Tag Archives: Nonnie Griffin

Remembering Nonnie Griffin

Remembering the remarkable actress* and writer, Nonnie Griffin, who died unexpectedly on June 7, 2019.

*she insisted on the feminine version – hated being referred to as an “actor”!

life with more cowbell

Photo from Bluffs Monitor.

Nonnie Griffin and I became mutual fans, from opposite sides of the stage, while working on two different productions at Alumnae Theatre in 2008: she as the formidable Irish matriarch in Lucy Brennan’s Daughter of the House and I as the compassionate, no-nonsense oncology nurse in Margaret Edson’s Wit.

I had the pleasure of seeing and reviewing Nonnie’s work in the years that followed; and particularly enjoyed her own one-woman shows Sister Annunciata’s Secret and Marilyn—After, both brave, resonant portraits of older women navigating life’s joys and heartbreaks. And she came out with two friends to see me perform in The Sad Blisters this past April (on Easter Sunday); she enjoyed the show very much and sent me a lovely email, along with a big virtual hug.

Nonnie was to launch her new one-woman show, Before Scarlett—about the creation of Gone with the…

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Hamilton Fringe preview (ish): Sinners & saints in Sister Annunciata’s Secret

Nonnie Griffin in Sister Annunciata’s Secret at Hamilton Fringe, July 14 – 24, 2016.

life with more cowbell

sister a's secretDuring Toronto Fringe this past week, I bumped into Nonnie Griffin at the Tarragon, where I learned that she’s taking her solo show Sister Annunciata’s Secret (which premiered almost six years ago at The Annex Theatre) to Hamilton Fringe for a run at the Staircase Café Theatre Main Space. The Hamilton Fringe show is produced by Baby Gumm Productions and directed by Darren Stewart-Jones.

I attended a performance during Griffin’s Annex Theatre run, and covered the show for Alumnae Theatre’s blog. Griffin gave a compelling and powerful performance, and the show has been tweaked since its original production for running time.

Hamilton Fringe runs July 14-24 and Sister Annunciata’s Secret runs July 15-24 (see the show page for various dates/times). Highly recommended. Check out the trailer:

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Summer stuff – Alumnae Theatre members

Alumnae Theatre Company’s season runs from mid-September to early May.  So what do our members do during the summer months, you may wonder.  Oh, they keep busy!  Here’s what some are doing in the Toronto Fringe Festival, July 4-15:  Andrea Brown is appearing in The Princess of Porn: The Musical – an adults-only Musical-Comedy Fairy-Tale in which the prince from the Kingdom of Babble falls in love with a princess from the Kingdom of Porn but their parents don’t approve.   Venue is Randolph Theatre (formerly the Bathurst Street Theatre).  Details at http://www.meandsnowwhite.co/apps/calendar/ or www.fringetoronto.com

Sandra Burley (assistant director) and Kay Randewich (assistant stage manager) are working on Spychasers – a fast-paced adventure that takes the audience back to the world of WW II espionage.  Based on the novel “Mr Standfast” by former Canadian Governor General John Buchan.  Venue is Tarragon Theatre.  Details at  www.act2studio.ca and http://www.facebook.com/act2studio

Barbara Larose (co-writer, director), Ellen Green (assistant director, associate producer) and Margaret Spence (costume designer) and Tina McCulloch (publicity) are working on Life in the Raw – a drama with music, based on family memories of growing up in Montreal during the Great Depression.  Venue is George Ignatieff Theatre.  Details at www.thickandthintheatreproductions.com  or www.fringetoronto.com

Anne Shepherd  is appearing in Absolute Alice – a wacky version of Alice in Wonderland.  Venue is Factory Theatre mainspace.  Details at www.fringetoronto.com

 Brenda Somers is playing French author George Sand in Piecing Together Pauline– a drama based on the life and times and far-reaching influences of Pauline Viardot, a celebrated 19th century opera singer.  Venue is Tarragon Theatre.  Details at http://fireandairproductions.wordpress.com/  or www.fringetoronto.com

Susan Q Wilson is appearing in Ways to Kill Ethyl  – a dark comedy in which siblings decide to hold a potluck in order to murder their grandmother.  Venue is Factory Theatre. Details at http://waystokillethyl.tumblr.com/

Linda Yearwood is very busy.  First up for her is Hello, a new Canadian original musical story about a group of friends suddenly surrounded by chaos and forced to make sense of it all as a worldwide cosmic event erupts above their heads.  The venue is at 299 Augusta Ave. (the former Bread and Circus Theatre) in Kensington Market.  Show runs June 21 – August 21. Details at http://www.hugepictureproductions.com/HPPcurrentshow.html

Then (July 4-15) she’s working on a Fringe Festival show, A Brief History of History: a 3 Disk Box Set – sketch comedy at its best.  Venue is Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse on St. George Street. Details at www.fringetoronto.com

And if you’re going to Scotland…  Nonnie Griffin is taking her one-woman show (which premiered in Toronto in October 2010) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!  Sister Annunciata’s Secret, based on the true story of a nun’s act of passion which forces her to reexamine her faith, will be at the Hill Street Theatre in Edinburgh, August 15-26. Details at http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/theatre/sister-annunciata-s-secret

Nonnie Griffin as Sister Annunciata



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