MISSION StATEMENT

Theatre of the Beat (TOTB) is a Canadian touring theatre company working to catalyze conversations on social justice and its intersection with the beliefs of the communities in which we find ourselves.

TOTB Kindred Calendar Photo.JPG

Since 2011, Theatre of the Beat has been staging change across North America by creating original social justice theatre and workshops for underrepresented populations. Through an immersive cultural exchange of grassroots theatre, hospitality, and philosophy, the company empowers its audience to work towards a just future.

Why “Beat”

BEAT - bēt/

noun

  1. a rhythmic break to create emphasis.

adjective

  1. beatnik; pertaining to the beat generation.

  2. defeated; beaten down.

  3. broke or exhausted.

  4. holy or beatific; imparting beatitude.

  William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, photographed by Allen Ginsberg in his East Village living room, New York City, 1953.

William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, photographed by Allen Ginsberg in his East Village living room, New York City, 1953.

The beatnik generation emerged during a time of overwhelming political confusion and social turmoil. Amidst an era of civil lethargy, consumerism and a strict adherence to the status quo, this group of young people lived out their beliefs in contradiction to the pervasive culture of their time.

The roots of the movement were split between two philosophies: poet Allan Ginsberg believed the word represented a people who were beaten down or oppressed, while writer Jack Kerouac found the word to have a much more spiritual connection, describing a radical group of people who lived out the teachings of the Beatitudes in unconventional ways.

In this way, Theatre of the Beat aims to create theatre that embodies the philosophies of this movement: creating space for avoided conversations, challenging that which goes unquestioned, giving voice to the beaten down, and creating art that wrestles with who we want to be in this world.