Tag Archives: Chloe Whitehorn

New Ideas: The chaotic metaphysics of life, love & monsters in the water in the funny, moving, poetic Week 3 program

life with more cowbell

Alumnae Theatre Company continues its 30th annual New Ideas Festival (NIF) of short new works, opening the Week Three program last night. It’s the final week of the festival, running up in the Alumnae Studio.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Natalie Frijia, directed by Kay Brattan. In 1882 Toronto, 39 people have mysteriously drowned in Lake Ontario—and rumour has it there’s a monster beneath the slate blue water. Rookie reporter Marjorie May (Emma Tse) is determined to get the story, visiting Mary-Anne’s (Stella Kulagowski) pub down by the docks to gather some information. Things get real when they’re joined by the terrified Captain O’Connell (Shawn Lall), who’s barely escaped with his life. As the incoming storm batters the pub, there’s something else out there in the night. Is the creature coming after the Captain to finish what it started?

Nice work from the cast building the intrigue…

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“Divine Wrecks” review

LifeWithMoreCowbell called Chloë Whitehorn’s Divine Wrecks (directed by Pamela Redfern) a “heartbreaking and powerful tale of forbidden love”. Read the whole review at https://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/fireworks-divine-wrecks-a-heartbreaking-powerful-tale-of-forbidden-love-erotic-wickedly-funny-engaging/

This play has 5 more performances – tonight through Saturday at 8pm, also Sat and Sun at 2pm.

Next week Wednesday (Nov 11), the FireWorks series continues with Taylor Marie Graham’s Cottage Radio.

 

TICKETS:   $15 except Sun – PWYC.

Purchase tickets online (except for Sunday PWYC matinees) or reserve seats and pay cash at Box Office.  No credit or debit cards accepted for in-person sales.

 

RESERVATIONS:   E-mail reservations@alumnaetheatre.com or phone 416-364-4170 Box 1.

POST-SHOW TALKBACKS – “Behind The Curtain”:
Thursdays: Directors Pamela Redfern, Julia Haist or Neil Affleck with their Assistant Directors Melissa Chetty, Lisa Alves, Ingryd Pleitez.
Fridays: Lighting Designer Gabrielle D’Angelo and Sound Designer Bill Scott.
Saturday Matinees: Costume Designers Peter DeFreitas, Toni Hanson, Trish Worrall.
Saturday Evenings: Set Designers Marysia Bucholc, Mark Cope.
Sunday Matinees: Playwrights Chloe Whitehorn, Taylor Marie Graham or Charles Hayter.

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Filed under 2015/16 season, FireWorks

“Divine Wrecks” in FireWorks 2015 – Director interview

Alumnae Theatre Company’s third annual FireWorks series kicks off tomorow with Chloë Whitehorn’s Divine Wrecks (Nov 4 – 8), directed by Pamela Redfern.   FireWorks 2015 - Divine WrecksDivine Wrecks is the “dark and disturbing” story of a high school jock who falls for his teacher. Bloggergal asked them some questions; here are Pam’s responses.

Q:  How did you get involved?  What drew you to this play?

A (director Pam Redfern):  I became involved with Divine Wrecks after being asked to look at another of the plays first. Fortunately Divine Wrecks was offered to me to direct and soon after a rich creative journey began.
This play speaks to the depth of feelings that lie within us all, rearing up from time to time in our lives…uncomfortable feelings including lust, desire, fixation, confusion, secrecy, realization, heartbreak and despair. Somewhere in that mix lies true, peaceful love but often only for a moment. In Chloë’s play each of these moments are operatic in scale and I was drawn to that intensity.

Q: Anything specific you would like the audience to know, or to watch out for in the production?

A:  Look for the lightness and humour that the Chorus brings to this otherwise dark drama. We chose to intensify the lighter side of the Chorus to create texture and add comic relief to the production.   We decided to set some of the writing to music and it had a doo-wop rhythm to it so a fifties sound emerged there. With more time we would love to take the musical component much further. Divine Wrecks provides endless opportunities for layering and expansion but at a certain point we needed to polish what we had discovered and solidify this production.  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153061039792172&set=gm.1063381273714094&type=3&theater

Photo of the Chorus:  Bruce Peters.

FIREWORKS SHOWTIMES: 8pm Wed – Sat; 2pm Sat & Sun.

TICKETS:   $15 except Sun – PWYC.

