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New Ideas Festival 2018 - Week 3

March 21 - 25, 2018

​The New Ideas Festival 2018 is a juried festival of new plays and works-in-progress.

New Ideas Festival – 2018 Week 3


March 21–25, 2018 in the Studio
Wednesday – Saturday 8pm
Saturday + Sunday 2:30pm


1882. A monster lurks Lake Ontario. Thirty-nine people have already drowned. An intrepid reporter is about to come face to face with the culprit, and it’s worse than she’s ever imagined. A true horror story inspired (and thoroughly exaggerated) by Toronto’s very own sea serpent.

Director: Kay Brattan
Stage Manager: Christopher Douglas
Lighting Designer: Steve Vargo
Cast: Emma Tse, Stella Kulagowski, Shawn Lall


Natalie is a Toronto-based playwright, circus stage manager, and educator currently in the PhD program at the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for Drama and School of the Environment. Her play This Will Be
Our Last Transmission was performed as part of Alumnae’s FireWorks Festival 2017. Upcoming projects and productions include: GO, NO GO (The Freezer in Rif, Iceland); Scary Stories for Bad Kids (Rogue Festival 2018); and tech direction for the Toronto Festival of Clowns. When Natalie isn’t working on a theatrical production of some sort, she can be found riding her bike, studying static trapeze, or leading walking tours through downtown Toronto, sharing the dark and unexpected stories that once happened right below our feet.

Kay is a graduate of the Humber College theatre performance program, and has worked as an actor, dramaturg, producer, stage manager, and director in various indie theatre projects in Toronto with Spur-Of-The-Moment Shakespeare Collective, Rebecca Perry Productions, Bain and Bernard Comedy, Good Old Neon, Dauntless City Theatre, and LowDown Theatre Company. This past summer, Kay adapted and directed a burlesque reimagining of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, which delighted audiences at the 2017 Toronto Fringe. Kay is also a candidate for the East 15 Acting School’s Theatre Directing MA in London, England, which she will be attending in the fall of 2018.

Returning to stage management after a hiatus, Christopher’s credits include ze: queer as f*ck (Michelle/Ryan), Falling Awake (Ragmop), Return Home (Salish Sea), Mine (Discord and Din), My Treasure Island!!! (Johnson Girls), The Comedy of Errors (Urban Bard), Sucker (Theatre Brouhaha), Field Guide (bluemouth inc.), and Arcadia (Amicus). He is Artistic Producer of site-specific EN(LIVE)N, having offered the Toronto premieres of Dying City and Frozen and an upcoming Toronto Fringe show. As a producer, he also led 2017 Toronto Fringe hit Odd One Out, An Ideal Husband (Toronto Irish), and 2015’s Toronto Fringe New Play Contest winner Rukmini’s Gold.

STEVE VARGO, Lighting Designer
Steve is a graduate of the Theatre Production program at Humber College, and his credits as a lighting designer include The Late Henry Moss, JONNO, Wake Up And Smell the Coffee, The Chance, Miss, For the Love of Pie, Post No Bills, Blue Remembered Hills, The Queen’s Conjurer, Old Times (MyTheatreAwards Winner – Lighting Design 2016), The Harvester, The Goat, Of Mice and Men, Twelfth Night, The Bitch of the Baskervilles, Red Light Winter, The Winter’s Tale, Seams, Deepest Darkest, The War of the Clowns, A Midsummer Nightmare, The Julius Caesar Project, The Deliverance of Juliet and Her Romeo, Lady Julie, Teach Me, and Something Unspoken.


EMMA TSE, Marjorie May
Emma is a Chinese-Canadian actor based in Toronto. She graduated from the University of Toronto’s Drama Centre in 2016. Recent credits include Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest (Ravenous Theatre) and Katharine in Spur-of-the-Moment Shakespeare Collective’s Shakespeare in Hospitals program.

Stella, aka “St. Stella,” is Toronto’s bendy. buxom. blonde. burlesque phenom. She has been dancing her whole life and performing burlesque for over a decade. Stella was awarded “Most Beautiful” and “Legends Choice” at the Great Burlesque Expo in Cambridge, Mass. and performed in an off-Broadway burlesque play in NYC. She co-produced and played the titular role of Lysistrata in the sold-out, critically acclaimed 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival production. She has performed at a number of international burlesque festivals including New York, Toronto, Montreal, and in the 2016 and 2017 Burlesque Hall of Fame weekender in Las Vegas.

