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New Ideas Festival 2016 - Week 3

March 23 – 27, 2016


​March 23 – 27, 2016

Wednesday to Saturday, 8 pm; Saturday & Sunday, 2:30 pm; Reading, March 26, noon

Week 3 Plays:

​Provenance • Trying • Sick Kids Wanna Talk to You • Four Hours • Omission • The Nurse

LINDA McCREADY, Playwright
Linda writes dramatic comedies. Since 2011, over fifteen of her one-act plays have been produced. Finders Keepers won second prize at Theatre in the Raw Biennial 2013 Playwriting Contest. The Living Library (NIF 2014) will be published in 2016 by Playwrights Canada Press in an anthology of 10-minute plays. Who’s Laughing Now won the Adjudicator’s Award for Outstanding Original Script at the London One Act Festival 2015. Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. 

As a stage actor, Pam has played Jaquenetta in Love’s Labours 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 T.V.: Helen Munroe in Empire Inc; principals in SerendipityChildstarGoosebumpsThe NewsroomQueer as FolkThe CityIn God’s CountryWarehouse 13. Directing credits include ShrinkwrapThe StrollerPearlsGanga’s GanjaTwo Actresses, and Pit Sublime for New Ideas Festival and, most recently, Divine Wrecks for FireWorks.
*Appearing with the permission of Canadian Actors Equity Association

​GRACE PHAN-NGUYEN, Assistant Director Stage Manager
Grace is a fourth year student at the University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus) specializing in Arts Management and majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies. She is known as a bubbling theatre artist, musician, and scholar with ambitious dreams. She loves long naps, mystery novels, and cooking with her mom. This will be her first show as stage manager and assistant director for the Alumnae Theatre. 


Fleur is excited to be treading the boards again at Alumnae Theatre! She was last seen as Cass in Chloë Ariane Whitehorn-Gillam’s critically acclaimed play Divine Wrecks, which premièred at the 2015 FireWorks Festival. No stranger to the silver screen, she has also played in various independent productions, which have been showcased at a number of film festivals and venues including TBS’s World’s Funniest Commercials, CBS’s The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Animal Planet.

Eric started acting with the Scarborough Theatre Guild in Anne and Dear Santa. He has since been involved in commercial, corporate, and short film. Eric is very excited to be involved with Alumnae Theatre and the New Ideas Festival.

TRYING by Norma Crawford

Four young adults struggling with their demons find themselves at a yoga class for at-risk youth. We witness the conflicts and joys they experience as they push to find a safe and happy place.

Director: Juliet Paperny
Assistant Director: Jaclyn Nobrega
​Stage Manager: Nolan Molfetta
Cast: Michelle T. Baynton, Adam Malcolm, Evan Walsh, Susannah Mackay, Annie MacKay

BIOGRAPHIES: Creative Team

Norma has appeared in plays, films, and TV series, and spent a number of years as a senior officer at the Ontario Arts Council. Her first play, Really Great Hats, was produced by NIF in 2005. Her play Royal Seasons was given a staged reading at NIF in 2014. 

Since beginning her theatre career in a Young Shakespearean’s program, Juliet has been in love with the stage. Hailing from Vancouver, Juliet has travelled across Canada directing, writing, and acting. Her most recent productions were at Players’ Theatre in Montreal, where she made The Tempest come to life and directed the original play Madness Machine at the McGill Drama Festival. The New Ideas Festival is Juliet’s first step into the Toronto theatre world. 

JACLYN NOBREGA, Assistant Director
Jaclyn is a Toronto-based performing and visual artist, writer, and child and youth care practitioner. Her mission in life is to shine light on the struggles faced by individuals in modern day society. This is Jaclyn’s first time working with Alumnae, gaining experience as an ADSM. She is thrilled to be part of a production which speaks to the troubled experiences of young people.

​NOLAN MOLFETTA, Stage Manager
Nolan is an emerging artist trying on as many hats as possible. He recently wrote and staged his first play, Scribe!, in the Hamilton Fringe Festival. A graduate of Humber College’s Theatre program, Nolan is pleased to be returning to the New Ideas Festival and Alumnae Theatre for the second year of a hopeful many.


