LAST CALL for New Ideas Festival script submissions!

 NIF2015 Call for ScriptsThe deadline to submit a short script (10-40 mins running time) for consideration in Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival 2015 is only a few days away.  September 5, people!

The Festival (our 27th annual) runs  March 11-29, 2015.   Scripts are selected by a jury, and playwrights receive dramaturgical support, free rehearsal space, publicity, and sold-out houses.

Playwrights are encouraged to participate in the whole production process, from choosing a director and cast to attending rehearsals (geography permitting!) and revising their work as it comes off the page.

There is NO FEE to submit, and no remuneration to any participants.  The purpose of New Ideas is script development, and every play must be a world premiere.  Only plays which have never been produced before are eligible.

Go to  and read the instructions carefully.  Good luck!



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FireWorks 2014 audition notices

FireWorks 2014 imageFor the second year, Alumnae Theatre Company is presenting the FireWorks series in November, to showcase full-length plays which have been dramaturged by the company’s New Play Development group of playwrights (the NPD).

This year there are two plays – the drama Burying Toni by Catherine Frid, and the comedy You Have To Earn It by Ramona Baillie & Maria Popoff.

FireWorks runs November 12 – 30, 2014.  Auditions for Burying Toni will be held August 11 & 12;  and auditions for You Have To Earn It will be held between August 18 – 22.  Please visit our website  for details.

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Auditions in August for “Bookworms” (Toronto Irish Players)

The Toronto Irish Players rent the Mainstage at Alumnae Theatre for two productions per season. Here’s the audition notice for the first of 2014/15:  Bookworms, a comedy by Bernard Farrell. It will be directed by Alan Hunt.

SHOW DATES: October 23 – November 8, 2014
SYNOPSIS: In this post-Celtic Tiger Ireland comedy of manners, the bankrupt middle classes cling to the civility of social rituals like to book clubs. Formerly the last bastion of female exclusivity, husbands are invited to participate in a social experiment which goes disastrously wrong. In this satire the surface veneer of normality is penetrated by resentment, adultery, repression and violence. By the end of the evening civility has been tenuously re-established and relationships somewhat restored, but it is unlikely that the men will ever be invited to another meeting of the Bookworms.


AUDITION DATES: Tuesday August 12 (7.30 – 10pm) and Thursday August 14 (7.30 – 10.00pm)
CALLBACKS: Tuesday August 19 (7.30 – 10pm)
ANN (playing age 40)-Homemaker. Attractive, insecure, determined, repressed.
LARRY (playing age 50)-Builder. Gruff, down-to-earth, pleasant.
AISLING (playing age 18) – Student. Spoiled gap-year backpacker. All appearances are via Skype.
DOROTHY (playing age 60)-Widow. Refined, nervous and obsessed by Virginia Woolf.
ROBERT (playing age 45)-Banker. Alpha male, assured, aggressive.
JENNIFER (playing age 30s)-Teacher. Confident, controlling, energetic.
VINCENT (playing age 50s)-Recluse. Timid, but with a terrible inner rage.


1. Please contact producer Jim Ivers by email ( or phone 416-624-3379

to book an audition.
2. Please forward a recent performance resume & headshot.
3. If the director is not familiar with your work, please prepare a monologue (maximum 2 minutes), preferably comic.
4. Please be prepared to present a cold read from the script.
Auditions & Rehearsals will be held at Kimbourne Church, 200 Wolverleigh Boulevard, Toronto (a short walk northeast of the Coxwell subway station at Danforth & Coxwell).


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Accessibility renos, Phase II

Yep, they’re underway!  Our historic building at 70 Berkeley  is closed to outside visitors and renters for the summer.  The renos are tentatively scheduled to be complete just after Labour Day, in time for our September 26 season opener, George F. Walker‘s Escape From Happiness, directed by Andrea Wasserman.

This photo (snapped by Director of Marketing Chloe Whitehorn) was taken from outside the building.  She was on the sidewalk looking through the window closest to where the stairs would have been.  The Box Office is gone – it would be where the scaffolding is, on the right.  The wall separating Box Office and Main Stage is also gone.

Accessibility renovations at Alumnae Theatre - upper lobby.   Photo by Chloe Whitehorn, July 1, 2014.

