Small Wooden Shoe is named after the tools French workers would use to "clog" the machinery when on strike. Their “sabot” – small wooden shoes – gave English the word “sabotage.”

Like them, we want to disrupt the machinery of "business as usual" in hopes for a better world. more about what we do

Where does the name come from?

This requires some back story.Right after university I founded a “collective” called sabotage group with a bunch of friends who did things other than theatre: a film-maker, a few writers, a geography PhD candidate, a few musicians (many of these people over lapped these descriptors.)

“Collective” requires the quotes because really, it was a led-collaboration, but at the time, anything short of “collective” seemed like a political failure.

Under that name there were 3 shows - 1 in Vancouver: Pleasure is So Hard To Remember (a title I’d love to re-use); and 2 in Toronto: …Open Wound and Other Than War. The shows were, generously, young - but each had moments and aspects that certainly track through all my work, and I worked with truly amazing people - many of whom I still collaborate with.

Other than War - a show bringing together narratives of the Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof) and Uncle Vanya in the spring of 2001 (during Quebec City, pre-Trade Towers) - was the pinnacle and the destruction of the ability to work in the supposed collective. All very ambitious, all very glad it happened - but there are things I’d do better.

I fled to Halifax (it was planned before, but still felt like fleeing) and needed a name to produce under - something that I could do without need to deal with the mux that sabotage group had become personally. I had hopes that sabotage group wasn’t completely finished, but I needed what might be a side project. /back story

“Sabotage” comes from (in some reports) striking French workers throwing their “sabots” - clogs - in to the machinery in order to stop scab labour and force owners to settle in order to get the machines fixed. I looked “sabot” up in a French-English Dictionary and it said, “a small wooden shoe.” I thought Small Wooden Shoe was a good name for the side project.

And 10 years later, I still like it.

I've been thinking lately about how to talk about the political instinct/desire to disrupt and make changes that the name carries. I think about differently than I did 10 years about - but I still think about.

"Throwing a clog into the machinery of the everyday" - just not sure. Thoughts welcome.

Once a year, we meet for good.

We get to choose what to talk about.