Michelle is an accomplished actor, singer, and recording artist who frequently performs internationally. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Opera Performance program. Select credits include Perfect Crime (the NAGS Players), Dogfight (Awkward Stage Productions), A…My Name is Alice (VACT/Skycorner Productions), Titanic (TUTS), Smile (Awkward Stage Productions), Adding Machine (Pipedream Theatre Project), The Sound of Music (Footlight Theatre Company), and Suor Angelica (UBC Opera).

Adam is delighted to be returning to the New Ideas Festival this year. He would like to thank his mom, Helen, for all her love and support, and the whole cast/crew of Trying and New Ideas 2016 for everything they do to bring new theatre to Toronto. Select credits: Warner in Legally Blonde (Lower Ossington Theatre), Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (Wavestage Theatre), Craig in The ___ Wedding (Gay Play Days 2015).

Evan is an actor, storyteller, and facilitator. Evan has appeared on stage in GrapefruitI Hate HamletAntigone, and selections from Butler’s Marsh, as well as in film with LAN with the Dead. He is grateful for his upbringing on a Newfoundland dairy farm for teaching him the value of hard work and to his kooky family for teaching him the value of being weird.

Susannah is a Toronto-based theatre creator, Artistic Director of Coyote Collective, and a performer with a passion for the interdisciplinary. For Coyote Collective: Like a Generation (Theatre Passe Muraille), Labour (Theatre Passe Muraille), Icarus Dances with the Sun (Clay and Paper Theatre). Other credits include Melancholiac (SummerWorks 2015), Getting There (London Fringe 2014), 1:2:1 (Dreamwalker Dance Theatre/Volcano Theatre) Peter and the Wolf (Theatre Rusticle), and the hit Fringe show CHRISTCHRISTCHRIST (Theatre Stendhal). 

Annie has lived, worked, and performed in Vancouver, Montreal, and New York City. She arrived in Toronto in the fall and is proud to be making her debut in this city at Alumnae’s NIF. Annie has acted, written, and directed for the theatre. She is a graduate of McGill University, where favourite roles included Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Bunny (House of Blue Leaves), M’Lynn (Steel Magnolias) and Inez (No Exit). @annie_mky 


An encounter between a young street canvasser and a middle-aged passerby ignites into a confrontation, a confession, and a catharsis. Intergenerational rage has never been so much fun. 

Director: Jennifer McKinley
Assistant Director / Stage Manager: Susan Waycik
​Cast: Wendy Fox, Lydia Kiselyk

BIOGRAPHIES: Creative Team

Writer and comedian Carolyn cut her teeth performing at Yuk Yuks and hasn’t stopped bleeding since. Selected TV credits include This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC COMICS, and Air Farce. Produced plays include Mixed Media (CBC Radio), RuntkillerThe Short List, Hitler’s Ass and Canis Familiaris (New Ideas Festival 2015). Carolyn co-produces and performs at Hirut Hoot, a standup showcase at Hirut Fine Ethiopian Cuisine, 2050 Danforth Avenue, last Friday of the month.

Jennifer is a writer, performer, and theatre artist from Toronto. This is her first year directing at the New Ideas Festival and her fourth year as a producer. Production credits include The Underpants and New Ideas Festival (Alumnae Theatre), Jacqueries, Part 1 (SummerWorks/Jacob Niedzwiecki) and The List (No Exit Theatre Company). 

​SUSAN WAYCIK, Assistant Director Stage Manager
Susan is very excited to be a part of Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival. She is a graduate of St. Lawrence College’s Musical Theatre Program. Her production credits include Director/Producer, Feels Like Home (Start Here Theatre Productions); Head of Social Media, Once Upon a Grimm (Puddle Jump Players); Marketing Assistant, The Hogtown Experience (Hogtown Collective). Her performance credits include Judge/Store Manager, Legally Blonde (SLC Stage); Alexi Darling, RENT (SLC Stage); Fisherman’s Wife/Princess #2, Once Upon a Grimm (Puddle Jump Players). Follow her on twitter @susanwaycik.


