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FireWorks Festival 2022

Boom Baby

by Natalie Meisner

Director: Kimberley Radmacher
Assistant Director: Barbara Hyland
Associate Producer: Gabriel Marinho

November 9-13, 2022
in the Studio Theatre

Iona is a young Cape Breton woman who finds work as a loader operator in a camp of an enormous Alberta oil sands mining operation. Her fragile independence is upended when she finds herself pregnant after a casual sexual encounter with a friend. She is unsettled by the pregnancy and feels all options to deal with it involve serious complications, including the offer of an infertile couple to adopt the child if she is willing to carry it to term. 


NATALIE MEISNER is a playwright/poet from Nova Scotia, a full Prof at MRU, and Calgary’s 5th Poet Laureate. Her work deploys the power of comedy for social change.  Baddie One Shoe is a collection of odes to renegade women. Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story illuminates the life of the last Canadian jailed for homosexuality. Speed Dating for Sperm Donors was a hit at Lunchbox & Neptune. Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family topped non-fiction lists, and My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother & Me is about a two-mom biracial family finding community.

Natalie Meisner Talks about ​Boom Baby ...​

What attracted you to the story?

What do you hope audiences take away with them?



Carolyn Zapf is a writer, dramaturg, and publishing professional. She is currently editing several non-fiction books for the University of Toronto Press. As a playwright, she has written commissioned works for theatres across Canada and was the first playwright-in-residence for the National Theatre School of Canada (English section). For Alumnae Theatre, she served as co-artistic director/producer and dramaturg of the New Ideas Festival for 8+ years and is presently a dramaturg for FireWorks Festival, as well as for several individual playwrights. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. 


Kimberley is a resident theatre director and artistic producer with the University of Toronto’s internationally renowned medieval and early modern drama company, PLS. She studied at the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, Theatre, and Performance where she specialized in intermedial performance theory. Kimberley has been directing new plays and early drama since the mid-1990s with directing and video directing credits including Middleton and Rowling’s The Changeling (Luella Massey Studio Theatre) and Beaumont’s Royal Wedding Masque (Hart House). She is delighted to return to FireWorks again this year having directed The Creases in my Sari for the festival in 2016. 


Amy Reuben has an extensive career in technical and production theatre in Ontario and Louisiana. She has been freelancing since 1982 as a Lighting Electrician and Designer, Lighting Director, Technical Director, Assistant Stage Manager, and Stage Manager for theatre, dance, literary and theatre festivals, lIve music and opera. Amy has been a self-producing playwright since1991, founding District Productions NOLA. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her plays can be found on NPX.  As a new member of the Alumnae Theatre, Amy is glad to support the FireWorks Festival.  


Luca’s first involvement in theatre was in the 1990s, at age 6, in Ida Carnivale’s production of Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo where he missed an entire scene one night because someone let him play Tetris on a Game Boy in the dressing room. He then moved on to a varied career in the arts ranging from touring commissioned opera through Europe to being almost drowned by Charlie Sheen to being a Sunlight Soap Scratch-n-Sniff to having a Mars Supreme(TM) bar wrapper thrown at him by NHL not-Hall-of-Famer Keith Primeau. He went to a prestigious theatre program for four years, finished it, and then promptly became a chef and DJ for over a decade. At some point in the past, he was the voice of Bear on Franklin the Turtle for four seasons and two films.


Barbara Hyland joined Alumnae Theatre last year and has returned to directing after a very long hiatus.  She is thrilled to be working as an Assistant Director on Boom Baby.  A member of Act2StudioWorks, she has recently researched, written, and directed scenes for Moving Scenes, research-based drama on living with dementia.  She is currently directing a new play, Talking Matters, written by Merrill Swain and Marina Engelking.


Born in Brazil and living in Canada since 2012, Gabriel is a screenwriter, script supervisor, novelist, copywriter, ghostwriter, and digital artist/designer. After releasing three novels written in Brazilian Portuguese (named The World After the EndA Brief Dream of Hope, and Constellation of a Cloudy Sky), Gabriel decided to dive deep into the art of screenwriting. He graduated from Toronto Film School and as of today, Gabriel has six feature films and four TV pilot scripts under his belt – and some earned recognition in writing competitions such as Screencraft and LaunchPad. He recently decided to venture into theatre. So far, he’s enjoying the ride.


Tanya started her career working in a vintage shop in Stratford, Ontario, where she taught herself to sew and tailor. She now creates original designs that include groovy purses, accessories, and tailored pieces. She began designing for theatre as a costume designer for The Changeling  (Drama Centre/Luella Massey Studio). She is frequently a design assistant for PLS productions where costumes she’s built have appeared in international productions. Tanya previously designed costumes for The Creases in My Sari, which was part of the 2016 Fireworks Festival.


