Beyond Walls: Theatre Passe Muraille 1968 - 1975

Front Cover
The Porcupine's Quill, Dec 19, 2018 - Performing Arts - 112 pages
A mainstay of Toronto’s theatrical landscape since 1968, Theatre Passe Muraille (which translates to ‘Theatre Without/Beyond Walls’) has focused on breaking down barriers—between actors and spectators, for example—while developing a populist aesthetic that has found resonance with both rural and urban audiences.

In Beyond Walls, Peter Jobin considers the fledgling years of Canada’s longest running alternative theatre in Toronto. It is a roller coaster ride of soaring highs and crushing lows, from sell-out shows and innovative new ideas to morality squad arrests and financial crises. It documents the evolution of the theatre’s focus from its early interest in radical American theatrics to its later, Canadian nationalist direction.

Jobin’s investigation shows that, by embracing diversity, collaboration and inclusivity, Theatre Passe Muraille has become a living and breathing representation of the city of Toronto and has helped to change the way Canadian audiences feel about Theatre. The book includes period photographs by Lionel Douglas and Bob Nasmith, and a foreword by dramaturge David Ferry.



What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Forewordby David Ferry
TorontoTheatrein 1968

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2018)

Peter Jobin is an actor and writer who has participated in Canadian theatre and film for over fifty years. Born in Montreal, he appeared in plays in Canada, the USA and the UK before beginning a career as a screenwriter. He is known for films such as Happy Birthday to Me (1981) and Diamond Cut Diamond (2001). He lives in Toronto.

Lionel Douglas was a major force during the glory days of Rochdale. A master raconteur and polymath he could work a room like nobody’s business, and had an amazing vision of that not yet done. He loved photography and Ducati motorcycles. The former you will enjoy in these pages, the latter killed him.

Bob Nasmith was, briefly, president of Rochdale and a photographer. Most of his photographic work (both his work as a combat photographer in Vietnam and his later work) did not survive the whips and scorns of time but his association with Theatre Passe Muraille as artist and board member has lasted 48 years. He is quite a good actor.

David Ferry is a dramaturge and sometime designer and an award winning actor and director living in Toronto. A published writer himself, he has edited Reaney Days in the West Room (Playwrights Canada Press, 2009) and He Speaks: Monologues for Men (Playwrights Canada Press, 2008). He co-edited Making a Scene (Playwrights Canada Press 1985). His audio collection of Canadian dialects Canajun, eh? is a useful resource for actors and is still available on CD.

Bibliographic information