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FireWorks Festival 2023 Smoke Ville

​by Genevieve Adam

Director: Darcy Gerhart
Assistant Producers: Mihaela Kiraca, Sarah Muhoza, Anupriya Basu, Twisha Thakar, and Trisha Harlan

November 15-19, 2023
in the Studio Theatre


​In 1792, John Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, sails from Kingston to Niagara when a violent storm forces him to shelter in Wellington, the home of Daniel Reynolds. The storm passes, and Lord Simcoe is carried on to Niagara for the opening of the Upper Canada legislature. But when his wife is taken ill, he is forced to leave her behind with Reynolds. Then the story moves forward a couple of hundred years to the modern day, and a hilarious culture clash ensues when a big-city historian tries to rope a skeptical local librarian and “gatekeeper” into her vision for their small town of Smoke Ville.

FireWorks Festival 2023 is generously supported by

THE PLAYWRIGHT

GENEVIEVE ADAM

Genevieve Adam’s first play Deceitful Above All Things premiered at SummerWorks 2015 and won several accolades including Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Production, and Best Emerging Artist. Her second play Bedsport, premiered at NNPF in 2017, and her third play New World at the Future Theatre Festival in that same year. Her most recent work Dark Heart was named by the Toronto Star as one of the best stage productions of 2018. Her 2019 Cinderella satire If the Shoe Fits was one of FireWorks’ all-time hits.

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

DARCY GERHART/ ​DIRECTOR

Darcy Gerhart is a theatre artist who has spent most of her life living and working in T’karonto, ON. She studied acting at the National Theatre School of Canada and has performed on stages across the country, including the Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage, Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects, and The Theatre Centre. Having trained extensively in dance before pursuing a career in theatre, Darcy has a passion for physical storytelling that translates into all her work. She is particularly drawn to creating new work for the stage and has dramaturged, performed in, or directed multiple new Canadian plays. She is interested in stories that challenge our preconceived notions of community, identity, and what it means to be in relation with each other in the world today. Directing credits include: Featherhead by Sydnie Philips at the 2023 Toronto Fringe (Winner of Spirit of the Fringe Award); Harold Pinter’s Silence at the University of Toronto; and Choral Director of Spur-of-the-Moment Shakespeare Collective’s Shakespeare in Hospital’s.

MOLLY THOM/ ​DRAMATURGE

Molly Thom is a Toronto director, dramaturge and writer, best known as the author and director of the much-loved play about Canadian pioneer writers, The Bush-Ladies (National Arts Centre, Tarragon Theatre, Artword Theatre, and Ontario tour.) Directing credits include many other premieres: Shirley Barrie’s Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…for 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook, The Gambler by Ronald Weihs for Beggarly Theatre/Artword Theatre, and for Alumnae Theatre: Caryl Churchill’s Fen, Pam Gems’ Camille, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Love of the Nightingale, the Quebec feminist collective, La Nef des sorcières, and most recently Shirley Barrie’s I Am Marguerite. Her Toronto premiere of Carol Shields’ Thirteen Hands appeared on the Best Of lists of the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine and CBC Radio. She is the resident director of Shoestring Opera, founding Producer of Alumnae’s FireWorks Festival, and co-founder of its New Ideas Festival. 

BINI SHAH/ ​STAGE MANAGER

​Bini works as an IT Analyst during the day and spends her evenings chasing theatre and arts. She has been a part of the Toronto artistic community through her contributions by volunteering at theatre festivals like The Fringe, and other festivals like Elevate, Comic Con and more. She is an enthusiastic individual dedicated to supporting facilitation of contemporary arts. With an innate love for poetry and writing, she continues to support the artistic community in her capacity as a manager and co-ordinator. She aims to continue her engagement with the community as a producer for the upcoming festivals hosted by the Alumnae theatre as well.

HOMA BONDAR/ ​ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER

Homa is a medical laboratory technologist who harbours a deep passion for the world of theatre. Over the years, she has generously contributed her time and energy to the vibrant Toronto theater community, lending her skills and support to renowned venues like Crow’s, Coal Mine, Soulpepper, Berkeley, Tarragon, Factory, Pass Murielle, Buddies, and many others. In addition to her theatre involvement, Homa also actively participates in various festivals, including Fringe, Next Stage, SummerWorks, and Luminato. Her dedication and commitment have not gone unnoticed, as she has been honoured with the VACCT and Harold’s awards for her outstanding contributions.

