Charity logo



Business No: 130113673RR0001

Toronto's oldest independent theatre company, producers of CANADA'S HISTORY PLAYS.



VideoCabaret is a multi-award winning charitable non-profit theatre company which was created by Michael Hollingsworth, Deanne Taylor, and the Hummer Sisters collaborating with Chris Clifford (videographer), Jim Plaxton (designer), and Andy Paterson (musician).

Since 1976, with an innovative blend of live video installations and rock ‘n’ roll music, VideoCabaret reinvented classic works such as Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, and Verdi’s Rigoletto. Michael Hollingsworth often stirred controversy with his provocative early plays such as Strawberry Fields and Clear Light, which were deemed improper by the ‘morality police.’

Deanne Taylor’s work focused on mass-media politics and alternatives to motherhood such as City for Sale, Where's Fluffy? and the rock-operetta 2nd Nature. With Shadowland Theatre, Taylor connected and activated artists from Trinidad and Tobago and from Toronto's Caribbean and Indigenous communities to create Mas(querade) Bands for Toronto's Caribana Festival. As a member of the Hummer Sisters, Taylor performed in Dressed to Kill, The Patty Rehearsed Show, and ART VS Art (a political campaign and performance piece in which the Hummers famously ran for Mayor of Toronto.)

Living in the penthouse of the Cameron House, Taylor and Hollingsworth refurbished a theatre space in the backroom of the iconic rooming house and music club. Perched above Queen Street West, Hollingsworth refined The History of the Village of the Small Huts, a satirical history cycle of 21 plays exposing Canada’s history of colonization and government corruption within a ‘black box’ designed by the company to represent a timeless void where scores of characters are conjured up in rapid-fire succession.

Stratford Festival co-produced The War of 1812 by Michael Hollingsworth for two sold-out months. VideoCabaret remounted The War of 1812 at the Magnetic North Festival in Ottawa, and this momentum led to five successful collaborations with Soulpepper including The War of 1812, The Great War, Trudeau & The FLQ, Trudeau & Levesque, and Confederation Parts 1 & 2.

VideoCabaret opened the Busy Street Theatre (recently renamed the Deanne Taylor Theatre) in the east end of Toronto with Too Good to Be True written and directed by Cliff Cardinal (Governor General's Literary Award recipient and our playwright in residence). The show was wildly successful and incorporated VideoCabaret's 'Black-Box' style of performance and production.

After the pandemic, VideoCabaret premiered The Cold War directed by Mac Fyfe and produced by Layne Coleman and Aviva Armour-Ostroff. The show was a sold-out hit, and was nominated for multiple Dora Awards. 

During this time, Aaron Rothermund was promoted to Artistic Producer and they created the Deanne Taylor New Works Festival and the Michael Hollingsworth Writing Circle. Rothermund also activated the Black Box Sessions, which encouraged acting and directing participants to experiment with plays by Hollingsworth and Taylor in their signature style of production and performance.

To open our latest season, Layne Coleman and Aaron Rothermund produced, (Everyone I Love Has) A Terrible Fate (Befall Them) written and performed by Cliff Cardinal with direction and dramaturgy by Karin Randoja. This pivotal production was our first collaboration with Crow's Theatre. 

Since then, we collaborated with Other Hearts Collective on Heiner Muller’s Quartet directed by Harri Thomas, and with Nightwood Theatre on Rose Napoli's Mad Madge directed by Andrea Donaldson.


10 Busy St.

Toronto, ON, M4M 1N8

Visit our website