Cast & Crew:

Written and Performed by Mx. Katie Sly

Directed and Choreographed by Justin Many Fingers

Lighting Design and Stage Manager Nicole Olson Grant-Suttie

Spatial Dramaturg, Costume Design, and Set Design by Bianca Guimarães de Manuel


Co-created at various stages with:

Facilitator Davey Samuel Calderon

Rope Bondage Instructor Addie Tahl

Co-Presented with Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre

How To Self-Suspend

Tender Container

An X-rated narrative that is part storytelling, part photo-essay, part rope bondage demonstration, How to Self-Suspend is an interactive performance about how trauma shapes the choices we make, and how the choices we make reflect (and can perpetuate) trauma.

The narrative of this piece tracks Mx. Sly’s existence in three cities: their violent childhood in Montréal, their late twenties in the Toronto rope bondage community, and their early thirties living on the edge of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. How to Self-Suspend is unsparing in its details, and uses Sly’s history to ask uncomfortable questions of its audiences through, at times, ethically-questionable means.

While consent violations dominate our news headlines, and, conversely, art audiences expect to receive content and trigger warnings, How to Self-Suspend examines how closely performance is allowed to reflect reality and asks the audience how much reality they’re willing to be witness to before it feels like a consent breach.