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April 13 - 28, 2018 ​

Queen Marie

by Shirley Barrie


April 13 to 28, 2018 on the Mainstage

This larger-than-life musical written by Alumnae member Shirley Barrie explores the life and times of actress Marie Dressler, an Ontario native who won international fame in the 1930s.

Known for her lively and tenacious personality, Marie began her career touring with travelling theatre companies, moved on to vaudeville and Broadway comedy roles, and rose to stardom through her film work with some of Hollywood’s most notable icons such as Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo.

​Expect a funny, vibrant production, much like Marie herself.

Join Us for Special Events:

Post-Show Talkbacks on Sunday, April 15 & Sunday, April 22

Weekday Matinee on Tuesday, April 17 @ 2pm

Pre-Show Panel on Thursday, April 19 @ 6:30pm – Queen Marie playwright Shirley Barrie will speak, along with a guest from the Marie Dressler Foundation.

Trailer by Nicholas Porteous, music by Ali Berkok.

Creative/Crew Bios

Shirley Barrie, Playwright
Shirley co-founded the Tricycle Theatre in London, England and Straight Stitching Productions in Toronto, and received two Chalmers and a Dora Award for Straight Stitching and Carrying the Calf both produced by Straight Stitching Productions. She has written several plays about women who refuse to play by the rules including Beautiful LadyTell Me…, a vaudevillian, musical murder mystery, which was produced by 4th Line Theatre in 2007, Queen Marie first produced by 4th Line Theatre in 2012, and I am Marguerite which was on the Alumnae mainstage in 2015.   She is delighted to be working with Rosemary Doyle on this new production of Queen Marie.  Shirley is a Past President and Lifetime Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Rosemary Doyle, Director
Rosemary Doyle is the founding Artistic Director of the Red Sandcastle Theatre. An actor, since the tender age of 8 years, she prefers to think of herself as a Theatre Person, because she acts, directs, writes plays, hangs lights, builds sets or costumes on regular basis.  She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Rosemary is so honoured to be part of 100 years of Playing like Girls!

Elizabeth Verwey, Producer
Elizabeth is delighted to work with this talented team to shine a light on the life and times of Marie Dressler. When not at ATC, you will find Elizabeth supporting entrepreneurs to improve their business or growing her women’s speaker series, Spoken Lives: Stories Women Share. Thanks, everyone!

Diana Di Mauro, Stage Manager
Diana is a stage professional with over 25 years of experience in performance and production. She is currently working on her PhD in Musicology at York University. Primarily known for her work in opera and classical music, her most significant contributions to the performing arts are as singer, actor, stage manager, educator, and producer. Her recent work includes stage managing the Pirandello150 festival in Toronto and directing the full-length documentary Jackie and the Ladies: 65 Years of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the C.I.B.P.A., which she also produced and coordinated. This is her first production with the Alumnae Theatre, and she is thrilled to be working with such an amazing, dedicated cast and crew on this incredibly fun and complex production.

Justine Cargo, Sound Designer & Technical Manager
“I’m too weird to explain in 50 words or less”. She also believes pizza is always a wise choice in any circumstance. Justine is beyond excited for one of her theatre creations coming to life at this year’s Toronto Fringe, she encourages you to look for her entitled work, Defiance.

Paul Comeau, Musical Director
Paul Comeau, born in Ottawa, has lived in Toronto since 1991. He has pursued careers in the Film & Television industry on and off screen, teaching English and writing, and playing guitar and keyboards in a wide array of pop, rock, and blues projects throughout the GTA. He makes his theatrical debut as composer and performer in Alumnae Theatre’s production of Shirley Barrie’s Queen Marie.

Ilana Linden, ASM
The last time I was in the rehearsal room was in 1996 when I directed a production of Homeward Bound by Elliot Hayes for my theatre company, Bulldog Productions. To be in the rehearsal room again, after a hiatus of 20 years, has been a great thrill for me.

Sarah Mansikka, Lighting Designer
Queen Marie is Sarah’s Alumnae Theatre debut. Sarah recently moved to Toronto with her husband and three-year-old daughter to be near family and is very excited to get to know Toronto’s theatre community. Sarah has worked professionally for over ten years as a Lighting Designer across Canada and internationally as a Lighting Director. You can see her work at

Lynda May, ASM
I have been a member of Act II Studios for over 15 years. As well as acting, I have been the Stage Manager for several productions. I love seeing a production develop from the first reading to the stage production. I am looking forward to being part of this production of Queen Marie for the Alumnae Theatre.