Purchase tickets online (except for Sunday PWYC matinees) or reserve seats and pay cash at Box Office.  No credit or debit cards accepted for in-person sales.

Or consider a 6-play Flex Pass – for $75, you get 6 admissions to be used however you wish. So one person could see 6 plays, or share the tickets with friends and all 6 of you come to one play.

 RESERVATIONS:   E-mail reservations@alumnaetheatre.com or phone 416-364-4170 Box 1.

 POST-SHOW TALKBACKS – “Behind The Curtain”:
Thursdays: Directors Pamela Redfern, Julia Haist or Neil Affleck with their Assistant Directors Melissa Chetty, Lisa Alves, Ingryd Pleitez.
Fridays: Lighting Designer Gabrielle D’Angelo and Sound Designer Bill Scott.
Saturday Matinees: Costume Designers Peter DeFreitas, Toni Hanson, Trish Worrall.
Saturday Evenings: Set Designers Marysia Bucholc, Mark Cope.
Sunday Matinees: Playwrights Chloe Whitehorn, Taylor Marie Graham or Charles Hayter.
For more into, and to purchase  tickets online to Divine Wrecks and the other FireWorks plays – Taylor Marie Graham’s Cottage Radio (Nov 11-15) and Charles Hayter’s Radical (Nov 18-22) – please go to http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/fireworks.html

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Filed under 2015/16 season, FireWorks

“Divine Wrecks” in FireWorks 2015 – Playwright interview

Alumnae Theatre Company’s third annual FireWorks series opens Wed Nov 4, and runs to Nov 22.  Haven’t heard of it?  Like our popular New Ideas Festival, it takes place in the Studio Theatre and runs for 3 weeks.   But FireWorks takes full-length plays that had their beginnings at an Alumnae event (like New Ideas or Big Ideas), or in the company’s New Play Development Group and runs them in conjunction with Talkbacks, workshops and other events. Each week, there will be a different play.

This year’s FireWorks kicks off with Chloë Whitehorn’s Divine Wrecks (Nov 4 – 8), directed by Pamela Redfern.   Bloggergal asked them some questions; here are Chloe’s responses.

Q: What inspired you to tell this story?  What was the germ of the idea?
A (Playwright Chloë Whitehorn): I am fascinated by love. There’s something about the intensity of the emotions connected to loving someone and how viscerally we feel them. A lot of my work is about someone finding their soulmate, the one person they want to be with, and then for some reason not being able to be with them. I think that’s tragic. I imagine the hardest thing is loving someone you’re not supposed to love. And then I wonder who society thinks it is telling people who they can and cannot love. The “rules” are always changing. Think back through history (even the last few years) and things like race, social standing, gender… These things used to dictate who you were ALLOWED to love. I don’t think you can really control who you fall in love with. Maybe it’s fate.

So that’s where my head is always at, and a few years ago I started seeing all these news stories popping up about female teachers being fired or imprisoned for having relationships with their students and it got me thinking about the prominent love stories that have been told and retold throughout time about lovers who are ripped apart because society deemed their relationship inappropriate. I really wanted to include society’s imposing opinions (with different viewpoints for audiences to see themselves represented in the story) on the stage and the role of a traditional theatre chorus does that, and I thought who better than a group of gossiping high school teenagers to represent that.


Q: FireWorks is a showcase for full-length plays which have been workshopped and/or dramaturged through Alumnae Theatre Company.  What’s the history of your play?

A:   Two years ago I brought a scene from Divine Wrecks to the Alumnae Theatre New Play Development Group thinking that is was totally not the sort of thing the ladies would like but I wanted to hear it read so I could see if the dialogue was working. And it went over pretty well. So I submitted it to Big Ideas for a staged reading and the response there was overwhelmingly positive and I was encouraged to submit the play to FireWorks for the following year. And here we are.

 
Q: Anything specific you would like the audience to know, or to watch out for in the production?

A:   An earlier draft was a more vague, romantic version of the story, because who doesn’t love a good romance right? Well, I did a reading with some actors and asked for feedback and the room basically said a) it wasn’t dark and disturbing enough to have been written by me because, hey have you read my other plays? and b) I wasn’t doing the source material justice. Essentially, “Don’t be afraid of the darkness. If you’re going to go there, GO THERE!” So I have. So, if you’re offended know it’s because you’re supposed to be. But think about WHY you’re disturbed and learn from that.

 
Q:   Do you have future plans for your play?

