Blog Archives

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.


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Q&A with Marina Moreira, star of “The Clean House”

Here’s a short Q&A with Toronto-based actor Marina Moreira, who delivers a delightful bilingual (Portugese/English) performance as reluctant house-cleaner Matilde in Sarah Ruhl‘s The Clean House, directed by Ali Joy Richardson.  Ruhl’s play, opening Friday at Alumnae Theatre Company, tells the story of Matilde, an aspiring comedian who moves from Brazil to Connecticut after the unexpected death of her parents to clean the house of two married doctors. It’s soon apparent that she gets swept up in more than just dust bunnies. Moreira, who is Portuguese Canadian, gives us some insight as to what it’s been like to play Matilde.

Q: What has your experience has been like performing in a bilingual play as a bilingual actor?

A: So exciting! I grew up speaking both English and Portuguese, the transition between the two is so natural for me, but I never get to do that on stage. I’m excited because I get to play a character who is connected to my life not only in experience or personality, but also in language. Also, I’m excited that my parents get to come see the show and have a connection to what I do (even though they will likely poke fun at me for being so excited).

Q: What has it been like exploring a character whose cultural background aligns in some ways with your own?

A: Familiar? I don’t know how to explain it. It feels comfortable to speak the language and tell the jokes and not imagine that there is a gap between myself and the character I am playing. I guess seamless is a better word for it.

Q: Is there anything that particularly interests you about the character Matilde?

A: I love her deadpan nature. She is written as a character who is observant and not afraid to share her observations with others. She is much bolder than I am.

Marina and the rest of the cast clean up April 7 – 22!  Performances Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm. Tickets: 2-for-1 Wed; $20 Thu – Sat; PWYC Sun.

Purchase Wed – Sat* tickets online (, or reserve seats via phone (416-364-4170 Box 1) or email ( and pay cash at the door.  Please note that Box Office does not accept credit or debit cards for in-person sales.    *Sunday matinee tickets not available online.


Post-show talkback: Sunday, April 9 following 2pm show

FREE Pre-show event “Laughter Yoga”: Thursday, April 20 at 6:45pm.  See for more info.

Follow us on Twitter: @AlumnaeTheatre #CleanHouseTO


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Filed under 2016/17 season, Clean House

FireWorks series opens Nov 13

Have you heard about the FireWorks happening at Alumnae Theatre? FireWorks started last season – an initiative to showcase full-length plays which have been developed by Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Play Development group of playwrights (the NPD) or which have gone through dramaturgy in Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival.  FireWorks’ mandate is to promote the work inside, around, and after playwriting, and to “pull back the curtain” on the work of bringing new scripts to stage.   Last year it featured three plays, plus associated workshops and panel discussions.

This year, FireWorks presents two plays: the drama Burying Toni by Catherine Frid, and the comedy You Have To Earn It by Ramona Baillie and Maria Popoff.

Plus, in addition to the plays themselves, audiences can attend a couple of fascinating events – included in ticket price! In the “Playwrights Speak” sessions, writers Ramona Baillie, Maria Popoff and Catherine Frid discuss what inspired them, how their scripts evolved and developed from draft to draft, and how they coped with feedback, advice and criticism at various stages.

In the “Roundtables”, audiences can take part in a spirited and provocative symposium.  Scholars and experts, with experience and expertise in the issues raised by the play, will exchange their thoughts with each other and with you.
Instead of a third play, FireWorks producer Dahlia Katz arranged for renowned playwright and director Maja Ardal to conduct a Playwrights’ Intensive series of workshops, on the theme of “There is no such thing as Writer’s Block”.   There was an overwhelming response to this event – only 20 applicants were selected to participate, based on submitted samples of their work. Check out for an idea of what’s going on.

Tickets: $15.00 – Sunday Matinees PWYC – Festival Pass: $25.00
* Note that the ‘Playwrights Speak’ and the ‘Roundtable Sessions’ are free to attend and occur immediately after the matinee performance on the dates noted.
MooneyOnTheatre is currently running a contest to win tickets to either play – check it out at

Here is a little info about the plays, and a schedule of when you can see what!

BURYING TONI by Catherine Frid, directed by Ginette Mohr.
Burying Toni explores the complexities within Emma Jung as she grapples with her history, real and imagined, after 50 years of marriage to psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Emma conjures up her husband, Sigmund Freud, and others as she struggles to understand the truth about her past.  Check out photos at
YOU HAVE TO EARN IT by Ramona Baillie and Maria Popoff, directed by Jennifer Radford.
This madcap roller-coaster ride pays homage to the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s. A philandering boss, a scheming new employee and a wacky mail room clerk, to name just a few, all with hidden agendas. Can the unassuming Betty survive the intrigue of the corporate world?

See photos at


Thursday, November 13, 8pm – Opening Night
Saturday, November 15, 8pm
Sunday, November 16, 2pm
Wednesday, November 19, 8pm
Friday, November 21, 8pm
Saturday, November 22, 2pm
Thursday, November 27, 8pm
Saturday, November 29, 2pm
*Playwrights Speak
Saturday, November 22
*Roundtable Session
Sunday, November 16
Friday, November 14, 8pm – Opening Night
Saturday, November 15, 2pm
Thursday, November 20, 8pm
Saturday, November 22, 8pm
Sunday, November 23, 2pm
Wednesday, November 26, 8pm
Friday, November 28, 8pm
Saturday, November 29, 8pm
*Playwrights Speak
Saturday, November 15
*Roundtable Session
Sunday, November 23


By the way, when you tweet about what you saw at FireWorks @alumnaetheatre, please use the hashtag #FireWorks2014.

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Filed under 2014/15 Season, FireWorks 2014