Category Archives: News

“Proof” at The Red Sandcastle Theatre: The Review

Alumnae Theatre Company member Carina Cojeen branches out with her own company: Theatre UnBlocked. Their inaugural production, David Auburn’s Proof, runs to March 19 at Red Sandcastle Theatre, and features another Alumnae Theatre Company member, Andrea Irwin, in the cast.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheatreUnBlocked/events/?ref=page_internal

The Entertainment Fairy

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Last night, an opportunity presented itself for me to witness one of my favorite stories brought to life on the Toronto stage. So how could I turn away from that? Walking down through my favorite area of “The Six,“…Queen St East, on a crisp Thursday evening, I was surprised to know that this theatre existed, despite this being a place I often frequent. But there it was…the Red Sandcastle Theatre.

I walked through the signature red entrance, and inside the magic began. New theatre company, Theatre UnBlocked; lead by their creator and producer Carina Cojeen, have decided to bring the public a show that not only has a high degree of relevance today and relatable to many aspects of life, but is a Tony Award winning play and Pultitzer Prize winner also. This show is none other than the wonderful and thought provoking, “PROOF,”…

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March 10, 2017 · 10:07 pm

InspiraTO Festival seeks directors (deadline to apply: Jan 24)

The 12th annual InspiraTO Festival of 10-minute plays runs June 1 – 10, 2017 at Alumnae Theatre in Toronto.  inspirato-2017-imageThis year’s theme is “Grow Up” – although choosing not to grow up means bringing a sense of child-like wonder into our art and life.
16 directors have already been selected for the Festival; 8 plays still require directors.

A Test of Mettle by Steven R Bond. 2 Males. Why do we attach such value to objects from our childhood? A confrontation that goes off- course. Eerie.

 

So Lovely Here On Earth by Mary Portser. 1 Female/ 1 Male. When a college dropout applies for a mission to Mars, she meets resistance from an unlikely source. Ironic.

 

A Complete Set by Jenny Lyn Bader. 2 Females/1 Male. Four chairs sit discarded on a sidewalk. Could they complete an ideal table and harmonious future grown-up life? An imaginative interpretation about trust, aspirations, and the perils of abandoned furniture.

Mother and Daughter by Scott Carter Cooper. 2 Female. A mother is looking forward to building an adult relationship with her daughter, while the daughter has other ideas about what it means to be a grown up.

The Chinese Life Force by Michael McGoldrick. 2 Male. Two old college friends catch up over a friendly game of Scrabble, but ancient rivalries come to the fore. A tale about today’s “man” and the many ways he’s compelled to compete.

Twirling by Karen Loseff Lothan. 1 Female/1 Male. Wisdom can come from the strangest of places. A six year old teaches her father a lesson that warms the soul and opens up the heart.

Grindrd by J. Joseph Cox. 2 Male/ 1 Female. Two teenagers, bent on being treated as grown-ups, discover a jaw-dropping secret that makes them second-guess their own preparedness for being adults. A funny tale about the vagary of sexuality.

Immortals by Noah Habenstreit. 3 Male/ 1 Female. A play about three beings who are able to live forever. One day they find out that’s about to change. The pacing and rhythm of the dialogue is impeccable.

 

Want to direct one?  Here’s what you do – please note that the deadline to submit is Jan. 24, 2017:

  • Read the scripts at :http://www.theatreinspirato.ca/participate/call-for-actors-and-directors
  • Decide which play(s) you’d like to direct. Put them in order of preference. If selected you will only direct one play.
  • Email: inspirato@ca.inter.net. In the subject line write: Direct A Play.  Answer the following questions:

    – your name, phone number and email address
    – Your experience/training/background in directing/performance arts (you may attach a resume if you wish)
    – Your availability (times during the week you are available for auditions and rehearsals)
    AND for each play you would like to direct:
    1) State the name of the play
    2) What interests you about the play
    3) Your approach to directing.

 

NOTICE TO ACTORS: Auditions will be posted in February and take place in March.

 

InspiraTO is a non-union, non-paying event.

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Amicus Fundraiser at Whistler’s

Our friends at Amicus Productions are having a FUN-draiser on Monday night. Great opportunity to support Toronto theatre, and witness some talented folks getting their classics on! PWYC admission.