Accessibility renovations underway at Alumnae Theatre – upper lobby. Photo by Chloe Whitehorn, July 1, 2014.

The goal of Phase II is for patrons with mobility issues to be able to use the front entrance without having to climb  stairs.  To accomplish that, the main entrance is being revised, and the whole upper lobby will be lowered to the ground, eliminating the storage space underneath.

Last summer’s Phase I of the renovations used up some backstage real estate to create a new accessible washroom, revise the two existing washrooms, and punch a doorway in the wall between auditorium and lower lobby.  Patrons who could not use the stairs at the main entrance were always welcome to use the existing ground-level side entrance.

Come back and check us out in late September!

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Toronto Fringe: A funny, charming ‘what if’ tale of Dorothy & friends in Emerald City – A musical play


Darren Stewart-Jones’ Emerald City at the Toronto Fringe.

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:

emerald_cityEver wonder what happened to Dorothy and the Oz gang after she returned to Kansas? Well, wonder no more. Baby Gumm Productions presents Darren Stewart-Jones’ Emerald City – A musical play (based on the beloved Wizard of Oz characters by L. Frank Baum) at the Tarragon Main Space as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.

As our story opens, life is not so much fun for Dorothy (Christie Stewart), Scarecrow (Christopher Vergara), Tin Man (Matthew Fuller) and Lion (Dillan Chiblow), as each struggles with his/her life problems. And Glinda (Rory Bray), once Dot’s BFF, is too busy with her new career as a super model to spend time with her friend. As the show progresses, we follow Dorothy and her trio of intrepid Oz pals through a group therapy session with the invisible Dr. Oz, as – through song and dance – their troubles and secrets are revealed.


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Toronto Fringe: Sharp-witted, informative & moving story of the fight for the lumpectomy in Radical


Developed from a staged reading at Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival in March 2015, Charles Hayter’s Radical is an important piece of Canadian medical history. Running to July 13 at Tarragon Main Space in Toronto Fringe.

Originally posted on life with more cowbell:

radical.web_-250x250So what if I told you that, up until the 70s, radical mastectomy was the go-to procedure for Stage One breast cancer (e.g., a pea-sized tumor)? You’d likely be a bit shocked, puzzled and possibly enraged. Right? I know I was.

Playwright/oncologist Charles Hayter’s play Radical – developed and presented as a reading at Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival in March, and currently running in the Toronto Fringe Festival – tells the true-life story of Dr. Vera Peters, a Princess Margaret Hospital oncologist who fought for an alternative procedure, the lumpectomy, where only the tumor is removed.

Directed by Edgar Chua, Radical has a fine cast: Jane Smythe gives a very strong performance as the sharp, wry-witted and kind workaholic Peters; and Susan Q. Wilson is a picture of efficiency and protective concern as Peters’ nurse colleague Helen. Sheila Russell is a force to be reckoned with as the…

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“Emerald City” – a musical play at Fringe

Darren Stewart-Jones, producer of the annual Gay Play Day Festival, which has been staged each September in Alumnae Theatre’s Studio since 2012, has written and directed a Fringe show.

Opening tonight at 10:30 pm!Emerald City - directed by Darren Stewart-Jones

Emerald City – directed by Darren Stewart-Jones

It’s a “wicked” Wizard of Oz sequel titled Emerald City – A Musical Play.  Dorothy and her friends take a detour off the yellow brick road and find themselves in group therapy with Dr. Oz, Psychiatrist, figuring out life in the Emerald City one step at a time.

Dorothy: Christie Stewart
Tin Man: Matthew Fuller
Scarecrow: Chris Vergara
Lion: Dillan Chiblow
Glinda: Rory Bray

Conceived & Directed by Darren Stewart-Jones
Music direction by Nicole Byblow
Choreography by Allison Beula

Show times/dates:
Thu July 3 at 10:30pm
Sat July 5 at 3:30pm
Mon July 7 at 6:15pm
Wed July 9 at 7:30pm
Fri July 11 at noon
Sat July 12 at 6:15pm
Sun July 13 at 4:30pm

Tickets are $10 at the door or $12 in advance at or by phone at 416 966-1062.

Remember that the new Fringe policy is to make 100% of the tickets available for advance purchase.  Darren advises that Emerald City is in one of the larger Fringe venues, so some tickets should still be available at the door even if you have not purchased in advance.

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