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June 15, 2022

Call for Pure Research Applications

Nightswimming is pleased to announce that Pure Research will return to Toronto through a new partnership between Nightswimming and Tarragon Theatre.

Starting in 2023, Nightswimming’s Pure Research will be conducted at Tarragon Theatre, bringing this innovative approach to performance research back to the Toronto community after a four year hiatus.

Pure Research (PR) provides studio space, money and resources to artists who are pursuing provocative theatrical questions in any performing arts discipline. It is designed to foster experiments that are not specifically linked to the creation or development of new work. In the spirit of inquiry, we want you to tell us what you don’t know, and how you might be able to answer your questions through a Pure Research residency with Nightswimming and Tarragon. What does that mean?

If you have a performance question, and can pose it in terms of an experiment, then we’re interested. We provide a $5,000 fee for the lead researcher, a $2,500 budget for artists and materials, and studio space for up to three days in which to conduct the experiments. Explore examples from past sessions that have spanned the spectrum of discipline, technology and design by visiting nightswimming.ca/research/.

The Pure Research selection process will be adjudicated by Nightswimming Artistic Director Brian Quirt, Producer Gloria Mok and Metcalf Dramaturgy Intern Nathaniel Hanula-James with Tarragon Artistic Director Mike Payette and Associate Artistic Director Myekah Payne. Applicants must be available in Toronto during the Studio Experiment weeks of January 16 – 29, 2023. The adjudication team will be present during that period in January 2023 to observe and offer dramaturgical support and assistance.

Researchers invited to a PR residency commit to undertaking a dramaturgical process in collaboration with Nightswimming and Tarragon to design and develop their research experiments prior to those studio sessions, and provide a full report within two months of completing their experiment. The final report and additional documentation will be posted on Nightswimming’s website and disseminated nationally by Tarragon.

The research team will also be asked to participate in artist gatherings (Fall 2022) at the Tarragon to discuss their process with staff and creators currently engaged with both companies. Additionally, research teams will present their findings (Spring 2023) to an invited audience at the Tarragon.

Applications from artists throughout Ontario are welcome, but Pure Research is unable to provide travel or accommodation for selected projects at this time.

Application Deadline: 11:59 PM (EST) Wednesday June 15, 2022


We welcome applicants of every identity, and especially encourage folx who identify as Women, Gender minorities, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, Non-binary, d/Deaf, Mad, Disabled/People with Disabilities, and/or Neurodiverse to apply.