Category Archives: News

Remembering Nonnie Griffin

Remembering the remarkable actress* and writer, Nonnie Griffin, who died unexpectedly on June 7, 2019.

*she insisted on the feminine version – hated being referred to as an “actor”!

life with more cowbell

Photo from Bluffs Monitor.

Nonnie Griffin and I became mutual fans, from opposite sides of the stage, while working on two different productions at Alumnae Theatre in 2008: she as the formidable Irish matriarch in Lucy Brennan’s Daughter of the House and I as the compassionate, no-nonsense oncology nurse in Margaret Edson’s Wit.

I had the pleasure of seeing and reviewing Nonnie’s work in the years that followed; and particularly enjoyed her own one-woman shows Sister Annunciata’s Secret and Marilyn—After, both brave, resonant portraits of older women navigating life’s joys and heartbreaks. And she came out with two friends to see me perform in The Sad Blisters this past April (on Easter Sunday); she enjoyed the show very much and sent me a lovely email, along with a big virtual hug.

Nonnie was to launch her new one-woman show, Before Scarlett—about the creation of Gone with the…

View original post 53 more words

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under News

A family confronted with its own #MeToo secret in the complex, honest Lies and Consequences

Alumnae Theatre Company member Carol Libman‘s play “Lies and Consequences” is staged at RED Sandcastle Theatre, April 30-May 5, 2019. Directed by fellow company member Jeanette Dagger.

life with more cowbell

You can’t change the past, but you can share it.

Rare Day Projects presents Carol Libman’s Lies and Consequences, directed by Jeanette Dagger and running this week only at Red Sandcastle Theatre. With the genesis of the play occurring well before the emergence of the #MeToo movement, playwright Libman was inspired to return to it and complete the script—and tell this story.

Lauded popular author Martha (Tara Baxendale) is under pressure to complete her next novel, inspired by Catherine the Great, as she juggles the scheduling nightmare that is her professional and personal life. Struggling with writer’s block, but looking forward to catching up with her sister Cathy (Martha Breen) at an upcoming weekend of celebration around her cousin/BFF Peter’s (Ryan Bannon) science award ceremony, she’s suddenly thrown back into the past when a drunken make-out session with her journalist boyfriend Andre (Derek Perks) goes from clumsily enthusiastic…

View original post 538 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under News

The Sad Blisters: April 12-27 at The Commons

 

World premiere production of Andrew Batten’s “The Sad Blisters”.
Poster Design: Vic Finucci

Director Victoria Shepherd is a member of Alumnae Theatre Company. Andrew Batten made numerous appearances of Alumnae’s stages, including “Lady Windermere’s Fan” (2007), “Hedda Gabler” (2010),”Sylvia” (2011), “A Woman of No Importance” (2013), “This“, and “August: Osage County” (both in 2016).  His play “Or Not To Be” was staged in New Ideas Festival 2017.

The April 2019 production of “The Sad Blisters” is its world premiere.

life with more cowbell

Poking my head out of hiatus to jump onto the blog with details of Glass Hammer Productions’ upcoming run of Andrew Batten’s The Sad Blisters, directed by Victoria Shepherd, and featuring Bonnie Gray, Andrea Lyons, Anne McDougall, myself and Esther Thibault.

It’s a hilarious, poignant dramedy about family, memory, love—and a wedding!

The Sad Blisters runs April 12-27 at The Commons (587a College St., Toronto). Performances run Thur/Fri/Sat at 8pm, with matinees Sat & Sun at 2pm. Running time: approx. 80 mins. Tickets: $20 regular; $15 student/senior/arts worker. CASH ONLY at the door.

Check the Facebook event page for more info, photos and wedding anecdotes, as well as advance ticket purchase (Brown Paper Tickets link pending as of this posting; in the meantime, there’s a reservations email).

I’m honoured and happy to be working with this team of amazing, talented theatre artists. Hope you can join us!

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under 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

Leave a comment

Filed under News

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/

Leave a comment

Filed under 2016/17 season, 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

image

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,”…

View original post 952 more words

Leave a comment

March 10, 2017 · 10:07 pm