Write Now! is coming Oct 23… Stay tuned.

Write Now! is coming!  The annual challenge spearheaded by Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Play Development group (NPD) sees company members take on a weekend project: to write a 10-minute play based on a subject or prompt that they only receive on the Friday evening.  The finished scripts must be electronically submitted by noon on the Sunday.

A week later, the plays (having been assigned directors and actors) are presented as free staged readings before an audience.

This year, the challenge/subject/prompt will be revealed to participating writers  on Oct 14, and they must  turn in their scripts by Oct 16.

The *free* readings will be in the Studio on Sunday, October 23 beginning at 2 p.m.

Stay tuned!

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Filed under 2016/17 season, NPD readings

Audition notice for “The Gut Girls” (2016/17 Retrospective Choice)

Back in our 1997/98 season, Alumnae Theatre Company staged British writer Sarah Daniels’ 1988 dramedy about the young women who worked in the bloody ‘gutting sheds’ of Victorian London, The Gut Girls.  It was directed by Jane Carnwath, and performed in the intimate 3rd floor Studio space, complete with realistic pig carcasses, spewing intestines.

gut-girls-image Nineteen years later, as part of the Countdown to our 100th season – the company hits the century mark in February 2018! – we present The Gut Girls as our Retrospective Production of the 2016/17 season.  This time, it will be played on the Main Stage, directed by Maya Rabinovitch, and I don’t know about the pig carcasses!

Here’s the audition notice:

The Gut Girls

By Sarah Daniels

Directed by Maya Rabinovitch

Performance dates: January 20 – February 4, 2017

Surprisingly funny and hard-hitting, this beautifully written piece follows the fortunes of the brash and proud working-class “gut girls”.

When the gutting sheds are shut and their way of life disappears, the girls must try and find a place in the new world order of late Victorian London.

Alumnae Theatre Company seeks:

6 women (ages 15-60)

2 men (ages 20 – 60)

 To play multiple roles in this sharp comedy about rotting meat and workers’ rights, where Margaret Thatcher meets Victorian England.

Please note: all actors must be able to perform with a formal and/or cockney British accent.  The ability to sing is an asset.


All interested applicants should email gutgirls.alumnaetheatre@gmail.com or leave a message on the Alumnae audition line at 416-364-4170, xtn 3.


Wednesday October 5th –  6:30 – 10pm

Saturday October 8th –  10am – 5pm

Callbacks: Sunday October 9th – 10am – 5pm



Alumnae Theatre: 70 Berkeley St. (SW corner of Berkeley & Adelaide), Toronto


Please prepare a 2 minute monologue. You may also be asked to read from the script.

Please read the play before auditioning. Reading copies are available at the 5th floor Performing Arts desk of the Toronto Reference Library.

All auditioners must bring a photo and résumé to the audition.


Alumnae Theatre is a non-professional theatre company which encourages diversity in its membership and casting.  Please note that this is a non-union and non-paying engagement.

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Filed under 2016/17 season, The Gut Girls

Love & loss, assumptions & perspectives in sharp, touching, painfully funny This

life with more cowbell

this-1-marrelljane-icecream-lowres Audra Yulanda Gray & Amanda Jane Smith in This – photos by Bruce Peters

Alumnae Theatre Company opened its 2016-17 season with Melissa James Gibson’s This, directed by Rebecca Ballarin, on the Mainstage on Friday night. I caught the matinée yesterday afternoon.

Four college friends, now in their late 30s, share life, love and loss in this poignant, sometimes wacky tale of relationships, and navigating life’s changes and chaos. New parents Marrell (Audra Yulanda Gray) and Tom (Andrew Batten) struggle with sleepless, sexless nights while their friend Jane (Amanda Jane Smith) deals with being a widow and single mom. Meanwhile, their single gay friend Alan (Michael Harvey), whose exceptional memory has earned him a career as a mnemonist, is itching for a new job. Marrell’s attempt to set Jane up with French doctor Jean Pierre (Christian Martel) at a dinner party has an unexpected outcome and, coupled with various…

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In memoriam: Ed Rosing

A lovely tribute to a talented theatre artist. Bon voyage, Ed.

life with more cowbell

SAMSUNG Ed Rosing – during a break in scenic painting on The Lady’s Not For Burning at Alumnae Theatre

Ed Rosing

March 11, 1929 – September 12, 2016

Ed Rosing (aka Eddie, Eduardo) was a creative soul with a quick, sharp wit, and a great love of classical music, opera and theatre. He played piano, was an original founding member of Cabbagetown Theatre, and worked as a respected interior decorator (into his late 80s, he still had two clients!), as well as a theatre set and lighting designer, scenic artist and director.

