About

History

Expect Theatre is located at the historic Distillery District in downtown Toronto. Founded by Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley in 1996, Expect is an award winning, Toronto-based company dedicated to producing cutting edge, original, multi-disciplinary productions that explore modern urban life. The company’s creations incorporate elements such as site-specific spaces, verbatim theatre, integrated arts, film and podcasts. The company works to blur the lines between artistic disciplines, professional and emerging artists, and mainstream and community audiences. Expect has been nominated for five Dora Awards in the General Theatre category, is a Dora winner for Outstanding Choreography, and has been shortlisted twice for the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards. The company has been widely covered in the national media including CBC TV, CBC Radio, CTV, The Globe & Mail, and The Toronto Star.

Some of Expect’s notable productions include: “ROMEO/JULIET REMIXED” (nominated for five Dora Awards including Outstanding Production, and won for Outstanding Choreography); “STATIC” (inaugural Fresh Ground Commission from Harbourfront as part of World Stage); CBC’s “Tunnel Runners” (National CBC Radio commission); “AWAKE” (received 4/4 stars in the Toronto Star and NOW Magazine, was a NOW Critic’s Pick, and was the second highest grossing show at the Fringe Festival); “Burusera” (a commission by Watermark Theatre for Canada 300, that toured on National 21-city tour and is being published by the Playwrights Canada Press as part of a short play anthology). EXPECT has also been short–listed twice for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Award for the Arts for Youth Award in 2009 and 2013.

In 2014, Expect launched Beats + Intentions, an emerging arts ensemble for performers in Toronto. Beats+Intentions is a pre-professional training and collaborative creation and performance program that fosters diverse artists in a variety of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, spoken word and video. Each year we perform an original creation at Nuit Blanche.

In January of 2016, Expect Theatre launched the PlayME Podcast, a new initiative designed to capitalize on the growing mainstream popularity of podcasts in order to create Canada’s National “Digital Theatre.” PlayME transforms new and under-produced theatre scripts into contemporary radio plays for a national and global audience. To date, PlayME is listened to in over 40 countries around the world.

Chris and Laura

Laura Mullin & Chris Tolley | Artistic Directors

 

Chris Tolley is a writer, director and producer, and the Co-Artistic Director of Expect Theatre. After graduating from York University he teamed up with Laura Mullin, and together they have created award-winning multi-disciplinary productions that have toured across Canada and the US. Chris is also an accomplished multi-media artist, and collaboratively with Mullin, has developed compelling videos to support the work of other non-profit organization such as Artscape, Woodgreen Community Services, Arts-Etobicoke and Architext. The social justice themes that his artwork explores has led him to become more politicaly involved. Chris is also the Green Party’s candidate in Toronto-Danforth and will be running for Parliament in the upcoming 2015 federal election.

 

Laura Mullin is a playwright, director and producer, and the Co-Artistic Director of Expect Theatre. She graduated from York University with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and before forming Expect with Chris Tolley, she worked in casting at the CBC. Since launching company, she has created and produced several highly acclaimed productions with Tolley that have toured nationally and internationally. Laura recently received funding through Ontario Arts Council for her new play “Allowance,” which is currently in development. Laura is also a regular writer for CBC.ca.

Roshanak Jaberi | Associate Producer

 

Roshanak Jaberi is a multi-disciplinary performer, choreographer and producer, and a graduate of York University with an honours degree in music. She joined Expect Theatre in 2009, working on some of the company’s most notable projects.

She currently sits on the board of the Dance Umbrella of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council Dance Committee. Her choreographic work has been supported by all three arts councils; and has been presented in Canada, US and Europe.

Roshanak has trained with celebrated dancers, musicians and theatre artists in Canada and abroad.  She has served as a juror on the Dora Awards and the Toronto Arts Council, has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto. She was also a top three finalist for the Soulpepper Theatre Dance Awards, and is former co-host of Toronto’s Evi-Dance Radio.