SHAWN LALL, Captain O’Connell
Shawn is a graduate of Humber College, where he received training in both the Theatre Performance and Acting for Film and Television programs. When not on stage, he is an avid photographer and visual artist. The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea marks Shawn’s first turn at the New Ideas Festival — an opportunity he’s equally humbled and excited by. Today, a Shanty-Singing Fisherman; tomorrow, a Jedi Knight.


A physicist and a photographer meet in two separate moments in time, before and after the course of their tumultuous romantic relationship. Two estranged lovers learn to navigate love and fate in broken time and space.

Director: Lorna Craig
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Jackson Nair
Cast: Allison Shea Reed, Kim Croscup, Simon Bennett, Ryan Bannon


Camille is a writer, student, and media artist living and working in Southern Ontario. Her work as a playwright has been workshopped and produced around the country with the Grand Theatre (London), Paprika Festival (Toronto), National Play Festival (Newmarket), About Love Festival (Vancouver), Alumnae Theatre (Toronto), and Winnipeg Fringe Festival. She was most recently the first place winner of the NNPF National Playwriting Competition for Road, and currently studies English Literature and Theatre Studies at the University of Western Ontario. She is a founding co-director of ArtLaunch Theatre Company.

Lorna is an actor, director, and community-engaged theatre facilitator. From 2015-2016, she coordinated a research project at Concordia University, The Encounters Project, which used performance to explore theatre’s ability to investigate conflict across cultural divides. In the fall of 2015, she directed on life and living, a documentary theatre piece based on personal stories from AIDS Community Care Montreal, an HIV/AIDS support network. She worked with youth from 2013-2016, collaboratively creating plays and performing them throughout Montréal. Her latest project was at Alumnae, where she assistant directed Thirteen Hands by Carol Shields.

JACKSON NAIR, Assistant Director/Stage Manager
Jackson is an emerging actor/director and native Torontonian. He graduated with a BA in Drama from Bishop’s University where his passion for all aspects of theatre was allowed to grow and thrive. This is his first production with the Alumnae Theatre Company and his first foray into the world of professional theatre. He is incredibly grateful to the New Ideas Festival team for giving him this opportunity, and to his director for letting him be part of this wonderful show!


Allison is a NYC/Toronto- based actor, singer, and playwright. She is a recent grad from the New Studio on Broadway’s Acting and Musical Theatre program at NYU Tisch. She most recently performed in the New York New Theatre Festival in the full-length play she wrote: Living with Olivia Cadence Donovan. Her one-act play A-Door Me advanced to the semi-finals of the New York New Works Festival.  Favourite roles include Hope Cladwell (Urinetown), Audrey (Little Shop of Horrors), Jeanie (Hair), Maureen (RENT), and Hattie (Kiss Me Kate). For updates or more info head to

KIM CROSCUP, Adult Marty
Kim is a graduate of both the three-year Conservatory program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Neighborhood Playhouse Summer Conservatory in New York City. Highlights include playing Margery in Vinegar Tom, Gertrude in Hamlet, and The Friar in Romeo and Juliet. For the Alumnae Theatre, Kim directed Sex on the Beach in the 2010 New Ideas Festival. She also wrote, produced, and performed a one-woman show, Ophelia’s Hour, which toured the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit. Kim holds a BFA in Film from Ryerson University and has performed nearly every role on a film set from craft services to producing.

Simon is excited to be a part of Marty and Joel and the Edge of Chaos and the New Ideas Festival. Recent theatre credits include Test of Mettle in the 2017 InspiraTO Festival; Kyle in Professionally Ethnic in the New Ideas Festival; Joe E. Brown in Shakespeare in Hollywood with Amicus Productions; and George Horvath in the Scarborough Players production of Parfumerie, winner of the 2016 THEA for best ensemble in a comedy. Thank you all for coming out to support the theatre community.

Ryan is an actor and sometimes-musician originally from southern Ontario. After receiving degrees in mathematics and computer science at the University of Waterloo, he decided to attend McGill University to study music theory. During his tenure in Montreal, Ryan became involved in other pursuits, most notably comedy, film making, and acting. After graduating from McGill, he returned to Toronto, where he studies Meisner technique and has been fortunate enough to take part in several film and theatre productions, most recently the Poculi Ludique Societas’ production of The Second Shepherd’s Play and NIF.

THE OFFICIANT by Francesca Brugnano

On a moonlit night in 1938, two naïve young lovers meet to marry in secret. They are ready to sign the papers and speak the words that will bond their lives forever, but they are not prepared for the dramatic revelation of what their vows really mean.

