Tag Archives: Andrea Irwin

First stumble-through for “The Clean House”, March 21

Bloggergal was a little late arriving, and missed the first few minutes of the stumble-through for The Clean House.  ‘Stumble-through’ is theatre parlance for an early run of the play that is expected to be rough.  In many cases, as with this one, the set is not finished; there is minimal tech (essential music cues were provided courtesy of director Ali Joy Richardson’s laptop; and she read out the content of lines that will be projected on the backdrop) or props; and actors are not completely off-book (there were a few calls for “Line!”, which stage manager Lizz Armstrong provided).

Virginia (Annemieke Wade – standing) tries to comfort her sister Lane (Andrea Irwin) in rehearsal shot from “The Clean House”.
Photo: Laura Jabalee Johnston

The other team members in the audience were Assistant Director Nevada Banks, props designer Helen Monroe, set designer Orly Zebak, lighting designer Steph Raposo, set construction assistant Lucy McPhee, sound designer Nick Potter, and producer Laura Jabalee Johnston.

Bloggergal spent much of Act I (which Lizz estimates will run about 50 minutes) noting funny dialogue exchanges – like these, between Matilde (Marina Moreira), an aspiring comedian from Brazil, currently working as a housekeeper in Connecticut.  She is speaking with her employer’s sister, Virginia (Annemieke Wade):

MATILDE (confessing):    I don’t like to clean so much.

VIRGINIA:            I like cleaning.

MATILDE:            Why?

……..

MATILDE:            Do you want to hear a joke?

VIRGINIA:            Not really.

MATILDE:            Why not?

VIRGINIA:            I don’t like to laugh out loud.

Then there was the heartbreaking monologue delivered by Virginia’s sister/Matilde’s employer, Lane (Andrea Irwin), when she learns that her husband is having an affair.  “This is how I imagine my husband and his new wife,” she tells us, as Charles (Neil Silcox) and Ana (Lilia Leon) twine lovingly on a riser* at stage left.      Matilde can see this vision.  “Who are they?” she asks Lane.  “Just my husband and the woman he loves,” Lane replies.  “Don’t worry, they’re only in my imagination.”

In Act II, Neil as the cheating hubby did a very funny striptease as he attempted to join ladylove Ana for a swim – he had not practiced removing all the necessary parts of his costume!  “Just take off the belt,” recommended director Ali.  So Neil whipped off his belt and flourished it dramatically, causing bloggergal and AD Nevada to dissolve into giggles.

Annemieke personified gleeful joy as she… – well, let’s just say she lets loose and does something quite out of character (but scripted) for clean-freak Virginia!

At one point, Lane and Ana were on the balcony, but missing a crucial prop.  Ali called backstage: “Neil, could you just run the fishbowl out?”  But he didn’t just bring the thing out and plunk it down, oh no.  He entered all bundled up in his costume for a later scene, making wind-whooshing noises, and delivered the bowl with another dramatic flourish.  More cracking up ensued in the audience; the actors displayed impressive focus and kept straight faces.

Director Ali Joy Richardson (centre – in dark sweater, back to camera) and assistant director Nevada Banks (left – in horse sweater) give notes to cast of “The Clean House” following March 21 stumble-through. L-R: Lilia Leon, Neil Silcox, Andrea Irwin, Marina Moreira, Annemieke Wade. Photo: Laura Jabalee Johnston.

A delightful taste of what’s to come – in 2-1/2 weeks!

In this script, playwright Sarah Ruhl is a master at making the audience snort with laughter one moment, and be on the verge of tears the next.

The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl runs April 7-22 at Alumnae Theatre.

See http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/the-clean-house.html for team bios and photos, and to purchase tickets.  Also visit the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1301005259957126/

 

       *the riser is standing in tonight for what will become a balcony!

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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

First read-through of “The Clean House”, Feb 21

Last night in the lobby* of Alumnae Theatre, director Ali Richardson presented her cast doing a first read-through of the script of The Clean House, the final show in Alumnae Theatre Company’s season.  It was the first time many of the cast had met, but they did an amazing job, aided by producer Laura Jabalee Johnston’s reading of the often-funny stage directions.  Also present for this first read were set designer Orly Zebak, costume designer Daina Valiulis, props designer Helen Monroe, and sound designer Nick Potter.   Stage Manager Lizz Armstrong and Production Manager/lighting designer Steph Raposo unfortunately could not be there; they’re currently working on other shows.  Several Alumnae Theatre Company reps attended by invitation, including bloggergal (yours truly), Alumnae’s President Brenda Darling, and marketing team members Carina Cojeen (who took the photo) and Jeanette Dagger.

Sarah Ruhl’s delightful and semi-mystical play The Clean House was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

L-R: Annemieke Wade (Virginia), Lilia Leon (Ana), Andrea Irwin (Lane), Marina Moreira (Matilde), Laura Jabalee Johnston (producer), Ali Richardson (director) at the first read. Neil Silcox (Charles) would be at far left. Photo: Carina Cojeen.

L-R: Annemieke Wade (Virginia), Lilia Leon (Ana), Andrea Irwin (Lane), Marina Moreira (Matilde), Laura Jabalee Johnston (producer), Ali Richardson (director) at the first read. Neil Silcox (Charles) would be at far left. Photo: Carina Cojeen.

In it, Lane (played by Andrea Irwin) is a buttoned-up workaholic Connecticut doctor who hires a young Brazilian woman, Matilde (Marina Moreira) as her housekeeper.  But Matilde (the Portugese pronounciation is approximately “ma-chil-jee”) hates to clean – she’d rather spend her time coming up with the perfect joke.  Lane’s sister, Virginia (Annemieke Wade), a bored but smart-mouthed stay-at-home wife, is a confidante to both.   Lane’s surgeon husband Charles (Neil Silcox) is mentioned, but conspicuously absent for almost all of Act I.  He shows up in Act II, falling madly in love with one of his patients, Ana (Lilia Leon).  The resulting love triangle was played out both comically and with deep emotion – a beautiful balancing act by the actors, especially at this early stage.

 

Looking forward to seeing this production as it develops in rehearsals!  The finished article will be presented on the Main Stage at Alumnae Theatre, April 7 – 22.

See the Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/1301005259957126/) and Alumnae Theatre website for more info and news.

PERFORMANCES:  Wed – Sat at 8pm; Sun 2pm.

TICKETS:  2-for-1 Wed; $20 on Thu/Fri/Sat; PWYC Sun.
Purchase online in advance (http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/tickets.html), or reserve and pay cash on arrival.  Please note that in-person sales are cash only; no credit or debit cards accepted at Box Office.
RESERVATIONS: 416-364-4170, Box 1 or reservations@alumnaetheatre.com.

 

*because every other space in the building was in use – no kidding!  Rehearsals for New Ideas Festival (opening March 8) on both the 2nd floor and in the Studio; and Toronto Irish Players are renting the mainstage for The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down (running to March 4).

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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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