100 people recite one poem about Toronto

It's a poem, a video project and an ode to Toronto.

Tribute features 100 lines read by 100 actors in 100 different locations

Actor Vanessa Smythe, composer of the poem, re-visited some of her favourite landmarks for inspiration. (100 Outside Voices)

It's a poem, a video project and an ode to Toronto.

It's called 100 Outside Voices. It'll feature 100 lines read by 100 actors in 100 different locations in Toronto.

It's a collaboration, for sure. But outside the 100 participants, the two people behind the project are Mitchell Cushman, the artistic director of the Outside the March Theatre Company that's producing it, and Vanessa Smythe, an actor and performance poet who was commissioned to write it.

Cushman's company works on site-specific projects, looking for unexpected places to perform. They've held productions in kindergarten classes, parks, churches, with paramedics and on The Danforth.

But for this, the sixth year the company has been in business, he wanted to do something to pay tribute to Toronto.

"It's an overview of how exciting and diverse and dynamic the city [can] be," he told Metro Morning.

All 100 lines will be filmed on smartphones, giving the scenes a more realistic city view, or at least the lens of how we often view the city in 2016.

Smythe was asked to write the poem as a performance poet. She's performed in Toronto, New York, Edinburgh and elsewhere.

When she heard the concept, she went wandering around the city looking for inspiration. She revisited some of her favourite landmarks. She put her hand on the CN Tower, recalling some of the moments she shared with people around the city.

"I had a rush of stories come to me," she said of her walks around the city. "The theme became how a city becomes meaningful because of the people who care about it."

The project is in fundraising mode right now. For a donation of $100, you can unlock a line of poetry, and become the patron of one of the 100 artists. The fundraising link can be found here

The creators are hoping to unveil the poem in a public way this fall — perhaps at Nuit Blanche.


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