Katie is a playwright, performer, visual artist, and community organizer. They often create work that straddles the space between visual art, theatre, and performance art, and is interested in looking at the queer and conflicted.
Katie has been in diverse playwriting units around Toronto, including Tarragon Theatre and the InspiraTO festival. They began performing their writing in the 2012 PrideCab ensemble at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and continued developing their craft as a creator/performer in the 2012/2013 Young Creators Unit at Buddies, where they developed the one-person show Evil Love Songs, an autobiographical, cinematic stream of consciousness that explores bisexuality in Toronto today (performed at the 34th annual Rhubarb Festival). They performed in the 2013 Toronto Fringe production of Spoon, written by Spencer Charles Smith and directed by Sky Gilbert, a piece which explores the presence of static male/female gender roles in queer relationships, and in September 2013 starred in the Gay Play Day Festival one-person show Obscuring Jude, written and directed by Dorianne Emmerton, which discusses how religion, rape, and consumerism affect a woman on the edge of sanity.
Katie is a creator/performer within the theatre company Straight Camp, with whom they created/performed the show Stumble, Topple, and Stand for Buddies’ 2014 Queer Pride Festival. A show directed at children, Straight Camp describes Stumble as, “the queer fairy tales we wish we’d grown up with”. Katie was a member of Nightwood Theatre’s 2013/2014 Write from the Hip playwrights unit, where they developed their first full-length, multi-character play, Serenity Wild, which discusses childhood trauma as the underbelly of adult intimacy, and challenges typical ideas of wellness by finding healing in BDSM.
Katie has presented their performance art piece, Kid: A Queer Fable, at Buddies in Bad Times theatre and Videofag, and The Gladstone Hotel. Their video art, Experimental Pussy Part 1 & 2, was exhibited at the BRAZEN show at Toronto’s Project Gallery in December 2013, and at Berlin’s entzaubert non-commerical queer DIY film festival in July 2014. In September 2014, Katie Sly was an artist-in-residence with lemonTree creations where, with Jonathan Seinen, they developed the 60-minute one-person show Charisma Furs, which is a performative archive of Katie’s difficult relationship with love, both of themselves and others. Charisma Furs debuted in the Live Art series of the 2015 SummerWorks Performance Festival, and Katie and Jonathan are now looking at touring the piece.
In November 2014 Katie collaborated with international visual artist/dancer/choreographer/actor Diana Reyes aka FLY LADY DI to create/perform a 15-minute piece called #iHateUrHappiness, which melds live animation, dance, and face-paced scenes to discuss the intersection of experiences of oppression across different communities (performed at the 2014 Insatiable Sisters event at Buddies). Katie and Diana have an artist residency at hub14 in 2016 to develop a 60-minute version of #iHateUrHappiness.
Katie is the founder and organizer of the multi-disciplinary, arts-based activism project Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret, which seeks to create space for work that discusses bisexuality and pansexuality. The widely-attended inaugural event of Too Queer took place at Videofag in June 2014, and two equally-crammed events have taken place since then in 2015 at The Gladstone Hotel. Katie is currently applying for grants to turn Too Queer into a project that is not only a presentation platform for bisexual/pansexual artists, but a project in which new work is developed.
Katie is most active on Facebook.