Cassandra Serpa, ASM
This is Cassandra’s debut production with Alumnae Theatre. She feels privileged to be working alongside such a passionate, talented cast and crew on this energetic and charming musical. Cassandra is looking forward to expanding her stage management credentials in New York City this summer.

Rick Sutton, Lighting Operator
Rick has made a long time hobby and passion for theatre a part of his retirement activities. As an active member of ACT II STUDIO at the Ryerson Chang School, he enjoys classes, acting, doing web support and operating lights and sound for several productions. He has also volunteered at Alumnae over the past few years. Dutifully housed in the booth, he has run lights and/or sound for Stepping OutOsage County and OmissionQueen Marie promises to have more cues than all three combined, a (gulp) fun new challenge.

Actor Bios

Adam Bonney, Actor
Adam Bonney’s recent stage credits include the roles of: LD in The Hungriest Woman In The World/ Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, Dr Finchley in Mentor Me Through This Wonderland/ Windsor and Victoria Fringe Festivals, and various characters in Burke Campell’s The Lady In Shoes From Hell, a two hander starring, Queen Marie director, Rosemary Doyle, which played at The Red Sandcastle Theatre on Queen street in Toronto. Lately, Bonney’s presence has evoked cravings for chicken and chocolate.

Jessica Bowmer, Actor
Jessica Bowmer is a Toronto based theatre creator and actor. She is currently collaborating with Chocolatekiss Collective on a show for this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival and working as a Patron Representative at Native Earth Performing Arts. Acting credits include: Theatre TOnight’s Hypnagogia, or Ligretto Stop!, Hamilton Fringe’s The Flesh of Her, Toronto Fringe’s How Did You Find Me Here?,  inspiraTO’s  2017 Adulthood Nightmares, Second Strike Production’s Seven Ages, Humber Theatre’s Life Underground, and To Ithaca.

Fallon Brown, Actor
Fallon is playing the role of Young Mamie in Queen Marie. Previously, Fallon’s notable roles include Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, and Dracula’s Bride in the British pantomime Pantostein for the Copenhagen Theatre Circle in Copenhagen, Denmark. Still very much new to the acting stage, Fallon is however a veteran musician and singer, having started touring at the tender age of 14 and playing shows around the world with acts such as Ozzy Osbourne and Queens of the Stone Age.

Katherine Cappellacci, Actor
Katherine is a recent graduate of Ryerson School of Performance and has since been spending her time travelling, singing, writing, acting, and trying to save money. Her theatre credits include Stars (Alumnae NIF), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Globus Theatre), Willy (Taipei American School), Treasure Island (RSP), The Possibilities (RSP), The Holiday Trilogy (RSP), Hamlet (RSP), Emotional Creature (Nightwood/YPT), and Admissions (Teenage Graceland). Special thanks to all at Alumnae Theatre and cast/crew of Queen Marie!

Michele Dodick, Actor
Some of Michele Dodick’s theatre credits include: “The Crucible”, “Lend Me a Tenor” and the Musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Alexander Showcase Theatre).  She did a 9-month run in the Vancouver production of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding”, and performed at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in Ionesco’s, “The Lesson”. She also appeared in the TV show, “Dead Like Me”. In July 2018, Michele is taking a 5-day intensive Acting course at Stratford.

Paul Comeau, Actor
Paul Comeau, born in Ottawa, has lived in Toronto since 1991. He has pursued careers in the Film & Television industry on and off screen, teaching English and writing, and playing guitar and keyboards in a wide array of pop, rock, and blues projects throughout the GTA. He makes his theatrical debut as composer and performer in Alumnae Theatre’s production of Shirley Barrie’s Queen Marie.

Siena Dolinski, Actor
Siena Dolinski is originally from the West Coast of British Columbia. After completing her BFA in Acting at York University, she is now establishing herself as an artist in Toronto. Siena is thrilled to be involved in this production of Queen Marie, both as an actor and as a music arranger.

