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2018/19 SEASON

New Ideas Festival 2019 - WEEK 3

March 20 – 24, 2019

Produced by Ilana Linden, Simone Goldberg and Meredith Heinrich

New Ideas Festival 2019
WEEK 3: March 20 – 24, 2019

🌟WATCH THE TRAILER VIDEO BELOW

Click on the arrow to play:
 
Trailer by Nicholas Porteous

New Ideas Festival 2019

🌟Week 3 - Show times

March 20 –24, 2019 in the Studio

A program of three short plays:

·  Il Testosteroni 
· After Birth 
· The Reading Circle
​** Playwright/Director Talkbacks will be held following the Saturday Matinee performances.
Wed.​ March 20, 2019​
8:00 pm​
Thurs. March 21, 2019
8:00 pm​
Fri. March 22, 2019
8:00 pm​
Sat. March 23, 2019
2:30 pm & 8:00 pm
Sun. March 24, 2019
2:30pm

A Rehearsed Reading * 

Harbor

​Saturday March 23, 2019 at 12:00 pm  ·  in the Studio

** A Playwright/Director Talkback will be held following the Saturday Reading.

Harbor    ·  Sat. March  23, 2019​
12:00 pm

🌟WEEK 3 – New Ideas Festival 2019 

Il Testosteroni

by Rebecca Becket Grace
Directed by Lauren Griffiths
​Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Connor Meeker
Cast: Aimee Poulin, Tracy Rankin*, Elaine Lindo, Mark H. Albert
*Appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Unhappy housewife Marsha has had enough of the overabundance of “testosterone” stopping her from opening an Italian restaurant. While hosting her “Italian Feast Hour” cooking show, she concocts a secret Italian recipe. Now every man in the world must eat!

After Birth

by Katrine Raymond
Directed by Cassidy Sadler
​Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Malia Rogers
Cast:  ​Julianne Bisnaire, Alexa Higgins, Jennifer Ashley Lloyd
After birth, a mother is born too. Three mothers share their anxieties, fears and isolation in a support group.

The Reading Circle

by  Suzanne Bowness
Directed by Marley Kajan
​Stage Manager/Assistant Director: ​Evelyn Long
Cast: Nancy Stewart, Kim Sprenger, Shannon Dickens, Carley Churchill, Natalie Julien, Nance Gibson 
Alice wants to make friends in her new small town and speculates that a book club might be one route to meet like-minded women. If only she can find the right words to welcome them into her home.

Week 3 – Rehearsed Reading: * The Rehearsed Reading HARBOR  requires no reservations and is  Pay-What-You-C

Harbor

by  Liz Appel
Directed by Monique Danielle
​Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Andrew Ford
Cast: ​Hayley Pace, Lisa Lenihan, Rob Candy, Nato Aivazashvili
Stage Directions: Chloe Whitham 
In a farmhouse in fictitious Europe the orderly life of the Percy family is disrupted by the discovery of a girl hiding in their fields.  Boundaries between people, culture and language break down as a new world dawns. 

WEEK 3
 

Il Testosteroni

by Rebecca Becket Grace
Directed by Lauren Griffiths
​Stage Manager/Assistant Director: Connor Meeker
Cast: Aimee Poulin, Tracy Rankin*, Elaine Lindo, Mark H. Albert
*Appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Unhappy housewife Marsha has had enough of the overabundance of “testosterone” stopping her from opening an Italian restaurant. While hosting her “Italian Feast Hour” cooking show, she concocts a secret Italian recipe. Now every man in the world must eat!

Rebecca Becket Grace, Playwright
Rebecca is a Toronto-based playwright, director and actor. Recently she co-wrote and produced the play DEAD Talks at the Toronto Fringe Festival 2018. Rebecca has directed plays with InspiraTO Festival, Alumnae Theatre, Toronto Fringe and more, and has performed with many local theatres across the city. She established Roar in the Woods Theatre Company to highlight new works by local playwrights and wrote and directed five plays with the Company.  Currently, she is developing a TV pilot with two female writers.

Lauren Griffiths, Director
Lauren Griffiths is a Toronto trained actor and comedian, graduating first from York University’s acting conservatory, and then immediately following, The Second City conservatory. She’s recently been expanding her horizons, studying directing at Tarragon theatre with Richard Rose and Baby Clown at The Manitoulin Conservatory with John Turner. She currently spends most of her time writing, directing and performing sketch-comedy with her troupe, the 2017 winners of Big City Improv Festival’s TKO Tournament, Erotic Friend Fiction. Lauren is thrilled and honoured to be welcomed into the Alumnae family for this year’s festival!

