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New Ideas Festival 2020 WEEK 1

Produced by Stacy Halloran, Carrie Villeneuve & Stefani Pockaj
March 11 – 15, 2020 in the Studio Theatre

The New Ideas Festival is Alumnae’s annual juried festival and features an exciting line-up of new short plays!

Week 1

March 11–15, 2020  in the Studio

A program of 4 short plays:

​·  Just in Love
·  Remember Him Chasing Squirrels 
​· ​ Speed Dating Night at the Bull and Bell
​·  The Curious Case of Jockstrap Malone

Wed. ​March  11, 2020
8:00 pm​
​Thurs. March  12, 2020
8:00 pm​
​Fri. March  13, 2020 
8:00 pm​
Sat. March  14, 2020 
 2:00 pm  &  8:00 pm
Sun. March  15, 2020 ​ 
2:00pm

​Accessibility

Alumnae Theatre’s Berkeley Street entrance and the Mainstage Theatre are wheelchair accessible. ​There is a wheelchair accessible restroom on the ground floor.

New Ideas Festival 2020
​Week 1 Plays

Just in Love
by Richard Ellen
Directed by Jackson Nair
Set in a garden paradise, love creates colourful dreamscapes that disorient one’s senses, distort one’s knowledge, and shuffle one’s emotional spectrum. AH, LOVE: is it the route to utopia or a mind-blowing labyrinth of disappointment?

Remember Him Chasing Squirrels
by Donna Langevin
Directed by Diane Forrest
A woman must make a painful decision. The ghost of her late husband appears on the scene to help her.

Speed Dating Night at the Bull and Bell
by Kay Randewich
Directed by  Cora Matheson
On a rough winter’s night, The Bull and Bell tavern pub has set aside a room to host an evening of speed dating. The attendees are apparently diverse. Will they find what they are looking for?

The Curious Case of Jockstrap Malone
by Dwayne Yancey
Directed by Samantha Devries
A female private detective investigates the mysterious disappearance of a local sportscaster. She discovers he’s being held hostage by three young women. Years before, when he emceed a local parade, he disparaged the Girl Scouts. Now, these former Scouts get their unique revenge.

Just in Love
by Richard Ellen
Directed by Jackson Nair

Set in a garden paradise, love creates colourful dreamscapes that disorient one’s senses, distort one’s knowledge, and shuffle one’s emotional spectrum. AH, LOVE: is it the route to utopia or a mind-blowing labyrinth of disappointment?

Richard Ellen, Playwright
Member, Act2 Studio Works; As playwright: SpinThe New 80Posterity (Act 2). To Halve and Halve Not (BurlOak, Entertaining Shorts). As actor: PosterityIf I Die Tomorrow ; The Wolf’s TaleCafé Life/ City LifeAct2). Recast/ Auto Show; A Community Target (Passionate Players, guided by Convergence Theatre and Outside the March).

Jackson Nair Director
Jackson is a mixed-race actor, director, and theatremaker emerging in Toronto’s performing arts industry both onstage and behind the scenes, with a particular interest in multicultural theatre, theatre education, and theatre for young audiences. He is thrilled to be part of NIF for a third consecutive year.

Gisella Ramos, Assistant Director/ Stage Manager
​Gisela joined the Alumnae Theatre Company in June 2019. She moved from Peru to Toronto three years ago to change her career from Environmental Engineering to Expressive Arts Therapy. She likes to write and her dream is to see her stories on stage one day.

CAST

Alina Kouvchiova,Louis
Alina is a multidisciplinary artists and graduate of George Brown Theatre School. Credits include writing and directing What I Haven’t Said for the Toronto Fringe; dance and choreography for Create Move Connect, and a facilitation of Authentic Movement and Contact Improvisation. A recent award winner for her work in Wild in the International Contact Film Festival. She’s a world traveler, truth seeker and a passionate Personal Care Worker.

