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Bios Impressionism

Michael Jacobs, Playwright
​Michael Jacobs is a writer and producer whose work has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in television and film.
​His play Impressionism played on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, starring Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen. He has been nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe, National Board of Review and BAFTA Award for Best Film for producing the 1994 motion picture Quiz Show, which also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award. His production company Michael Jacobs Productions has been in long-term development partnerships with Universal Studios, TriStar Pictures, Disney, and NBC Studios. His television shows have appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and The WB television networks.

Nicole Arends, Director
Nicole has been directing plays for more than 25 years. Previously for Alumnae Theatre she directed Collected Stories (2002) as well as several plays for the New Ideas Festival.  More recent directing credits include Foxfinder (Village Players), Evidence to the Contrary (Tree of Life), The Makeover Show (Fringe 2018), as well as staged readings of Yeats in Love and The Departure Train.  She has also played Lady Helena in Alumnae Theatre’s The Gut Girls.  Upcoming directing gigs include The Taming of the Shrew (Fringe 2019) and Mending Fences (Village Players).

ACTORS

Liz Pounsett*,  Katharine Keenan
Liz is an actor, director, theatre-maker, and arts educator. She has her MFA Acting from York University and studied at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris for two years. Liz has performed in theatre, film and television in Canada, France, and the USA. Favourite plays include You Mean Now?and Downtown (Question Company), The Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre) and The Bomb (International WOW Company) in New York City. Liz is the Drama School Director at Young People’s Theatre.
She’s grateful to be working with Nicole Arends and the gang.
*Appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Ted Powers, Thomas Buckle
A graduate from the Circle In The Square Professional Workshop in New York, Ted’s last NYC credit was JP Morgan Saves The Nation (En Garde Arts) by the late composer Jonathan Larson of Rent. Recent GTA credits include: The Land Grabber (Toronto Irish Players), Mamma Mia (Scugog Choral Society), Crazy For You (Scarborough Music Theatre), The Joy Of Sax (Toronto Fringe Festival), The Veil (Toronto Irish Players), Becoming Me (Toronto Fringe Festival) and Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre Aurora). Forthcoming films: The Night the Kids Found Out (Homeroom Productions), and Empty Nest (Start the Picture).

Elaine Lindo, Julia Davidson
Elaine has previously appeared at the Alumnae Theatre in numerous productions including Tennessee Williams Orpheus Descendingand Summer and Smoke, Christopher Hampton’s Liaisons Dangereuses, and perhaps her favourite role as Elizabeth in The Queensby Normand Chaurette. She has performed at several theatres around Toronto including Studio BLR, The Village Playhouse, and Bard in the Park among others, and has just completed a run in Rebecca Grace’s new play, Il Testosteroni in Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival. She is enjoying being back!

Catt Filippov, Nicole Halladay
Catt is a Russian-Canadian playwright, actor, and trinket collector. She is currently a part of Write From the Hip, an emerging playwrights’ program at Nightwood Theatre and is an honours graduate of the CDTPS at the University of Toronto. Recent credits include: Macbeth (Crowded Puppet Theatre) and All of Me (Theatre Insomnia, Toronto Fringe). Catt is very excited to be a part of Impressionism and to work with all of these wonderful people!

Julian Lee, Ben Joplin
Julian is an actor and musician from Toronto. He fell in love with acting when his high school English teacher lent him a volume of Harold Pinter’s plays. Julian went on to study Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University, relishing each chance he got to perform and secretly envying the theatre students! This is Julian’s second time onstage after appearing in Jordan Tannahill’s Concord Floral in 2012. After a long hiatus, Julian is overjoyed to feel the exhilaration of “treading the boards” yet again.

