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FireWorks Festival 2015

​November 4 – 22, 2015

​FireWorks Festival 2015

November 4 – 22, 2015
FireWorks Festival 2015 offers new full-length plays developed at Alumnae, associated workshops, panel discussions and other events, offering a rare opportunity to explore behind-the-scenes issues and aspects of the productions.

Ticket Prices – $15.00 – Sunday Matinees ‘PWYC’
* Note that the ‘Playwrights Speak’ and the ‘Roundtable Sessions’ are free to attend.


by Chloe Whitehorn

​A high school god falls for the wrong girl, his teacher.  A dark tale of heart break and revelations, Divine Wrecks explores the nature of love without boundaries. A modern adaptation of a classic tale. Read More…
November 4-8th


by Taylor Marie Graham

Inspired by the true events of the Goderich, Ontario 2011 F3 class tornado, Cottage Radio explores the effect of the horrific storm on the fictional, yet very recognizable Marley clan. The family is forced to deal with the horrific events of the storm that are currently bringing them together, while confronting all the past events that kept them apart for so long. Read More…
November 11-15th


by Charles Hayter

The story of a forgotten Canadian hero, Dr. Vera Peters, and her fight to alter breast cancer treatment. Spurred on by patient outrage, memories of her mother’s suffering, and her own diagnosis of breast cancer, peters embarks on a quest to find a gentler alternative to the mutilating radical mastectomy – and in the process sets the surgical world against her. Read More…
November 18-22nd


The lights go on, the curtain goes up and the play begins—but how does it all happen? This year FireWorks takes you behind the curtain to reveal how the production is brought to life, giving you, the audience, a chance to discover the process and choices made by our playwrights, designers and directors. In a series of talk-back sessions following each performance, Thursdays the directors discuss their work, Friday it’s the turn of the Lighting and Sound Designers, Saturday matinee the Costume Designers, Saturday evening the Set Designers, and finally after Sunday matinee the playwrights will discuss the genesis and development of their creation. FireWorks is about development, so we want to share the process with you.  We expect a lively exchange.

The FireWorks Team

Ramona Baillie (Festival Producer)
Ramona writes for film, television and theatre.  Her films scripts have been produced in Canada, the U.S. and Europe

and have won various Film and Screenplay Awards.  Recent theatre credits include: Writer: A Little Happiness (Alumnae Theatre), You Have to Earn It (FireWorks Festival), I’m Still Here (New Ideas Festival/Central Alberta Theatre), Babies (Central Alberta Theatre).  Writer: The Cape Drowning My Sorrow readings (Alumnae Theatre).  Writer/Director: I’m Still Here Drowning My Sorrow readings (Heliconian Club).  Director: Xmas Pageant & Spring Fashion Show (Heliconian Club).  Producer: I Am Marguerite, A Woman of No Importance & Sylvia (Alumnae Theatre).

Dale Stewart (Production Associate)
Dale’s working life began with a decade in television production for CBC Toronto, interspersed with and eventually supplanted by a career as an actor/singer in theatre, concert and nightclubs.  Subsequent studies in piano and voice with RCM, WLU and the elegant Portia White led to teaching both privately and in Toronto schools.  She attends creative writing classes at George Brown College and The Toronto New School of Writing.  This is Dale’s second stint as Associate Producer at the Alumnae Theatre

Molly Thom (Production Associate)
Molly is the author/director/producer of the much-loved play about Canadian pioneer writers, The Bush-Ladies,

director/producer of The Gambler by Ronald Weihs for Beggarly Theatre/Artword Theatre, and is now the resident director of Shoestring Opera. For Alumnae she has directed many plays by women: Caryl Churchill’s Fen and Top Girls, Pam Gems’ Camille, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale, the Quebec collective La Nef des sorcières, and Cate Frid’s GuineaPigging. She’s directed six works by Shirley Barrie, including I Am Marguerite at the Alumnae and Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…for 4th Line Theatre.  Her Toronto premiere of Carol Shields’ Thirteen Hands appeared on the Best Of lists of the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine and CBC Radio.

