Five artists from the fields of textiles, theatre, and photography work with local kids to prepare them for a show where they will remake outfits in less than one hour. Following training from professional artists, the kids circulate among the audience and select lucky, brave patrons (among those wearing “I’m In” stickers – the less brave wear chickens) to be taken inside the Fashion Machine. Then the action begins.

After an interview with the subjects and a brainstorming session, the young designers retreat to their open workshop space and begin redesigning the volunteers’ outfits. The audience circles the perimeter and watches the children at work while a photographer captures up-close images of the budding artists that are broadcast on a giant screen in an ever-expanding slideshow loop. The audience meets the young artists through videos they shot during the training sessions. After 50 minutes at the hands of the kids’ sewing machines, scissors, buttons, ribbons, fabric, needles and thread, the seven audience members don their remade outfits and showcase their new looks in a fashion show with commentary by the kids.

Fashion Machine is an opportunity to help foster the creativity of the next generation of artists; a new, exciting breed of performance art; and a whole lot of fun. This project was originally developed at Theatre SKAM.

Present us! Contact Matthew Payne for more information on the touring specs.

Participating Artists

Megan Hands Shayna Ward
Lynnéa Chan Jenny Ambrose
Sophie Groves Pamela Bethel
Becky Johnson Hannah Case
Matthew Payne Dehmin Cleland
Pauline Stynes Ingrid Hansen
Katri Tahvanainen Erin Crowley
Sarah Pelzer Max Johnson

Presentation History

2024 Hong Kong International Arts Festival, Hong Kong CHINA
2023 Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Winnipeg MB
2023 French Institute Alliance Française, New York NY
2023 Artosphere Festival, Fayetteville AR
2023 Theatre SKAM, Victoria BC
2019 Surrey International Children's Festival, Surrey BC
2019 Junior Children's Festival, Toronto ON
2018 International Performing Arts for Youth, Philadelphia PA
2016 Chapter, Cardiff UK
2016 Mayfest, Bristol UK
2015 Fusebox: Festival, Austin TX