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safeword is a multidisciplinary arts collaborative committed to creating art experiences, professional development opportunities, sector research, and developing consent-based anti-oppression practices. We work with collaborators and communities on a project-to-project basis to enrich, explore and support our collective imaginations.


The art of role-play is an affirmative, adventurous, transformative and healing practice. A ‘safe word’ is used as a lifeline, a safety net, an arbiter in the liminal space between fantasy and reality. We strongly believe that care, consent and accountability are central aspects to our creative process and critical for ensuring the relational integrity of our artistic exchanges with audiences, tools and collaborators.


Our Values

Access, Accountability, Care, Collaboration, Consent, Innovation, Integrity, Patience, Playfulness

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Photo Credit: Christine Buijs
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safeword acknowledges the truth and whole histories of the land we are grateful and humble to operate from. We are located on the ancestral lands and waterways of the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the Credit, Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Wendat and all other Nations recorded and unrecorded, acknowledged and unacknowledged, known as Tkarón:to “Where The Trees Meet The Water” or “The Gathering Place”.

We are bound by the principles of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant in all of our actions: to take only what we need; to leave more for everyone else; and to keep it clean.


We are committed to actively interrogating our relationships and complicities with the ongoing state violence and systemic oppression of settler colonialism. All of our collaborators are invited to contribute to our self-governance policies and every process begins with open, spacious dialogues about our collective needs, values, and agreements for working together. When building creative teams, we implement strategies to democratize our leadership and decision-making authority in order to stay accountable to our communities and work in opposition to existing power dynamics present in our relationships. We value safety, wellbeing and belonging in our spaces because it strengthens the quality of our experiences. We acknowledge that this work is complex, ongoing and that we may fail, make mistakes and experience discomfort and disagreement along the way. Our fundamental goal is to create environments where our unique identities, embodiments and histories can be fully present, expressed and treated with respect and dignity.

Brandon Crone, Alex Dault, Claire Hill
Photo Credit: Burke Campbell

Founded in 2012, safeword was formed as an independent theatre initiative by members Brandon Crone, Alex Dault and Claire Hill to develop new plays and foster emerging playwrights. The group created five, original, theatre productions: Turtleneck (2013), Donors (2013), Maypole Rose (2014), Nature of the Beast (2015), Contempt (2016). safeword also founded and organized the national playwriting festival and juried competition Safe Words for five consecutive years (2014-2018) awarding over $3000 to emerging playwrights. In 2018, safeword went on hiatus for three years and have now relaunched in 2021 as a multidisciplinary arts collaborative committed to creating art experiences, professional development opportunities, sector research, and developing consent-based anti-oppression practices.

Artistic Director Brandon Crone (they/them) 

Brandon is a queer, multidisciplinary artist and arts administrator currently based in Tkarón:to. They are the author of five, produced plays (Turtleneck, Donors, Maypole Rose, Nature of the Beast, Contempt) and have participated in residencies and readings with The Stratford Festival of Canada, National Arts Centre and Urban Stages (NYC). Most recently, they directed the Canadian and Australian premiere of For Both Resting and Breeding written by Adam Meisner. Their professional career in the arts spans over 20 years working in multiple disciplines. They have worked with Mirvish Productions, CBC, Canadian Film Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Theatre Passe Muraille, Playwrights Guild of Canada, Theatre New Brunswick, Theatre Aquarius, Theatre by the Bay and Sudbury Theatre Centre to name a few. Brandon is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and Humber College’s Arts Administration and Cultural Management program.

IG: @thecroneeffect

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