​WENDY FOX, Makayla
Wendy is so excited to be a part of this great festival! Select credits include Boots in Dora the Explorer Live! (KOBA Entertainment), Text Ruby in Lost Connection (New Ideas Festival 2015), Dawn in All in the Timing (Fringe Festival 2014), Carol in Adrift (InspiraTO Festival 2014). Wendy is a graduate of Queen’s University. She would like to thank her family and friends for their continuing love and support. 

Lydia is delighted to be participating in Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival for the first time. Her most recent community theatre credits include Freda in Murder Mistaken (The Village Players), Elizabeth I in Elizabeth Rex, and Sonja/Sarah in Speaking in Tongues (East Side Players). Her earlier performance background includes flamenco dance theatre and standardized patient role-play for medical school programs. She would like to thank Jennifer and Carolyn for this new opportunity!

FOUR HOURS by Joan Burrows

A quiet neighbourhood block awakens to find a car has been stolen from a driveway with a young boy in the backseat. As their once peaceful morning shatters around them, how will the community cope with their fear? Who will they find to blame?

Director: Helen Monroe
Stage Manager: Erin Maxfield
Cast: Mitchell Janiak, Chris Peterson, Tina McCulloch, Samantha Adams, Zachary McKendrick, Rebecca Wolfe*, Julia Haist,
Armand Antony, Nikki Chohan

BIOGRAPHIES: Creative Team

JOAN BURROWS, Playwright
Joan is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and has participated in NIF in previous years with The Photograph (2006), Gloria’s Guy, Act II (2012), and Brockfest (2013). Gloria’s Guy was subsequently produced at the Alumnae’s FireWorks Festival (2012). Willow Quartet was produced professionally and is published by Playwrights Canada Press. Staff Room, also published by PCP in Grassroots, will be produced at the Gladstone Theatre in Ottawa in May 2016. Four Hours is a new play developed during a workshop led by Marcia Johnson in May 2015. Thanks, Marcia.

Helen is a director, writer, and designer based in Toronto. Originally from Boston, she moved to Canada to study at Bishop’s University and has been working in the Canadian theatre industry ever since. Past productions she has contributed to include The Postmane (Appledor Productions), Avaricious (Theatre Gargantua), Bette Davis Eyes (Toronto Fringe), Trace (Vertical City Performance), Afterplay (The Campbell House), and Entitlement (Appledor Productions). 

ERIN MAXFIELD, Stage Manager
Erin is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Studies program. She is currently working as a casting assistant for film and television, but she always finds time for theatre. Stage management credits: Thumped! (Ten Toes), The Black Sheep Project1984: Room 101Under the SkinThe Purple PleasantryGraphology (UofG), Noises Off (Peterborough Theatre Guild), Thumbelina (St. James Players). Director credits: Criminals in Love (Peterborough Theatre Guild), Until My Last BreathWondergirl (UofG).


Mitchell is a recent graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School (2015). He is an actor, writer, and producer with a penchant for the absurd. Past Credits at Ryerson: Tig, Balm in Gilead (2015); Sigmund Freud, La Ronde (2014); Costard, Love’s Labour’s Lost, (2012) Other Works: Cameron, Boys from the Burbs (2015, The Empty Room Collective); Robin Starveling, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014, Shakespeare at Play); Antonio, Twelfth Night (2013/2015, Ale House Theatre Company).

Chris is proud to be part of his first NIF. In the past year, he’s returned to his longtime love of acting after a 10-year absence, and made his TO debut last fall with Scarborough Players. He studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC, and has been in a number of plays and video projects. Chris will return to the Alumnae in April as part of August: Osage County. More at

Tina has done pretty much everything in theatre (except design) at one time or another, and coincidentally, recently played another character named Mary in Mauritius at Village Playhouse. Other favourite stage roles:  Bertha in After Mrs. Rochester and Ruth in Cosi (Alumnae Theatre Company); Rose in Enchanted April (Village Playhouse); Jane Eyre (Amicus); Em in Say the Words (Gay Play Day 2015). Wrote and co-produced a short film, Aloud (in post-production).

