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Bios The Heidi Chronicles

Wendy Wasserstein’s play The Heidi Chronicles won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize; the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. For The SIsters Rosenseig she received the 1993 Outer Critics Circle Award, a Tony Award nomination, and the William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in American Theatre. Other plays include Old Money, An American Daughter,  and Third.  She taught at Columbia University, New York University, Juilliard School, and Princeton University, and held an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Holyoke College. Wasserstein was born in Brooklyn and raised in Manhattan. She was a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the Yale School of Drama.

Ilana Linden, Director
Ilana is a visual artist, writer, actor, theatre director/producer and filmmaker. She is the founder of Bulldog Productions theatre company, which was one of Montreal’s leading professional English theatre companies. Ilana produced all of Bulldog’s acclaimed productions, including the Canadian premiere of David Mamet’s Oleanna, winner of the Masque Award for best English language production. Ilana directed several of the company’s plays, including Terrance McNally’s Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles and Homeward Bound by Elliot Hayes. In 2005 Ilana wrote and directed Josef’s Daughter, a feature documentary about aging and mortality that aired nationally on CBC’s The Passionate Eye.

CAST

Breanna Dillon, Heidi
Breanna is a Dora-nominated actor, a My Entertainment World Critic’s Pick Nominee, and was recently named a “Breakthrough Stage Artist of 2018,” by NOW Magazine. She is a proud graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City. A co-founder of Witchboy Theatre, Breanna has co-produced and performed in all 4 of their successful productions including: “The Doll Play” by Joanne Sarazen, “What Happened Was…” by Tom Noonan, “Metropolitan Operas” by Joe Pintauro and “Love and Human Remains” by Brad Fraser. She most recently co-starred in OneFourOne Collective’s 2019 Best of Fringe and Patrons Pick winning play “The Huns” by Michael Ross Albert at the Crowsnest Theatre, which garnered sold out shows and outstanding reviews. Last year she served as a producer on “The Late Henry Moss” by Sam Shepard (Unit 102), and co-produced/assistant-directed the world premiere of George F. Walker’s Kill the Poor (Leroy Street Theatre). Breanna is very grateful to the Alumnae Theatre Company for the opportunity to play this incredible role with such a hard working cast and crew.

Daniel Jones, Scoop
Daniel is proud to make his Toronto stage debut at The Alumnae Theatre! He’s a graduate of Moravian College with a B.A. in English/Theatre Performance and did post-university training at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and most recently at Second City here in Toronto. He’s performed throughout North America and abroad including Krakow, Poland and Capetown, South Africa. Favourite roles along the way include: the title character in Tartuffe, James in Etta Jenks and Prince Charming in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. He’s a budding voiceover artist and is soon to be seen in the short film, Kilalanin.

Eitan Shalmon, Peter
Eitan is an actor and improviser from Toronto. He is a graduate of The University of Toronto’s Theatre and Drama Studies Program, as well as the Conservatory Program at the Second City Training Centre. Some of his highlights include performing in Improv Showdown and The Naughty Listers at Second City, along with being a Principle Prankster on YTV’s Undercover High. This is his first performance on the Alumnae stage, and he is honoured and elated to work with this incredible cast and crew. ​​

Joyce Chan-Baretta, Susan
Joyce is very excited to work with Alumnae Theatre this season. Previously, she was in “Nana’s Naughty Knickers” and ” Stepping Out” with Theatre Etobicoke. If she looks vaguely familiar, you may have seen her in commercials for Buick, Boston Pizza, TD Mortgages and more. She has studied at the Tom Todoroff Studio and Shakespeare Without Fear in NYC, and is currently studying at The Actors Workshop in Toronto. She loves connecting with theatre and film people, so feel free to drop her a line at joyce.chan.101@gmail.com.

Brianna Diodati, Fran/Molly/Betsy/April
Brianna, born and raised in Calgary, recently made the move to the big city of Toronto! She is a proud alumna of The Youth Singers of Calgary Organization and The University of Lethbridge’s Theatre Program. Highlights include playing Sloane Peterson in the Western Canada touring production of Ferris Bueller’s School of Rock, Ms. Gardner in Carrie: The Musical, and Roberto Zucco in Roberto Zucco. Most recently, she was seen on the Hart House Theatre Stage in The Penelopiad. She sends big thanks to her dear loved ones and The Heidi Chronicles‘ hardworking and vibrant team!

Rebecca MacDonald, Becky/Clara/Denise
Rebecca is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College Theatre and Drama Studies joint specialist program where her most recent stage credit was as Irina in Theatre Erindale’s production of Three Sisters. Since she has just finished school and been released into the world, she is very excited to start working and creating in Toronto theatre!

