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FireWorks Festival 2022

​Three New Plays

Producers: Helena Raposo and Mary
Barnes Amoroso
​Associate Producer: Anna Tharyan

November 9-27, 2022
in the Studio Theatre

Championing women writers, the Alumnae’s celebrated three-week festival enters its ninth year with the premieres of three original, full-length plays. With provocative writing and inventive staging, FireWorks is an incubator for new works and up-and-coming artists. Playwright/director talkbacks spark fresh insights into what it takes to make theatre

WATCH THE TRAILER!

FIREWORKS FESTIVAL 2022 TEAM

MARY BARNES AMOROSO/ ​PRODUCER

Mary has long pursued her love of theatre. As a teacher and educator, she co-founded and ran Eclat School of Performing Arts. As an active member of Alumnae Theatre, she served as chair of the New Play Development group, stage manager, Mainstage Programming Committee member, and producer. Producing credits include Thirteen Hands (2017), Impressionism (2019), and FireWorks Festival (2022). She is proud of the role of FireWorks in promoting new plays by Canadian women.

HELENA RAPOSO/ PRODUCER

​Helena works for the CBC as a Rights Coordinator and has been an active member of Alumnae Theatre’s New Play Development group since 2018.  Her short play The Unholy Estate of Matrimony was featured on the National Arts Centre website #CanadaPerforms. She is a first-time producer and thanks Mary for her steadfastness (and humour!), Anna for her “musings,” and Molly for her mentorship. Helena acknowledges and thanks the over 70 people involved in making FireWorks happen: “It started with three scripts and took a creative, hardworking village to get it off the ground.  Three cheers for us!”

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 and produced Considering Drama (a series of talks on impactful plays), HamletThis Is How We Got Here, and Antigone. Acting experience: 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.

MOLLY THOM/ ​PRODUCTION ADVISOR

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.

SUZANNE COURTNEY/ ​GRAPHICS

Suzanne is an artist with over 30 years experience in design, illustration, and website creation. She is also an actor (Pride & PrejudiceA Lie of the Mind, and The Pear is Ripe for Alumnae) and playwright. Her current obsession is creating a collage comic book The Plague Doctor Diaries.

TEODORO DRAGONIERI/ SET DESIGNER- ​PAINTER

Teodoro is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who has worked with arts organizations, cultural institutions, museums, and theatre companies. He has led workshops, presented lectures, shown his artwork, and performed internationally. Artistic director of Zanni Arte, a company supporting inter-disciplinary arts and fostering the use of masks in theatre and education. Currently adjunct faculty member/artist-in-residence at several university/college theatre programs. Designer and scenographer for theatre companies, Fringe, Summerworks, and various Mainstage and festival productions at Alumnae. Recipient of several Exemplary Practices Awards for arts programming, the Theatre Ontario Michael Spence Award, and The Harold Award (from Toronto’s Independent Theatre and Dance Communities).​

SARA AHMADIEHRAD/ SET DESIGNER- PAINTER

Sara Ahmadiehrad is an Iranian-Canadian artist based in Toronto. She explores 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. She is currently a scenic artist for theatre, film, and TV. Her experiences include scenic painting and props building for Soulpepper Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Opera Atelier, National Ballet of Canada, Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, and Alumnae Theatre. She enjoyed working with the great set design team of the FireWorks Festival. In the near future, Sara will be doing scenic painting for Post Democracy (Tarragon) and Da Kink in My Hair (Soulpepper)

​HIYAM MAHRAT/ SET DESIGN ASSISTANT-PAINTER

Originally Syrian, born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Hiyam came to Canada in 2018 and studied Performing Arts at Sheridan College. Besides her passion and work in the medical and administrative fields, she is a growing artist in theatre, film, and music. She is interested in contemporary Canadian theatre, experimental short film, and traditional performing arts, and she is currently a choir member with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra. Her art focuses on issues of belonging, identity diffusion, and cultural erosion. Hiyam is also interested in theatrical set design, voice acting, and directing. She joined Alumnae Theatre this year. 

