Tag Archives: Catherine Frid

New Ideas Festival: Heart beats, blue feels & the big sleep in trippy, darkly funny Week Three program

Review of New Ideas Festival 2017 – Week Three.
Main program (4 short plays) runs to Sunday, March 26, with a one-time staged reading of Catherine Frid‘s Thistlepatch on Saturday at noon.

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Alumnae Theatre Company continues its 2017 edition of the New Ideas Festival (NIF) with a trippy, darkly funny Week Three program, the final week of the fest. The annual festival includes three weeks of short new plays and full-length readings, including four plays and one reading each week, running in the Studio space.

Beat by Dale Sheldrake, directed by Josh Downing. Alone and injured following a near fatal car crash, Evelyn 1 (Jackie Mahoney) is beside herself, as she listens to her heart/inner voice (Evelyn 2: Laurel Schell). Taking stock of her life as she waits for help to arrive, she’s forced to face her inner demons and addictions. Darkly funny, sharp and theatrical; with some lovely spoken word dialogue and strong performances from Mahoney and Schell.

The Ballad of Sadie Wong by Andrew Lee, directed by Cassidy Sadler. Film noir detective story meets modern-day romance when day-dreamy…

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Filed under 2016/17 season, New Ideas Festival 2017

Playwright Profile: Catherine Frid

Playwrights Guild of Canada posted the latest edition of a feature called “Follow the Playwright” on their website today.  The subject is Catherine Frid, a member of both Alumnae Theatre Company and Playwrights Guild of Canada.  Frid’s long one-act play Burying Toni was presented last November as part of Alumnae’s FireWorks series, and a shorter work, (En)Lightning, is upcoming in Week Two (March 18 – 22) of the New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre.

Here’s the link to PGC piece:



and here’s some info about (En)Lightning at the New Ideas Festival:


New Ideas Festival runs March 11 – 29, with 15 short works making their world premieres.  It’s a different lineup each week – come check them out!  Tickets $15 per week, or $40 for a Festival Pass.  http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/tickets.html



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Filed under 2014/15 Season, FireWorks 2014, New Ideas Festival 2015

New Ideas Festival 2015 lineup, etc.

Auditions for the 2015 New Ideas Festival take place January 7-11. To book a slot, please see the instructions at http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/auditions.html

To brush up on audition tips, it couldn’t hurt to read this post from 2013 –https://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/tips-for-actors-from-now-completed-new-ideas-festival-2013-general-auditions/

New Ideas 2015 imageAnd now – the lineup for the 2015 Festival.   Plays and writers and directors, oh, my!   The names in bold font are members of Alumnae Theatre Company.

 Week 1 – March 11 – 15, 2015

Inheritance by Tabitha Keast, directed by Matthew Hines

The Indigo Forest by Bridget Erin, directed by Sandra Banman

Lost Connection by Lindsay Finnie, directed by Zita Nyarady

Devices by Meredith Taylor-Parry, directed by Ingryd Pleitez

Saturday Reading: Surrender Dorothy by Liz Best, directed by Eric Benson.


Week 2 – March 18 – 22, 2015

(En)Lightning by Catherine Frid, directed by Sandra Burley

Canis familiaris by Carolyn Bennett, directed by Brenda Darling

Sandworms! by D.J. Sylvis, directed by Stacy Halloran

You Can Ask Me How I’m Doing by Norman Yeung, directed by Meg Moran

Saturday Reading: Buy My House by Natalie Frijia, directed by Emily Nixon.


Week 3 – March 25 – 29, 2015

Rowing, Onward by Eugenie Carabatsos, directed by Anne MacMillan

Grief Circus by Crystal Wood, directed by Kelsey Laine Jacobson

A Death and the Marias by Rose Napoli, directed by Clara McBride

Friends with Benefits by Neil Naft, directed by Donald Molnar

Saturday Reading: The Creases in My Sari by Sindhuri Nandhakumar, directed by Joanne Williams.


