Theatre inspiraTO's 15th Season All plays will be Unhinged, and address next year’s theme:




We experimented with Unhinged (100% of ticket sales going to the artist) with the blackShow in our 2019 season. Audiences were thrilled. Artists loved the exposure. We know the timing is right to make this something that future theatre artists want to be part of – with quicker and simpler ways for artists to show their work and build a network of peers.

Theatre inspiraTO has made the full-fledged commitment by offering all their future shows UNHINGED. For the 2020 season, 35 individuals or theatre companies will be drawn using a lottery system, with 100% of the ticket sales going to the artist. Each individual/company will create a ten-minute play and address the upcoming theme: Leap. They will have full creative control of their piece: from writing, casting and directing. Unhinged.

Who can apply?

The approach works on the “fringe” model. The 2020 inspiraTO Unhinged Lottery is open to any Canadian citizen or permanent resident, over 18 years of age, and is able to attend all the key dates in person (see key dates below). The winners have full creative control as to what they create:

-  Each theatre creation will be 10 minutes (minimum of 8 min. and a maximum of 11 min.)

-   100% of tickets sales will go to the theatre co/individual (winner of the lottery)*   

-   Each theatre co/individual will have full creative control AND address next season’s theme: LEAP

-   Each theatre creation will be grouped with 5 other ten-minute plays (6 ten-minute plays per show) 

When does it happen?


Nov. 4, 2019 – Official inspiraTO Unhinged Festival kick-off: lottery draw application opens

Jan.  16, 2020 – lottery application closes

Jan. 23 –- winners announced  - lottery party    

Jan. 30 – Lottery winner’s meeting /Producers Meeting

Feb. 7 – Final confirmation date for each Theatre Co.

Feb/Mar/April – each theatre co/or individual finds their own actors/director/script/team, rehearsal times, props etc. Theatre inspiraTO has an extensive database and can issue calls for actors/directors. However, full responsibility for the selection and execution rests with each theatre co/individual.  

May 18 - Production starts – each theatre co/individual gets 2 tech times and a dress rehearsal

May 20 – Director’s meeting

May 28  to June 6  - inspiraTO Unhinged Festival  (each theatre co/individual is given 7 performances at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto – exact production/performance times and dates to be determined in March)

June 6 – Festival closes/Awards

In addition to providing the venue, tech time, lighting and sound equipment Theatre inspiraTO will provide a festival program, festival marketing, website with headshot/bio postings, show technicians, stage managers and training on how to market each show and manage tech.  

*Theatre companies/individuals will be splitting the revenues amongst themselves in each show. They also have the power of five other companies to market their show.  In the 2019 season, each theatre co/individual that was part of Unhinged - blackShow) earned $588 (each theatre co/individual had to pay a $20 application fee + $150 production fee).   

The theatre co/individual does not need to have a script or theatre creation at the time of winning the lottery. All artists are encouraged to start thinking about the theme for 2020 that they will be addressing: Leap.  Unleash the power of the ten-minute play art form. On your terms.

Please Note: This means we will not be accepting ten-minute plays as part of a contest anymore. Instead, if you are Canadian and would like to participate in the festival, you need to submit an application for the lottery (application details in October). Theatre inspiraTO will continue to offer training in this art form.   

A very special thank you to all the playwrights who submitted their plays to our contest in the past (we had over 6,500 ten-minute play submissions over the years). We have been truly inspired by your scripts and have been delighted in producing 280 ten-minute plays. 

This shift in direction builds on our mandate of increasing participation by giving even more opportunities (especially for Canadian artists). It also allows for more forms of theatre creation to blossom in this art form. More details will be announced in the coming months. 

To your creations,

The inspiraTO Team