MARGARITA POPOVA/ SET DESIGN ASSISTANT-PAINTER

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. She also thanks the producers of the FireWorks Festival for the opportunity to be a part of the theatre world.

AMY REUBEN/ LIGHTING DESIGNER

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.  

JOHN CORCELLI/ SOUND EFFECTS

John Corcelli was born and raised in Toronto. He’s a musician, actor, radio producer and writer. A TMU (Ryerson) grad from 1984, he was happy to bring his broadcasting experience to the FireWorks Festival. After a long career at the CBC, John retired to write books. His biography of comedian George Carlin comes out in December.

KARLY FRIESEN/ FIGHT COORDINATOR + INTIMACY COACH

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).

ELAINE FREEDMAN/ PROGRAM AND MARKETING

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. 

KRISTINE GREENAWAY/ ​MARKETING

Kristine is a playwright and translator whose plays have been produced in Switzerland, France, and Canada. She is a member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, Société suisse des auteurs, Geneva Writers’ Group, and Alumnae Theatre where she is active in the New Play Development group.

JENNIFER GROSE/ MARKETING

Jenn developed a love of the uncertainties of theatre after she produced Soldier On, a play by Jonathan Lewis, in West End London (UK) and brought it over to play in Toronto (Canadian Stage) in the fall of 2019. She produced Nested during FireWorks 2021 and will be producing Soldier On 2.0 in May, 2023, with an all-Canadian cast. Jenn is a founder at The Roland Gossage Foundation, a charity focused primarily on helping those who served in the military and their families find successful careers in technology, theatre, film, and television.

MELODY SCHALL/ ​MARKETING

Melody Schaal is a born-and-raised Torontonian who developed a love of theatre when her dad took her to see Cats at 3 years old. The rest was history. Over the years, she has worn many hats, ranging from actor to festival coordinator to social media manager. She is very excited to be working with Alumnae Theatre’s marketing department for the FireWorks Festival.

NICOLAS PORTEOUS/ VIDEOGRAPHER AND STILLS

Nicholas Porteous is an actor and filmmaker based in Toronto. He won the 48-Hour Filmmaking Project with Object Relations and filmed the Doras as well as cutting Pokémon Apokélypse and School of Thrones–which have collectively been viewed over 17 million times. Most of those views are his mom. You can hear him as the voice of Mr. Cooper on Luna, Chip, and Inkie and Paul on Super Wings. A good chunk of his work can be found on youtube.com/noveltyhat

FOR ALUMNAE THEATRE

CASSIDY SADLER/ FESTIVAL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A director, actor, and producer, Cassidy began working with Alumnae Theatre at age 17 in the 2012 New Ideas Festival. She is passionate about new works, immersive experiences, and experimental theatrical forms. She has performed in London and New York, and across the Canadian Prairies. She is a permanent company member of Live History, whose site-specific work can be seen internationally. Cassidy is currently the Production Manager at Roseneath Theatre. Additional credits include: A Tonic for Desperate Times (Theatre Gargantua); The Curious Voyage (DopoLavoro Teatrale/Talk is Free Theatre); and The Pride of Life and Mankind (Poculi Ludique Societas/Stan’s Cafe/Metropolitan Museum of Art).

BRENDA DARLING/ ​EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Currently President and Executive Producer of Alumnae Theatre, Brenda directed the Mainstage productions of The Trip to Bountiful (2020) and Stepping Out (2016), directed new scripts at several New Ideas Festivals, and co-produced the festival for 3 seasons. During the COVID pandemic, she launched CyberReads, an online script workshop series that presented over 100 rehearsed international and Canadian scripts featuring ATC directors and ATC actors.

Accessibility

Alumnae Theatre’s Berkeley Street entrance and the Mainstage Theatre are wheelchair accessible. ​There is a wheelchair accessible restroom on the ground floor.

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