Theatre InspiraTO, producers of The InspiraTO Festival, Canada’s largest ten-minute play festival kicks off its 11th season June 2, 2016 at the Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley St.). InspiraTO showcases the boldest ten-minute plays from around the globe, with 24 ten-minute plays featuring over 100 theatre artists.
InspiraTO pushes boundaries. No other ten minute play festival in the world offers such a range of innovative programming.

Each year the festival has a theme that all play submissions must address - the 11th season's theme is "shift".

This year's collection of ten-minute plays were selected from InspiraTO’s international competition with a record 721 ten-minute play submissions worldwide. 

The winning plays are grouped into four shows with a sub-theme for a each show (6 ten-minute plays in each show):

passionShift - plays that pivot the direction of a passion - redShow line up

viewShift - plays that adjust our perception of the world - blueShow line up  

innocenceShift - plays that disrupt our
sense of innocence - whiteShow line up

powerShift - plays that reposition character dynamics - blackShow line up


Most theatre productions have small casts with long lead times, making it a highly competitive environment. Over 100 artists participate in InspiraTO each season, giving more people the opportunity to shine in lead roles where they may not get a chance to otherwise. What is particularly noticeable is the make-up of the audience and artists who are much more
representative of Toronto’s multicultural landscape. This upcoming season 40 per cent of playwrights and 45 per cent of the directors are women, far above the industry norm. 
With no intermissions and quick set changes, audiences experience what is akin to a full length play. There is little time for elaborate sets. To counteract the basic set design, visually stunning projections, put together by Associate Artistic Director Lumir Hladik, are used to captivate audiences. Not to be outdone by high tech, InspiraTO also offers intimate high touch theatre in the Alumnae’s smaller Studio and Trinity spaces. 

InspiraTO is passionate about supporting local talent, providing experience and training to emerging playwrights, directors and actors. Through formal playwriting and director academies, participants gain hands-on experience through development of their own work in the festival. Of particular note is the newly launched Theatre InspiraTO Directing Academy led by Andreja Kovac, a professional theatre director with extensive experience in Europe and Canada. 

A ten-minute play needs to build fascinating characters, interesting dialogue and a compelling story, which is no mean feat. Audiences get a chance to vote for their favourite plays with the winners announced at the finale awards ceremony on the last day. This is the ultimate test – how audiences and participants respond.

“The one element that stands out all night (and one gets the feeling that it extends throughout the festival) is the energy and enthusiasm of all players involved. Everyone – actors, writers, directors and designers – truly believe in what they are doing and in the power of theatre. In the presence of such passion, one can’t help but feel inspired. The audience is also a strong believer in what is happening onstage. And with good reason – there is some excellent work to be found here.”  - Ben Ross, The Theatre Reader, review of InspiraTO’s 2015 Festival

We’re fired up for our 11th season. Kick start your muse. Change gears. Pivot. Adjust. Leave you comfort zone. Look to make a “shift”.

180 ten-minute plays produced to-date

Read Theatre InspiraTO's history: Ten years of producing bold, dynamic plays.

We have grown to become Canada's largest ten-minute play festival and a space for up-and-coming artists.


There are too many forces that want to squash our creative urge: our own resistance, people around us, what we think we're suppose to do. It takes an act of defiance to move forward. And inspiration to keep us going.  Theatre InspiraTO is commited to creating an environment where theatre artists can learn, share and grow.

Theatre InspiraTO. Defiant. Fired Up.