Samantha is a recent graduate of the Second City Conservatory program as an ensemble member of This Could Be It! She holds a degree in Theatre from Bishop’s University, where she performed in a number of shows including Black Comedy and The King Stag. Currently she can be found performing around Toronto as one half of the improv duo Urban Sombrero or as a member of the improv troupe Peggy Molson.

Zach is a Toronto-based theatre artist, working for the past fifteen years as a director, actor, and technician across the GTA. Previous on-stage credits: Dr. Dee in Sandman 24 Hours (Dog Chasing Frisbee films), John Proctor in The Crucible (UTSC), Starbuck in The Rainmaker (Scarborough Players – THEA for Best Male Actor). Directing credits: She Kills Monsters (And Then Shawn Died), Seven Stories (Markham Theatre), Closer (UTSC).  Zach is thrilled to be working with the New Ideas Festival for the first time. for more info.
Rebecca is an emerging actor-dancer in Toronto, originally from Halifax, NS. Theatre credits: Munsch-o-Mania (George Brown Theatre School), The Nutcracker (Symphony Nova Scotia), Little Shop of Horrors (Dartmouth High), Into the Woods (Saint’s Alive!). Selected film: Mr. D (CBC), Don’t Forget to Step (Director: Johnny Thompson), Know What I’m Sayin’? (Director: Taylor Olson). You can catch Rebecca this spring in Shakespeare in Hollywood with Amicus Productions. She received her training from George Brown Theatre School. @rebecca.khwolfe 
*Appearing with the permission of Canadian Actors Equity Association
Julia is a graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance Program. Most recently, she directed Cottage Radio by Taylor Marie Graham at Alumnae Theatre’s 2015 FireWorks Festival. Previously, 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 the development of solo pieces. She is delighted to return to Alumnae Theatre and to contribute to the development of this intriguing script.
Armand is thrilled to join the cast of Four Hours at NIF this year. Recent credits include Mary RoseGame Show (TOP), Pamela’s BacheloretteEmily Strikes Back, A Wicky Wedding (Plays By Bird), Crimes of the Heart (Calliope Sound), and various other festival appearances in the GTA. Armand is also very active in the Toronto music community as a singer/songwriter. He thanks his friends and family for their ongoing support! Follow his adventures: @armandbz.
Nikki is from the wild prairies of Edmonton, AB. She moved to the big city of Toronto to follow her dreams of acting and has graduated from the Toronto Film School. Since graduation she has been taking classes around the city to always be engaged in what she loves. When she’s not acting, you’ll most likely find her at your local brew pub with one too many beers. She hopes you enjoy the show!


OMISSION by Alice Abracen (Reading: March 26, noon)

On the eve of Papal Conclave, an ambitious, popular Cardinal is questioned by a young journalist about his possible involvement in war crimes thirty years ago. When he turns the recorder off, a spectacular confession emerges.

Director: Michela Sisti
Assistant Director / Stage Manager: Eilish Walller
Cast: Thomas Gough, Nicolette Pearse, Robert Notman, Gabriel Hamilton, Lavetta Griffin

BIOGRAPHIES: Creative Team

Alice hails from Montreal, Quebec, and is enjoying her first year in the Playwriting Program at the National Theatre School of Canada. She recently graduated from Harvard University in the study of English and Religion, where she submitted her Creative Senior Thesis, Omission. Her piece Players, first produced by the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, was recently featured at the Women Playwrights International Conference in South Africa. Alice is honoured and delighted to be participating in this year’s New Ideas Festival.

After completing a degree in Drama at the University of Toronto, Michela travelled to London, UK, and trained in directing through Living Pictures and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic. While abroad Michela staged productions of new and experimental writing, and in spring of 2015 she formed Roughcast Collective to devise an interdisciplinary exploration of “personhood,” Humanity on the Edge. Michela has recently completed a mentorship in directing with Volcano Theatre. 

​EILISH WALLER, Assistant Director / Stage Manager
Eilish is an actor and theatre director raised in London, ON, and working in Toronto. Theatre credits as an actor include Medea (Antique Fables Theatre Collective), Albertine in Five Times (Freelance Intern Productions), Catatonia (Vertebrae Undone), Picnic, and The Rover (Theatre Erindale). Upcoming: Dying Is an Art (InspiraTO Festival, as director). She recently graduated with a BA Honours in Theatre and Drama Studies from the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College.


