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Fireworks 2022

MARCH 2 to MARCH 13, 2022

Nested
by Liz Best

Director:
Molly Thom
Producer:
Jennifer Grose
Associate Producer:
Ramona Baillie

in the Mainstage Theatre

Alumnae Theatre reopens for live performance on March 2 with a brand new FireWorks production to blow away the Covid blues …

​It’s been a long time coming, but Elaine and David have sold the family home and are moments away from becoming empty nesters. Their three children are almost settled, Grandma Rose is moving to a retirement home, and they’re about to start the next chapter of their lives. But what happens when one parent is more ready to move than the other? What happens when the kids want to remain kids? And where does Grandma Rose keep disappearing to? Nested begs two questions – Do kids ever really grow up, and is parenting ever really finished?

WATCH THE NESTED TRAILER!

Video by Nicholas Porteous

Photos by Nicholas Porteous

LIZ BEST/ ​PLAYWRIGHT

Liz is a playwright, producer, actor and director. Recent directing credits: Love Is A Virus, Toronto Fringe Festival 2021, Outward, Toronto Queer Festival. Recent acting roles: Pigeon, FireWorks Festival, 2018, Producing Credits: FireWorks Festival, 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. Writing Credits: Surrender, Dorothy. FireWorks Festival 2018, Procunier Hall, London, Ontario 2019 and a planned production at Curtain Club 2022. The Bay Big Ideas Festival, PAL (Reading), Target Theatre Group (Reading).​

MOLLY THOM/ ​DIRECTOR

Molly 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, Ontario tour). Directing credits include many premieres: Shirley Barrie’s Beautiful Lady, Tell Me … for 4th Line Theatre, The Gambler by Ronald Weihs for Artword Theatre, and mostly recently for Alumnae, Shirley Barrie’s I Am Marguerite. Her Toronto premiere of Carol Shields’ Thirteen Hands appeared on the Best Of lists of the Toronto StarNOW Magazine and CBC Radio. She is the resident director of Shoestring Opera and co-founder of the New Ideas Festival.​

JENNIFER GROSE/ ​PRODUCER

This is Jenn’s first time producing with Alumnae Theatre, and it’s been an adventure. Jenn developed a love of uncertainties of theatre after she produced Soldier On, a play by Jonathan Lewis, from West End London (UK) and brought it over to play in Toronto (Canadian Stage) in the fall of 2019. 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.​

RAMONA BAILLIE/ ​ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Ramona writes for film and stage.  Theatre credits include A Better Place (Factory Theatre), A Little Happiness (Edmonton International Fringe/Alumnae Theatre), You Have to Earn It (FireWorks), I’m Still Here (Central Alberta Theatre, New Ideas Festival, and The Arts & Letters Club), Babies (Central Alberta Theatre), and I’m Still Here, Drowning My Sorrow (The Heliconian Club).  Ramona’s film scripts are produced internationally and have won various awards. She was Artistic Director for two Arts & Letters Spring Revues and Christmas Shows and is an HRPA Honorary Life Award recipient.  This is her seventh stint producing for the Alumnae.​

THE CAST

ADRIAN MARCHESANO/ ​MICHAEL

Adrian is a Toronto-based actor and creator, hailing from Oakville, Ontario. For as long as he can remember, the arts have always been a part of his life. From his beginnings in community theatre to professional productions, Adrian continues to pursue his passion as an actor. He is also a recent graduate of George Brown Theatre School and a graduate of Brock University, where he earned himself a Bachelor of Arts studying Dramatic Arts.  Adrian would like to thank his family and friends for their unyielding love and support.

CASSIDY SADLER/ ​BLAINE

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

LYNN OLDERSHAW/ ELAINE

Lynn recently returned to acting after taking a 35+ year “intermission” where she played a real-life psychologist, television executive, and mother of four (all boys!) In her youth, Lynn trained and performed in Toronto and New York City and worked in theatre, film, and television. Since her return to acting in 2017, Lynn has continued her training and has been cast in numerous plays with such groups as East Side Players, The Curtain Club, and Theatre Aurora. While she has been involved in countless online productions with Alumnae during the pandemic, this is Lynn’s first appearance on the Alumnae stage.

PHILLIP DIONNE/ DAVID

Phil has acted on stages in York Region for over thirty years. He has played leading roles in BurnMending FencesTryingButcher, and Moonlight and Magnolias, among others. This is his first appearance on the Alumnae stage, and he is happy to be working with such an enthusiastic cast and crew.

KARLY FRIESEN/ LORIE

Karly is a Toronto-based actor and artist originally from up north in Sudbury, Ontario. She just recently graduated from the Theatre Performance program at George Brown College, where she was very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such brilliant theatre artists and creatives. Selected recent credits include Irina in Three Sisters & Co. (Rob Kempson) and Pangrazzia in The Corsican Complaint (Sue Miner). She would like to thank her friends and family for the abundance of support, as well as the cast and crew of Nested for welcoming her with open arms. Instagram @karlyfriesen.

