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2018/19 SEASON

​31st Annual

New Ideas Festival 2019

March 6 - 24, 2019

Produced by Ilana Linden, Simone Goldberg and Meredith Heinrich

March 6 – 24, 2019

The chance to see premieres of new dramatic writings from both emerging and experienced theatre artists has made the festival a must-see for Toronto theatre-goers for 31 years.

You’ll see a different program of short plays every week.
Check out our work-shopped reading of a full-length play on the Saturday of Week 2 and Week 3.

🌟WEEK 1 - New Ideas Festival

March 6 –10, 2019

Body Parts

by Mairy Beam
Directed by Lucy Collingwood
​Cast: Cara Adams*, Angela Bell, Reese McDonald, Avi Glenn, Inex Incubury
*The participation of this Artist is arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Are you male or female? Is it necessary to choose? How does one decide? Who decides? Be part of the discussion, but be prepared for shouting and fireworks as conventional norms are challenged.


by Sharon Goldner
Directed by Sara Flicht
Cast: Karen Scobie, Annie Lujan, Erika Rogstad
A woman & her boobs are hanging around talking one day. No, really. Seriously.

Outside Looking In:
​A Modern Fairytale for Young Adults and Other Bipeds

by Dave Healey
Directed by Jackson Nair
​Cast: Rajdeep Roy, Katrina Koenig, Harold Tausch, Tanner Homonko
Two outcasts find friendship when they unite to battle bigotry, right wing politics and declining theatre numbers all the while finding the time to enjoy a nice cuppa tea.

The Last date

by Emma Goldman-Sherman
Directed by Temilola (Lola) Gafaar
​Cast: Adrian Beattie, Emma Mansell, Natalie Morgan
Jeff and Alyssa are out on a date, or are they? The Last Date challenges our assumptions about how we see women and men. 

🌟WEEK 2 - New Ideas Festival

March 13 –17, 2019

The Indomitable Mrs. Rothman

by Tajlei Levis
Directed by Simone Goldberg
​Cast:  Colleen Simm,  Alex Bortoluzzi, Chenyi Guo, Sundance Nagrial ​
​​The financial crisis of 2008 has trapped divorcee Phyllis Rothman in her grand Park Avenue apartment which she can’t afford to keep, but is unable to sell.  Her ex-husband, a recently fired Wall Street tycoon, proposes a strategy to help each other until the economy improves.

Little Angels

by Ramona Baillie
Directed by Anne Harper
Cast: Cecily Smith, Mallory Palmer, Ian Goff ​
Ellie has to rush to the hospital to be with her dying mother but can’t find anyone to look after her baby.  When Fiona, a new neighbor, arrives at her door, a desperate Ellie accepts her offer to babysit.

The Trouble with the Garden

by Diane Forrest 
Directed by Christina Sousa
Cast: Shakila Fernando, Aaron Clapperton, Christian Tribuzio, Jocelyn Feltham
God has some ‘splainin to do. Will a trip back to the beginning help us understand why life is the way it is? 


by Taryn Crankshaw and Jessica Marshall
Directed by Ronak Singh
Cast: Olivia Tilley, Laura Mannion
Sadie, a technician specializing in the medium of virtual reality, faces a moral dilemma when she is forced to revisit a client’s archive.

Week 2 – Rehearsed Reading: 

*WAITING FOR ATTILA is a rehearsed Reading, No reservations, Pay-What-You-Can. ​

Waiting for Attila

by Donna Langevin and Mairy Beam
Directed by Donald Molnar
Cast: Candi Zell, Anne Shepherd, Neila Lem, Douglas Tindal ​
Imagine there’s a strong possibility that the world is going to end in five days. How would you spend the time?

🌟WEEK 3 - New Ideas Festival

March 20 –24, 2019 ​

Il Testosteroni

by Rebecca Becket Grace
Directed by Lauren Griffiths
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
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
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: 

HARBOR is a  Rehearsed Reading, No reservations,  Pay-What-You-Can. ​


by  Liz Appel
Directed by Monique Danielle
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.

🌟Special Events


You’re invited to New Ideas Festival’s Opening Night Celebrations!  
For each week of the New Ideas Festival, the Festival features an Opening Night party, following the performances on Wednesday, March  6, 13, & 20, 2019. 
All are welcome! Week-1 Week-2 Week-3


For each week of the New Ideas Festival, Talkbacks will be held following the Saturday Matinee performances at the New Ideas  Festival on March 9, 16, & 23, 2019. 
​Come and give us your comments – audience feedback is an important part of the development process for new plays.

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 New 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.

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