Duncan Gibson-Lockhart,Black- Hat
Duncan’s selected credits include Tempting Providence, The Valley, Mary’s Wedding, Armstrong’s War, The Melville Boys (Theatre On The Ridge), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, You Never Can Tell, Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman, The Picture of Dorian Gray (George Brown Theatre School), My Mother’s Feet (Bare Theatre Collective), and Any Night (Mansfield’s Cabaret).

Jessika McQueen, Laila
Jessika just moved back to Toronto from NYC, where she trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting conservatory. She is so excited to be performing at the Alumnae Theatre for the first time. Many thanks to the cast and creative team for this adventure. More at www.jessikamcqueen.com .

Joel Pettigrew, Bag Lady
Joel’s recent credits: Moss Glengarry Glen Ross, (Nortesur – Best of Hamilton) Dogberry Much Ado About Nothing,(9M) Mercury Man Mercury Man. (Dramatic Hat – Critic’s Pick, Reviewers Pick, Best of Hamilton, 4.5/5.) Joel Co- founded WITI, the Women In Theatre Initiative, for which he directs Hamlet, this June.  Onward, Always. facebook.com/dramatichat

Madeleine Keesmaat-Walsh, Lady Bird
Madeleine is a Toronto based actress. She started her acting career at the Lindsay Little Theatre, where her credits include Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon), Alice in Wonderland (White Queen), and Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow). Madeleine studied acting at Seneca College and she is an active member of Look-Up Theatre, collaborating with them on many shows, most notably The Toronto Circus Riot. Her latest production was Belle Darling Klondike Queen at Alumnae Theatre, and she is currently working on Cheap Beer at the End of the World, set to play at both the London and Toronto Fringe festivals.

Remember Him Chasing Squirrels
by Donna Langevin
Directed by Diane Forrest
A woman must make a painful decision. Help arrives unexpectedly!

Donna Langevin, Playwright
Donna Langevin’s latest poetry collection is Brimming, Piquant Press 2019. Her plays, the Dinner, and Bargains in the New World won first prizes for script at the Eden Mills Festival 2014 and 2015. If Socrates Were in My Shoes was produced at the NIF Festival 2018, co-written Waiting for Attila won a staged reading in 2019. The Blue Girl received an honorable mention Stella award at Act 2, Ryerson, 2019. Special thanks to the NIF team this year!

Diane Forrest, Director
Diane Forrest is an award-winning professional writer and editor. She’s been involved with the New Ideas Festival for many years and also founded Alumnae’s annual Write Now Playwriting Competition and the New Play Development group (NPD). She has studied directing with Duncan McIntosh

Gabe Kastner, Stage Manager/Assistant Director
Gabe is an actor, musician, artist, writer, and (now) enthusiastic theatre back-of-houser. He is currently working on several scripts, stories, and songs

CAST

Brenda Darling, Jane
Brenda has created her own films, acted, directed for stage and film, and been an active board member for arts organizations. Professionally, she produced and managed arts companies, Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and international theatre and film festivals. Recently, she directed “The Trip To Bountiful” at the Alumnae Theatre.

Tom O’ Neill, Walter
Thomas’ previous role was Danger Mulally in Many Young Men of Twenty for Toronto Irish Players. Past roles include: the Cardinal in the Alumnae Theatre production of Omission and George Handel in the East End Players’ production of Joyful Noise. Thomas also works as a voice-over announcer and television director.

Speed Dating Night at the Bull and Bell
by Kay Randewich
Directed by  Cora Matheson
On a rough winter’s night, The Bull and Bell tavern pub has set aside a room to host an evening of speed dating. The attendees are apparently diverse. Will they find what they are looking for?

Kay Randewich, Playwright
Kay Randewich is a playwright and actor. She is an active member of the Alumnae Theatre and Act 2 Studio where several of her plays have been produced. Kay’s writing reflects her curiosity about the world by making the leap from the mundane to, “what if”….. ?

