Call for Applicants: Hack Lab: Research + Residency!

Open to artist-caregivers developing new performance projects.

Facilitated by Shira Leuchter, the program spans 4 months, with online sessions curated to support each artist’s interests, as well as studio residency time for artists to test out new ideas alongside a community of collaborators. 


Tuesdays. February 21st, March 7th & 21st, April 4th &18th, May 2:  6 one-hour biweekly online sessions

May 15th – May 28th: In Studio Residency @ Theatre Direct’s Studio H

Artists will arrange in-studio time as it works with their schedule; we are open to exploring other sites as needed by participants, including sites outside of Toronto/Tkaronto.


Hack Lab F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions)

Application Deadline: February 1st, 2023

Please reach out to to discuss childcare/caregiving needs.

In this incarnation of Hack Lab, participants will apply with a specific performance project or with an idea for a project they’ve been developing. Projects can explore any content. Formal experimentation and exploration is welcome and encouraged. In advance of each of the six online sessions, Shira will email materials and artistic references that respond to each participant’s project in some way, with the intention of supporting each artist’s research, broadening our references, and sparking different ways to express ideas. The community of Hack Lab artists will be witness to each other as we ask questions together, engage in conversation and explore creative prompts. 

Photos above: Shira Leuchter in All the Things I’ve Lost, Michaela Washburn and Shira in Lost Together

About Shira

Shira (she/her) is an award-winning performance creator, actor, writer and facilitator. She makes performances that imagine and rehearse new ways for us to be together. She’s interested in what happens when we replace traditional dramatic conflict with collaboration, with an invitation to make something together. She makes much of her performance work with UnSpun Theatre, and has received large-scale performance commissions from organizations like Harbourfront Centre and the Gardiner Museum. Shira has written for Canadian Theatre Review and her work has been written about by others in publications like Theatre Research in Canada and American Literary History. She’s a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, and recently completed her MA in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University. She has been thinking a lot about how care labour is devalued in contemporary performance, and how notions of difficulty and risk in performance map onto gendered values and economies. Shira lives and works in Tkaronto with her husband Chris and is raising two children, Calla and Geneva, who are very cool and funny people.