Category Archives: News

Alumnae Theatre in Doors Open Toronto 2017

Alumnae Theatre in 2013.

In 2017, Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, and Alumnae Theatre Company turns 100 years young next February!

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

Come take a peek inside 70 Berkeley Street during Doors Open Toronto this weekend.

Firemen (with horse-drawn and mechanical fire engines) outside 70 Berkeley Street, circa 1915.

You’ll see photos and a video of the building throughout the years – the present configuration was constructed around 1905, as well as books about architect Ron Thom (who converted the slated-for-demolition building from a firehall to a theatre in 1971-72), and the Toronto Fire Department.

Members of Alumnae Theatre Company will be available to answer questions (ask them if they’ve had contact with our resident ghosts!) and conduct tours to the Studio.

 

Due to rehearsals in the space – hey, it’s a theatre!  InspiraTO Festival opens June 1 – some areas will be off limits (Main auditorium, second floor, Tech booth).  InspiraTO is also using the 3rd floor Studio, but tours will be accommodated at 2:00 and 4:00om on both Saturday and Sunday.

 

Dorothy Clark McClure illustration of Alumnae Theatre, circa 1973.

We encourage visitors to take photos of the architectural features of the building, but please do *not* photograph InspiraTO cast and crew.  When you post your photos on social media, we’d love it if you would tag your photos @alumnaetheatre and @Doors_OpenTO, and use the hashtag #DOT17.

 

Pick up a brochure of our 100th season lineup for 2017/18, and tour the building that’s been our home for 45 years.

We’re open 10am – 5pm on Saturday May 27, and 1 – 5pm on Sunday 28th.

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=42eafa2cd4a64410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

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Tributes to theatre reviewer Jon Kaplan

Toronto theatre reviewer Jon Kaplan died on Friday, April 28.

He was a well-known fixture at many local theatres, large and small, and his reviews were very balanced – if he hated a production, the review usually contained some constructive criticism.  NOW magazine, where he worked for 35 years, has been “flooded with tributes, memories and love” in his honour.  Many theatres published photos of a seat with a “Reserved for Jon Kaplan” sign on it over the weekend. 

https://nowtoronto.com/stage/dim-the-lights-of-every-toronto-theatre-jon-kaplan/?utm_content=buffer664e4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

NOW’s Senior Entertainment Editor Susan G. Cole published a touching tribute to her longtime friend and co-worker on April 28:  https://nowtoronto.com/stage/theatre/in-memoriam-jon-kaplan-1947-2017/

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“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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