THE PRODUCTION TEAM

LESLIE ANN WALCOTT/ STAGE MANAGER MENTOR

​Leslie Ann “L.A.” Walcott (she/her), born and raised in Toronto, has loved theatre since her high school performed The Music Man.  She has stage managed various plays at the Alumnae Theatre for FireWorks and has picked up some acting for the weekly Cyber Reads during the pandemic lockdown. Motherhood for the New Ideas Festival was her debut as theatre director.

MARTHA BREEN/ STAGE MANAGER-PROPS MASTER

​In addition to her onstage work, Martha has frequently worked behind the scenes as stage manager and assistant stage manager, working with companies such as East Side Players, Toronto Irish Players, and Alumnae Theatre. As an actress, some of Martha’s recent stage roles have included Annie in Speed Dating at the Bull & Bell and Eurydice in Antigone (both Alumnae Theatre), Masha in Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (Scarborough Players), Shirley in Escape from Shady Acres (Toronto Fringe Festival), and many more.

MAGDY ACUNA/ ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER

Musicals and theatre were part of Magdy´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 Caesar, The Barber of SevilleThe House of Bernarda Alba, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among others. Looking to build her way to the theatre scene in Toronto, she joined Alumnae Theatre as assistant stage manager for Albertine in Five Times. She enjoyed it, so she returned for more experience as stage manager for Nested!

CHRISTOPHER-ELIZABETH BOYD/ LIGHTING-SOUND DESIGN

​Christopher-Elizabeth (they/them) is an Afro-Oneida multidisciplinary storyteller from Windsor, Ontario, who enjoys nothing more than the process of creation and can never do less than two things at a once.  Recent credits: Albertine in Five Times (stage manager and lighting designer) at Alumnae Theatre Company [2021]; Balance (writer, actor, and editor) at Toronto Fringe Festival [2021]; The Reaper & The Whale (playwright, co-director, sound designer, and stream manager) at Davis Shakespeare Festival [2021]; and They by Demetre Kalmantis (actor/subject and composer) at Paperweight Owl Productions [2021].

GARY MARTIN/ COMPOSER

As a conductor, Gary Martin has studied with Victor Feldbrill, Rodney Whitaker, and Terrell Stafford. He has been guest conductor with the Tokyo Gosei High School Band (Tokyo) and the Vyborgsky Region Music School (Moscow). Gary has conducted several musicals, including Blood BrothersJesus Christ Superstar and The Threepenny Opera. As a performer, Gary has worked with such artists as Moe Koffman, Don Menza, Peter Appleyard, Rob McConnell, Terrell Stafford, Dave Pell, and Pat Labarbera. As a composer, Gary has also composed music for film, theatre, video games, jazz ensembles, and ballets. His movie scores have been premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also written music for the Canadian visit of the Duchess of Kent.

MARYSIA BUCHOLC/ ​SET DESIGN

Marysia has been designing and building sets for over twenty years and has received two Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations, for Treasure Island (Solar Stage, 2018) and for Kafka and Son (Theaturtle, 2006). Sets for Alumnae include: The Importance of Being EarnestThirteen HandsThe Gut GirlsI Am MargueriteThe Killdeer, A Delicate Balance, and For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again. For other theatres: Terror (Crane); Motherland (Toronto Fringe); If We Were BirdsThe Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Randolph Academy); Little Murders (Riverdale); and A Streetcar Named Desire (Upper Canada Repertory), etc. 

ANA SASIC/ COSTUMES- ​ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER

​Ana is a part-time multidisciplinary artist working with the theme of place. Previous Alumnae involvement includes the New Ideas Festival in 2020, when she was part of the production team.

JAMES KENDAL/ ​SET BUILD

James Kendal is a technician, carpenter, and artist based in Toronto. His career in performance began when he was a youngster with training in music and many years as a classical ballet dancer. He is currently working at McMaster University in the role of Senior Performance Technician, working in the L.R. Wilson Concert Hall and Black Box Theatre. He mentors student designers in their concept to completed set designs, along with lighting, sound, and projection work. Prior to COVID-19, he toured internationally extensively with Peggy Baker Dance Projects and Kidoons’ Jungle Book.

FARZANA ISLAM/ PAINTING ASSISTANT

Farzana is an illustrator and artist, working as the painting assistant. She enjoys exploring a variety of subjects and has experience working on murals and stop-motion and in the animation industry. She is finishing up her final year at Sheridan College.  

WATCH THE NESTED TRAILER!

Video by Nicholas Porteous

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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