Call for Pure Research Applications

Pure Research

Toronto 2022/2023

in partnership with

Tarragon Theatre

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.

Key Details

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

Research Residency: August 2022 – March 2023

Studio Experiments: January 16 – 29, 2023 (in-person at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto)

Research Reports Submitted: March 31, 2023

Resources Provided: 

  • $5,000 fee for lead researcher
  • $2,500 budget for artists and materials,
  • studio space for up to three days

About Pure Research

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.

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.

Application Process

We are particularly interested in:

  • artists who view research as a long-term process, rather than a short-cut to production
  • an artistic spirit of inquiry around text, technology, form, style and/or production elements

We need a concise but detailed application outlining:

  • your question and what you want to learn from it
  • how you intend to conduct the experiment; this is the most important section of the application
  • practical details such as time, people, expenses and equipment required, and relevant support material such as text or prior research
  • be honest about what you know, what you don’t know, what you want, and what you’d like to achieve
  • remember that it is NOT a developmental workshop for a new performance piece

How to Apply

Please email your application to applications@nightswimmingtheatre.com
by WEDNESDAY JUNE 15 2022 at 11:59 PM EST with “Pure Research Application” as the subject line.

Please attach a single PDF containing the following, in this order:

  • a one page cover letter introducing yourself, defining the proposed research, and outlining specific goals
  • a two page maximum project description including time requested and an estimated budget
  • bio or c.v. of principal artist-researcher and a list of collaborators, if known
  • do not send videos, press clippings, photos, programs, press kits or folders

If you have any questions about the application process, or have any specific accessibility concerns regarding applications that the Nightswimming team can assist with, including applying in a non-written format (i.e. as an audio or video file), please feel free to contact Gloria Mok at gloria@nightswimmingtheatre.com.

NOTE: short-listed applicants may be asked for further information and/or paid a fee to develop a more detailed proposal before making our final decisions.

Applications will be accepted by email only.
All applicants will be informed of results by July 30, 2022. (We thank everyone who applies for their interest, but only selected applicants will be contacted.)

Nightswimming is a dramaturgical company dedicated to exploring the boundaries of dramaturgy and performance. We commission and develop new works of theatre, dance and music.

Tarragon Theatre is Canada’s home for groundbreaking contemporary plays. Tarragon’s mission is to create, develop and produce new plays and to provide the conditions for new work to thrive.

We look forward to reading your application.

A PDF copy of this Call for Pure Research Applications can be downloaded here.

A Microsoft Word copy of this Call for Pure Research Applications can be downloaded here .