Danielle is a Toronto-based designer and technician. She received a BFA in Theatre Production and Design from York University.  Selected credits include Lighting Designer for Silence S’il Vous Plait (Illusion, Coffee and Poetry), Head à Tête (YUFFA Fringe), and Sound Operator for Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life (Outside the March/The Musical Stage Company). Previous credits for Alumnae: Projection Designer, The Trip to Bountiful (2020). Lighting Operator, The Heidi Chronicles (2019), New Ideas Festival (2019).


Elaine has been an active member of the Alumnae Theatre since 2019. Pre-COVID, Elaine designed
projections for Heidi Chronicles and Trip to Bountiful. She is, for her sins, ATC Communications
Coordinator, but she prefers writing plays and is an active member of the New Play Development
group. Calling on her varied talents, she is both designing projections and creating marketing materials
for FireWorks 2022.


As one of the Festival’s lighting board operators, Melanie is delighted to help “shine a light” on the wonderful new work being produced at FireWorks. A former stage manager (with shows at The Toronto International Fringe Festival, Summerworks, Harbourfront, and The Alumnae Theatre), Melanie now focuses on writing and acting; however, she’s happy to support fellow playwrights from time to time by drawing on her production skills. 


Kathleen Jackson Allamby is not a stranger to Alumnae – but this is her first time participating as props mistress. She’s pleased to work on such a great play with great people. Break a leg, everyone.



Karly is a Toronto-based actor and artist originally from Sudbury, Ontario. She is an actor and avid dancer, as well as an aspiring writer. Karly is a 2021 graduate of the Theatre Performance program at George Brown College where she was lucky to have the opportunity to work with such brilliant theatre artists and creatives. She most recently finished working with Theatre on the Ridge where she had the pleasure of working on a variety of pieces for their summer season. Selected credits include Brenda/Punch Up (Carey Nicholson), Various/Creator-Something From Nothing (Andy Massingham), Lorie/Nested (Molly Thorn), Irina/Three Sisters & Co. (Rob Kempson), and Pangrazzia/The Corsican Complaint (Sue Miner).


Donovan Jackson is a Winnipeg-born theatre practitioner and founder of Reverie Theatre in 2015. His interest in theatre started in high school, culminating in a degree from the University of Winnipeg. Donovan was continually exposed to physical and devised theatre in university and developed a passion for the forms. In 2012, he moved to Toronto to further his development. While working in the community, he continued his learning with self-study about collective creation, writing, and story development. He has worked on numerous productions with Ismailova Theatre of Dance, Minmar Gaslight Productions, numerous Fringe Festivals, and the InspiraTO Festival.


Born in Peterborough Ontario, Tom is now a Toronto-based writer, actor, and clown. He is a seasoned performer at @4thlinetheatre: his credits include Bad Luck Bank Robbers (2016), Who Killed Snow White (2018), and Bedtime Stories & Other Horrifying Tales (2020). Tom is a recent graduate of @gbtscompany, and he’s most proud of his work as Il Dottore in The Corsican Complaint (2021). This year he has appeared on TV shows such as Unexpected Killer and Haunted Museum. Back from touring his new play Another Word For Pomegranate at the PEI Fringe Festival, Tom is honoured to be working with this team at Alumnae Theatre to help bring this important Canadian story alive.


Valérie’s involvement in theatre started in Montreal where she interpreted various roles, notably Gulnara in La robe de Gulnara with Theatre Parenthèses. Expatriated in London (UK), she got involved with the French theatre community and played Camille in Ring, several characters in Under Milk Wood, and Germaine Lauzon in Les Belles-soeurs and finally produced and played Isabelle in The Orphan Muses.  Back in Toronto, she performed in a few short movies, commercial spots, TV shows, and web series and interpreted Madeleine in the hybrid theatrical rendering of Albertine in Five Times  with the Alumnae Theatre Company.  She is also a board member of the Theatre français de Toronto.


Gordon is excited to join the talented team at Boom Baby. His selected credits include A Knight to Remember (Eltham Little Theatre – VDL award nomination), Binequality (1812 Board Shorts), The Gift (Silk Purse Productions), Chekhov? You’re Joking! (ARK Theatre), California Suite (Kentwood Players), DIA: Diagnosis To Dialogue (Berkeley TPS), Xtro and Julie (Alumnae Theatre), and The Miser (Gnu Ground Players). Gordon also co-founded Fly By Night Theatre Company, where he directed productions such as 7 StoriesAutobahn, and Boy Meets Girl. Gordon was a member of Tarragon Theatre’s Spring Training Program and was mentored by Diego Matamoros at Soulpepper Theatre’s Mentorship Program.


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


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