2013-12-30-16-01-05 Ed and Cody Boyd, working on the lighting for The Lady’s Not For Burning at Alumnae Theatre

I met Ed at Alumnae Theatre and got to know him during a production of Lady Windermere’s Fan, where he was the lighting designer and I was playing Cecil Graham. His gorgeous lighting plot included a gradual sunset during the opening scenes…

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September 19, 2016 · 3:34 pm

“The Ugly”: staged reading at Nightwood Theatre, Sept 20

Alumnae Theatre Company member Tabitha Keast’s play The Ugly was originally only 10 minutes long (but every minute was economically used, to disturbing effect!), and was part of the InspiraTO Festival in 2015, on the Main Stage at Alumnae Theatre.


Tabitha and her script were then accepted into Nightwood Theatre’s Write From The Hip program, and she’s spent a year working with dramaturg Andrea Donaldson.  The story is now expanded, and runs approx. 45 minutes.


The Ugly will be presented as a staged reading on Tue Sept 20, part of Nightwood Theatre’s annual Groundswell Festival.  The full festival runs Monday Sept 19 – Saturday Sept 24.



The Ugly details:

PLOT SYNOPSIS:  In 2014 a provincial task force was created to review and update the laws relating to sexual misconduct by physicians. This was the third task force since 1991. The ugly truth is that doctors found criminally responsible for sexual abuse can still practice medicine in Ontario. How does a woman react to being raped by someone whom she is expected to implicitly trust?

WHEN:  7pm on Tue Sept 20

WHERE:  Ernest Balmer Studio in the Distillery District (Toronto).  9 Trinity St., 3rd floor, Studio #315.



FYI – the task force (and the frustration of its chair, Marilou McPhedran, who has been making the same recommendations for 16 years) has been in the news recently – for more info, see :

JULY 13:  https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/07/13/task-force-report-on-medical-regulatory-bodies-kept-secret-over-defamation-concerns.html


JULY 18:  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2016/07/18/release-task-force-report-on-sexual-assaults-by-doctors-editorial.html


SEPT 8:  https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/09/08/task-force-calls-for-independent-body-to-probe-alleged-sex-abuse-by-doctors.html


SEPT 10:  https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/09/10/why-doesnt-province-care-about-sex-assault-of-most-vulnerable-porter.html

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New Ideas Festival 2017: 12 days to script submission deadline

Twelve days from now – on September 5 – the window closes for writers considering submitting their short stage plays to Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival 2017.


That’s writers from anywhere in the world, and short scripts (max 40 mins) on any subject/style, as long as they have NOT been previously produced (the festival is called “New Ideas” – see?).  And there is no submission fee.


Check out the July 5 blog post https://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/new-ideas-festival-2017-call-for-scripts-is-now/  for full guidelines, or click on the OPPORTUNITIES tab on our website: http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/submission-calls.html


Don‘t let that window close!

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Filed under 2016/17 season, New Ideas Festival 2017

Audition notice for FireWorks 2016

Alumnae Theatre Company is holding auditions Sept 6 – 10 for the three full-length plays in this year’s FireWorks series.  Rehearsals begin October 3.  Each play runs for one week in November:

Image/design by Suzanne Courtney.

Image/design by Suzanne Courtney.

The Creases in my Sari, by Sindhuri Nandhakumar.  Directed by Kimberley Radmacher :  Nov 9 – 13;

Inked Heart, by D.J. Sylvis. Directed by Pam Redfern: Nov 16 – 20;

Motherland, by Kristine Greenaway.  Directed by Andreja Kovac: Nov 23 – 27.

To request an audition, please email:     FWauditions@gmail.com.


THE CREASES IN MY SARI, by Sindhuri Nandhakumar.  Directed by Kimberley Radmacher.  Nov 9 – 13

Two young Sri Lankan immigrants from warring factions want to marry.  Will they find their place – and their love – in the midst of the political turmoil that threatens to drive them apart, even in Toronto?  A perceptive and poetic light on Toronto’s Sri Lankan community.


Maheshwari (Mahesh) – F, early 20s.  South Asian (Tamil,) born in Sri Lanka, grew up in West Toronto. Self-confident, well-spoken and educated. Close to her single mother (Rani) who raised her alone, but at odds with her mother over cultural memory. Mahesh is coming of age and searching for her roots.


