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FireWorks Festival 2019

Belle Darling ​Klondike Queen


Produced by Molly Thom and Liz Best
​Directed by Heather Keith

​November 6 - 10, 2019

​in the Studio Theatre

About Belle Darling ​Klondike Queen:

What a time it was! The Klondike 1898, and the dream of gold was in every heart. Among the dreamers, vaudevillian queen Kate Rockwell, alias Belle Darling, alias Klondike Kate — grifter, pickpocket, and occasional lifesaver in a lawless land.

Now it’s 1931. The Gold Rush is a memory. But Kate is still singing, still dancing, still wearing her famous dress.

So come to her cabaret, where Vaudeville still reigns. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sing along — you may even dance to the old familiar songs — as she takes you on a musical journey through her memories of struggle, heartbreak and triumph.

Opening Night Parties!

​Wednesday Nov. 6, 2019

​Join us in the Lobby, after the show, to celebrate the opening nights of :

Post-Matinee show Talkbacks!

​Saturday Nov. 9, 2019

​Join us for a 'Talkback' with the Director/Cast/Playwright, after Saturday Matinee performances.


The Festival is held in Alumnae Theatre’s 3rd floor walk-up studio which is not currently wheelchair accessible.

Watch the Video Trailer!

Trailer by Nicholas Porteous

Reviews Belle Darling Klondike Queen

“… Part cabaret, part vaudeville, all heart”

“… highly entertaining and engaging piece of musical storytelling “

” Sutherland Boal gives a powerhouse performance as the ambitious, fearless Klondike Kate—a role that amply showcases her considerable vocal chops as she belts out rousing music hall tunes and caresses melancholy ballads. Sassy, classy, gutsy and irreverent…”

“a stand-out ensemble; changing character on a dime in this fast-paced, alternately slapstick and poignant trip through music hall shenanigans both on and off the stage.”


Cast: Lindsay Sutherland Boal*, Sarah Kaufmann, Madeleine Keesmaat-Walsh, Roxhanne Norman, Calvin Laveck
*Appearing by permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
​Images by Nicholas Porteous

Natalie Frijia, Playwright
Natalie Frijia is a writer, theatre maker, and stage manager. She has a PhD from the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, and the School of the Environment. Her plays have been workshopped and presented by Ruby Slippers, Storefront Theatre, Summerworks Festival, New Ideas Festival, Rhubarb, and Fringe Festivals across Canada. Recent productions include BikeFace (2018 Patron’s Pick, Toronto Fringe); Last Transmission (2017 Fireworks Festival); and GO/NO GO (2017 Advance Theatre New Works By Women series).

Lori Delorme, Director
A graduate of McGill University’s English/Theatre program, Lori has acted, directed, written, stage managed and even costumed a few folks along the way. Lori is a co-founder of No Model Types Productions, and Just in a Bowl Productions, with whom she co-wrote and acted in two plays, Unsinkable and The Hungarian Suicide Duel, both performed as part of the Fringe Festival across Canada. For Alumnae: director, Governing Ourselves, New Ideas Festival; co-producer, Top Girls.


Lindsay Sutherland Boal*,  Kate Rockwell For actor and singer, Lindsay Sutherland Boal, life is a cabaret and that suits her just fine. Equally at home in opera, cabaret, television and the Klondike, Lindsay’s career has spanned 12 years, coast to coast and beyond.  Most memorable: concert performances with classical music hooligan, Rainer Hersch, where she made her Royal Festival Hall debut (London, UK); as Musetta in the original and second productions of La Bohème with Against the Grain Theatre; in her self-written and produced German cabaret show that toured Canada, Purely Cabaret; and as Mom in the YTV series, Extreme Babysitting. Now, back from the barracks of early motherhood, this showgirl is glad to return to the spotlight, gracing the stages of this old clapboard dance hall.   *Appearing by permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Sarah Kaufmann, Ensemble
Sarah is an actor and writer from Vancouver Island. Recently, she spent the summer in Italy with EducoItalia, teaching English via performance and play. A recent RCPA graduate, Sarah was in their productions of, A Little Night Music and Peer Gynt. Other credits include: The Wizard of OzInto the Woods (Chalkboard Theatre), Carrie (The Singer’s Theatre), and Fiddler on the Roof (Chemainus Theatre Festival).