A:   I think there are many many different ways to do this play. Except maybe Children’s Theatre. That really wouldn’t go over well. So, obviously I’d like to see it produced again, and often.

 

Thanks, Chloë!

Watch this space for interviews with the other FireWorks playwrights and directors!

 

FIREWORKS SHOWTIMES: 8pm Wed – Sat; 2pm Sat & Sun.

TICKETS:   $15 except Sun – PWYC.

Purchase tickets online (except for Sunday PWYC matinees) or reserve seats and pay cash at Box Office.

No credit or debit cards accepted for in-person sales.

 You might want to consider a 6-play Flex Pass – for $75, you get 6 admissions to be used however you wish. So one person could see 6 plays, or share the tickets with friends and all 6 of you come to one play.

 RESERVATIONS:   E-mail reservations@alumnaetheatre.com or phone 416-364-4170 Box 1.

 POST-SHOW TALKBACKS – “Behind The Curtain”:
Thursdays: Directors Pamela Redfern, Julia Haist or Neil Affleck with their Assistant Directors Melissa Chetty, Lisa Alves, Ingryd Pleitez.
Fridays: Lighting Designer Gabrielle D’Angelo and Sound Designer Bill Scott.
Saturday Matinees: Costume Designers Peter DeFreitas, Toni Hanson, Trish Worrall.
Saturday Evenings: Set Designers Marysia Bucholc, Mark Cope.
Sunday Matinees: Playwrights Chloe Whitehorn, Taylor Marie Graham or Charles Hayter.

 
For more into, and to purchase  tickets online to Divine Wrecks and the other FireWorks plays – Taylor Marie Graham’s Cottage Radio (Nov 11-15) and Charles Hayter’s Radical (Nov 18-22) – please go to http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/fireworks.html

 

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Filed under 2015/16 season, FireWorks

Shirley Barrie to be honoured with Playwrights Guild of Canada Lifetime Membership Award

From the PGC website https://www.playwrightsguild.ca/news/shirley-barrie-be-honoured-pgc%E2%80%99s-2015-tom-hendry-awards

Shirley Barrie

Shirley Barrie

Playwrights Guild of Canada is proud to announce that Shirley Barrie will be awarded PGC’s Lifetime Membership Award.

She was selected as PGC’s Lifetime Membership Award recipient for her outstanding body of work as a Canadian playwright, in addition to her years of service to Playwrights Guild of Canada. Shirley was the president of PGC from 2009 – 2011, but she served on the board in various positions for 8 years. Shirley’s work is expansive, multifaceted and truly unique, including award-winning plays such as Straight Stitching, Carrying the Calf, and Revelation. Her extensive use of female historical characters (Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…, Queen Marie, etc.) is particularly noteworthy. As a producer, she co-founded the Tricycle Theatre in London, England with Ken Chubb and from 1989 to 2003 she was co-artistic director with Lib Spry of Straight Stitching Productions. Shirley’s most recent play, I am Marguerite, premiered at the Alumnae Theatre in 2015. She has recently been nominated for Best Toronto Playwright in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Best of Toronto Reader’s Choice Awards. Her creativity and diversity of artistic expression is greatly admired by her fellow playwrights.

 *****

Alumnae Theatre Company is delighted that one of its members is so honoured.  In addition to the credits listed above, Shirley’s play The Pear is Ripe was produced at Alumnae Theatre in 2001 – one of our first member-written plays to grace the Main Stage.  Measure of the World was part of Fireworks 2013, and most recently, Shirley dramaturged Chloe Whitehorn’s Divine Wrecks, which is part of this year’s FireWorks series in November.

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Casting Call for FireWorks 2015

The FireWorks Festival runs November 4-22, 2015 with three plays each running for one week of the festival. For more information on the festival please see the FireWorks page of www.alumnaetheatre.com.
Below are the character breakdowns for each play. Auditions will be scheduled August 17-23, and callbacks the last week of August.
FireWorks 2015
TO REQUEST AN AUDITION: e-mail FWauditions@gmail.com
Be sure to include your RESUME, HEADSHOT, AGE RANGE and your PHONE NUMBER.  Candidates selected to audition will be contacted. Please come prepared with a monologue. Directors from more than one play may be present at the audition. Callbacks will be done separately for each play.
Members of Alumnae Theatre Company will be given priority consideration.
The scripts are available at the Toronto Reference Library, 5th floor, Performance Desk, 789 Yonge Street.
Auditions will be held at the Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street (at Adelaide).
AUDITION DATES:                       August 17-23
CALL BACKS:                                  August 26-31
REHEARSALS:                               September 10 – November 3, 10, 17
PERFORMANCES:                        November 4-8, 11-15, 18-22.