Chloë Whitehorn (Divine Wrecks Playwright)
A graduate of Queen’s University’s theatre program, Chloë Whitehorn is a playwright, actor and recent mom. Her plays

often examine taboo moralities, tragic love, and the licentious desires and imaginative reasoning of human beings. She received a Toronto Arts Council grant for the development of “Divine Wrecks”. Recent writing credits: “Love, Virtually” (Toronto Best of Fringe), “The Deepest Trench” (Alumnae Theatre New Ideas Festival), and “The Frank Diary of Anne” (San Francisco Fringe, London Fringe Festival). Her work has been published in two monologue collections (City Voices: Book of Monologues by Toronto Artists and One on One: Playing With Purpose). For more information please visit her webpage:

Taylor Marie Graham (Cottage Radio Playwright)
Taylor Graham is a writer, director, and educator living in Toronto. She has worked in various capacities with esteemed theatre

companies as the Toronto Fringe Festival, Canadian Stage, Theatre Gargantua, b current, Tapestry New Opera Works, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She is the recipient of four OAC theatre creator reserve grants for the development of her writing, and her opera “The Virgin Charlie” was Dora nominated for Best Opera / Musical in 2008. She currently teaches English at Sheridan College and coordinates the front of house department at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Charles Hayter (Radical Playwright)
Charles spends his time writing plays and treating cancer. A medical graduate of Queen’s University, he has an MA in

Drama from the University of Calgary. His one person show Lady-In-Waiting won the award for Best Writing: Solo Show at the Fresh Fruit Festival NYC 2008. Recent writing credits include: Eldorado Town – The Port Hope Play (4th Line Theatre) and Going In (Fresh Fruit Festival, NYC). Charles is a graduate of Tapestry Opera’s Lib-Lab program and a proud member of Playwrights’ Guild of Canada.

Pamela Redfern (Divine Wrecks Director)
As a stage actor, Pam has played Jaquenetta in Love Labour’s Lost, the Widow, Taming of the Shrew, The Courtesan,

Comedy of Errors, (Stratford Festival); Mme Claux, The Lady from Maxime’s, (Theatre Plus); Seasons with The Globe Theatre, Regina; Solar Stage, Toronto. Film and TV; Helen Munroe in Empire Inc., principals in Serendipity; Childstar; Goosebumps; The Newsroom; Queer as Folk; The City; In God’s Country; Warehouse 13. Directing Credits include Shrinkwrap, The Stroller, Pearls, Ganga’s Ganja, Two Actressesand Pit Sublime for New Ideas at the Alumnae. Pam is thrilled to be a part of FireWorks this season, working with such a fine creative, technical and production team.

Julia Haist (Cottage Radio Director)
Julia is a writer, director, producer, performer and graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance Program. She

wrote and directed Slumgum & Quaqua’s Give Up the Ghost in the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival, and founded The Theatre Relay, a collaborative project aimed at building artists’ skills in writing, directing and performance through the development of solo pieces. She has interned with the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and is an alum of Buddies in Bad Times’ Pridecab and the Summerworks Leadership Intensive Program. She is delighted to participate in this year’s FireWorks Festival and to contribute to the development of Cottage Radio.

Neil Affleck (Radical Director)
Neil is a Toronto based actor, director, writer and film-maker. A Montreal native he worked as a professional actor and

director from 1979 through 1985. From 1985 to 2000 he lived in Los Angeles, attended the UCLA School of Film and Television and worked as an animated filmmaker, including ten seasons on the celebrated television series “The Simpsons.” Neil returned to Canada in 2001 and worked in the Toronto animation industry for twelve years. Neil recently resumed his acting career and the FireWorks production of Charles Hayter’s “Radical” marks his return to theatre directing after an extended hiatus of thirty years. In addition to UCLA Neil trained at the Dawson College Theatre Program and the National Film Board of Canada. Neil continues to slog away at getting his own projects produced. He speaks English, French and Spanish.

Melissa Chetty (Divine Wrecks AD)

Melissa is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She has performed in various sketch comedy and theatrical productions in and around Toronto, most recently as part of the ensemble cast of You Can Ask Me How I’m Doing (Alumnae Theatre/New Ideas Festival).  Melissa couldn’t be happier to part of Divine Wrecks.

Ingryd Pleitez (Radical AD)
Ingryd is thrilled to be a part of the FireWorks Festival this year. Ingryd is a Toronto based director.  Recent directing

The Djinns of Eigdgah (Hamilton Fringe- AD/SM) Love’s deception or Parental Guidance is ill-advised (Big Ideas Festival) Devices (New Ideas Festival) Dead French Philosophers and what we mean when we talk about love (New Ideas Festival- AD/SM) Seen and Unseen (Inspirato Festival) A belated Reunion (Inspirato Festival) The Fever ( Summerworks Festival- AD/SM) Amy Reine Des Morts (Zone Homa-AD/SM)

Ali Watt (Divine Wrecks Stage Manager)
As a pupil and member of the performing arts, Ali has played various roles as performer, Director and stage manager.  

Her interests in collaborative creations and utilization of design, production and performance is applied to her studies as a Devised Theatre student at York University.  Her recent work includes, A Walk in the Woods (Hanover Civic) as artistic director, and Stronger Variations (Theatre at York) as stage carpenter, as well as several roles participating in her training.  Ali is delighted to take on the role as Stage Manager for Devine Wrecks in the FireWorks Festival at the Alumnae Theatre.

