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.

Please Note: The January 11th performances of How to Self-Suspend (7:00 & 10:00 pm) will be filmed for Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre archives, and some of the video and audio captured may be used for an upcoming documentary on the festival artist, Mx. Sly. If you have any questions or concerns about the filming, please contact Mark Hopkins at 403.710.0093 or