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FireWorks Festival 2022

History of Visual Sources

by Laura Mullin

​Director: Liz Best
Assistant Director: Bren Somers
Associate Producer: Anna Tharyan

November 23-27, 2022
in the Studio Theatre

Simone, a theatre student in the 1990s, feels unremarkable and unmemorable among her university residence community of eccentric personalities. During a late-night homework session for an upcoming project, a socially awkward “loner” classmate makes a dramatic confession: he has fantasies about killing a professor. His revelation, on the heels of the Montreal Massacre, unleashes an unease and insecurity in Simone that compels her to report him to the resident don. Years later, she and Andrew are both still dealing with the fallout.

 

Trigger Warning: This play deals with issues of sexual assault and mass shootings that may be disturbing and upsetting.

THE PLAYWRIGHT

LAURA MULLIN is a playwright, director, producer, and co-host of CBC Radio’s PlayME, which recently won Gold at the New York Festival Radio Awards.
Laura is the Co-Artistic Director of Expect Theatre with Chris Tolley. Together they have created award-winning theatre, radio, film, and TV productions.
Laura’s short story, “History of Visual Sources,” won the Open Book Short Story Contest. Her play received an Honourable Mention for the 2021 National Voaden Playwriting Prize and was part of Ergo Pink’s Playwright Festival. She’s a contributor to CBC.ca and is currently writing The Tunnel Runners, an audio drama.

Laura Mullin talks about History of Visual Sources ...

What was the inspiration for the story?

What do you hope audiences will take away with them?

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

MOLLY THOM/ DRAMATURGE

Toronto director, dramaturge, writer, and sometime actor Molly Thom is best known as the author/director/producer of The Bush-Ladies (NAC, Tarragon Theatre, Ontario tour, Artword Theatre). She has directed many premieres of plays by women writers for Alumnae, among them Shirley Barrie’s I Am Marguerite, Catherine Frid’s Guineapigging, and last season’s FireWorks hit, Liz Best’s Nested. She is the co-founder of Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival and the resident director of Shoestring Opera.

​LIZ BEST/ DIRECTOR

Liz is an actor, producer, director, and writer because that way she can always find work. This year, she directed a reading of her play Nested at Village Players and had readings of her other works at Target Theatre, Walterdale Theatre, 4th Line Theatre, and Four Play Festival, South Simcoe Theatre. Her play Surrender, Dorothy will be performed at the Curtain Club in January, 2023. Liz is a proud member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

​MAGDALENA ACUNA/ STAGE MANAGER

Musicals and theatre were part of Magdy Acuña´s whole life back in her home country, Argentina. She participated as an actor and backstage crew in amateur musical productions like AladdinThe Lion KingIn the HeightsWe will Rock You, and different classic plays like Julius CesarThe Barber of SevilleThe House of Bernarda Alba, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among others. Looking to build her way to the scene in Toronto, she joined Alumnae Theatre as assistant stage manager for Albertine in Five Times in 2021. She enjoyed it so much that she returned for more learning and experience as stage manager for Nested in early 2022 and now for History of Visual Sources!  

​BREN SOMERS/ ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

To expand on her extensive performing and limited directing experience, Bren wants to learn more about the role of the director so she can move further in that direction. She is grateful to the FireWorks Festival for the opportunity and to Liz Best and all the absolutely fabulous History of Visual Sources team.

ANNA THARYAN/ ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Former librarian for Toronto Public Library, a specialist in adult programming, Anna is also a member of Act2 at the Metropolitan Toronto University. At Alumnae Theatre, she directed three ten-minute plays in 2021, produced Considering Drama, a series of talks on impactful plays (HamletThis Is How We Got Here, and Antigone). As an actor, she appeared in The Unholy Estate of Matrimony (screened – National Arts Centre), A Sigh or a Wish, I’m Still Here (video vignettes about seniors’ concerns), and scene studies in Uncle VanyaAngels in America, and Henry VIII. Anna also sings alto with an auditioned classical choir.