New Ideas Festival Co-Artistic Director Carolyn Zapf reported that a total of 375 script submissions were received this year – 105 from Canada and 270 from the rest of the world. Most of the international scripts were from writers in the U.S., but we also received scripts from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Bulgaria, and Iran.

Carolyn believes that the “huge increase” in scripts received this year is partly because the submission fee was eliminated (originally free since the Festival’s inception in 1988, $10 per script had been charged for submissions to NIF 2012, 2013 and 2014). There is a movement among playwrights, especially in the United States, to boycott festivals with script submission fees.  Many more Canadian scripts than usual were received this year, which she attributes to some targeted invitations and the article about NIF in the Playwrights Guild of Canada e-journal.

Two of the 15 selected scripts are by U.S. writers: The Indigo Forest by Bridget Erin (Louisiana) and Rowing, Onward by Eugenie Carabatsos (New York).  Of the 13 selected Canadian scripts, all are by writers from Toronto & environs, except Devices by Meredith Taylor-Parry, who is from Calgary.

Three scripts are written by members of Alumnae Theatre Company – note that all submissions are read blind:  Inheritance by Tabitha Keast and Surrender Dorothy by Liz Best in Week 1, and (En)Lightning by Catherine Frid in Week 2.  Catherine is a 3-time NIF veteran; Tabitha and Liz are experienced actors, but these are the first plays they have written. Congrats, ladies!


In addition to Catherine Frid (Buff – 2010, Over the Edge – 2013; Burying Toni – FireWorks 2014), several other writers from prior years also have plays in NIF 2015:

Norman Yeung (see Week 2) – his play Theory was workshopped in NIF in 2010, expanded and remounted later that year in the SummerWorks Festival, and then staged as part of Alumnae Theatre Company’s first FireWorks festival in 2013.

D.J. Sylvis (see Week 2) – three previous NIF plays:  Godzilla on Sundays (2008), Chance (2009), and Act I of An Inked Heart (2010).

Eugenie Carabatsos (see Week 3) – two previous NIF plays:  In Their Glory (2012), Stalled (2013).


Returning directors are Sandra Banman, Eric Benson, Sandra Burley, Brenda Darling, Stacy Halloran, Anne MacMillan, and Joanne Williams.


New Ideas Festival runs March 11 – 29. Tickets ($15 each week; readings extra) or passes ($40 for everything) can be purchased online at http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/tickets.html


Filed under 2014/15 Season, New Ideas Festival 2015

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 http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/playwrights-intensive.html 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 http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/category/toronto-theatre-contests/

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 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.947601685267809.1073741839.212563355438316&type=1
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 athttps://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.948152735212704.1073741840.212563355438316


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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FireWorks 2014 audition notices

FireWorks 2014 imageFor the second year, Alumnae Theatre Company is presenting the FireWorks series in November, to showcase full-length plays which have been dramaturged by the company’s New Play Development group of playwrights (the NPD).

This year there are two plays – the drama Burying Toni by Catherine Frid, and the comedy You Have To Earn It by Ramona Baillie & Maria Popoff.

FireWorks runs November 12 – 30, 2014.  Auditions for Burying Toni will be held August 11 & 12;  and auditions for You Have To Earn It will be held between August 18 – 22.  Please visit our website  for details.  http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/auditions.html

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Filed under 2014/15 Season, FireWorks 2014

Connections, connections… Help Yourself stars Tim Walker, who appeared in the world premiere of Catherine Frid’s GuineaPigging in April 2011. He is amazing in a totally different role here. Julia Lederer (writer of and one of the actors in With Love And A Major Organ) has written other short plays which premiered in Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival.

life with more cowbell

Hey kids! Missed a really great show at Toronto Fringe? Well, you’ll have another chance to see these at the Best of the Toronto Fringe (July 18 – Aug 3) at the Toronto Centre for the Arts:


Advanced ticket purchases are recommended to avoid disappointment. For the full schedule and tickets, check out the TCA site here: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/Studio-Theatre-at-the-Toronto-Centre-for-the-Arts-tickets-Toronto/venue/131883?brand=tca_studio

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