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FireWorks Festival 2023 The Great Kelleys

by Natalie Frijia

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

November 22-26, 2023
in the Studio Theatre

​When Pat Kelley dies, his wife sends him to bed with a hot bowl of soup and a firm belief that he will rise again. The kids are less certain, the neighbours are nosey, and their friends know no boundaries. It’s only a matter of time before someone outside their four walls learns too much about the mad Kelley household in which one is praying, one is plotting, one is killing time, and one is rotting in the upstairs bedroom. This dark, farcical comedy is a story of grief, hope, and family.

to listen to Radio Canada's segment on The Great Kelleys!

FireWorks Festival 2023 is generously supported by

FireWorks Festival 2023 The Great Kelleys

by Natalie Frijia

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

November 22-26, 2023 
in the Studio Theatre

​When Pat Kelley dies, his wife sends him to bed with a hot bowl of soup and a firm belief that he will rise again. The kids are less certain, the neighbours are nosey, and their friends know no boundaries. It’s only a matter of time before someone outside their four walls learns too much about the mad Kelley household in which one is praying, one is plotting, one is killing time, and one is rotting in the upstairs bedroom.  This dark, farcical comedy is a story of grief, hope, and family.

THE PLAYWRIGHT

​NATALIE FRIJIA

Natalie Frijia is a writer, circus/theatre maker, and arts manager. Her plays have been produced in Canada, the US, UK, Iceland, and Australia. She has completed artist residencies in Norway (Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder, Trondheim) and Iceland (The Freezer, Rif). Her newest work, GO/NO GO, was part of La Mama Theatre’s Explorations Program in 2023. Currently, Natalie works in Australia with Highwire Entertainment, and as the Community, Alumni, and Industry Coordinator at the National Institute of Circus Arts. She has worked in circus professionally for 10+ years, in almost every role, with arts management and circus sector development being her focus. Natalie has written many successful grants, organised artist residencies, and produced tours of circus, clown, physical theatre, comedy, and storytelling across North America and Australia.

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

SHANNON FARRELL/ DIRECTOR

Shannon Farrell (she/they) is a poet, playwright and stage manager. This is their first time directing with Alumnae Theatre, but Shannon participated as a stage manager in the FireWorks Festival in previous years. Shannon’s past stage managing credits include Top Girls (Alumnae Theatre), Belle Darling Klondike Queen (Alumnae Theatre), hang (Obsidian Theatre), World After Dark (Shannon Litzenberger), (Re)Start (Half Light Dance). Shannon’s playwriting credits include Silence Sil Vous Plait (Illusion, Coffee and Poetry), North of Orion (York University), Tendencies (Start The Riot Theatre). Shannon is thankful for the opportunity to direct such an adventure of a play.

DEON DENTON/ STAGE MANAGER

​Deon is a writer, director, and actor and the Artistic Director at Promise Productions. She’s the creative force behind the musical Pieces of Me, (Theatre Passe Muraille). Deon also penned, starred in, and directed the unforgettable Charlie’s Having a Baby, a standout at the 2009 and 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival. Her emotionally resonant work, No Visible Scars, made its mark at the New York Fringe Festival (Off-Off Broadway). She also wrote and directed To Jane with Love, a poignant exploration of the effects of alcoholism, which graced both the 2016 Toronto Fringe and the Midtown Theatre Festival (Off-Off Broadway). She wrote, directed and acted in the successful ensemble play Things We Lost In The Fire (2023 Toronto Fringe Festival).

LORI DELORME/ STORY FACILITATOR

​Lori has acted, directed, written, stage managed, and even costumed a few folks along the way. She is a co-founder of No Model Types Productions and Just in a Bowl Productions, with whom she co-wrote and acted in two plays, Unsinkable and The Hungarian Suicide Duel, both performed as part of the Fringe Festival across Canada. For Alumnae, Lori has directed Governing Ourselves and B to Z (New Ideas Festival) and Belle Darling Klondike Queen (FireWorks Festival) and co-produced Top Girls. She has acted as dramaturge for Scrambled Eggs (No Model Types), B to Z and Belle Darling Klondike Queen (Alumnae). Her next project will be directing The Children as part of Alumnae’s 2023-2024 Mainstage season.

