Tag Archives: rehearsals

Treading the Boards with “Blood Relations”

From the Alumnae Theatre Company members’ newsletter:
Blood Relations posterRehearsals for Blood Relations, Alumnae’s next production (Mainstage, January 23 – February 7, 2015) are in full (axe)swing! Here’s a peek into the latest goings-on from director Barbara Larose.

We have moved onto the mainstage and are just about to start set construction. It’s an exciting time when all the design ideas start to become “real” and we explore the space of our play.  Set Designer Ed Rosing and Master Carpenter Sandy Thorburn are embarking on their busiest time.

The cast is amazing and includes three Alumnae Theatre members – Andrea Brown, Kathleen Allamby and Sheila Russell.  Rounding out the cast are Marisa King, Thomas Gough, Rob Candy and Steven Burley.  They are working hard at the moment getting “off book”  and prepping for our Stumblethrough before the holiday break.

Recent rehearsals have included an evening of stage combat with movement specialist, Paul Babiak; a wonderful period dance review with our consultant Rick Jones (who is also our Sound Designer), while our fabulous Stage Manager Margot Devlin, tried valiantly to record every, step, hop, kick and turn; and a thrilling Laban and movement workshop for the cast conducted by Alumnae member Ginette Mohr.   Several cast members are also busily working away outside rehearsal with our Irish dialogue coach Michael Armstrong.  The wonderful Ellen Green is the Assistant Director – she doesn’t let me miss anything and provides so much valued insight and assistance in working with cast and design.  As the Director, it seems I need to be several places at one time and Ellen’s assistance makes that possible!!

Alumnae design star Margaret Spence, who we are so lucky to have as our Costume Designer, has fitted everyone for their period costumes and the women are all rehearsing in their corsets and rehearsal skirts.  On props, we have the indomitable and lovely Razie Brownstone.   She is out there right now looking for just the right hatchet for the job, among a myriad of other period props  [Ed. note: Sharon Pollock’s award-winning play is set in 1902 – 10 years after Lizzie Borden’s infamous acquittal for the axe murders of her father and stepmother ].

On December 20, we are conducting a test of some of the material we are using on the set  – with Ed and our Lighting Designer, Gabriel Cropley.   And I’m looking forward to finding out how the concept will translate and what it will actually look like under the lights!

The Producing Team is working behind the scenes making sure everything happens that is supposed to happen and coordinating the activities and expenditures of all the departments.  The Team is led by our Executive Producer Brenda Darling and includes Krystyna Hunt, Carina Cojeen and Sandra Burley.  Our Marketing Director Chloe Whitehorn is handling the press and marketing materials that will bring in an audience to enjoy the results of our work.

Blood Relations opens January 23. Part drama, part mystery, all compelling.

To purchase tickets online, please visit


You may also e-mail (reservations@alumnaetheatre.com) or phone in (416-364-4170, box 1) your reservations, and pay cash on arrival.

Tickets are 2-for-1 on Wed at 8pm; $20 Thu/Fri/Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2pm is PWYC.


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Filed under 2014/15 Season, Blood Relations

Fun stuff from “The Underpants” rehearsals (show opens Sept 20)

Underpants Poster

“The Underpants”. Photo of Carolyn Hall by Dahlia Katz. Graphic design by Michaela Dyke.

Alumnae Theatre Company’s 2013-14 season opener is a delightful romp called The Underpants.  It’s adapted by Steve Martin (yes, THAT Steve Martin:  the actor, comedian, playwright, novelist, musician…) from  Carl Sternheim’s  1910 German original, Die Hose.  Directed by Ginette Mohr, it opens Sept 20.

Stage Manager Karen McMichael reports some shenanigans from rehearsals:

 Aug 15:  The actors are currently doing an exercise where they improv an argument about who has a more meaningful job (the artist or the accountant), while lobbing imaginary weapons at each other, and a third character acts as “ref” and also comments on the action. It has so far included such memorable phrases as “numbers… To death!”, and both characters turning on the referee.

Aug 15, later:  And now they’re reading a scene that has a line, “Let’s go with God”, and everyone’s cracking up because one of the actors read it in a parody of Sister Act 2. We can’t get through the scene without someone corpsing*.

*CORPSING =  theatrical term for when an actor breaks character and laughs inappropriately on stage.  This usually has the effect of making other actors join in.

 Aug 29:  Chantale [Groulx, who plays the seductive neighbour] commented that this play has a slight Southern flair at moments, and [producer] Jennifer  [McKinley]’s rejoinder was that if you “slow it down and make it a little bit rapey it’s a Tennessee Williams play”.

Come check out the fun when The Underpants opens Sept 20.  Phone 416-364-4170 xtn 1 to reserve seats, or go to www.alumnaetheatre.com to purchase tickets online.

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Filed under 2013/14 Season, The Underpants