Rani – F, mid-40s.  Mahesh’s mother.  South Asian (Tamil), left Sri Lanka with her infant daughter for a new life in Canada. Determined and strong-willed, she insists that she and her daughter assimilate to Canadian culture. Still she hasn’t let go of her past quite so much as she would have Mahesh believe. She holds a deep secret.


Chanaka – M, mid-20s.  South Asian (Sinhalese) newly arrived from Sri Lanka. Holds a post-doctoral fellowship at U of T. A bit bewildered by North American culture, he is well-spoken and romantic. Though somewhat oblivious to his privileged position in Sri Lanka, he is sensitive and devoted to Mahesh.


Praveen – M, early 20s.  South Asian (Tamil). A longtime friend of Mahesh and a master’s student, He has the energy and dedication of the new activist, and sees the world in black-and-white. Charismatic and passionate, potentially a powerful political leader.

Actors may be asked to do a movement/mime sequence, so please wear comfortable clothes and shoes.



INKED HEART, by D.J. Sylvis.  Directed by Pam Redfern. Nov 16 – 20

Ed, a tattoo artist who aspires to greatness as a painter, struggles with the breakup of his marriage, spars with his sassy goth-girl apprentice, who has her own story.  Will he be able to create his art for his upcoming gallery show surrounded by the complicated folk who bring their own secret agendas to hang out at his tattoo parlour?


Ed – M, 40s.  Owner of a tattoo parlour, heavily inked himself.  A tough exterior, sharp tongue and ready wit mask his sensitivity and the pain of his disintegrating marriage.  Aspires to be a painter.


Josie – F, 20s.  Ed’s apprentice, smart, sassy.  A blunt, take-no-prisoners sharpness and wit hide her longing for connection and affirmation.


Bette – F, 60s.  Fit, intellectually and emotionally youthful.  Josie calls her a “hippie grandma”.  Has her own reasons for hanging out in the tattoo parlour.


Angela – F, 30s.  Assistant at the art gallery where Ed’s work is to be shown.  Needs the show to                be a success, for Ed and for herself.  Shy, but with a sense of style with which she masks and defies her demons.


Guy – M, 20s.  College student, has won a tattoo on a bet.  Awkward, entitled, tends to blunder into situations of which he’s completely oblivious.




MOTHERLAND, by Kristine Greenaway.  Directed by Andreja Kovac. Nov 23 – 27

A young Armenian actor-musician struggles to make a life for himself as an artist.  Will the free-spirited young French woman who believes in him give him the strength to break free from the mother who desperately plots to keep him tied to her?


Davit – M, 25-35.  Gifted Armenian actor-musician, lives with his mother to whom he’s tied economically and emotionally.  He earns a precarious living by juggling a string of small jobs – voice-over artist, usher, composer, actor.  He longs for his own home and freedom to be a man.  (NOTE: Actors auditioning for this role must be able to sing.  Ability to play an instrument is an asset)


Ana – F, 45-60.  Davit’s mother, clever, charming, needy.  A librarian who lost her job because of her outspokenness and demands for respect. She now sits at home and smokes. Her life revolves around Davit. She fears being left alone and will stop at nothing to keep her son with her.


Line – F, 25-30.  French, colourful, free-spirited, ambitious.  A business-school dropout, she’s an aspiring project manager at a film bureau.  When she meets Davit, she falls for him both romantically and as an actor whose career she wants to manage.


Arman – M, 20-30.  Perceptive, sardonic, dismissive of traditional values. A business school student and            Line’s friend, he’s outspoken about his gayness.



 AUDITIONS will be held September 6 – 10 at Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street (at Adelaide), Toronto.

CALLBACKS (conducted separately for each play):  September 12 – 17.

The scripts are available at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., 5th floor, Performance Desk.


TO REQUEST AN AUDITION, please email:     FWauditions@gmail.com

Be sure to include your RESUME, HEADSHOT, AGE RANGE and PHONE NUMBER, and indicate which play/character you wish to audition for.  Candidates chosen to audition will be asked to prepare a 2 – 3 minute contemporary monologue.  Directors from more than one play may be present at the audition.

This is a non-paying, non-union engagement.

For more info on the plays, check out the April 22 post, Directors Call for FireWorks:

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Filed under 2016/17 season, FireWorks 2016