“Awakening” – Write Now! plays presented Oct 26

Did you know that Alumnae Theatre Company, in addition to staging plays, also has a group of playwright-members  – the New Play Development group (NPD) – who like to challenge themselves?   The annual fall challenge is called Write Now!  The writers receive a challenge theme or “ingredients” on a Friday afternoon, and have just a weekend to write their 10-minute play.  Then the scripts are matched up with a pool of volunteer directors and actors, and presented as staged readings on the following Sunday.

This year’s theme – devised by Annie MacMillan, who usually writes or directs – was AWAKENING.

These are the plays that resulted (listed alphabetically by writer), and their directors.

Coming Round by Mairy Beam – Director: Stacy Halloran

Graveyard Shift by Sandy Cardinal – Director: Nina Kaye

The Walker by Norma Crawford – Director: Joanne Williams

 Does Anybody Hear Me by Marianne Fedunkiw – Director: Molly Thom

War And Peace – A Family Story by Krystyna Hunt – Director: Danielle Capretti

Somnolence by Nina Kaye – Director: Julia Haist

Last Chance by Carol Libman – Director: Jane Carnwath

When Is A Table Not A Table by Reva Nelson – Director: Pat McCarthy

The Tower by Jenny Prior – Director: Brenda Darling

A Fairy Tale Ending by Jean Shepherd – Director: Jennifer McKinley

But A Brief Dream by Morna Wales – Director: Anne Harper

You can see the short plays (max. 10 mins each) performed as staged readings on Sunday Oct 26, starting at 2pm in the 3rd floor Studio at Alumnae Theatre.  No reservations necessary, and admission is FREE, but donations are gratefully accepted.  Drop on by!

*** Please note that the Toronto Irish Players will be presenting a matinee of Bernard Farrell’s Bookworms on the Main Stage at the same time. ***

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Chaotically insightful and darkly funny ride in Alumnae Theatre’s Escape From Happiness


LifeWithMoreCowbell calls Escape From Happiness “a chaotically insightful and darkly funny ride, featuring a kick-ass cast.”

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:


Lesley Robertson (Mary Ann), Andrea Brown (Elizabeth) and Renée Haché (Gail) – photo by Scott Gorman

“Please don’t do anything you can’t live with later.”
“I can live with a lot.”

Alumnae Theatre Company opened its 2014-15 all-Canadian season with George F. Walker’s Escape From Happiness on Friday night and I dropped by the theatre for the Sunday matinée.

Directed by Andrea Wasserman, Escape From Happiness is one of three plays in Walker’s East End Trilogy, a dark comedy of family dysfunction, set against the backdrop of crime vs. law and order. When a series of troubling events threaten the safety of her family, Nora (Heli Kivilaht) rallies her two oldest daughters, Elizabeth (Andrea Brown) and Mary Ann (Lesley Robertson), to the family home in order to discover who beat up youngest sister Gail’s (Renée Haché) husband Junior (Maxwell King). Tom, the family patriarch (David Cairns), gravely ill and…

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Theatre teaser: Escape From Happiness @ Alumnae Theatre

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:

Hey kids!

Just got this awesome fun trailer for Alumnae Theatre Company’s production of George F. Walker’s Escape From Happiness, directed by Andrea Wasserman. The show opens tonight (Fri, Sept 26) and runs until October 11 on the main stage. I’ll be going to see this on Sunday.

Check it out:

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Auditions for “Blood Relations”

The first show of our season, George F. Walker’s Escape From Happiness, is not even open yet (starts this Friday, Sept 26), and already we’re scheduling auditions for the January show. Bllod Relations image

Blood Relations

By Sharon Pollock

Directed by Barbara Larose

 Performance dates: January 23 – February 7, 2015

 In this Governor General’s Award-winning play, Sharon Pollock takes us on a psychological journey, bringing the past to life in a search for a possible answer, a possible motive for murder. The only suspect, the real Lizzie Borden, was acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe, in 1892. But in Blood Relations, set 10 years later, the chilling question still repeats, “Did you, Lizzie?” “ Lizzie, did you?”