THE CAST

REID MARTIN/ NANCY

Reid Martin is a Toronto-based actor, singer, and performer. She is a graduate of Sheridan College and UTM’s Theatre and Drama Studies program, she holds a diploma in Professional Actor Training and an HBA Specialist Degree in Theatre and Drama. Recent credits include Sarah in After Prom for Theatre Aquarius, Mother in Innocence Lost for Theatre on the Ridge, Swing for #11, #25, and #46 in The Wolves for All the Hats, and Desdemona in Othello for Knockout Theatre, amongst many others. Reid has a great passion for all kinds of theatre, but recently devised theatre has really allowed her to explore her love of community. 

CAMILA FARAH/ ​MALLORY

Camila Farah (she/her) is a queer Brazilian-Canadian actor, singer and costume designer. She is a Randolph College for the Performing Arts graduate. Credits as a performer include: Love You To Death (Small But Mighty); The Storyteller (No Strings Theatre); 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Unit 6 Collective); The Princess and The PeaCinderellaRapunzel (TYT); Ghost Light (Za Hughes); SAMCA (Spindle Collective); Sunshine BoyA Dispute (Randolph). Follow her musical and fabric adventures on Instagram: @camilafarah 

BLAKE PYNE/ ​EMMETT

​Blake Pyne is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on acting, singing, and musical theatre performance from Swehl-tcha (Cultus Lake, B.C.). He holds a certificate in musical theatre from the Randolph College for the Performing Arts and is a recent graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s acting program. Selected theatre credits include Paris in Romeo & Juliet (Sunbeam Theatre), Caliban in The Tempest, Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever and Valere in Moliere’s The Flying Doctor (Perchance Theatre 2022-2023), Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (NTS) The Baron Docteur in Venus (NTS), and Hart in Unity 1918 (C.S.O.P.A). TV: Surrealestate (SyFy).

MAISIE GEE/ ​LADY ELIZABETH

An accomplished British actor, Maisie Gee has a diverse portfolio spanning film, television, theatre, commercials, and voiceover. Having trained professionally at Northern Ballet School, Royal Welsh College for Music and Drama, and RAaW London, Maisie applies her breadth and depth of skill across all of her work. She recently played the leading role in the web series Immortals, produced by IME Productions, set to air later this year. This Summer also saw her on stage at the Alumnae theatre, for the Toronto Fringe Festival, in Promise Productions’ Things We Lost In The Fire.  Maisie’s passion for the arts propels her continued success in the career to which has driven her, since her early years. 

CLAIRE SHENSTONE- HARRIS/ ​CRISTAL

Claire Shenstone-Harris is a screen and theatre actor who trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England, where she won her program award for consistency in excellence. She also holds a degree in drama and environmental studies from the University of Toronto. Key credits include: Dead Broke (Toronto Fringe), The Foot Doctor (Hamilton Fringe), Caucasian Chalk Circle (Tobacco Factory, UK), No Bombs on Mondays (Or the Dandelion Queen) (Commonplace Theatre), The Bridge (winner of Best Leading Actress, Shanghai Short Film Festival 2022), 3 Seconds in, 6 Seconds Out (winner of Best Actress, Asti International Film Festival 2022), Wither With Her (winner of Best Acting Duo, IndieX Film Festival LA 2023). In addition to acting, Claire dabbles in playing her many musical instruments, songwriting and recently co-created and published the party board game Monster Voices. She is also an avid runner and ran the Boston Marathon in 2023. 

JOSEPH BROWN/ ​DANIEL REYNOLDS

Joseph (he/him) is a dynamic actor and collaborator bringing a wealth of theatrical experience to Tkaronto from Kjipuktuk/Halifax. With a B.A. in Theatre from Acadia University, Joseph has showcased his talent in a diverse range of productions. His repertoire spans classic masterpieces, such as Tartuffe and A Doll’s House(Acadia Theatre Company) to cutting-edge, innovative Canadian works like The Station (Eastern Front Theatre/Bare Theatre Company) and Knitting and Other Life Hacks (Halifax Fringe) Find him on Instagram at @notanotherjoebrown 

TRINA MOYAN/ ​AUNTIE

Trina Moyan’s (nehiyawak/Cree) favourite character to play was a cannibal professor in Encounters at the Edge of the Woods, the first ever Indigenous play mounted at Hart House Theatre in 2020, which she co-created and is currently being published. She is excited to share that her one woman show, The Cave that Hummed a Song, dedicated to the MMIWG2S movement will be featured at the 2023 Weesageechak Festival on November 11th. Trina has spent her career working in front and behind the camera producing for both CBC and APTN and is currently writing a television series featuring Indigenous peoples’ histories and current realities in Canada. Trina’s life and work are inspired by her two boys and her mother Jeanne, a residential school survivor.

ACCESSIBILITY

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

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