Connor Meeker, Stage Manager/Assistant Director
Connor is a theatre researcher and artist. New to Toronto, he currently studies in the MA Theatre and Performance Studies program at York University, where he researches Indigenous theatre and performance in Canada. Artistically, he is active as a dramaturge, director, and performer. He has previously worked as the Festival Producer at the Thousand Faces Festival, a multicultural, mythic arts festival in Edmonton.

CAST

Aimee Poulin, Claire
Aimee is thrilled to make her Alumnae Theatre debut in Il Testosteroni. Previous credits include The Drowsy ChaperoneThe Weavers (both Randolph Academy), King LearThe American Clock (both John Abbott College). Currently, she is touring southern Ontario elementary schools with Little Red Theatre’s The Snow Queen/La Reine des Neiges. Thanks to Lauren, Connor, Rebecca and the whole team at Alumnae for their trust and support.

Tracy Rankin* Marsha;
Tracy last appeared at the New Ideas Festival in a production called Defrosting. Now many years later she’s enjoying being part of this exciting festival once again! Recent productions include Buried in Comfort/ Hamilton Fringe, The Stronger /Hamilton Fringe, The Way of All Fish/ Tarragon Extra Space, Kourage Theatre, Three SistersForests / The Arts Resource Centre. Film & TV ; The Country InnThe Boyfriend SeasonRung , Il Lobo , Private Eyes and Departure.
*Appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Elaine Lindo, Sandy
Elaine has previously appeared at the Alumnae Theatre in numerous productions including Tennessee Williams Orpheus Descending and Summer and Smoke, Christopher Hampton’s Liaisons Dangereuses, and in perhaps her favourite role as Elizabeth in The Queens by Normand Chaurette. She has performed at many theatres around Toronto including Studio BLR, The Village Playhouse, and Bard in the Park among others. She has always admired the adventurous spirit of NIF and is delighted to be a part of this year’s festival.

Mark H. Albert, Tom
Mark is very appreciative to return to Alumnae Theatre for the New Ideas Festival, having been a part of two other Alumnae productions and worked with some very talented writers, directors and cast members including those of Il Testosteroni. Having worked in this community of theatre for some 20 plus years, it has been an interesting journey in the life and experience of man graduating in decades. Kudos to the new and innovative writers, like Rebecca Becket Grace for offering their voice to performance art.

AFTER BIRTH
​by Katrine Raymond
Directed by Cassidy Sadler
After birth, a mother is born too. Three mothers share their anxieties, fears and isolation in a support group.

Katrine Raymond, Playwright
Katrine Raymond is working towards a life of connection, creativity and joy. She lives in Hamilton and is a co-founder of Paraphrased Productions. Her writing often explores archives, fragments of history, and the mindbody’s innate healing potential. Her short plays have recently featured in HamilTEN, Supercrawl, and the Lamplighter Festival. She has previously written two musicals for the Toronto Fringe Festival. In 2017, she received a City Enrichment Fund Grant for her short story project, The Teeth of Graves. She is excited to be part of the New Ideas Festival and thankful for the support of her family.

Cassidy Sadler, Director
Cassidy Sadler is a graduate of the University of Toronto with an Honours BA in Drama and English. She is a director, actor and playwright. Cassidy participated in the New Ideas Festival as a writer in 2012, and as a director in both 2017 and 2018. She is absolutely thrilled to be back. Selected directing credits include: Bricks (Supercrawl); If You Know Emmaline (St. Joseph’s Hospital and Paraphrased Productions); The Dancing Man of Macklin Street (New Ideas Festival); Subway Extension to the Mariana Trench (Hamilton Fringe); The Ballad of Sadie Wong (New Ideas Festival); Hello from the Rain (University of Toronto Drama Centre); Let My Mind Run Dry (Hart House Drama Festival); Never Swim Alone (Victoria College Drama Society).

Malia Rogers, Stage Manager/Assistant Manager
Malia Rogers is a multidisciplinary performer, musician, arts researcher, and current MA Student in Theatre & Performance Studies at York University. As a graduate of Acadia University’s Theatre program (Wolfville, NS) and a new-to-the-city artist, Malia is delighted at the opportunity to further pursue her curiosities and develop her skills in Directing and Stage Management in this beautiful city under the leadership of the New Ideas Festival.