Sistah Lois*,  Chiambuane & Mr. Linder 
​Multidisciplinary creatrix, Sistah Lois, (pronounced “loyce”) was called to the stage at the tender age of two on Trinidad, her birth isle. Performance travels have taken her to the UK, Australia, the USA, and in Canada from N.S. to B.C. Foremost a classical vocalist come storyteller come improvisational musician come machinist come heavy duty diesel equipment mechanic come songwriter come actor, after half century Sistah Lois is still an emerging artist bringing to life the adage “good things come in small packages.”
*Appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Jamie Johnson, Douglas Finch
Jamie is an actor/writer/producer residing in Toronto.  He is a graduate of the M.F.A. Theatre program at York University. His music theatre show That Moment When… written with musician Mark Martyre premiered at the Springworks Festival of New Works in Stratford last October.  Selected acting credits: Uncle Wish in Dear Uncle Wish (Theatre Enthused), Titus in Titus Andronicus (Seven Siblings Theatre), and Pontius Pilate in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Unit 102). Jamie is an avid cook, ukulele strummer and lives his life like the straight man in a screwball comedy.

PRODUCTION TEAM

Mary Barnes Amoroso, Lead Producer
Since retiring, Mary has pursued her love of theatre. She co-founded and ran Éclat School of Performing Arts for four years. At Alumnae Theatre, she has been chair of the New Play Development Group since 2014 and is grateful for the many opportunities Alumnae offers its writers. She has also been stage manager at the New Ideas Festival and a member of the Mainstage Programming Committee for three years. After learning the ropes as associate producer of Thirteen Hands, she is pleased to contribute to Impressionism as its lead producer.

Arlene Stanley, Associate Producer
Arlene, photographer and former member of the Alumnae Theatre lighting crew returns after 15 years and is very excited to now venture into production and writing. Arlene is delighted to be back, daring to do what she loves most, and is eager to contribute her wide variety of experience and knowledge to the production team.

Kristine Greenaway, Associate Producer
​Kristine is a playwright and translator whose plays have been produced in Switzerland, France and Canada. She is a member of Alumnae Theatre, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the Geneva Writers Group. This is her first experience as an associate producer for a mainstage production.

Judith Fiore, Assistant Director
Judith graduated from Playhouse Acting School in 1981 and acted for 10 years before falling in love, marrying, having children and going into another career. Thanks to the opportunities as an Alumnae Theatre member, Judith has written two plays and directed three staged readings. She is thrilled to be the assistant director for Impressionismand to work with a dedicated and talented team. Judith is married to actor Dom Fiore and is the mother of two amazing humans and surrogate mother to her adorable dog, Lulu.

Skye Ashby, Stage Manager
Skye has spent the better part of her working life as a stage manager. This is her first show with Alumnae Theatre and she is thrilled to be working with such a creative team. Skye is also the Production Manager for Missed Metaphors Productions, producing original Canadian scripts, with upcoming shows at The Toronto Fringe Festival and Alumnae Theatre in October.

​Kay Randewich, Assistant Stage Manager
Kay is a member of the Alumnae and can sometimes be found at front of house. She is delighted to be working with the amazing cast and crew of Impressionism. Kay is an actor/playwright and also enjoys working backstage. Her home base is Act 2 Studio where, in Freshpicks Festival, November 2018, she was privileged to see one of her plays performed and also act in another. Kay’s latest acting role was with the NAGs Players in Dick Whittington.

Joan Jamieson, Costume Designer
Joan is a theatre creator in Toronto, focusing on works for children and youth. She founded Tri-Town Youth Entertainers where she wrote, directed, produced, sewed the costumes and drove the van, as one does in small towns everywhere. Joan hones her playwriting, stage managing and design skills through Act Two and Alumnae Theatre where she is a member of the New Play Development group. Her play Downtown Jay premiered at Toronto Fringe Kidsfest in 2015. Watch for Lexi and The Flying b’s there this summer!