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Andrea Irwin in “Toronto, Mississippi” at The Box, Oct 20 – Nov 6 (Panfish Productions)

Alumnae Theatre Company member (and newsletter editor!) Andrea Irwin  is performing in Panfish Productions’ presentation of award-winning Canadian playwright Joan MacLeod’s drama Toronto, Mississippi.  It will be staged October 20 – November 6, 2016 at The Box (89 Niagara Street, Toronto), directed by Kitty Laki.

Panfish Productions present Joan MacLeod's "Toronto, Mississippi" (Oct 20 - Nov 6, 2016)

Panfish Productions present Joan MacLeod’s “Toronto, Mississippi” (Oct 20 – Nov 6, 2016)

Bloggergal asked Andrea a few questions…

Q:  How did you get involved with this show and Panfish Productions?

A:  Quite simply, I saw the posting on the CAEA [Canadian Actors Equity Association] e-drive and submitted right away. A strong role for a woman over 30? I’m on it! The show also spoke to me as it deals in part with an individual who is developmentally delayed. I have a family member who happens to be developmentally delayed and can relate to many of the challenges and rewards faced by the characters in the show.

 

Q:  Tell me about the character you play in Toronto, Mississippi.

A:  Maddie is real. She purports to being solid as a rock; she has to be as a working single mom to a teenager with special needs, BUT she’s inextricably drawn to King…yes, her boozing, womanizing, Peter-Pan of an ex-husband. At the same time, she’s best friends with her boarder, Bill; ostensibly the “perfect” match for Maddie and a dedicated father-figure to Jhana. I think she’s at her wit’s end with her life as she knows it…it’s a helluva challenge being the Responsible Adult and it has worn her down.

 

Q:  Who are your co-stars and their characters?

A:  Peter Nelson plays King, Maddie’s ex-husband, father of Jhana.  A touring Elvis impersonator…he loves the ladies and they love him. He’s a part-time dad, but he truly does love his daughter.

Kayla Whalen plays Jhana, 18-year-old daughter of King and Maddie, struggling to be an independent young woman (establishing a work-life and love-life) but with the added challenge of achieving independence with special needs.

Yehuda Fisher plays Bill, boarder in Maddie and Jhana’s home. He connects with Jhana in ways that Maddie can’t. He’s become family…but he doesn’t want to “play” Dad, he wants to be dad to Jhana and a romantic partner to Maddie.

 

Thanks, Andrea!

For some background info, here’s a link to playwright Joan MacLeod’s website: http://www.joanmacleod.com/index.html

 

And this is the link to Facebook event for Panfish Productions’  presentation of Toronto, Mississippi at The Box:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1259743034036507/

Tickets: $25 reg (Tue – Sun); $20 students/seniors/artsworkers.
Monday tickets: PWYC.  Purchase tickets via Panfish Productions website http://www.panfishproductions.ca/

Showtimes:  Oct 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, Nov 3, 4, 5 @ 8:00pm.
Sundays – Oct 23, 30, Nov 6 @ 2:00pm.

FYI – This is a full 2-act play – running time approximately 1.5 hrs including a 15-minute intermission.  The Box (89 Niagara St.) is a small venue with limited seating.

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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.

http://www.nightwoodtheatre.net/index.php/whats_on/groundswell_festival_2016

 

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.

COST:   PWYC.

 

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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Hamilton Fringe preview (ish): Sinners & saints in Sister Annunciata’s Secret

Nonnie Griffin in Sister Annunciata’s Secret at Hamilton Fringe, July 14 – 24, 2016.

life with more cowbell

sister a's secretDuring Toronto Fringe this past week, I bumped into Nonnie Griffin at the Tarragon, where I learned that she’s taking her solo show Sister Annunciata’s Secret (which premiered almost six years ago at The Annex Theatre) to Hamilton Fringe for a run at the Staircase Café Theatre Main Space. The Hamilton Fringe show is produced by Baby Gumm Productions and directed by Darren Stewart-Jones.

I attended a performance during Griffin’s Annex Theatre run, and covered the show for Alumnae Theatre’s blog. Griffin gave a compelling and powerful performance, and the show has been tweaked since its original production for running time.

Hamilton Fringe runs July 14-24 and Sister Annunciata’s Secret runs July 15-24 (see the show page for various dates/times). Highly recommended. Check out the trailer:

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