Saturday September 22, 2018
7pm (early show) or 9pm (late show)
Collective Space // (sign above door says RAW Space)
221 Sterling Road, Studio 5, Toronto, ON, M6P 3L4



Join us for an intimate look at Katie Sly's newest project in development, in this special workshop presentation.

Part photo-essay, part rope bondage demonstration, How to Self-Suspend looks at Katie Sly’s existence in three cities: their childhood being raised in instability and violence in Montréal, their ecstasy and injury in the Toronto BDSM community, and their year living on the edge of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

Hot, uncomfortable, and with questionable ethics, this solo performance explores the impact of long-endured trauma, and how that trauma shapes what feels normal. This performance digs into internalized rage and enacts revenge fantasies. How To Self-Suspend candidly excavates the challenges of isolation and recklessness.

“Sly has an eerily effective presence that at times makes the show feel like a waking dream.” —Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine 

Created by Katie Sly and Davey Samuel Calderon
Performed by Katie Sly

Content warning: nudity, self-harm, violence, graphic sexual content, BDSM

From the artists

We wish to acknowledge that these performances take place on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Huron-Wyndat.

We want to acknowledge the weight that all of us feel, carrying the knowledge of white supremacy and colonialism. 

Our positionality in relation to that violence means that we carry that weight differently, and it affects our lives, our health, our opportunities, our families, our access to dignity, our access to credibility, our access to safe drinking water, our safety with police, and our access to justice, differently. 

With that said, all persons party to violence are affected by that violence. Land acknowledgements are one part of a reconciliation process that heals all of us.

Our hope in these performances is that we can be unafraid to name things exactly what they are, while also being soft with one another.

About Collective Space - 221 Sterling, Unit 5
221 Sterling is a very long, flat industrial building with multiple tenants. Unit 5 is to the rear of the building, with a sign over the awning that reads "RAW Space." 

We regret that Collective Space is not fully accessible - although the performance space is on one level, there is a single step up into the all-gender washroom. ASL interpretation will not be provided.

Tickets $15.


Davey Samuel Calderon (Co-Creator and Director)

Davey Samuel Calderon (he/him/his pronouns) is a queer Filipino-Canadian, American born, theatre artist. He has his BFA in Theatre Performance and Communication from Simon Fraser University. Co-founder of New(to)Town Collective, an emerging theatre collective aspiring to provide accessible, experimental training workshops (more here) and creating new interdisciplinary works together. Current Resident Producer for Neworld Theatre. Recent performances include:  Down in the Uncanny Valley (Nebula Theatre), Finders Keepers (Theatre in the RAW), Pipef@%! (Vancouver Fringe 2015), The Cold War (SFU Mainstage) and Two Birds on a Wire (Psyche Theatre). Recent directing credits include: KIND (Child): A Staged Reading (New(to)Town Collective) and Donut Holes in Orbit (Directing Projects 2013 & New(to)Town Collective). Currently in development for Vancouver Fringe Festival 2018 in association with Tender Container and Neworld Theatre is his first play: Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night!

Katie Sly (Co-Creator and Performer)

Katie Sly (they/them/their pronouns) is a trans writer, performer, curator and producer. They are the General Manager of Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre. Katie grew up on welfare in Montreal and hold no degrees. Their work most often deals with the body. They are the recipient of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s 2016 Queer Emerging Artist Award and their play Charisma Furs was published by Playwrights Canada Press in June 2018. Katie’s play Serenity Wild was the winner of the 2017 Wildfire National Playwriting Competition. Katie writes the award-nominated ongoing non-fiction column Rougher with Feeling for Xtra (Canada’s national LGBTQ2S media outlet). Katie is an advocate for bisexual+ cultural expression, and since 2014 they have been producing and curating Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret. Katie was a performance curator for the 2018 Toronto Pride festival.

Media Inquiries

Contact Catherine Jones -