Nance Gibson, Actor
Now that Nance has retired, she can pursue her favourite pastime: theatre.  She is very pleased and excited to have been given the opportunity to perform as Old Nella in Queen Marie.  She has acted in several plays with Act 2; and with Mixed Company Theatre, including Old Age Ain’t for Sissies and Shelf Life. Nance says she lives a quiet life in deepest Scarborough, with her husband Hughes, and their cat, Ariel.  Her grandchildren live nearby and she tries to see them often.

Rick Jones, Actor
Rick is pleased to return to the boards at the Alumnae.  Previous Alum performances include The Real Inspector HoundWitPride and Prejudice, and numerous NIF productions.  At the Toronto Fringe, Life in the RawGiants Without Footprints, and Life on a DietA Chorus Line at the Stephenville Festival, and many productions with Etobicoke Musical Productions and Stage Centre including 42nd StreetDames at SeaOklahomaKiss Me KateWest Side Story, and Showboat. (Appearing with the permission of Canadian Actors Equity Association)

Tess Keery, Actor
Tess is excited to performing as young Marie in Queen Marie! She is nine years old and was born in Toronto, Ontario. Tess has been singing and dancing since she was a little girl and has always loved to take the stage. Tess attends Avalon Children’s Montessori School and has performed in many of their productions including Alice in Wonderland, and The Wizard of Oz. She is currently playing a lead role in Did The Butler Do It?  In her free time she enjoys skiing, playing soccer, and singing.

Katrina Koenig, Actor
Katrina is delighted to be joining Alumnae Theatre’s Queen Marie for her first production in Toronto. Recent credits include: Jaquenetta/Maria; Love’s Labour’s Lost (Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival), Donalbain; Macbeth (GVSF); Susanna Walcott/Dance Captain; The Crucible (Langham Court Theatre). Having recently moved from Victoria BC, Katrina is excited to be performing in her new home. She thanks her parents for their constant support of her crazy dream.

Gabriella Kosmidis, Actor
Gabriella Kosmidis is an actor and musician raised in Saronida Greece and Niagara-on-the-Lake. She is involved in all kinds of theatre, ranging from the classics to avante-garde, as well as film and television. Training: Humber College Theatre Performance. Humber Theatre: Innocent Erendira: (Mina) directed by Tatiana Jennings, The Playground: (Nadya) directed by Marie Beath Badian, Women Beware Women: (Bianca) directed by Diana Belshaw, To Ithica (Milly) directd by Tatiana Jennings.

Stella Kulagowski, Actor
Stella Kulagowski aka ‘St. Stella’ is Toronto’s award winning burlesque phenom, performing burlesque for over a decade. She featured at international burlesque festivals including New York, Toronto, Montreal. And, twice at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Stella’s first major foray into theatre was co-producing and playing the titular role of ‘Lysistrata’ in the sold-out, critically acclaimed Toronto Fringe Festival production. She will also be performing in the New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre.

Indira Layne, Actor
Making her theatrical debut as Mamie Steele, Indira Layne is excited to bring her passion for acting to the stage.
Indira has trained under the tutelage of some of Toronto’s finest professionals including Sitara Hewitt, Richard McKenna, and the late Karen Hazzard at the Toronto Film School. A firm believer in continuous training, Indira seeks out new opportunities to hone her craft. She is a member of The Actor’s Place Toronto (TAP), and studies at the Cindy Tanas Actors Studio. When she’s not acting, Indira enjoys the restorative benefits of hot yoga.

Conor Ling, Actor
Conor grew up in the UK and Toronto before moving to New York where he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Conor was recently named one of the “Top Ten Artists to Watch this Fall” by NOW Magazine’s Glenn Sumi. Past credits include: The Seat Next to the King (The Theatre Centre in assoc. w/ Minmar Gaslight), Sense & Sensibility (Amicus Productions), A Rose Upon the Blood (Red Sandcastle Theatre), The Fox on the Fairway (The Village Players). Love and gratitude to his family and friends!

Naomi Peltz, Actor
Naomi Peltz is an actor, singer, improviser. She studied at the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts and the Second City Training Center. Since graduating has been seen in such shows as Guys and DollsFoxFinderObeah OperaStraight UpEvidence to the Contrary and On The Rocks to name a few. Naomi wants to thank her mom and Steven for being eternally supportive.

