille is currently staging The 501: Toronto In Transit, which focuses on TTC streetcars operating along the 501 Queen route and the people who ride them.
The show examines the culture of our city’s transit system and its commuters. The three project creators are offering their own experiences riding the streetcars, along with stories that riders and drivers shared with them during trips along the line.
The 501: Toronto In Transit explores the people and history of what National Geographic magazine named “one of the world’s most scenic trips by transit” and one of the longest streetcar lines in the world. Bob Nasmith, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Justin Many Fingers have been off and on 501 cars for the last six months, talking to people aboard. The three have been researching the history of this strip of Toronto to create a moving snapshot of the iconic 501.
Bob Nasmith has been working in professional theatre since 1954 and has been a part of the Theatre Passe Muraille community since its beginnings. He is an expert storyteller and his voice is a major part of the Canadian theatre tapestry. Donna-Michelle St. Bernard is a producer (New Harlem Productions), playwright, spoken-word and hip-hop artist. She has created many original songs exploring the stories of the 501. Justin Many Fingers grew up on the Lavern Kainai Blackfoot Reserve in Alberta and trained with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre and the Soulpepper Academy. He brings a unique movement-based approach to the history of the 501.
The 501: Toronto In Transit continues until this Saturday, December 8 in the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, 16 Ryerson Avenue.
Performances: Tuesday - Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
Tuesday to Thursday $25
Friday and Saturday $30
Under 30: $15
Student, senior and group pricing available.
Arts Box Office 416.504.7529 or in person at 16 Ryerson Avenue. The Arts Box Office is open Wednesday until Saturday from noon until 6 p.m. and one hour before the show.
Getting there by public transit:
- 501 Queen streetcar (of course) to Bathurst Street.
- 511 Bathurst streetcar to Queen Street West.
- Ryerson Avenue is one block east of Bathurst; the theatre is one block north of Queen West.