Noah Sisson, Chris/Mark/TV Attendant/Waiter/Ray
Noah is currently completing a BFA in Performance Creation at York University. His most recent work at York includes co-creating and co-starring in an original physical theatre piece ‘dead skin’ for the 2019 Devised Theatre Festival and writing/directing original play ‘Rose’s Thoughts from the Raft‘ for the 2018 playGround Festival. He will be playing Dean Richards in the upcoming web series ‘Stunt Club‘ on YouTube. This is his first time working with Alumnae, and he is thrilled to be part of this incredible story!

Nadine Charleson, Lisa/Jill/Debbie
Nadine is a graduate of the Theatre Performance program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. After working behind the scenes in film and TV in Vancouver, she is thrilled to be making her Toronto theatre debut in The Heidi Chronicles with the Alumnae Theatre Company. Love to her family, friends and especially her husband Jovahn for their constant love and support. Instagram: @nadinecharleson

PRODUCTION TEAM

Alison Smith, Producer
Alison’s main passion is writing, and she joined Alumnae Theatre in 2016 to be part of the New Play Development group. Her play “The Thesis” was read in April 2019 as part of Next Stage Reading Series, and she hopes to have it produced at Toronto’s Fringe Festival in 2020. In the past year, Alison has been very involved in Alumnae’s marketing and was also an associate producer for The Importance of Being Earnest in 2018. She is excited to take on the role of producer for The Heidi Chronicles.

Chenyi Guo, Co-Producer
Originally from China, Chenyi completed her education in the US in the field of accounting. After a few years of professional experience and becoming a CPA in California, she decided to make a change to be more involved in the creative field, specifically theatre. Since moving to Toronto in 2018, Chenyi has been taking training courses and luckily had a chance to perform for the first time on stage. Now, she is very excited to undertake her first producing challenge.

​Kim Croscup, Co-Producer
Kim is a graduate of both the 3 Year Conservatory Program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Neighborhood Playhouse Summer Conservatory in New York City. Highlights include playing Margery in Vinegar Tom, Gertrude in Hamlet, and The Friar in Romeo & Juliet. She was last seen on the Alumnae Stage as Marty in Marty and Joel and the Edge of Chaos in the 2018 New Ideas Festival. Also for Alumnae Theatre, Kim directed Sex on the Beach in the 2010 New Ideas Festival.

Monique Danielle, Assistant Director
Monique is a director and actor from southern Alberta currently based in Toronto. Directing credits include MacbethDon’t Dress for Dinner, The Man Who Couldn’t Dance, A Game and assistant directing Dido, Queen of Carthage with renowned director Peter Hinton. Her production of Macbeth is currently running in Lethbridge, Alberta and received high praise that it is the best production the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society has ever produced. When not directing, Monique can be found onstage, producing pieces with her company Prairie Bear Theatre, or behind the microphone creating voices for animation, commercials and more.

Teodoro Dragonieri, Set Designer
Teodoro is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who has developed acclaimed programs for all levels of education. He has led workshops, given lectures 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.
Director: Honest Aesop’s Fables, A Funeral for Clowns, The Travelling Salesman and his Magical Suitcase of Desires. Stage Design for Alumnae Theatre: Antigone, Omission, Top Girls, and Impressionism. He is the recipient of the Theatre Ontario Michael Spence Award and The Harold Award (from Toronto’s Independent Theatre and Dance Communities).

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 (with Ann Maisuradze) for fundip. Productions’ show Life Underground. His lighting design credits include Lost in Yonkers (Teatron Theatre), The Penelopiad and Mamma Mia! (Sir Oliver Mowat Drama Club). Jay is an avid reader and writer of fantasy, sci-fi and the occasional script.

​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. She was selected for the Solar Stage Dawning Series play development program in 2019, and her resulting play, Lexi and the Flying b’s, was produced at the Toronto Fringe Kidsfest in 2019. Her play Downtown Jay premiered at Toronto Fringe Kidsfest in 2015 and her play Random Spawn was part of Big Ideas at Alumnae it May 2019.

​Nathan Bruce, Sound Designer/Composer & Lighting Assistant
Nathan is a current student at York University’s Theatre Production & Design program going into his 4th (and maybe final) year. This is Nathan’s first show at Alumnae Theatre, but he’s excited to join a lovely team with a couple of familiar faces. Nathan’s most recent shows have been in technical direction at York University, but he also continues to freelance as a house technician at Dancemakers and TDT as well as at other non-for-profit theatres in Toronto.