Madeleine Keesmaat-Walsh, Ensemble
Madeleine is a Toronto-based actress, who started her acting career at the Lindsay Little Theatre, where her credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Alice in Wonderland (White Queen), and The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow). Madeleine studied acting at Seneca College, where she enjoyed exploring Shakespeare, as well as more modern plays such as The Flick (Rose) and Jitters (Robert). She is an active member of Look-Up Theatre, collaborating with them on many shows, most notably The Toronto Circus Riot.

Roxhanne is a Toronto performer and creator, and recent graduate of U of T/Sheridan College with an HBA in Theatre and Drama Studies. Working with companies such as Nightwood Theatre and the Toronto Fringe, she aims to build a stronger, more accessible Canadian theatre community. Selected theatre credits: include Officer Barrell in Urinetown (We Are Here Productions), Tessa in The Gondoliers (North Toronto Players), and Holly Kaplan in Uncommon Women and Others (Theatre Erindale).

Calvin Laveck, Pianist
Yukon born, Calvin is an enthusiastic vaudeville performer who graduated from the Music Theatre Department at Sheridan College. Stage credits include: Spring Awakening, Chicago, Merrily We Roll Along (Sheridan Theatre); Leading Singer (Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines); Dogtown (Nakai); Million Dollar Quartet (Magnus Theatre); Once (Neptune Theatre); Million Dollar Quartet (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Million Dollar Quartet (Sudbury Theatre Centre)


Cassidy Sadler, Assistant Producer
A director, actor and playwright, Cassidy began working with Alumnae at the age of 17. Her play, Let My Mind Run Dry, was featured in the 2012 New Ideas Festival. She then directed for NIF in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Cassidy is a graduate of the University of Toronto. Additional directing credits include: Bricks (Supercrawl); If You Know Emmaline (St. Joseph’s Hospital /Paraphrased Productions); Subway Extension to the Mariana Trench (Hamilton Fringe). This is Cassidy’s first producing project with Alumnae.

Anita Beaty, Musical Director
Anita has composed, arranged, performed, and acted as Musical Director for many productions over the past 25 years. Theatre credits include the original production of the worldwide hit MacHomerMontparnasse (Groundwater), and most recently Ghosted: The Musical (ALP Productions). She has also composed for short films and websites, including the film Nancy Boy vs Manly Woman which premiered at the In/Out Festival, and the award-winning The Unforgetting. Anita’s last collaboration in Alumnae’s cosy Studio space was Mimi and the Music (ALP).

Shannon Farrell, Stage Manager
Shannon Farrell is a stage manager & playwright residing in Toronto. Her past credits include hang (Obsidian Theatre), In Her Own Words (What Would the Neighbours Say?), Clinic (A Collective of 7), Interrupted (Robyn Bedford Production), Nocturnal Space (Emily Rapley Production), (in)Dispensable (Madison Burgess Production) and Top Girls (Alumnae Theatre). She is also the co-writer of the Canadian science fiction web series Howl, set to start filming next year.

Audrey Adams, Assistant Stage Manager
Returning to theatre after 17 years, Audrey is an alumnus of the Performance Studies Program at Sheridan College and The Drama Studio, London, UK. Although acting is her first love, she has produced, directed, stage managed, and designed sets and costumes over the course of 25 years and dozens of productions, working with Amicus Productions, The Village Players, Theatre Etobicoke, Burl-Oak Theatre Group, West End Studio Theatre, and Etobicoke Musical Productions to name a few.

Adriana De Angelis, Costume Designer
This here filly has quite a range of work! Adriana has written and assistant directed Internal Iniquity; co-directed and designed costumes for Head à Tête at Edinburgh’s 2016 Fringe Festival; volunteered on Nightwood’s Calpurnia 2018 as Assistant Production Manager and Properties Master; as well as Nightwood’s The Lawyer Show: The Drowsy Chaperone. This is Adriana’s second rodeo as Costume Designer with the FireWorks Festival. She’s known for wrangling up cat-themed oddities.