Divine Wrecks by Chloe Whitehorn
(performances November 4-8, 2015)
Synopsis:
​A high school god falls for the wrong girl, his teacher.  A dark tale of heart break and revelations, Divine Wrecks explores the nature of love without boundaries. A modern take on a classic tale.

Character Breakdown:
(Note: We expect to cast actors in their early twenties for the teenage roles due to the mature nature of the roles)
EDDY: male, sixteen, troubled star athlete. After a tragedy he feels disconnected from everyone and is looking for meaning.
CASS:
female, thirties, high school English teacher. Is haunted by her past.
CHORUS 1:
male, teenager, confident jock. At the top of the school hierarchy but not the “steal your lunch money” type.
CHORUS 2:
female, teenager, fluffy pretty cheerleader. Extremely confident and used to getting her way.
CHORUS 3:
female, teenager, alternative look. Bit of a slacker “f**k-the world if the world doesn’t care” attitude.
CHORUS 4:
male, teenager, prep nerd. Shy but eager to be included.


Cottage Radio by Taylor Marie Graham
(performances November 11-15, 2015)
Synopsis:
Inspired by the true events of the Goderich, Ontario 2011 F3 class tornado, Cottage Radio explores the effect of the horrific storm on the fictional, yet very recognizable Marley clan. The family is forced to deal with the horrific events of the storm that is currently bringing them together, while confronting all the past events that kept them apart for so long. The play includes gorgeous original indie rock songs performed by members of the collective live on stage, while the play gently and graciously combining humour and drama in surrounding scenes. The premiere production in Goderich, Ontario left audiences moved and the Toronto re-imagining is sure to do the same.

Character Breakdown:
Gordon Marley – 55 years old. Uncle to Christina and Nadine; son of Susan. Recently lost his house in the tornado. Over-indulges with alcohol, silence, and solitude. Past competitive rower.

Christina (Chris) Marley – 32 years old. Sister of Nadine, granddaughter to Susan, niece to Gordon, childhood best friend of Jasper.   Past drummer in the band Huron Haven; host of COTTAGE radio.
Would prefer to be 17 and full of potential again rather than 32 and full of pain and regrets, so
she stifled her maturity at 17 years old and expects everyone around her to do the same. Uses sarcasm to deflect.

 

Nadine Marley – 27 years old,. Sister of Christina, granddaughter to Susan, niece to Gordon, friend of Jasper. Guitar and vocals in the band Huron Haven. Is afraid to admit she misses everyone, has made some poor choices in the new people in her life away from family, and can’t handle everything all by herself all the time.
Jasper Taylor – 30 years old. No blood relation to the Marleys. Guitar and vocals in the band Huron Haven. Can’t let go of a fantasy version of reality where actions do not have consequences, and
everything is ok if it feels right. Very charming. Adventurous.
Susan Marley – 84 years old, grandmother to Christina and Nadine, mother of Gordon. Is getting old and sees her family being ripped apart and unable to make proper adult decisions. All she can do is try to remind them of their ties to each other and their home before she passes on. Very dedicated to the tornado clean-up effort.

 

 Radical by Charles Hayter
(performances Nov 18-22, 2015)
Synopsis:
The story of a forgotten Canadian hero, Dr. Vera Peters, and her fight to alter breast cancer treatment. Spurred on by patient outrage, memories of her mother’s suffering, and her own diagnosis of breast cancer, Peters embarks on a quest to find a gentler alternative to the mutilating radical mastectomy – and in the process sets the surgical world against her.

Character Breakdown:
HELEN, female, sixtyish, prim, conservative, fiercely loyal, wryly humourous nurse.
ROSE, female, early fifties, brash, earthy, fiesty, feminist, political, professor of sociology.
VERA, female, early fifties, caring, compassionate, yet quietly driven, chain smoking cancer specialist, accomplished medical professional, very “put together”.
FRANK, male, early thirties, young, impressionable, thoughtful, ambitious greenhorn surgeon.
BERNIE, male, fifties, conservative, intelligent, chauvinistic, surly, blunt, yet vulnerable Chief of Surgery.

Alumnae Theatre encourages diversity in its membership and casting. This is a non-paying engagement.

 

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