Teodoro Dragonieri, Set Designer
Teo is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who has initiated, developed and coordinated award-winning arts programs for all levels of education, arts organizations, museums and theatres. He is co-founder and artistic director of Zanni Arte, a company dedicated to developing multi-disciplinary arts initiatives and the use of masks in theatre and education. Teodoro has presented workshops, performed and exhibited internationally. He is the recipient of several Exemplary Practices Awards for Arts Programming, The Harold: Toronto’s Independent Theatre and Dance Award and the Theatre Ontario Michael Spence Award.

​Sara Ahmadieh, Associate Set Design/Painter
Sara is an Iranian-Canadian artist based in Toronto. She has been exploring the common language of the arts through literature, theatre, visual arts and music. After gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Persian Literature, she moved to Canada to pursue her dreams in the arts by attending Humber College’s Theatre Production program. Following graduation, Sara started her professional career in Toronto’s vibrant theatre community as a scenic painter, prop builder and stagehand. She is currently a full-time carver at the Loonie Times Mascot Company.

Andrea Nesbitt, Assistant Set Design/Painter
Andrea is an artist, storyteller and teacher whose passion lies in creating immersive environments. She has exhibited installations and this is her second foray into set design. Working with Alumnae Theatre has given her the opportunity to learn, create with a team and see her work come to life night after night.

Suzanne Courtney, Images Designer
Suzanne loves creating art for theatre. She also loves to act (Pride and Prejudice, A Lie of the Mind and The Pear is Ripe with Alumnae Theatre) and to write plays for New Ideas, Inspirato, the Fringe, and Nuit Blanche. Suzanne has enjoyed revisiting some of her old favourites from art history classes while working with the Impressionism team.

Simon Fothergill, Composer
Simon has been making music for more than 35 years. In addition to songs and instrumental pieces, he has composed music for theatre and film. Examples include Murder with Love at the Metro Theatre in Vancouver and the short film Pumpkin Man by Anne Bryan. He has a large collection of vintage electric pianos and synthesizers, none of which were used in this project.

Jay Hines, Lighting Designer
Jay is a lighting designer and technician based in Toronto. He is a graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Production program; while there, he was co-set designer for fundip. Production’s show Life Underground (set co-designed with Ann Maisuradze). His lighting design credits include Lost in Yonkers (Teatron Theatre); The Penelopiad (Sir Oliver Mowat Drama Club); and Top Girls!,and the upcoming production of Impressionism (Alumnae Theatre). Jay is an avid reader, and writer of fantasy, sci-fi, and the occasional script.

Rick Sutton, Lighting Operator Rick has made his long-time hobby and passion for theatre a part of his retirement activities. As an active member of ACT II STUDIO at the Ryerson Chang School, he enjoys classes, acting (most recently as Antipholus in ACT II’s Comedy of Errors), doing web support, scene and headshot photography and operating lights and sound. He has also volunteered at Alumnae over the past several years. Dutifully housed in the booth, he has run lights and/or sound for SteppingOut,  Osage County, Omission and Queen Marie. Impressionism promises to be another exciting challenge.

Shelley Hobbs, Props Coordinator
Shelley is a cis-female lesbian, hearing-impaired, cancer survivor who plays hockey and writes plays. She recently retired as a lawyer. Shelley lives in Toronto with her wife, Joan Jamieson, who is also a playwright. She lives in close proximity to her youngest grandchildren who were, of course, introduced to theatre as soon as they could walk. A proud member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Shelley is thrilled to be working on Impressionism as a new active member of Alumnae Theatre.
Photo: June Meaney

Bios Impressionism

Jarrod Dunlop, Technical Assistant
Jarrod is meticulously technical, detail-oriented and obsessed with figuring out how to make things work that people didn’t think were possible. He’s soon to be a graduate of Humber’s Theatre Production program and is the Technical Director/Producer of the Young Actors Association of Niagara (YAAN). An experienced carpenter, rigger, drafter, theatre electrician, and general stagehand, Jarrod’s love for theatre truly shines when he’s making set pieces work together flawlessly. Previous Alumnae credits include, carpenter for Top Girls.

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