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​​​​​​33rd Annual

New Ideas Festival 2021
WEEK 1

April 14 - 18, 2021

Produced by Cassidy Sadler

The New Ideas Festival is back and going ... virtual!

Join us online and experience 9 Alumnae premieres from the comfort of your own home.
Each week features a different program of bold and groundbreaking new plays streamed via YouTube!

Ticket Prices:
$10 Ticket for individual viewers.​
$25 Group Ticket for a household of 3 or more viewers.
Save when you buy for both weeks.
Click the “Buy Tickets” button for details.

Members’ Night Special:
​Free admission for members of Alumnae Theatre Company on
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 and Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
Pre-registration is required.
Click the “Buy Tickets” button for details.

April 14 -18, 2021
​Streaming via YouTube

Week 1
​(in alphabetical order) ​​

A program of 4 short plays:

A Sigh or a Wish

Can the compass and the candle guide them home?

Alpha Betty

Mind your ‘Ps’ in queue …

Pretty Little Girls

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Waiting for Mark

Afterlife is what you make it.

** Playwright/Director Talkbacks will be held following the Saturday matinee.

A Sigh or a Wish

by Phyllis Jacklin
Directed by Samantha DeVries
A stormy night in Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia. During the August Gales of 1927, three generations of women wait for the fishermen of the family to return from sea. Navigating tension and uncertainty, they share stories, handiwork, and music, proving the timelessness of resilience and love.

Phyllis Jacklin, Playwright
Phyllis Jacklin lives on Nova Scotia’s south shore, a place alive with folklore and tales of the sea. This magical setting and actual historical events inspired A Sigh or a Wish, her first story created for the stage.

CAST

Samantha DeVries, Director/Editor
Samantha is a director, sound designer, stage manager, and actor. This is her third year working with Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival, and she is thrilled to be a part of bringing these beautiful shows to life in a whole new way.

Miranda Di Pietro, Rose
Miranda has thoroughly enjoyed working on A Sigh or a Wish! Her recent credits inaclude Penelope in The Odyssey, Brynn in Pregnancy Pact: The Musical and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Miranda is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School’s Performance Acting program, where she graduated with a BFA. In her free time, Miranda likes to cook and play her guitar. She wants to thank YOU for watching!

>Martha Breen, Muriel
Actress-writer Martha Breen has worked in theatre, film and video for many years and has appeared in several Alumnae Theatre productions. (She last performed in Speed Dating Night at the Bull And Bear, as part of Alumnae’s 2020 New Ideas Festival, one of the last plays to be mounted before the lockdown.) Though a lifelong Torontonian, Martha has Maritime roots, and A Sigh or a Wish has deep personal resonance for her.

Anna Tharyan, Hazel
Anna started acting two years ago after a career in the Toronto Public Library where she worked as Adult Programmes Coordinator. At Ryerson’s ACT II STUDIO, she played Signora Balthazar in Dromio Dromio (Comedy of Errors), Leslie in Janet Lewis’ Laundry Cycles and took part in scenes from Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (Helena), Edison’s Wit (Nurse), Kushner’s Angels in America (Joe), and Shakespeare’s Henry VIII (Katherine of Aragon).

Alpha Betty
by Bear Kosik
Directed by Nance Gibson
Five women waiting for a washroom try to play the alphabet game. Like the line, their game progresses in fits and starts, until one lady explodes with a ‘P’ stream.

Bear Kosik, Playwright
Bear Kosik’s Remaking Democracy in America was published in November 2018 by Stairway Press. He has authored science fiction novels (four to date), plays (six produced in Manhattan since 2016), and screenplays (over fifteen laurels from competitions). Bear’s fiction, poetry, essays, and photos have been published by Third Flatiron Press, River & South Review, Calliope, Weasel Press, opednews.com, and others.

Nance Gibson, Director
Working at Alumnae Theatre has given Nance many opportunities. As well, she has acted in and directed several plays for Act 2 and acted in Old Age Ain’t for Sissies and Shelf Life with Mixed Company Theatre. Nance lives a quiet life in deepest Scarborough, grandchildren nearby.

CAST

Paul Karton, Editor
Paul Karton is a retired computer consultant who designed and implemented innovative applications for mainframe computers, personal computers, and cell phones.

Emily Schooley, Deirdre
Emily Schooley is an award-winning actor and emerging filmmaker who hasn’t had time to be bored since the ’90s. Most recently with Alumnae, she stretched her wings as Nina in The Seagull. You can get sneak peeks of her new projects in development and help support her work at: https://www.patreon.com/EmilySchooley.

Jan Boase, Beatrice
Retired from Corporate Canada, Jan is now committed to theatre arts. She has studied acting at Act II Studio and The Acting Company for 5+ years and has performed on stage and in college simulation training videos. Jan also plays guitar and sings.

Nan Stewart, Amy
Nan Stewart is an actor with Act II Studio and Alumnae Theatre. Nan has appeared in Café Life/City Life, Two Sisters, and I’m Still Here at Act II, as well as several online play readings at Alumnae. Nan also enjoys directing plays on Zoom and writing plays and poetry.

Janet Lewis, Elaine
Janet joined Act 2 Studio in 2017 where she was introduced to acting and playwriting. She has since either acted or worked backstage in a number of community plays. This is her first completed play. She joined the Alumnae Theatre in 2018 and is an active member.

Erica Kindl, Celia
Erica’s second act truly began a few years ago when she started taking classes at The Estelle Craig Act II Studio through Ryerson University. She highly recommends it! Now that she is doing more plays (even on Zoom) she is enjoying herself immensely.

Pretty Little Girls
by Janet Lewis
Directed by Diana Di Mauro
Helen is excited that her daughter Katie is to be photographed. Katie never wanted her picture taken. Her little sister Allie didn’t know her picture was being taken. Everyone but the photographer is crushed.