Director: Paige Foskett
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Ronak Singh
Choreographer: Jayne Peters
Costume Design: Anna Viksne
Cast: Lisa Kovack, Brianna Riché, Jordan Kenny


Francesca is an award-winning playwright whose works have been honoured twice at InspiraTO (Backstory in 2016 and The Hourglass in 2017), at the HamilTEN Theatre Festival (Audience Favourite, Future Tense, 2014) and The Six Women Playwriting Festival in Colorado Springs (Winner, 2015). She has performed and directed with several GTA theatre groups, and has written and produced two successful original musicals, Cave 10 and Acts of Fiction, both of which were first performed in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. Francesca is a proud member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwright’s Unit, and aims to use her writing to tell intellectually stirring stories that are driven by emotion.

Paige is a director and performer based in Toronto. She graduated from Ryerson University with a BA in Media Production, and has directed a number of shorts. Last season, she directed Teach Her My Name in the New Ideas Festival, Memories in the InspiraTO Festival, and Contagious in the Toronto Fringe Festival. Paige has trained with artistic director Richard Rose at Tarragon Theatre. Aside from directing, she is also a performer! She played Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, and Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables. Sometimes you can find her singing in pubs! She is thrilled to be doing the New Ideas Festival again!

RONAK SINGH, Assistant Director/Stage Manager
Ronak is Toronto Film School acting graduate. At times over dramatic, he is all set to explore the world of writing and directing. He is grateful for the opportunity given by the Alumnae Theatre, which will be a huge learning process. He is currently co-writing a play, which will premiere in the upcoming Fringe Festival. He is honoured to assistant direct and stage manage The Officiant, beautifully penned by Francesca Brugnano. He is super excited to work alongside a talented director and a wonderful person, Paige Foskett!

JAYNE PETERS, Choreographer
Jayne is a graduate from Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and is an actor, singer, and dancer. She has her Intermediate certificate with the Royal Academy of Dance and has studied dance since she was five years old. Currently, Jayne is teaching dance at Chrome Dance Centre. Jayne is thrilled to be working on a play, beautifully written by Francesca Brugnano, that utilizes movement as an integral way to tell the story. Thank you Paige Foskett for taking me on this journey with you.

ANNA VIKSNE, Costume Design
Anna is an artist residing in Toronto, Ontario. She received her B.Des from OCAD University in 2016 and has since created work for both theatre and dance. Her work often addresses somatic narratives, while looking at how clothing, stories, and spaces are influenced and formed by the body. Through thoughtful installations and wearables, Anna explores the structure of our clothed experience and its effect on and within one’s world.


LISA KOVACK, The Officiant
Lisa is delighted to be back at Alumnae after having played Ally in Surrender Dorothy in this year’s Fireworks Festival. A favourite dream role was performing in A Chorus Line in Washington, DC, as Sheila. Recent roles include Maxine in Stepping Out at Alumnae, Miriam in Strictly Murder, and Josephine in The Madwoman of Chaillot. Active in the Canadian Indie film world, often playing various Mother roles (not all of them nice), Lisa has won two Best Supporting Actress awards in worldwide Short Film festivals.

Brianna is thrilled to be a part of the New Ideas festival for her Alumnae Theatre debut. Though she studied at Humber College for film and television, she has taken quite a liking to theatre since graduating. Some recent credits include Les Belles-Soeurs and The Melville Boys (both at Village Playhouse). She cannot wait to be on the stage yet again with this talented cast. Laugh a little, cry a little, and enjoy the show!

Jordan is excited to be a part of the New Ideas Festival playing William in The Officiant. He is also a proud graduate of the Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College. Select theatre credits include Liam in Liam (No Strings Theatre), Tommy in Carrie (Hart House), Oscar in Sweet Charity (Theatre Sheridan), and Percival in The Enlightenment of Percival von Schmootz (Theatre Sheridan). Select TV credits include Gabe Heikkinen in See No Evil (Investigation Discovery). He would like to thank Paige and the cast and crew for making this experience a great one! Instagram: @jojo_kenny


Lucy doesn’t know who she is anymore. Everett is falling in love. Drew has lost so much already. Fenwick is just trying to keep her family afloat. And Pippa, well Pippa is drowning.