Candace Hill (Cottage Radio Stage Manager)
Candace grew up in the lovely “Flower/Flour City” of Rochester, New York and is a graduate of York University (B.A.

Anthropology), and is very grateful to be able to work with some talented friends both old and new. Some of Candace’s favourite past credits as an actor include Zebra “A Mouthful” (Vanier College Productions), Trix “The Drowsy Chaperone” (Vanier College Productions), and as a stage manager for “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” (Vanier College Productions).  She would like to thank you, for your support of adventures of creativity, and local theatre.

Marysia Bucholc (Set Design)
Marysia has been designing sets for 15 years.  Recent credits include: I am Marguerite, The KilldeerAfter Magritte & The

Real Inspector Hound (Alumnae), Burying Toni & You Have to Earn It (Alumnae Fireworks Festival, world premieres), If We Were Birds The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Randolph Academy), Peggy’s Song (Montybaby Productions).   She has also created set pieces for The Outsiders, Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet (Upper Canada Repertory Company).  She received a Dora nomination in 2006 for her design for Kafka and Son (Theaturtle). Marysia is currently an English language tutor at Centennial College, narrates and records books for the CNIB Library, designs and creates stained glass windows and rejoices in her wonderful family.

Mark Cope (Assistant Set Design)
Mark is an artist living and working in Toronto, with a primary focus on painting and illustration. Past work has included

design and photography, props and sets in film and theatre, cartooning and storyboards, murals, private commissions and sculpture. Common themes of history, evolution, astronomy and pop-culture remain prevalent in his work. Mark has been set painter on Blood Relations and Rabbit Hole and I am Marguerite at the Alumnae Theatre.

Gabrielle D’Angelo (Sound Design)
Gabrielle has always had a passion for music, this led her to study music production and audio engineering at

Metalworks Institute.  Since graduation Gabrielle has worked independently as a studio, mix and live engineer. She has recently begun working in post production and composition work for the stage. She’s also worked with Alumnae as Sound Operator for I Am Marguerite and Sound Designer for the 2014 FireWorks Festival.

Peter DeFreitas (Costume Design)
Peter is a successful fashion designer in Canada and the U.S.  Designing for the Alumnae Theatre was at the request of

his cousin who was producer for The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein.  Other works for the Alumnae are I Am Marguerite by Shirley Barrie, Closer by Patrick Marber, February by Lisa Moore, Trojan Women adapted by Gwendolyn MacEwen and Guillaume Bernardi’s production of Progress of Love  by Alice Munro.  Also with Bernardi: Six Characters in Search of an Author by Pirandello, Duos by Anne Nenarokoff-Van Burek and Il Furiosi Baroque – Ensemble.  Their collaboration continued with productions of L’Isola Disabitata by Haydn, Through Roses by Mark Neikrug, and Il Nozze di Figaro by Mozart, all for Opera Frankfurt.

Trish Worrall (Costume Design)
Trish is a product designer for a large North American gift company.  After completing her degree in fashion design at

Sheridan College, she has worked as a production manager and accessory designer with some of Canada’s premiere clothing companies. Trish loves to create and make one of kind leather bags and clothing for her customers and is thrilled to have the opportunity to put this passion and knowledge to costume design with the Alumnae Theater Group.

Toni Hanson (Costume Design)
Toni is pleased to return to the Alumnae Theatre Company, bringing costume design to the stage for the Fireworks

Festival 2015. Toni has concentrated on Technical Product Development for the Apparel industry, and has also worked as a costume builder and cutter (2010-2013). Favorite projects include building costumes for television, film and Cirque du Soleil, and most recently, designing with Peter DeFreitas on I Am Marguerite for the Alumnae Theatre. She has a Diploma in Creative Fashion Design from George Brown College (1997). Toni is currently a Quality Control Specialist at Kleinfeld Bridal in Toronto. More at:  

Bill Scott (Lighting Design)
Bill is definitely an Alumnae treasure.  He has literally taken on too many design roles at the Alumnae through the years to mention.  Believe it or not he actually contributed to 5 Studio shows, 5 Main Stage shows and 6 productions at other theatres in the same season.  Apart from designing for our theatre he also designs for the Scarborough Village Theatre. 

Anita Nittoly (Divine Wrecks Fight Choreography)
Canadian Opera Company 2015: assistant fight master of Die Walkure. Blyth Festival 2014: fight director of Kitchen

Radio and Stag & Doe. Stratford Festival 2013: assistant fight director of The Three Musketeers, Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, Blithe Spirit, Measure for Measure, Mary Stuart.  Stage combat instructor at the National Theatre School in Montreal, and with the Academy of Dramatic Combat in Toronto. Lead stunt performer for the TV series Dark Matter; other selected credits: Minority ReportMurdoch Mysteries, Bitten, Reign, The Listener, XIII: (The Series). Co-writer, dance choreographer, and lead actress on the independent film Charon’s Obal.

