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Big Ideas 2017: FREE readings of full-length plays, May 11-1

The “official” season of Alumnae Theatre Company is over, but the playwrights of Alumnae’s New Play Development group (the NPD) have a bonus treat for you:  this year’s edition of Big Ideas.  Over the course of a week, Thursday May 11 – Thursday May 18, head up to the 3rd floor Studio in Alumnae Theatre to see staged readings of 5 full-length plays-in-progress that are being dramaturged in the group.

These readings are FREE (but donations much appreciated!); no reservations required.  Give your feedback on these developing works, and you may see these titles show up in the company’s New Ideas Festival (March) or FireWorks (November) in a year or two.

Here’s the lineup of Big Ideas 2017 – all events start at 8pm in the Studio.   Enter via the front door (70 Berkeley Street) as usual.

Thursday, May 11:     THE BAY, by Liz Best, directed by Ramona Baillie.

Synopsis: Two high school students spend a few months at a seniors’ residence to complete their community service hours.


Kathleen Allamby – Claire

Lucy Brennan – Tessie

Razie Brownstone – Hannah

Daryn Dewalt  – Pat

Seanna Kennedy – Felice

Carol McLennan – Barbara

Ian Orr – Morris

Robert Ouellette – Jed

Steven Pereira – Daniel

Kate Shroder – Emilia

Susan Q Wilson – Helen


Friday, May 12:         VERITAS, by Lynda Martens, directed by Kelsey Laine Jacobson.

Synopsis:  The dramatic true story of a Father’s quest for the truth after his son died under mysterious circumstances at the Royal Military College of Canada in 2003.  With an ensemble cast of nine actors playing over thirty characters, the play features actual text from a public inquest into the death.


Adam Bonney

Chris Coculuzzi

Roxanne Deans

Nick Eddie

Melinda Jordan

Amy Meyers

Steven Pereira

Rob Prince

Mike Vitorovich


Saturday, May 13:     KILL WOMAN, by Judith Fiore, directed by Pat McCarthy.

Synopsis:  On a beautiful Spring afternoon, a professor of poetry and English literature is out for a walk. She is facing a serious and life-threatening situation, and she happens to come upon an unkempt woman who is also dealing with a terrible problem. With humour and compassion, they explore what their lives have amounted to.


Lisa Lenihan – Unkempt Woman

Clara Matheson – Professor


Wednesday, May 17:    I AM AWAKE, by Anne MacMillan, directed by Ara Glenn-Johanson.

Synopsis:  A gothic paranormal story in early mid-19th century of a young Irish girl who has to escape her traumatic first employment as a lady’s maid through a forest with wolves, is thrown out by her parents who feel disgraced, saved by her grandmother and the nuns, is sent to Canada for a new beginning again as a lady’s maid, only to run into an evil other-worldly master, a helpful ghost who tries to save her and a young man who is keen to take her fishing…


Lucy Brennan – Grannie

Michael-David Blostein – Elgin

Sheila Charleton – Apparition Mary

Claire Keating – Mary

Emmet Leahy – Harry

Frans Robinow – Wagoner

Ronak Singh – Gatekeeper

Morna Wales – Nun


Thursday, May 18:     WHERE TRUTH LIES, by Carol Libman, directed by Claren Grosz.

Synopsis:  What happens when a long-held family secret is secret no longer?  Does anyone really know where truth lies?


Kathleen Allamby – Martha

Martha Breen – Cathy

Paquito Hernaci – John

Jamie Johnson – Peter

Tina McCulloch – Karen

Mike Vitorovich – Andre.


Check out Alumnae Theatre Company’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AlumnaeTheatre/, and also our website at http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/  for news of our upcoming 100th season starting in October!


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Filed under 2016/17 season, NPD readings

Audiences have spoken…

After Mrs. Rochester:  four performances in, and looking forward to the next seven! Here are a few quotes from audience members:

  • Really enjoyed the play (I love when you have to pay attention to where in time you are!) and thought all the performances were terrific – really well cast and enjoyed the all-girl approach as well – it was very interesting.  [This] show should be seen!

  • I thought it was an exceptional production. The play is fascinating with all its layers and time shifts. The director handled it seamlessly. I loved the women playing the men’s roles; all were excellent. Very intriguing. This is a play that demands something from its audience, but the audience is justly rewarded. Go see it!

    • It is one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. The entire cast is brilliant and the play itself is beyond captivating and intense.
    • I have read both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea.  This play was captivating!  Highly impressed – will be back!

And if you haven’t yet clicked on the link in a previous post to Mooney On Theatre’s review (http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2011/09/25/review-after-mrs-rochester-alumnae-theatre/), here are some excerpts from reviewer Crystal Wood:

 After Mrs. Rochester, written by playwright Polly Teale, looks at the life of Jean Rhys, the author of Wide Sargasso Sea – a sort-of prequel to Jane Eyre. Rhys’s life connects in many ways to Brontë’s book, starting from her childhood growing up in the West Indies where Rochester’s character meets his mad wife. Teale’s play follows Rhys from her strict childhood to her time spent as a young showgirl in London through to the publication of her most famous book.

This is a play with many layers, both emotionally and literally. It’s about a writer who wrote a book because of an obsession with another book… It really feels like you’re watching three stories unfold at once, but because of Teale’s script and some very efficient direction from Laura Roald, it never feels confusing….

I enjoyed this production very much … I encourage theatre fans to go see it.

So what are you waiting for?   The show only runs to Friday October 7 (that’s a week from tomorrow) at Alumnae Theatre.  See www.alumnaetheatre.com for details, and e-mail reservations@alumnaetheatre.com to reserve tickets. $20 regular price, and there are deals on Wednesdays, Sundays and at T.O. Tix (http://www.ticketweb.ca/snl/Search.action?query=After+Rochester)

  1. ELLA (Jessica Rose – seated, right) has a visitor at the convent.
  2. MOTHER (Julie Burris, standing, left):  “Your uncle is extremely kind to make the effort to come to see you.”   Tabitha Keast (seated, left) as the ‘UNCLE’.  (and you know he’s not really her uncle)                   Photo:  Dahlia Katz,  www.dahliakatz.com

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Filed under 2011/12 season, After Mrs. Rochester