Director: Heather Keith
Stage Managers: Nicholas Fassbender, Aurelia Adams
Cast: Mary Wall, Grace Callahan, Conor Ling, Tiffany Deobald,  Dave Martin


Chloë is a playwright, actor, and underwater photographer. Chloë’s work often examines taboo moralities, tragic love, and the licentious desires and imaginative reasoning of human beings. At Alumnae: Divine Wrecks (FireWorks 2015), The Deepest Trench (NIF 2013), Jegger and Malone (Big Ideas 2015). Other works include Love, Virtually (Toronto Best of Fringe), The Frank Diary of Anne (San Francisco and London Fringe Festivals), Lei in Love’s Shadow (Humber River Shakespeare Co.), Dressing Amelia, Clarissa on her Deathbed, and How to Not Die Horribly in a Fire. Chloë currently resides in South Carolina. For more information please visit:

Heather is a film and theatre director, teacher, and actor. She earned her BFA in Theatre Arts from Concordia University, Montreal, and her MFA in Theatre Directing from Ohio University. Some highlights in her career include being a founding member of Les Goons Theatre Troupe, assistant directing at the Blythe Festival and Victory Gardens in Chicago, directing her own play I Am Love, and workshopping and directing the NIF and subsequent production at Factory Theatre of Neal Kimmel’s Frances and Marybeth.

Nicholas attends the Ryerson School of Performance for production and has loved getting a chance to apply what he’s learned to the Alumnae theatre stage and New Ideas. Nicholas has had a great experience working with the actors and crew, and is very keen on seeing Mourning After the Night Before come to life on stage.

AURELIA ADAMS, Stage Manager
Aurelia has had an interest in theater production since being the costume designer for her Architecture School Production The Cyclops. As a designer of spaces and objects, she enjoys the process of bringing any work of art to life. Watching the blooper reels and the Making-Of’s often captures her interest more so then the final production itself. She is very excited to have the opportunity to be involved in the New Ideas Festival working as a stage manager for the Mourning After the Night Before.


Mary started pursing her passion for performing at a young age and has spent nearly 25 years playing on stage, TV, and film. Coming from the BFA acting program at York University, Mary has explored everything from singing in Anne of Green Gables, kicking ass in Resident Evil and as an FBI agent in 1-800 Missing, being fancy in Murdoch Mysteries, and a turn as the perfect cheerleader in Emmy-nominated My Horrible Year. A few years living overseas had her speaking fluent Italian and continuing her career internationally in ads, music videos, and films. Mary gets distracted by urban photography, working in the mental health field, and being a mom, but the sweet call of showbiz keeps her coming back time and again. She is thrilled to take on the role of Lucy in Mourning After the Night Before, which marks her return to the stage after a few years’ hiatus.

*Mary Wall appears with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Gracie has worked in theatre, TV, and film since the early 2000s. She spent four years of high school studying at the Etobicoke School of the Arts as a drama major, and since then has graduated from the Meisner Intensive Program at the Robert Mello Studio in Atlanta, GA. She has appeared in over a dozen theatre productions including Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Odd Couple, Oklahoma, and The Importance of Being Earnest. She has also appeared on camera in several television commercials including national spots for Rogers, McDonald’s, and Walmart. Her TV credits include Forbidden, Murder U, and Famous Feuds.

Conor is thrilled to be making his debut in the New Ideas Festival. Conor was recently named on of NOW Magazine’s Artists to Watch in the fall of 2017 for his role in Steven Elliot Jackson’s The Seat Next to the King. Past credits include Four Dates (Red Sandcastle Theatre) and The Seat Next to the King (The Theatre Centre). All his love to friends and family.

Tiffany is very grateful and excited to be chosen to work on theis wonderful piece from writer Chloë Whitehorn in one of her favourite historical buildings in Toronto. Theatre credits include The Tempest (Theatre Calgary), Much Ado About Nothing (Single Thread), and Sex & This (Aim for the Tangent). Tiffany holds an Advanced Diploma of Classical Theatre Arts from George Brown College, where she received the Thomas White Bursary for Most Promising Actor. Upon graduating, she toyed with the craft of filmmaking: directing, writing, and producing three short films under her film company EDEN FILMS INC. (@edenfilmsinc). Presently she is a part-time student at the Ted Rogers School of Business Management within Ryerson University.

DAVE MARTIN, Drew Dave is an actor/singer/musician/composer/voice actor and sound designer for film, television, and internet content based in his home town of Toronto. Beginning his training in theatre as an actor at Claude Watson School for the Arts, Dave has since worked in the film and music industries in various capacities for over 25 years. A busy voice actor for the past 5 years by day and live performing musician by night, Dave is proud to be returning to the Alumnae Theatre to perform in another New Ideas Festival.

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