CAST

Alexa Higgins,  Magda
Alexa Higgins is a Toronto-based artist who has performed across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and England. She recently completed her MA in Drama at the University of Toronto. She is a co-creator of Falling Iguana Theatre, whose inaugural production DIANA premiered at the Island Fringe 2018. Recent select stage credits include Skyline, The Valley (Don’t Look Down Theatre), DIANA (Falling Iguana), A Record of Us (Solo Chicken Productions), Stars (NIF), Just Enough (Newmarket Play Festival), Pericles (Bard in the Barracks), Angel’s River (Notable Acts Mainstage). She is thrilled to be part of the After Birth team!

Jennifer Ashley Lloyd, Carine
Jennifer Ashleigh Lloyd began her training at The Second City where she graduated from the Conservatory Program and Longform Conservatory Program. Jennifer performs with her sketch troupe Not Oasis (Toronto Fringe Patrons Pick, NOW Magazine Critic’s Pick) and her improv troupe Gentlemen Frog. Jennifer has performed in festivals such as Sketchfest in Seattle, Chicago, and Toronto, Ottawa Fringe Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, Ottawa Improv Festival, Big City Improv Festival, and SheDot Festival. She has appeared on many hit television shows, including Paranormal Survivor and See No Evil and the Indie films, I Shall and Stuck in the Middle.

Julianne Bisnaire,  Mary
Julianne is a recent graduate of The Randolph College. Recent credits include: A Little Night
Music 
and Peer Gynt (Randolph College). Julianne is so excited to be a part of this wonderful
project! ​​

The Reading Circle

by  Suzanne Bowness
Directed by Marley Kajan
​Stage Manager/Assistant Director: ​Evelyn Long
Cast: Nancy Stewart, Kim Sprenger, Shannon Dickens, Carley Churchill, Natalie Julien, Nance Gibson 
Alice wants to make friends in her new small town and speculates that a book club might be one route to meet like-minded women. If only she can find the right words to welcome them into her home.

Suzanne (Sue) Bowness, Playwright
Suzanne (Sue) Bowness is a Toronto-based freelance writer/editor. She also holds a PhD in English and is a part-time writing professor at Humber College. She has published a book of poetry titled The Days You’ve Spent (Tightrope Books, 2010) and in 2006, she won the National One-Act Playwriting Competition for The Reading Circle. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various literary journals. She volunteers in the writing community as a director of the Rowers Pub Reading Series and on the national board of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. Find her online at www.suzannebowness.com

Marley Kajan, Director
Marley Kajan is a Toronto based performer and theatre creator. She is an alumna of the Randolph College, Brock University, Second City and Scotland’s Queen Margaret University. She is co-founder of The Creation Coffin, a young theatre company which focuses on producing feminist, female-drive work which experiments with the form of musical theatre. Marley enjoys many kinds of theatre creation from dramaturgy sessions with The Hamletmachine Collective to improv jams and sketch writing sessions at Second City. She was born and raised in the Niagara Region.

Manager/Assistant Director
​Evelyn long is a emerging director from Calgary, Alberta. She is a recent graduate of the Randolph College of Performing Arts which helped her discover her love for Directing and theater creation.  She has also directed Watch Me Drown by Liam Salmon and Animal by Romeo Ciolfi at Alumnae. Other notable directorial productions include: Futch Bemme in OutFest, Hexen by Caliegh Crow in the 2017 Toronto fringe and The Weavers at Randolph College.

CAST

Nancy Stewart,  Alice
Nancy is thrilled to be performing the role of Alice in The Reading Circle as part of NIF.  She is a member of the Estelle Craig Act ii Studio where she studied acting and appeared in a few plays. She continues to study Meisner, Voice and classical text. Interests include travelling, knitting, hiking and supporting Canadian TV, film, theatre, in a variety of volunteer roles. Thanks to all who support this festival!

Kim Sprenger,  Margot
Kim is happy to be part of the New Ideas process after being part of the “D-Cup” cast in 2017.  She is a founding member of Cabbagetown Theatre and has written, directed, produced and acted in too many productions to count. Kim also drums with an Afro-Brazilian percussion batucada and is working hard to perfect her German when she isn’t wordsmithing her way through life as a senior communications consultant.