James Phelan, Actor
James was born and educated in Dublin and has lived in and loved Toronto since 1969. Queen Marie is his first appearance with the Alumnae Theatre Company although he is familiar with the Alumnae stage itself, having acted here with the Toronto Irish Players (Shadow of a Gunman, An Ideal Husband, Translations). He has also acted with Alexander Showcase Theatre (The Crucible, A Christmas Carol, Sweeney Todd) and the Scarborough Players (Inherit the Wind).

Catherine Ratusny, Actor
‘If music be the food of life, play on!’ Over the last decade, Catherine has trained and performed as a classical musician, singer/songwriter, actor, and educator, in both Vancouver and Toronto. Catherine is excited at her first opportunity to perform with Alumnae Theatre in Queen Marie.  She thanks Rosemary and the Alumnae crew for the opportunity and the warm welcome! Marie Dressler, thank you for the incredible life story that we get to share.

Leslie Rennie, Actor
Leslie is both thrilled and honoured to be part of the Queen Marie cast. Her early, informal acting training took place at the Raising Great Sons school of Improv and the Entertaining Kindergarten Children School of Limited Attention. In 2013 she began formal training in the Ryerson Act2 theatre arts program. She recently performed as an actor, singer and dancer in two pantos: Rumplestiltskin (2017) and Beauty and the Beast (2018) with the Nags Players, Toronto. When not performing, Leslie works in her speech language pathology private practice.

Seira Saeki, Actor
Seira is an actor in theatre, film and TV. She was born in Germany and raised in Japan. She started her career when she was 3 years old in japan. She learned acting, singing and dancing. She has played in Kabuki (classical Japanese drama), musical theatre, TV, film and radio in Japan. She came to Toronto in 2017 to improve her English and learn about Canadian culture. Queen Marie is her first performance in Toronto. @sarahgram3 (instagram)

Nina Tischhauser, Actor
Nina Tischhauser is a graduate of the Acting for Screen and Stage Program at Capilano University in Vancouver. She has appeared previously in Quiet Courage (Amicus Productions), Crossing Delancey (Metro Theatre), Blue Carotid (Studio 1398), Cat Killer (Presentation House), The Good Person of Setzuan (Exit 22) and toured with Australian Theatre Company, Fine Edge Theatre. Nina is excited to be making her Musical Theatre debut along side the dreamy cast and production team of Queen Marie.

Paula Wilkie, Actor
Paula Wilkie has appeared in shows from Sydney Australia as a youngster, and after coming to Canada in Ottawa and now the Toronto area. This is her Alumnae Theatre debut and she is thrilled to be part of its 100th-year celebration.  Paula is celebrating 50 years in Canada and more than that on the stage. She has played Maids to Monarchs, and in barns to castles (Castle Loma being one) and is pleased to add a Canadian stage and film icon and a Firehall to the list.

Musician Bios

Tawny Cortes, Clarinet
Tawny Cortes is a classically trained clarinetist, currently in her second year of undergraduate studies in music at York University. She is a proud member of the York University Wind Symphony. Queen Marie is Tawny’s first stage production and she is thrilled to be a part of the show. She is looking forward to putting on a wonderful show with the cast, crew and fellow musicians!

Chris Lu, Clarinet
Chris Lu is a clarinet player, currently in his first year of study in York University’s music program. Here, he is a member of the York University Wind Symphony. Queen Marie is Chris’s first time working in a stage production and he is excited for what opportunities may follow in the near future.

Phoebe Valencia
Phoebe Valencia is currently in her first year of undergraduate studies at York University, pursuing her BFA Music degree. Technically, she is studying Jazz Percussion, but is uncertain about what she wants to focus on at the moment. She is a multi-instrumentalist, with years of practice on the piano, saxophone, kit and more. With this jumble of experience on her back, Phoebe is excited to tackle all sorts of opportunities to fulfill her passion in music.

Zachary Wong, Bass
Zachary Wong is a Double Bass and Electric Bass player currently studying in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at York University. He graduated from Markville Secondary School and spent four years in the Markville Music Program. Zachary has studied Jazz and Classical music for a number of years and enjoys performing, composing, and listening to a variety of musical genres. Zachary currently performs in the York University Symphony Orchestra and with a York Jazz Ensemble.


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