Role:                           Age Range     Description

 Miss Lizzie                 30 – 45             Lizzie Borden, 10 years after acquittal; also plays the Irish                  maid, Bridget

Actress                       30 – 45             Glamourous paramour of Miss Lizzie; also plays Lizzie Borden

 Emma                         40 – 50             Lizzie’s older sister

Abigail Borden         50’s – 60’s        Lizzie’s stepmother

Harry                          50’s                  Mrs. Borden’s brother

Andrew Borden       60’s – 70’s        Lizzie’s father

Dr. Patrick/Defense 30’s – 40’s        the Irish doctor; also plays Defense Counsel at Lizzie’s trial


 Evenings of Wednesday, October 8 and Thursday, October 9, 2014


Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 10 am – 5 pm

 Callbacks to be held the following week – October15/16



Please prepare a short (2-3 min.) contemporary monologue. You may also be asked to read from the script, so it is highly recommended that you are familiar with the play.

Reading copies are available at the Toronto Reference Library, 5th floor — Performing Arts desk.



E-mail with headshot and resume to bloodrelationsauditions@gmail.com or leave a message at 416-364-4170 ext 3.

Be sure to include your phone number so we can contact you! Please specify if you are a member of Alumnae Theatre Company.

Auditions will be held at the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, Toronto (SW corner of Berkeley and Adelaide).

Alumnae Theatre Company is a non professional company that encourages diversity in its membership and casting.

This is non-paying engagement.


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Call for Directors – New Ideas Festival 2015

If you are a director, or want to try your hand at directing a short play, here’s your opportunity!   Alumnae Theatre Company invites non-union directors to apply to direct one of the 15 short plays (10- 40 minutes) to be produced at the New Ideas Festival (NIF) 2015, our 27th annual juried festival of brand-new new plays.  The Festival runs March 11 – 29, 2015.

NIF provides:

  • Stage managers, technical crew, and front of house staff
  • Open auditions presenting a large pool of actors
  • Rehearsal space, performance space
  • Promotional materials and publicity
  • Access to Alumnae Theatre’s wardrobe, props, and sets
  • A collaborative process with the playwright to continue developing a new work with actors and a dramaturg (if requested)
  • A supportive place for directors to experiment and hone their skills
  • Production guidelines and mentorship that get all the plays & dozens of performers successfully from audition to rehearsal to stage.

Important dates:

  • Fri. Oct. 10, 2014: Deadline to apply to direct one of the New Ideas Festival plays.
  • Sat. Nov. 8, 2014: (MANDATORY) Creative Exchange: directors meet playwrights.
  • Dec.2, 3, 4, or 5, 2014: (MANDATORY) Attend your play’s cold reading on one of these dates.
  • Jan 3-7, 2015: (MANDATORY) Selected directors attend relevant group auditions for the Festival.
  • Feb. 1, 2015: Rehearsals begin.
  • Wed. March 11 – Sun. March 29, 2015: New Ideas Festival. Each show runs one week.

New Ideas 2015 Call for Directors img

New Ideas Festival does not pay fees, royalties, or a box office share to participants. Alumnae Theatre Company retains creative discretion over the festival as a whole. The focus of the festival is script development, and thus technical requirements of the plays are kept to a minimum. NIF is an exciting opportunity to work one-on-one with a playwright to develop a new work.

To apply to direct a play in the Festival, please email newideasfestival@gmail.com  by Oct 10, 2014.

Please make the subject line “Director Application (your name)” and provide a directing CV or paragraph description of your experience.

You will receive further details once you have submitted your application.

As our industry has far fewer female directors, women directors are especially encouraged to apply.


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Alumnae Theatre Company’s all-Canadian 2014-2015 Season

Alumnae bldg pinkFROM THE MEDIA RELEASE:
Alumnae Theatre Company proudly announces our completely Canadian 2014-2015 season featuring Escape From Happiness by George F. Walker; the return of last year’s explosively successful FireWorks Festival premiering two original full-length plays; Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock; the 27th annual New Ideas Festival; and the WORLD PREMIERE of Shirley Barrie’s I Am Marguerite.

