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​​​​​​33rd Annual

New Ideas Festival 2021

​April 21 - 25, 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 2
​(in alphabetical order) ​​

A program of 5 short plays:

Another Day

Silent phones … two disconnected people … some cookies … Once upon a time …


Trina went to see the world and came back … a little less there.

Lost Season

A grandmother and her granddaughter adapt a treasured tradition to heal and move forward together.


A mother’s dilemma: save herself or her child?

The Equivalent of Sensation

Dichotomy: the coquette can have the soul of a prude, while the spinster is possessed by the tropics.

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

Another Day

by Emanuelle Delle Piane tr.Kristine Greenaway
Directed by Kit Simmons

Two strangers meet at a public phone booth. She is trying to reach someone who hasn’t turned up to meet her; he needs to call for service repairs to his landline. As they wait for the phone to ring, they discover each other — two lonely souls who realize it’s not the phone they need but each other.

Emanuelle Delle Piane, Playwright
Emanuelle Delle Piane studied theatre in France and the United States and has taught in the audio-visual program at the Sorbonne-Paris IV and led workshops for professional writers and teachers throughout Europe. She has written more than thirty plays for adults and children as well as film scripts, radio plays, and short stories. Her plays are produced regularly and have been staged in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Canada, and Armenia. Photo by N. Sabato.

Kristine Greenaway, Translator
Kristine is a playwright and translator whose plays have been produced in Switzerland, France, and Canada. She is a member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, Société suisse des auteurs, Geneva Writers’ Group, and Alumnae Theatre where she is active in the New Play Development group.

Kit Simmons, Director
Kit Simmons (they/she) is an actor, creator, writer, part-time technician, and educator. Their work explores ambition, shame, and personal problems experienced publicly. Recent credits: missed CONNECTIONS (Blue Light Collective).


Lawrence Paskaruk, Assistant Director/Stage Manager/Editor
Lawrence is an industrial designer and stage manager based out of Toronto. He is pleased to be returning to the Alumnae Theatre after stage managing the Blue Show for the InspiraTO Festival in 2019.

Kit Simmons, She
Kit Simmons (they/she) is an actor, creator, writer, part-time technician, and educator. Their work explores ambition, shame, and personal problems experienced publicly. Recent credits: missed CONNECTIONS (Blue Light Collective).

Erik Mrakovcic, He
Erik is an actor in Toronto who graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada. He performed at Alumnae’s Fireworks Festival in the plays If The Shoe Fits and Motherland. Other theatre credits include The Clinic at Tarragon Theatre, Lover Lover for the Toronto Fringe and Tideline with the Canadian Rep Theatre.


by Jen Frankel
Directed by Jen Frankel

Years after returning from travelling the world, a woman finally opens up about the experience that changed her forever.

Jen Frankel, Playwright/Director
Jen recently moved from the east end to Hamilton where she is suddenly in demand as a director and performer — mostly back in Toronto! She is the author of the Blood & Magic series, Undead Redhead, and the short story collection Feral Tales. Her latest publications include stories in the anthologies Futuristic Canada and Canadian Dreadful and in Amazing Stories magazine.

Simone Kitchen, Assistant Director/Stage Manager
Simone is a Toronto-based actor, director, and writer. This is her first time taking part in the New Ideas Festival, and she so excited to be working on this production of Consumption as Assistant Director and Stage Manager.


Rick Sutton, Editor
Rick has made his long-time passion for theatre and photography (and more recently, videography) a part of his retirement activities. A member of Ryerson’s ACT II STUDIO, he partakes in classes, acting, web support, headshot photography, sound design, and video recording/editing for online performances. He has assisted technically on several shows at Alumnae Theatre and with Nags’ Players.

Sheron Hibbert, Trina
Sheron Hibbert was born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area. She can be seen in movies and commercials. She has studied the last four years, training in the art of acting. This role will be her debut in the theatre world. You can follow her @_sheronpinknation.

Lost Season

by David Beardsley
Directed by Catherine Hume

A grandmother and her granddaughter mourn a shared loss. They try, as best they can, to adjust to disrupted lives. With a treasured tradition reminding them of their pain, they create a new tradition that both honours their loss and helps find joy in the new life they share.

David Beardsley, Playwright
David Beardsley is a playwright who lives in Boston, MA. His short and full-length plays have been performed around the world. He serves on the Board of Directors for Playwrights’ Platform, a collaborative for Boston-area playwrights and actors. David is also a writer with the Playwrights’ Collective at New World Theatre in New Hampshire. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Many of his scripts are available on New Play Exchange.

Catherine Hume Director
Catherine Hume is an artist educator specializing in drama education, dramaturgy, and direction. She has received two Toronto Arts Council grants (Music Creation & Emerging Playwright) and is currently working on the book, lyrics, and music for a musical. For three years she served as the Drama Specialist at the Canadian Opera Company (COC) summer camps. NIF 2020 would have marked her first Alumnae experience — NIF 2021 does.


Nicole Arends, Editor Nicole has recently directed several online plays including Just One of the GuysThe SeagullEurydice and Arcadia. She is excited about editing Lost Season! Other Alumnae credits include Impressionism (Director 2019), The Gut Girls (Lady Helena 2017), and Collected Stories (Director 2002), as well directing several NIF plays in the past. Website:

Debra Grosman, Toni
Debra is delighted to be in David Beardsley’s play, Lost Season, at the Alumnae. Debra has performed in both theatre and film in Toronto over the past four years. Some recent roles include the Governess in A Beau Defeated; Mary Beth in the film, Cold Bars; and Rita in Café Life/City Life. Debra was in the film My Special Date, which won awards at TTSFF.