Shannon Dickens, Pamela
​Shannon is an actor and puppeteer based in Toronto and a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. Selected Credits: Icarius/Suitor #3 – The Penelopiad (Hart House Theatre), Performer – Call It a Holiday Cabaret (Call It a Day Productions); Performer – Broadway Divas, Simone/Pompom – The Baker’s Wife, Mrs.Eynsford-Hill – My Fair Lady (The Confidential Project); Adult Women – Spring Awakening, Mark’s Mom/Coat Vendor – Rent, Audrey II Puppeteer – Little Shop of Horrors, Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy/Dragon Puppeteer – Shrek: The Musical, Bad Idea Bear/Mrs. T. – Avenue Q* (Lower Ossington Theatre, *First Canadian Cast). Much love to Erik and Alexandra.

Carley Churchill,  Jan
​Carley Churchill is thrilled to be working on The Reading Circle. Carley is a Toronto based performer, who graduated from Randolph College for the Performing Art’s Triple Threat Program. Since graduation, she has worked on projects including, Marge in Call It a Day Productions’ The Life, Caitlin in Small But Mighty’s site specific hits, Straight Up! and On the Rocks: a Straight Sequel. She is currently in rehearsals for First Act Productions’ Dogfight. Carley is also an emerging director working on projects such as: Saucy Jack’s and the Space Vixens (Director, Small but Mighty), On the Rocks (Ass. Director, Small but Mighty), Call it a Holiday (Ass. Director, Call It a Day Productions).

Natalie Julien, Lynn
Natalie is a born and raised prairie girl who has been singing and acting for most of her life! She is a graduate of the Randolph Academy in Toronto. She happily teaches tiny humans with “Little Rebels” and bigger humans at “Redhouse Music Academy”! Thank you to Marley, Evelyn and Alumni theatre for this fun opportunity!Watch for her next in Impromptu’s Concert Series Broadway: The Early Years. Some favourite past credits include: The Drowsy ChaperoneA Glass Hive AKA the Comedy of ErrorsJoseph and the Technicolor DreamcoatCrazy for YouTwelfth NightChildren of Eden and Little Shop of Horrors.

Nance Gibson, Cindy
Now that Nance has retired, she can pursue her favourite pastime: theatre. She is excited to perform in The Reading Circle for NIF.  She has acted and directed plays for Act2, Ryerson, as well as acting in Queen Marie, Alumnae Theatre; and with Mixed Company Theatre in Old Age Ain’t for Sissies and Shelf Life. Nance says she lives a quiet life in deepest Scarborough. Her grandchildren live nearby and she tries to see them often

HARBOR
​by Liz Appel
Directed by Monique Danielle
In a farmhouse in fictitious Europe the orderly life of the Percy family is disrupted by the discovery of a girl hiding in their fields. Boundaries between people, culture and language break down as a new world dawns.

Liz Appel, Playwright
Liz Appel is a playwright based in New York.  She has been a Finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Leah Ryan FEWW Award, PlayPenn, and was a winner of the 2016 Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women.  Her short play, Snow, was produced at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London, her play Moonshine, received a staged reading at the Cherry Lane theater, and her one-act play, Remember, appeared in the Spring, 2017 issue of Blackbird.  She is currently a New Georges Affiliated Artist and has developed work at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Kennedy Center, the Flea Theater and elsewhere.

Monique Danielle, Director
Monique Danielle is a director and actor from southern Alberta currently based in Toronto. Directing credits include A GameDon’t Dress for DinnerThe Man Who Couldn’t Dance and assistant directing Dido, Queen of Carthage with renowned director, Peter Hinton. In spring 2019 she’s extremely excited to be directing the Scottish play with the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society. When not directing, Monique can be found onstage or producing pieces with her company Prairie Bear Theatre, a company which operates to showcase work from emerging artists and focusing on work about or including Mad artists. 

Andrew Ford, Stage Manager/Assistant Director
Andrew is a Newfoundlander who moved to Toronto several years ago to pursue a career in social work. Now working full time in mental health, he is thrilled to be able to revisit a lifelong love of his – the theatre. In particular, helping bring these creative and original stories to the stage as part of the New Ideas Festival is a great honour. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his cat, travelling, watching films, listening to true crime podcasts, and playing piano.