Janet Lewis, Playwright
Janet’s introduction to theatre was in 2017 when she joined The Passionate Players and acted in three fundraising productions by Outside the March and Convergence Theatre. Janet joined Ryerson’s Act II Studio in 2017. She is very grateful to have wonderful theatre teachers.

Diana Di Mauro, Director/Composer
Pretty Little Girls was a great opportunity to explore the limits of virtual theatre while communicating a story that addresses the realities of life, and the repercussions of avoidance. Recent credits include Kamouraska and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges. Diana also serves as the Production Group Chair of the Alumnae Theatre Company.

CAST

Carlo Schefter, Editor
Independent multimedia artist from Toronto. www.carloschefter.com

Naomi Peltz, Katie
Naomi Peltz is an actor, singer, and improviser. She studied at the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts and the Second City Training Centre. Some of Naomi’s favourite shows in which she has performed include: Obeah Opera, Straight Up, and Evidence to the Contrary, to name a few. She has taught theatre abroad in Italy and China, and can’t wait for her next adventure.

Katherine Cappellacci, Allie
Selected theatre credits include: Charlotte, The Haunting of Hungerford House (Tweed & Co. Theatre); Liss, Plus Ca Change (NNPF); Carina, That’s Amore (Globus Theatre); and Khlykie, Wagon Play (Theatre by Committee). Katherine graduated from Ryerson University’s BFA program. She is a trained mezzo-alto singer and plays guitar, piano, and French horn.

Kim Croscup, Helen Kim is a Toronto-based actor, writer, and director. A graduate of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, acting highlights include Margery in Vinegar Tom and The Friar in Romeo & Juliet. She was last seen on the Alumnae Stage playing Jessie Mae in The Trip to Bountiful.

Rob Scavone, Mr.Dickson
Since semi-retiring from practicing law in 2019, Rob has pursued his first passion, acting, taking courses with Ryerson’s ACT II STUDIO and appearing in a number of productions, including Café Life and The War of the Worlds. In last year’s Hamilton Fringe Festival Zoom production of Annie Massey’s Waiting for Mark, Rob played the role of the mysterious Vladimir.

Waiting for Mark
by Annie Massey
Directed by Joel Haszard
Facebook: a glorious mess of brags and blags, cat pix, hilarious memes and hoaxes. Four strangers post selfies at the exact moment of their deaths. They slip into a beige halfworld. There’s betrayal, victory, redemption, and birthdays — but how do they get out? And who sent the mysterious envoy? Everyone is Waiting for Mark.

Annie Massey, Playwright
Annie’s play Lizard Season premiered at NAC’s #CanadaPerforms in May 2020, and Ribbons will be read at ATC’s Big Ideas Festival in May 2021. Annie is active in Cyber Reads and NPD. For act2studioWORKS, Annie has acted in King John (The Bastard), Dromio Dromio! (Luce/Dr. Pinch), Museum (Michelle/Zoe), and Café Life/City Life (Caroline).

CAST

Joel Haszard, Director/Editor
Joel is very pleased to be involved in this fantastic festival and to reunite with playwright Annie Massey. Joel previously directed Lizard Season (National Arts Centre) and Plum Crazy (Toronto Fringe). Thanks to the entire NIF team for bringing us all together and providing opportunity amidst the pandemic.

Harold Tausch, Abel
Harold Tausch is a Toronto-based actor, voice actor, dancer, and singer/songwriter. He has appeared in a variety of plays and radio plays, films, and web series. He is currently in the early stages of rehearsal for a dance piece and a dance/theatre piece.

Annie Massey, Daisy
Annie’s play Lizard Season premiered at NAC’s #CanadaPerforms in May 2020, and Ribbons will be read at ATC’s Big Ideas Festival in May 2021. Annie is active in Cyber Reads and NPD. For act2studioWORKS, Annie has acted in King John (The Bastard), Dromio Dromio! (Luce/Dr. Pinch), Museum (Michelle/Zoe), and Café Life/City Life (Caroline).

Joel Haszard, Director/Editor
Joel is very pleased to be involved in this fantastic festival and to reunite with playwright Annie Massey. Joel previously directed Lizard Season (National Arts Centre) and Plum Crazy (Toronto Fringe). Thanks to the entire NIF team for bringing us all together and providing opportunity amidst the pandemic.

Kim Croscup, Helen
Kim is a Toronto-based actor, writer, and director. A graduate of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City, acting highlights include Margery in Vinegar Tom and The Friar in Romeo & Juliet. She was last seen on the Alumnae Stage playing Jessie Mae in The Trip to Bountiful.

Rob Scavone, Mr.Dickson
Since semi-retiring from practicing law in 2019, Rob has pursued his first passion, acting, taking courses with Ryerson’s ACT II STUDIO and appearing in a number of productions, including Café Life and The War of the Worlds. In last year’s Hamilton Fringe Festival Zoom production of Annie Massey’s Waiting for Mark, Rob played the role of the mysterious Vladimir.

New Ideas Festival Producer

Cassidy Sadler
A director, actor and now producer, Cassidy began working with Alumnae at age 17. She was a writer in NIF 2012 and directed for the festival 2017 through 2021. She is passionate about new works, immersive experiences and experimental theatrical forms. Cassidy has performed in London, New York and even Barrie, ON. She is a permanent company member of Live History, whose site-specific work can be seen internationally. Additional credits include: The Curious Voyage (DLT, actor); If You Know Emmaline (Paraphrased Productions, director); Tideline (Hart House Theatre, actor); and Belle Darling Klondike Queen (Alumnae, assistant producer).

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