​​Sean O’Brien, Stage Manager
Sean received his B.F.A. in Acting at the University of Windsor, realized he was just kind of okay at acting and got his M.F.A. in Theatre Directing at East 15 Acting School. Since co-founding Skipping Stones Theatre, he’s directed 4.48 Psychosis, Coriolanus, and most recently Hamlet(s). He was also privileged enough to direct for the first two seasons of the Newmarket National Play Festival. This year he’s been stepping into stage management at the Alumnae, first with Little Angels at the New Ideas Festival and now with The Heidi Chronicles, and has been grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Gisela Ramos, Assistant Stage Manager
Gisela joined the Alumnae Theatre Company in June 2019. She moved from Peru to Toronto three years ago to change her career from Environmental Engineering to Expressive Arts Therapy. She likes to write, and her dream is to see her stories on stage one day. She currently collaborates on the production of The Trip to Bountiful at Alumnae.

Shreyas Batra, Assistant Stage Manager
Shreyas is a proud theatre artist, a man of many hair colours. Shreyas strives to be the jack of all trades, know the workings of every position in theatrical settings. As such, he has worked as producer, playwright, director, stage manager, choreographer, lighting designer, dramaturg, actor, dancer and box office staff. Fresh from Ottawa, Shreyas has finally moved back to Toronto in order to establish himself in the theatre community here. The Heidi Chronicles is his first show with Alumnae, and he couldn’t be more excited to work with such a brilliant team. Enjoy the show!

Lauren Griffiths, Assistant Stage Manager
Lauren is a Toronto trained actor and comedian, first graduating from York University’s acting conservatory, and then immediately following, The Second City conservatory. She’s recently been expanding her horizons, studying directing at Tarragon with Richard Rose, Baby Clown in Manitoulin with John Turner and coaching Vanier’s Improv Company at York University. Lauren first worked with Alumnae early this year when she directed a show for their New Ideas Festival, Il Testosteroni! She is very much looking forward to working with them again, to expand her theatre horizons further, and learn all it takes to be an assistant stage manager!

Shelley M. Hobbs, Costume Assistant
Shelley is a cis-female lesbian, hearing-impaired, cancer survivor who plays hockey and writes plays. She has done props for Alumnae main stage show Impressionism, and has had a play in the Big Ideas Festival in 2019. Shelley’s plays have been produced at the Toronto Fringe Festival (A Good Death; Happy Family), developed through the Ergo Arts Pink Fest (The Sister Op; Monkey Wrench) and selected for international ten-minute play festivals in Newmarket and Chicago. She is proud to have been chosen as part of Nightwood Theatre’s Write From the Hip program for 2019-2020. Go Heidi!

Lidia Foote, Sound Operator & Projectionist
Lidia Foote is a savvy combination of designer and technician. She is a recent graduate from Humber College’s Theatre Production program, and in this show, The Heidi Chronicles, she is running sound and projections. This is her second project outside of school, her first being a Toronto Fringe Festival show called Sweet Kisses-Tender Limbs at the Passe Muraille Backspace, where she did lighting and sound design as well as stage management. Lidia currently works as a freelance technician and lighting designer. She is interested in working with successful and strong women like the ones who put together this show.

​Danielle Carey, Lighting Assistant
Danielle is a Toronto-based technician and designer. She received a BFA in Theatre Production and Design from York University. Previous technical credits include lighting operator for the 2018 InspiraTO Festival, sound operator on Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life (The Musical Stage Company) and lighting designer for The Worst: A DoFo Inspired Musical (Meow Wow Productions) for Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival 2019.

Elaine Freedman, ​Projection Designer
Elaine has been working and playing in photography and theatre for many years. She has worked as a freelance editor over the past three decades, much of that time sourcing and processing photos and illustrations for textbooks and magazines. At the same time, she has dabbled in photography and water-colour painting. Although new to Alumnae, where she is an active member of the New Play Development group, she has been a volunteer at the Village Playhouse for over 25 years, taking on many jobs, including her current position as a member of the play-reading committee. 

Alex Asaro, Sound Operator
Alex is a recent graduate of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Game Development program. He is passionate about music, math, philosophy and – not surprisingly – games. He hopes to pursue a new future in Audio Engineering and is happy to be working as a sound operator for The Heidi Chronicles

Bec Brownstone, Props Master
Bec  has previously designed costumes for the Alumnae productions of Top Girls (2019), Thirteen Hands (2017), Stepping Out (2016), Burying Toni (2014), You Have To Earn It (2014), Measure of the World (2013), Gloria’s Guy (2013) and The Drowning Girls (2012); she also coordinated props for The Underpants (2013). When she isn’t absorbed in artistic pursuits she can usually be found curled up with a good book and one of her cats.

Bios The Heidi Chronicles

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