CAST

Hayley Pace,  Ali
Hayley is an actress, designer and founder of Toronto’s first marching band theatre
company, The Teeny Tiny Music Show, having self-produced and performed in her own shows for the past three years in various festivals throughout Ontario. Shows include The Teeny Tiny Music Show and High School Symphony, and is developing a new script at the Festival Players Residency in Prince Edward County. Hayley designs for theatre, film and television and has worked with renown Toronto theatre designers such as Philip Silver and Shawn Kerwin. You can see her work at www.hayleypace.com.

Rob Candy, Joe
Rob has appeared at the Alumnae in The Importance of Being EarnestAugust: Osage
County
, and Blood Relations, among others. Other recent credits include Tainted Justice,
the Radio Play series, Mr Pim Passes By, and Strictly Murder, all for the Village Players,
Sense and Sensibility (Amicus), Joyful Noise (East Side Players), and Les Freres (UC
Follies.

Lisa Lenihan,  Oona
Lisa received her training at Concordia University (BFA, Specialization Theatre
Performance) in Montreal. She toured with Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare in the
Park over a number of years, sat on the Board of the Montreal Fringe Festival, and has
played everything from Scotty in staged performances of Star Trek to a burlesque house
madame, from singing insects to fencing fops. Alumnae audiences last saw Lisa as Isabella Bird and Mrs. Kidd in Top Girls, Lane in The Importance of Being Earnest, and as Mama in Sweet Mama and the Salty Muffins for NIF last year. She is thrilled to be part of Harbor.

Nato Aivazashvili,  Girl
Nato Aivazashvili was born in Georgia. She graduated Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Movie from Georgian State University. After graduation she started working at Signagi Georgian Drama Theatre, where she performed in The Wondering Band (G.Batiashvili) and Someone Calls Us (T.Bibiluri). She also performed at Eristavi Theatre, in The Cherry Orchard (A.Chekhov), Mususi (M.Javakishvili), and Pinocchhio (C.Collodi). She also performed in a Georgian TV series called My Wife’s Best Friends. She’s now starting to build her acting career in Canada, with the New Ideas Festival as her first project. She is very thankful for the opportunity.

Chlöe Whitham,  Stage Directions
Chlöe Whitham is a graduate from the Randolph College for the performing arts, class of 2017. Past credits include Toronto the Good at Buddies in Bad Times (2018), Love or Law (short film 2018), The Drowsy Chaperone at the Randolph Theatre (2017), and Stage Door at the Annex Street Theatre (2017). Chlöe is thrilled to working with such a talented and passionate group of artists, and would like to give huge thank you to Liz Appell, Monique Danielle, Andrew Ford, and everyone at the NIF Festival for such a great opportunity and experience. Cheers!

New Ideas Festival Team

Ilana Linden, Executive Director & Producer
Ilana Linden began her acting career in 1980 when she enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Studio in New York City. She returned to Montreal in 1981 and continued to develop her acting skill with various teachers. Her first role was in the film the Quest for Fire where she was a double. From there she secured roles on television and in film. In 1988 Ilana launched her theatre company, Bulldog Productions. She was its artistic director and producer. She directed several of the company’s productions including the Heidi Chronicles, Homeward Bound, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune. and Eleemosynary. Ilana starred in the company’s productions of Teibele and Her Demons and Italian American Reconciliation. In 2005 Ilana wrote, directed and was featured in Joseph’s Daughter, a feature documentary broadcast nationally on CBC’s the Passionate Eye.

Simone Goldberg, Producer
Simone Goldberg is honoured to be a Producer (and Director) at this year’s New Ideas Festival. She recently joined the Board of The Alumnae Theatre and and finished a production at the Village Playhouse. Her roles in theatre have varied from working in Producing, Directing and Stage Management but her love for the art has always remained constant. She has been privileged to have worked at National Arts Centre, Centre Stage Productions and Toronto Free Theatre. At the community level she performed in the CHAT Alumni musicals and Produced and directed 6 Musicals at Beth Emeth Players. Simone would like to thank the numerous volunteers, mentors who have helped bring this Festival to life.

Meredith Heinrich, Producer
Meredith is thrilled to join NIF this year as a producer to help bring this year’s Festival to the stage. She was first introduced to Alumnae Theatre when she performed in Eve’s Prayer with N ew Ideas Festival in 2011. After many years working in the corporate world, she took a creative U-turn, leaving her cubicle for a year of full-time acting training. Since then, she’s worked in films, commercials, music videos, corporate projects, and voiceover. She is also an actor simulator with Ryerson’s Law Practice Program and is an active member of AMAW Toronto’s studio. www.meredithheinrich.com

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