THE CAST

KAYNE WILEY/ KYLE KELLEY

​ Kayne is making his inaugural appearance at the Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Festival. A proud alumnus of Humber College’s AFTV program (Acting for Film & Television), Kayne boasts an impressive repertoire of previous performances, including roles in productions such as Brownbread with the Toronto Irish Players, Comic Potential with The NAGs Players, B to Z and Speed Dating at the Bull & Bell as part of Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival. Additionally, his talent has shone in works like Dispatch and Indifference at the Newmarket National Play Festival, as well as That’s Life and Communist Mummies from Mars, produced by Humber Film Production.

BROOKE FRIENDLY/ PAT KELLEY AND BILL

​Brooke Friendly boasts a wealth of expertise, with a career spanning over 35 years in theatre, film, radio, and television. Recently, he completed filming for The Wicked Reborn and made a notable appearance in the radio drama More Than Kin for Theatre inspiraTO. Brooke is now gracing the stage at the Alumnae Theatre, marking a return 30 years after his initial role in Wayson Choy’s The Piano. When not performing, he enjoys family life as a married father of two and relishes invigorating forest walks with his energetic companion, Ozzy, his beloved dog.

ANNE SHEPHERD/ ​WENDY KELLEY

Anne Shepherd, a psychiatrist and actor at Alumnae Theatre and Village Players, delves into the intriguing blend of psychoanalysis and theatre, emphasizing the significance of language. Recently, she wrapped up Stop It, a film addressing elder abuse in Markham, challenging age-related stereotypes by expressing her disdain for grandmotherly roles and championing the continued sensuality and assertiveness of older women. Anne’s enthusiasm lies in embodying extraordinary roles, including creatures, witches, and zombies, exemplified by her role as a disgruntled witch in Genieology at Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival. Her life motto, “eat or be eaten,” underscores her determination. Her involvement in Without Whom explored themes of loss and reparation, a theme that endures in her current project, The Great Kelleys, probing the coping mechanisms of denial and avoidance amidst familial dysfunctions.

MARI MACDONALD/ ​TAY KELLEY

​Mari (she/her) is a multidisciplinary performing artist who is a graduate of Randolph College for the Performing Arts and holds a Masters of Arts in Musical Theatre Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Notable credits include: Next to Normal (Globe Productions), Fixer: A New Musical (Imagination Studios), Pippin (RCS), City of Angels, The Oresteia (RCPA). Mari is also a co-creator and writer of X:1969 The Musical(Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022). She is passionate about creating and producing theatre that reflects the world around her; a world full of people coming of age, navigating female empowerment, overall confusion, and a whole lot of love. Mari is currently looking for representation. Instagram: @mariiimac

ERIN JONES/ ​MARGE

​Erin Jones is a multi-talented individual deeply committed to the world of theatre. Her diverse involvement includes acting, directing, playwriting, poetry, and stage management. She has a passion for the stage, which is evident in her many contributions to the theatrical arts. She marked her digital playwriting debut with Lovingly Yours, Olive at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Erin is also known for her writing and production skills, notably with the award-winning Time Limits Dropped on Easter Sunday. In addition to her creative endeavors, Erin co-authored a children’s musical play and lends her support to the performing arts behind the scenes. She directed And One More Thing as part of Alumnae’s Big Ideas Festival. Most recently, she took on the role of stage manager for Just For a Moment by Things Falling Apart Theatre.

GORDON CHAN/ ​MITCH

Gordon returns to Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Festival after performing in Boom Baby last year.  His select 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 (UC 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 Stories, Autobahn, and Boy Meets Girl.  Gordon was a member of Tarragon Theatre’s Spring Training Program and mentored by Diego Matamoros at Soulpepper Theatre’s Mentorship Program.

VALENTYN COLTON/ ​JOSH

​Valentyn Colton was born and raised in Boryspil, Ukraine. Valentyn’s portfolio includes appearances in diverse projects like LIDO TV Jedidaia, Lost & Found: Canadian Christmas Tale, Odessa 1918, and Robin the Hood: A Wild West Adventure. His artistic journey commenced through a deep affection for poetry, theatre, music, and competitive dancing. Yet, it was the desire to escape the ordinary and his fervour for storytelling that drew him into the world of acting. After his move to Canada in 2016, Valentyn encountered numerous obstacles on his path to becoming a professional actor, which he triumphantly surmounted by graduating from Humber College’s Acting for Film and Television program. In his leisure hours, Valentyn takes pleasure in savoring a good cup of coffee and the melodic tunes of old music.

Accessibility

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

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