In search of a stage dog – Frances & Marybeth (March 5-18, Factory Studio Theatre)

Are you a doting Toronto-based stage parent to a small dog?  Well, here’s your chance to get that puppy on stage! 

This casting call comes via Carolyn Hall, who played the beautiful but scheming Miss Bingley in Alumnae Theatre’s hugely successful production of Pride & Prejudice in January 2009.  She also appeared in the world premiere of a charming comedy called Frances & Marybeth, written by Neale Kimmel, at New Ideas Festival 2011.  That short piece has been expanded into a full-length play and will be mounted at the Factory Studio Theatre (directed by Heather Keith) for a two-week run in March 2012.   Congratulations, ladies!  And now the doggie casting call:

The producers of Frances & Marybeth, a comedy first staged at Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival in 2011 and soon to be mounted at the Factory Studio Theatre, are hoping to make contact with an enthusiastic member of the theatre community who is the owner of a small, well-trained, affable pup.

It can be anywhere in size from a chihuahua to a cocker
spaniel — small enough for an actress to comfortably hold in her arms, with no danger of it struggling out of her loving grasp.

The rôle is a brief cameo of about minute in length.  The dog would be held in the arms of one actress the entire time, who would make a simple cross of the stage during some dialogue.

This would require a two-week commitment on the part of the dog-owner, who would be needed at the theatre at various times nearly every day between March 5-18.  The dog does not appear until the second act, so once we establish the timing of the show, we would need for the owner to arrive at a specific time during each performance and stay backstage for about half an hour.

We realize this is a huge commitment for a volunteer (the whole
production is an unpaid enterprise), so if you and your pet fit the bill but can commit to only half the run, we are happy to consider a “double-casting” of the canine rôle.

Our ideal human candidate would be someone with the kind of time to comfortably devote to this, who is familiar with the backstage world of the theatre and keen to help out young artists.  Our ideal canine candidate would be, as stated above, small, well-trained and easy-going.  If the dog is male, so much the better!  It’s perfectly alright if the dog barks onstage, but we would of course have to ensure that it doesn’t bark backstage.

The existence of the dog is a surprise to the audience, and one of the key jokes in our play.  We would be eternally grateful to anyone who could help us out!

If you or someone you know is interested, please send a message to


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