Zocalo Toronto News



The Zocalo was born in the summer of 2006 as a rehearsal and workshop facility in the Queen West arts district. When Vladimir Jon Cubrt's room-mate moved out of the warehouse studio apartment they shared, Vlad conceived of renting out the large main room as a rehearsal facility. Within weeks of publishing a single online ad, the Zocalo was regularly booked.

It quickly became a favorite rehearsal space for a number of local theatre companies: Dogtooth Theatre; Cow Over the Moon Theatre and Alameda Theatre, to name a few. The Zocalo also hosted acting classes (Janelle Hutchison, Steve Adams), dance classes (ifreestyle), photo shoots (star photography), fundraisers (A Girl in the Sky Productions, Zocalo Cabaret) and performance workshops (The Refugee Hotel, The Terror in the Tickle and Dogtooth Theatre's One-Act Festival Weekend).

The studio facility closed when the focus shifted, singularly, to growing as a production company. With the debut of Vladimir's first play, Flin Flonning, at the Diesel Playhouse in May of 2007 "The Zocalo" became "Zocalo Toronto". ZoTo's second production, The Weeping Salsa, went up at The Theatre Centre in November of 2009.

Vladimir adopted the word Zocalo, a colloquiallism to describe the main squares of Mexican cities and towns, because he hoped the studio would be a creative hub for the Toronto arts community. With the evolution into a production company the name stuck as the word conveys the idea of art for and by the people, as any visitor to a Mexican Zocalo has discovered.