Cora Matheson, Director
Cora is a performer, writer and teacher who is just entering the world of directing. A graduate of Randolph Academy as well as George Brown Theatre School, she has worked extensively in different forms of theatre, on film, and is also a professionally trained dancer and vocalist. Thanks to the NIF committee for having her on the team!

CAST

Daniel Ausin- Boyd, Stage Manager/Assistant Director
Daniel is a Toronto based stage manager, director and general, all around theatre person. This is his second time working with NIF, having worked on Outside Looking In last year. He is grateful to have been working with such excellent people, and hopes that you enjoy the show.

Andrew Horbatiuk, Peter
This is Andrew’s first time appearing with Alumnae theatre. Previous performances include Benedict in Much Ado about Nothing, Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias and Bill in Late Company which won the Best Drama Award at last year’s ACTCO Festival. Enjoy the show!

Francesco De Francesco, Ryan
Francesco De Francesco is excited to return to the New Ideas Festival. He has performed in numerous productions since we last saw him. His credits include, Deathtrap, Glengarry Glen Ross, She Kills Monsters, Race For The White House, Untold Stories of the E.R, and the web series Enchanted Mafia: Dark City.

Hannah Krostewitz, Bunnie
Hannah Krostewitz is thrilled to be making her Alumnae Theatre debut as Bunnie as a part of this year’s New Ideas Festival. Hannah is a recent Acting graduate of Ryerson School of Performance where she played some of her most beloved characters such as Portia in Julius Caesar and Helen of Troy in Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. Have fun at the Bull and Bell!

James Boutcher, Harvey
James Boutcher is an actor/author born in Toronto, Canada. Recently cast as Harvey in Speed Dating Night at The Bull and Bell, he trained at various acting classes including The Second City and Humber College. A filmmaker as well, his short film Time Slinger entered the 2016 Hamilton Film Festival.

Kayne Wylie, Leonard Kayne is thrilled to be joining Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival. He is a graduate of the Acting for Film & Television program at Humber College. Credits include: Dispatch and Indifference (Newmarket National Play Festival), That’s Life and Communists Mummies From Mars (Humber Film Production). Kayne thanks his family and friends for their constant support.

Madelaine Rose, Carrie
Madelaine Rose is a Toronto based actor/ performer, and recently she has added producing into the mix. Her most recent works include Lilith/ Lily in She Kills Monsters (Daisy Productions), Alicia in The Stand (InspiraTO), Margaret in Milk Dream (short film), and Desdemona in Ladies Sigh No More (Daisy Productions).

Martha Breen, Annie
Toronto writer-actress Martha Breen’s recent onstage roles include Shirley in Escape from Shady Acres (Toronto Fringe Festival), Cathy in Alumnae member Carol Libman’s Lies and Consequences (Red Sandcastle Theatre), and Masha in Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike (Scarborough Theatre). Martha last appeared at NIF as Gwen in The Council (2015).

Monique Danielle, Dahlia
Monique is thrilled to be appearing in NIF after directing a staged reading of Harbor at NIF 2019. Select acting credits include Ashes of Forgotten Rain (NAGs Theatre), Couples Game (Bygone Theatre) and The Last Thing I Did (Drama Insidiis). Catch her in Alumnae’s In the Next Room in April!

Tony Rein, Facilitator
Tony is the founding Artistic Director of Chicken Coop Theatre, (now known as the Carbonell nominated West Boca Theatre Company.) Favourite past roles include Taking Sides (Major Arnold), Chicago (Amos), and Godspell (Jesus.) Tony can be seen next month in the Award winning film Take Care of Emily premiering March 10th on Amazon Prime. Tony thanks Cora, Daniel, and his cast-mates for a fabulous experience in the NIF.

The Curious Case of Jockstrap Malone
by Dwayne Yancey
Directed by Samantha Devries
A female private detective investigates the mysterious disappearance of a local sportscaster. She discovers he’s being held hostage by three young women. Years before, when he emceed a local parade, he disparaged the Girl Scouts. Now, these former Scouts get their unique revenge.