FABIANA MERCURIO/ COSTUME DESIGNER

Fabiana holds a Bachelor of Education with a focus in dramatic arts, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre production from York University. Her previous theatre experience as Head Cutter for York University’s production of Elizabeth Rex was unfortunately cut short due to the pandemic. She is beyond excited to be stepping back into the theatre world and making her Costume Designer debut with Alumnae Theatre’s show, History of Visual Sources. She would like to thank the cast, crew, and director, Liz Best, for encouraging her and granting her their time and enthusiasm.

ERIN MACKIE/ PROPS

In the 90s, Erin stage managed for companies including the Vancouver Playhouse, Edmonton Citadel, Banff Centre, Canadian Stage, Theatre Direct Canada, Saidye Bronfman Centre, and the Atlantic Theatre Festival. More recently, she has worked in production with TVO,  Discovery Channel, Guru Animation Studio, and CBC, where she is currently the Production Advisor for CBC News Studios. An Alumnae member since 2019, Erin did props for the Fireworks production If the Shoe Fits, has performed in CyberReads, and was Treasurer on the Board. She also volunteers with Heritage Toronto, Toronto WebFest, and Feed Scarborough.

DANIELLE CAREY/ PROJECTIONIST

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 FREEDMAN/ DESIGNER (PROJECTIONS)

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.

MARGARITA POPOVA/ LIGHTING OPERATOR​

Margarita is a new member of Alumnae Theatre. She came to Canada in 2021 from Western Siberia, Russia. Besides her work in geographic information systems analysis, she has additional education and experience in graphic design. Margarita is passionate about painting, drawing, and the history of arts and culture. Moreover, she plays drums in a small band. She is grateful to Teodoro for his energy and creativity and takes pleasure from being a part of his team of set designers, and she  thanks the producers of the FireWorks Festival for the opportunity to be a part of the theatre world.​

THE CAST

JADA RIFKIN​/ SIMONE

Jada Rifkin is excited to be part of the History of Visual Sources team! Rifkin is a performer, writer, and producer. Recent theatre credits include Maud: The Musical (Marion Abbott Productions), Jay & Shilo (Toronto Fringe), The Boy Who Loved Monsters…(TYT Theatre), It’s a Wonderful Life (The Medley), Goldirocks! (All Together Now Entertainment), and Every Silver Lining (Next Stage Festival). Rifkin has performed internationally in Singapore and Qatar, wrote and performed her one-woman show, I’M PERFECT*, to sold-out audiences, garnered over 50,000 followers as a livestreamer, and can be seen in commercials on air this year. Rifkin is a graduate of Randolph College for the Performing Arts. 

ERIK SALMON/ ANDREW

Erik Salmon is from the small town of Nipigon, Ontario, and fell in love with acting while participating in his elementary school productions. Upon graduating high school, Erik took the acting for stage and screen course at Canadore College in North Bay. Upon graduating, Erik moved to Toronto in order to study at Randolph College for the Performing Arts to develop his acting skills further whilst also improving his basic singing and dancing skills. His notable credits include Warwick (The Lark) and Mrs.Kirk/Braxton (Little Women) as well as his most recent appearance in Emerson Arts Fright Night.

​OLENKA DABROWSKI/ ESSIE

Olenka is a Polish-Canadian actor born in Newmarket, Ontario, and raised in Warsaw, Poland, where she grew up dancing and participating in theatre productions. She completed her BA in Drama with minors in Spanish and English at the University of Toronto and began acting professionally in 2015. She has acted in theatre productions including Chicago, commercials, and tv and film productions. Olenka is also an avid salsa and Latin ballroom dancer and speaks Polish, English, and Spanish fluently and is also learning French. 
She is very excited to be back on stage!

ADRIAN NOVAKOV/ DON

Adrian Mike Novakov Munoz was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and came to Canada in 2005. Growing up, he participated in a variety of sports, but soccer was his main interest. Adrian’s first taste for acting began in his senior year of high school when he landed a role in the school play, The Box. This ignited his passion for acting. He has worked on numerous film productions and is intent on educating and strengthening his craft. His aspiration is to pursue an acting career in film and theatre and eventually direct and write his own films.

Accessibility

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

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alum members throwing cards in the air

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