THOMAS GOUGH, Cardinal Matias
Thomas first appeared on stage at the age of five, during the Crimean War. He has most recently appeared as Polonius in Hamlet (Hart House Theatre), Louis de Rougement in Shipwrecked (Kick and Push Festival, Kingston), Andrew Borden in Blood Relations (Alumnæ Theatre), and Don Gray in Human Furniture (Storefront Theatre). He also does film, television, and recording work. 

​NICOLETTE PEARSE, Megan Gutierrez
Nicolette is a Toronto-based actor and alumnus of Queen’s University Drama Department. After working with Theatre by the Bay and Hart House right after graduation, she focused on building experience in film and television. New Ideas is her first time back on stage in three years, and she’s super excited to be working on an amazing script with a focused, talented group of people​. When not auditioning or filming, Nicolette can be found punching things at the boxing gym or, occasionally, abandoning  Toronto for BC to visit her family, breathe in some good ocean air, and maybe live in a tent for a spell.


​ROBERT NOTMAN, General Flores
Rob is a Toronto-based actor working in film, television, commercials, and voice. He is thrilled to be a part of the New Ideas Festival, and to have the opportunity to bring new and exciting scripts to life. A native of rural Ontario, he has only recently returned to the theatre with a leading performance in the original play State of Woman (Tandum Entertainment, Lower Ossington/Al Green Theatre).

Gabriel is thrilled to be making his New Ideas and Alumnae Theatre debut. Gabriel is coming off a record breaking production of Edmund at The Storefront Theatre. He is new to Toronto since recently moving from Vancouver. He has performed on sets and stages across Western Canada and Northern Washington. Gabriel also advanced to the finals in the Yuk-off Stand-up Comedy Competition last Summer. Gabriel is ecstatic about having this opportunity at NIF.  

​LAVETTA GRIFFIN, Laura Ballan-Kohn
Lavetta is a sometimes actor who spends a lot of her time raising her family and studying yoga. She got her start in acting at Alumnae’s 2012 NIF and is so very pleased to be back. Many thanks Alumnae. Keep doing what you do!!

THE NURSE by Francine Dick

​With a callback set for morning, a sleepless actor rehearses for a part in Romeo and Juliet. Can she overcome her gloomy thoughts to find her own voice?

Director: Mandy Roveda
Stage Manager: Keeghan White
​Cast: Margaret Rose Keery

BIOGRAPHIES: Creative Team

​FRANCINE DICK, Playwright
Francine has been a member of the Alumnae Theatre since 2006, when As Large as Alone
premiered at the New Ideas Festival. It was also presented at the Last Frontier Theatre
Conference in Valdez, Alaska, in 2008 and the Great Plains Theatre Conference in 2009. Other plays include Living in PermafrostPreparing for PassoverWedding Night in Canada, and Summer’s EndThe Nurse was first presented as part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche Festival.

After graduating from York University’s acting program, Mandy moved to Asia. Over the last decade she has worked in TV, film, and stage across Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea. She co-founded Taipei Players, Taipei’s only English acting troupe, Little Friends, an English theatre group for children, and Taipei Story Slam, a live storytelling competition. Since returning to Canadian soil, Mandy has been fortunate to work with old friends and new such as Column 13, InspiraTO, Unit 102, Shadowpath, and now the New Ideas Festival.  

KEEGHAN WHITE, Stage Manager
Keeghan first peeked into the world of theatre as a lowly stagehand. The stage manager on that fateful musical took a shine to him, and before long he was her committed apprentice. He worked as her ASM on many shows, and now, after a brief break from the industry, Keeghan is back for his first show as a stage manager. This unconventional site-specific performance has been a great reintroduction to the theatre world for him.


Margaret Rose is a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed emerging artist in the Toronto theatre community. Margaret graduated from Randolph Academy’s Triple Threat Training program in August 2015. Since then she has been keeping herself very busy working with a number of independent theatre companies, as well as starting her own theatre company. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity to once again share her immense love of theatre with the community.


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