Alcira Bello, Costume Assistant
Alcira has a B.A. in Industrial Design from UFPR (Brazil), a Diploma in Fashion Marketing from the Fashion in Toscana (Florence) and Diplomas in Fashion Design from institutes Marangoni and Burgo (Milan). During her residence in Italy, she had an internship at Casa d’Arte Lo Bosco  creating theatrical costumes, joined Balenciaga and Gucci, and as an Interior and Product designer she worked  for MTArchitettura (Milan). She is the founder of Alcira Bello Design Studio.

Stella Rossovskaia, Costume Assistant
Stella is a passionate theatre lover, and new to the diverse world of Alumnae Theatre. Growing up in the Soviet Union, she learned from the classics: “Theatre begins from a coat rack” (Stanislavsky); “People should be beautiful in every way…” (Chekhov). She says: “Whenever I try a new role in my life, I feel like Cinderella trying if the shoe will fit and if the magic of transformation will happen again.”

Shelley Hobbs, Props
Shelley M. Hobbs is a cis-female lesbian, hearing-impaired cancer survivor who plays hockey and writes plays. She has previously done props for the 2019 Alumnae Mainstage show, Impressionism. Shelley’s plays have been produced at Alumnae’s Big Ideas Festival, the Toronto Fringe Festival, and selected for international ten-minute play festivals in Newmarket and Chicago. She is part of Nightwood Theatre’s Write From the Hip program for 2019-2020, proving that “emerging” can happen at any time!

FireWorks Team 2019

Molly Thom, Co-Producer
Toronto director, dramaturge, writer and sometime actor, she is best known as the author, director, and producer of The Bush-Ladies (NAC, Tarragon Theatre, Ontario tour, Artword Theatre). She has directed many plays for Alumnae, most recently Shirley Barrie’s I Am Marguerite in 2015, and last appeared on stage as Hecuba in The Trojan Women in 2012. She is the co-founder of Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival and the resident director of Shoestring Opera. This is the fourth year Molly has produced the FireWorks Festival.

Liz Best, Co-Producer
Liz is an actor, playwright, director and producer, last seen at Alumnae in The Pigeon, Fireworks 2018. Her own play, Surrender, Dorothy, was premiered at FireWorks 2017. “Fireworks is a team effort of 50+ people, with a passion for theatre and a desire to create. Producing these last two years, providing opportunities to actors just out of a theatre school, and working with young, female directors and playwrights has truly been joyous.” 


Teodoro Dragonieri, Set Design
A multi-disciplinary artist and educator who has developed acclaimed programs for all levels of education. He has led workshops, given lectures, performed and shown his artwork internationally. Teodoro is artistic director of Zanni Arte, a company dedicated to promoting inter-disciplinary arts and fostering the use of masks, in theatre and education. He is the recipient of the Theatre Ontario Michael Spence Award and The Harold Award (from Toronto’s Independent Theatre and Dance Communities). Stage Design for Alumnae Theatre: Antigone, Omission, Top Girls, Impressionism and The Heidi Chronicles.


Liam Stewart, Lighting Design
Liam is a Director with a Camera, a Lighting Designer in the Theatre and has a passion for creativity. Liam works in the Film industry as an Electrician, laying cable and powering lights. He learns from the best on set, bringing new insight to the stage. Constantly testing equipment to create new emotions and atmospheres with light. He also enjoys leisurely strolls through the park and writing short films.


Mona Zaidi, Marketing
Mona is an award-winning South Asian-Canadian writer/director. Her 2017 adaptation of Richard III was awarded top prize at  the 2017 Shakespeare Film Festival by five-time Academy Award nominee Sir Kenneth Branagh. Her 2018 short film The Table With 1000 Chairs was screened in Cineplex movie theatres across Canada and gained over 1 million views online. Mona’s most recent project is a series of film/stage productions adapted from masterworks of world literature.


Suzanne Courtney, Graphic Design
Suzanne loves creating art for the theatre. She also loves to act. Shows include; Pride and PrejudiceA Lie of the Mind and The Pear is Ripe for Alumnae, and to write plays in New Ideas, Inspirato and Nuit Blanche.


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