Annemarie Cabri, The Butterfly
Annemarie Cabri trained in classical ballet, graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School. Performing many years with the Dutch National Ballet led her to modern dance repertoire and a return to Canada. Best known for her passion and ability to amplify dance for the non-dance-trained individual, Annemarie is a Teaching Artist for the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company.

Selene Lopez Reyes , Chloe
Selene is a first-time performer, community mental health nurse, and passionate follower of Christ. After meeting a stranger at the airport, she took a step of faith and ended up landing a leading part. She is so grateful for the opportunity to pursue secret desires of her heart.


by Lawrence Aronovitch
Directed by Leslie Ann Walcott

After years of trying, Ruth is finally pregnant. But then she learns she has cancer. Does she treat the disease or protect her unborn child? A story about motherhood, its selflessness and selfishness, and the constantly changing relationship between parent and child.

Lawrence Aronovitch, Playwright
Lawrence Aronovitch became a playwright after a career in the space program. He has written plays about scientists (Marie Curie), poets (W.H. Auden), politicians (Ezekiel Hart), movie stars (Hedy Lamarr), and ex-kings (Edward VIII). His most recent play, One Small Step, was named Best Production at the 2019 InspiraTO Festival.

Leslie Ann Walcott, Director
Leslie Ann “L.A” Walcott, born and raised in Toronto, has loved theatre since her high school performed The Music Man.  She has stage managed various plays at the Alumnae Theatre and has recently picked up acting for a few weekly Cyber Reads. Motherhood is her debut as a director.


Joel Haszard, Editor
Joel recently took an interest in editing during the long period of isolation over the past year, and has really enjoyed learning a new art. He has previously worked on projects for Haven Theatre and the Hamilton Fringe Festival. Big thanks to the Motherhood group.

Mel Stevenson, Ruth
Melanie is an actor, writer, singer, and cartoonist. Recent roles include Simon in Toronto the Good, Orpheus in Eurydice, the Woman in The Father, Freddy in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Jessica in If We Are Women, Sue/Ben in The Lion in the Streets (Alumnae Cyber Reads), and Meaghan in Covid Made Me Do It (Haven Theatre). She’s delighted to be participating in NIF this year.

Lisa Kovack, Celia
This is Lisa’s fourth production at Alumnae following Stepping OutSurrender Dorothy and The Officiant. Recent TV and film credits included Witches of Salem, CNN’s Race for the White House and, coming soon, the feature film A Song For Us. She is grateful for the opportunity to once again bring this wonderful script to life.

Anne Shepherd, Maureen
Anne is a psychiatrist and actor at the Alumnae, Village Players, Theatre Etobicoke, and the Fringe. She recently did two music videos, one playing an aging hippie, the other, a desert queen. She is drawn to this modern morality play, Motherhood, being a mother, daughter, and doctor herself.

Monica Zou, Joanne
Monica was born a dramatic storyteller, and her love for theatre started in her early childhood. With experiences on stage and on screen and professional training with industry-renowned coaches Lewis Baumander, John Gordon, and Shaun McComb, Monica is also a screenwriter and producer with ties from Toronto to LA.

The Equivalent of Sensation

by Arianna Rose
Directed by Cassidy Sadler

Baltimore, Paris and Italy. The turn of the century. Sisters Etta and Claribel Cone are among the earliest collectors of modern art, championing Matisse and Picasso. But when Etta falls in love with writer and salonnière, Gertude Stein, she struggles to break from her Victorian mores. A story of art, defiance and the glory of femininity.

Arianna Rose, Playwright
Arianna Rose is an award-winning playwright and musical theatre writer from the United States whose works have been presented nationally and internationally. One of four playwrights selected for the Miami-Dade County of Cultural Affairs PLAYWRIGHT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM with Kia Corthron. M.F.A., NYU Tisch Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Cassidy Sadler Director/Editor
Cassidy is a Toronto-born theatre maker with a passion for immersive and site-specific work. Back for her sixth NIF season, she is thrilled to bring her love of experimental storytelling to this new digital medium. Additional directing credits include: Bricks (Supercrawl); The Smell of Earth (Toronto Fringe); Subway Extension to the Mariana Trench (Hamilton Fringe).


Adam Schultz, Composer
Adam Schultz is a New York City based artist and musician whose compositions have been featured in various theatrical productions, as well as the KNOW Theatre’s Playwrights and Artists Festival.

Emma Heywood, Gertrude Stein
Emma Heywood is a Canadian-American actress who can also be found tantalizing the Toronto Burlesque scene as Bodacious Velvet. She holds a degree in Theatre Performance from Concordia University. Emma is thrilled to be part of NIF and grateful to work with the wonderful team of The Equivalent of Sensation.

Jessica Wareing, Etta Cone
Jessica Wareing is a queer movement-inspired actor on both stage and screen. She is a graduate of York University’s Acting Conservatory, a Batdorf Technique practitioner, and a newly certified Basic Actor Combatant with Fight Directors Canada. She would like to thank her fiancé for their unending support and love.

Katie Miller, Claribel Cone
Katie Miller is so excited to be a part of NIF 2020! An actor originally from Calgary, AB, she holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory. Select credits include Janet, The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Jeanie, Hair (Hart House Theatre); Mary Patrick U/s, Sister Act (The Arts Centre of Coastal Carolina).

Samantha Knapp, Alice Toklas/ Odalisque
Samantha began performing at age 5, dancing competitively at age 11, and modelling at age 16. Selected theatre: Rosie in Cabaret (The LOT); Panch in Spelling Bee (Annex Theatre); Marmee in Little Women (First Act Productions); and Rizzo in Grease (Saltfleet Theatre). Training: Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. Samantha is currently training with Talk to the Camera Studios and seeking new representation for film and television in Toronto. @sambinabellina

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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