Dwayne Yancey, Playwright
Dwayne Yancey is a playwright from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His work has been produced in 47 states, 6 provinces and 15 countries. A critic in Australia, where his work has won multiple awards, called his work “blood-curdlingly amazing.”

Samantha Devries, Director
Sam is thrilled to mark her directorial debut with Alumnae’s 2020 NIF. She has been working in Toronto’s theatre industry since 2018, after she graduated from Rochester University in Detroit. Sam is an actor, stage manager, sound designer, director, and coffee enthusiast!

CAST

Mofi Agboola, Stage Manager/Assistant Director
Mofi is thrilled to be making her debut as an Assistant Director/ Stage manager. She holds a BMath degree from the University of Waterloo and is a Benefits Analyst by day. Mofi would like to thank the cast & crew for being so welcoming and fun to work with.

Alison Dixon, Trixie
Alison is delighted to be returning to the stage at Alumnae Theatre after starring as Leah in Grief Circus in the Fireworks Festival! She’s a graduate of Randolph College for the Performing Arts, and hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is her first NIF production, but surely not her last!

Andrew Horbatuik, Malone
This is Andrew’s first time appearing with Alumnae Theatre. Previous performances include Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing, Vladimir in Waiting for Godo, Ben Hecht in Moonlight and Magnolias and Bill in Late Company which won The Best Production Actco Award for Drama last year. Enjoy the show.

Kim Sprenger, Tabitha
Kim Sprenger is happy to be performing in the New Ideas Festival once again. Other NIF productions include last year’s “The Reading Circle“, “D-Cup” (and people still recognize her from her performance in “The Bra Play”) and of course, she played Gloria in the infamous “Gloria’s Guy“. She is the co-producer of Cabbagetown Theatre, and will be producing another family-friendly fairy tale as part of the 2020 Cabbagetown Festival.

Piyal Sarker, Pixie
Piyal got introduced to acting at the age of 8 and fell in love with it professionally at the age of 14. As a full-time university student, heavily integrated into the world of Arts & Sciences, the world of acting is what keeps her alive and allows her to explore different characters travelling through time.

Sundance Nagrial, Trixie
Sundance is beyond delighted to be part of NIF once more with feeling. Won the award for Best Direction in a Play at the 2019 InspiraTO festival for her solo show Three Lotus Flowers last summer, making Alumnae Theatre her home. Trained at Humber College’ Theatre Performance Conservatory program & George Brown Acting for Film, recent credits also include: SPUN by Rabiah Hussain (Silk Road Institute/Centaur Theatre, Montreal) You can see her performing in Rapunzel with TYT Pantos in the Annex Theatre this April. “Tongue Tied & Twisted, I’m just an earthbound Misfit” IG: @sundancen

New Ideas Festival Producer

Stacy Halloran, Producer
Since Stacy declined to submit a bio, one of her favourite Playwrights has taken the liberty of writing one for her:
Stacy Halloran has been called “one of the leading lights of the Godfrey theatre scene”. Her semi-autobiographical one-woman show Sheep Breeders and Schadenfreude won the Patron’s Pick Award in the Highway 38 Fringe Festival. The North Frontenac News described Sheep Breeders as a “wild and woolly romp through the colourful world of ruminant production”. Stacy is pleased to be working indoors (and with two legged performers!) this time around!

Carrie Villeneuve, Producer
Carrie Villeneuve is excited and grateful to be working on NIF 2020 with Stacy and Stefani. It’s been a fantastic journey, bringing these new works to life and working with all these talented artists. Enjoy!

Stefani Pockaj, Producer
Since her debut role as Tina Turner the Turkey( In a rendition of Chicken Little) at the age of 11, Stefani has been passionate about theatre and musicals(roles both on and off stage). She is a member of the Alumnae Theatre and is extremely appreciative of all of the opportunities she has been given at Alumnae!

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