Fotini Paraschos (Props)
This is Fotini’s second time volunteering at Alumnae Theatre Company. Her first was as Set Design Assistant on I Am

Marguerite.  She is a recent Ryerson graduate from the Theatre Production program. Ryerson Theatre School credits include: Prop Supervisor; House Head of Props, The Piper; Assistant Head Carpenter, Marathon ‘33; Head Carpenter, Clown (2011).

Kristine Greenaway (Props)
Kristine is a Canadian playwright and translator whose plays have been produced in Switzerland and France. She enjoys

creating site-specific plays for all ages. As the English-language translator for Swiss playwright, Emanuelle delle Piane, she translates plays for children and adults. Kristine is a member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, the Société suisse des auteurs, the Geneva Writers’ Group, and Alumnae Theatre. She is active in Alumnae Theatre’s New Play Development group.

Mairy Beam (Props)
Mairy is excited to be working with the production crew for FireWorks 2015.  She is a member of Alumnae Theatre and

ACT II Studio.  Her plays, Forgiveness and The Next Mary were read at Big Ideas.  Her plays, Back to Work and A Matter of Safety were produced at Theatre Out of the Box.  She was co-writer and foley person for Spychasers at the Toronto Fringe Festival, and dramaturg and director for a group project, Closets and Cubicles for Act II Studio.

Carina Cojeen (Sound Operator & Audience Development)
Carina has been volunteering with the Alumnae Theatre since April of last year, when she was ASM on Rabbit Hole. She

takes dancing and singing classes in addition to assisting Alumnae with Marketing and Audience Development. She is excited about the amount of talent on this show and hopes you will enjoy learning about this fascinating piece of Canadian history.

Jenny Hong (Lighting Operator)
Jenny, who has been actively involved in many roles behind both educational and professional scenes for the past few

years, was so pleased to be back at Alumnae Theatre after her first experience as the Sound Operator for Antigone. Her previous works include: Spring Awakening, Ryerson Theatre School (2015) Jingle Jangle, StageWest (2013) Storm Warning, Rose Theatre (2012). Jenny is currently working on Performance Production Major at Ryerson University as she enjoys learning every aspect of theatre.

Liam Stewart (Lighting Operator)
Liam is a young Canadian filmmaker. Most of his work consists of bare bones no budget short films which you can find

under his company name Single Tear Pictures. Liam is also an avid writer and photographer who enjoys leisure strolls through the wilderness.

Liz Best (Front of House)
Liz appeared in the Canadian premiere of the Dora Award nominated show, A Man of No Importance at Acting Up Stage

and the original production of Muhammed of Yorkville at Summerworks.  Acting credits at Alumnae include Kitty in Brockfest and  Jessie in Gloria’s Guy.  Her play, Surrender Dorothy, was part of the New Ideas Festival and her second work, Imprint, was in this year’s Big Ideas Festival. She has appeared in many commercials, film and television roles in Canada and the United States and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Performance in a TV series, for her work on Meet The Family, A writer, director and actor, Liz is happily wearing the hat of Front of House Manager for Fireworks 2015.

Victoria Shepherd (Reservations)
Victoria made her directing debut with Alumnae Theatre’s Summer and Smoke.  Also for Alumnae:  New Ideas Festival

(Celebrity, Hang The Jury and Really, Sort of, Almost Getting There), Big Ideas (Forgiveness, Divine Wrecks) and the upcoming August: Osage County.  Victoria has served as reservations manager for many Alumnae productions.

Rhona Bennett (Catering)
Rhona is a former high school English teacher and free lance writer for many years with articles, editorials and features

appearing in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life Magazine, in house newsletters and online news blogs.  She is a member of Alumnae’s New Play Development group which has helped her learn new skills and participate in many wonderful programs.

Marcia Johnson (Playwrights’ Intensive)
Marcia is a Toronto-based actor and writer. Works include Courting Johanna based on Alice Munro’s ‘Hateship,

Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage’ (Blyth); Late (Obsidian Theatre Company); two operas with composer Stephen A. Taylor: My Mother’s Ring (Tapestry) and an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Paradises Lost (University of Illinois).
Playwriting Jumpstart with Marcia Johnson: Start writing a new play or dust off the one from the drawer.  Sometimes all a writer needs is a little encouragement. Over the course of the three Saturdays of the Writers’ Intensive, Marcia will help playwrights of all levels to find or refine their own style. We’ll work on eliminating unnecessary exposition while creating a piece worthy of collaboration with actors, directors, designers and the audience.All participants are required to send in a sample of their writing (six pages maximum) in advance of the first session.

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