Escape From Happiness posterWe launch the season on the Mainstage with Escape From Happiness by George F. Walker, directed by Andrea Wasserman (September 26-October 11, 2014). A bizarre event in a dysfunctional family prompts an incident of brutality in this intensely dark Canadian comedy. Part of Walker’s East End Trilogy, this play explores the most tender moments at the most violent times.

Up in the Studio Theatre, two original full-length plays will be runningFireWorks 2014 image in repertory as part of the FireWorks Festival (November 12-30, 2014). After last year’s explosive success, FireWorks is back with two plays written by members and developed at Alumnae Theatre: Burying Toni by Catherine Frid and You Have To Earn It by Ramona Baillie and Maria Popoff. A festival of creativity, FireWorks will also feature discussion panels, playwright talkbacks, and we’re delighted to announce that Maja Ardal, renowned Canadian playwright and director, will spearhead the Playwrights’ Intensive Workshop series to run for the duration of the Festival.
Burying Toni explores the complexities within Emma Jung as she grapples with her history, real and imagined, after 50 years of marriage to psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Emma conjures up her husband, Sigmund Freud, and others as she struggles to understand the truth about her past.
You Have To Earn It is a madcap roller-coaster ride that pays homage to the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s. A philandering boss, a scheming new employee and a wacky mail room clerk, to name just a few, all with hidden agendas. Can the unassuming Betty survive the intrigue of the corporate world?

Bllod Relations imageOur “Countdown to 100” Retrospective Choice originally produced in the Alumnae Theatre Company’s 1994/95 season is Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock, directed by Barbara Larose (January 23-February 7, 2015). In this Governor General’s Award–winning play, Sharon Pollock’s original perspective takes us on a psychological journey, bringing the past to life in a search for a possible answer, a motive. The only suspect, the real Lizzie Borden, was acquitted of murdering her father and stepmother, but in Blood Relations, the chilling question still repeats.

In its 27th season, New Ideas Festival 2015 (March 11-29, 2015) is New Ideas 2015 imagea three-week, juried celebration of new writing, works-in-progress and experimental theatre, with a different program of plays each week and staged readings on Saturdays at noon. New Ideas is a crucible for original plays, some of which have gone on to full productions elsewhere. As such, they are must-sees for avant-garde Toronto theatre-goers. Writers from all over Canada and beyond submit original short plays which have never before been produced, so every play in the festival is a world premiere.

I Am Marguerite imageWe are thrilled to close the season with the world premiere of I Am Marguerite by Shirley Barrie, directed by Molly Thom (April 10-25, 2015). Written by one of our members, the script has “grown up” at the Alumnae through various dramaturgical changes and we’re excited to now present this play based on a true story in Canadian history. For choosing love over duty, Marguerite de Roberval was banished to the Isle of Demons off the north coast of Newfoundland. After two years on the desolate island and driven half mad by loneliness, hardship and memories, she now has a chance of rescue.

MAIN STAGE SHOWTIMES: Wed – Sat at 8:00 pm; Sunday matinees at 2pm. TICKETS: Wed 2-for-1; Thurs-Sat $20; PWYC Sundays.
FIREWORKS SHOWTIMES: Wed – Sat at 8pm; Sat & Sun matinees at 2pm. TICKETS:  $15; Sunday Matinees PWYC; Festival Pass $25.
Wed – Sat at 8pm; Sat & Sun matinees 2:30, Noon PWYC reading on Saturdays. TICKETS: $15; Festival Pass $40.
Advance Tickets and season passes available online at www.alumnaetheatre.com
For more information & media kits, contact Chloe Whitehorn at marketing@alumnaetheatre.com


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Workshop: There Is No Such Thing As Writer’s Block, Alumnae Theatre


Participate in November writing workshops with award-winning playwright Maja Arda, part of Alumnae Theatre Company’s FireWorks series.

Originally posted on The TAPA Blog:

A series of playwriting workshops with playwright Maja Ardal

The Alumnae Theatre invites beginning and experienced playwrights to submit their work for a Playwrights’ Intensive led by renowned Canadian playwright Maja Ardal as part of the FireWorks Festival.

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