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Stepping Out

Read the reviews!

​”Delightful and poignant” Life with More Cowbell
Fun and entertaining tap play” Mooney on Theatre

January 22 – February 6, 2016

"Delightful and poignant"

Life with More Cowbell

"Fun and entertaining tap play"

Mooney on Theatre

Stepping Out

by Richard Harris
January 22-February 6, 2016
An Alumnae Retrospective Production
Directed by Brenda Darling

At a weekly tap dance class with a vivacious ex-pro and her vegetarian pianist, eight mismatched strangers joyfully exchange their hum-drum lives for “tap, step, ball change, cramp roll… pick up your feet”. Secrets tumble out. Conflicts arise. Friendships grow. Everyone is changed.And they dance….

Watch the Video Trailer!

Click the white arrow to view the Video Trailer

Special Events

“Stepping Out Through the Arts”

Sun, Jan 24, 2016
12:30-1:30 pm
Pre-show Panel Discussion: “Can the Arts Heal?”
Can the arts heal…Emotionally? Psychologically? Mentally? Physically?
What about…Dance therapy? Drama therapy? Music therapy? Visual Arts therapy?
And what are these specialties all about?

​Find out from our panel of professional Arts Therapists, including:

Michelle Baer, Drama and Play Therapist
Carol Barrett, Visual Art Therapist connected to performance
Veronica Hyatt, Visual Art therapist
Gloria Lipski, Music Therapist
Melanie Nesbitt, Expressive Arts Therapist including dance and movement

See the show after the panel at 2pm, or attend the panel only. All are welcome.

​1980's Dress-Up Night!

Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 8pm – 80s Dress-Up Night
Should blue eye shadow be banned?

On Sat January 30, you be the judge. It’s Audience 80s Dress-Up Night!
Wear your finest shoulder pads, leg warmers, and jelly bracelets. Blue eye shadow optional.
​Post-show, join us for an Air Guitar Contest!

Post-Show Talk-Back!

Sun, Jan 31, 2016 – after the 2 pm matinee
Join members of the cast and crew for a talk-back session after the show.

Key Production Team

Elizabeth Verwey (Producer)
Elizabeth dances when no one is watching, and she’s dancing for joy to see Stepping Out on stage at the Alumnae Theatre. By day, she’s a business mentor
Elizabeth writes business books and has started writing her first play, Nurture Night. She thanks the New Play Development group at Alumnae for their support.

Sandra Burley (Associate Producer, Rehearsal Choreographer)
Sandra began childhood dance performances in the suburbs of Mississauga, tap dancing on the wooden floors of Clarke Hall.  In later years she began acting and directing with Mississauga Players. After moving to Toronto theatrical endeavours were with ACT II STUDIO (Ryerson University), Alumnae Theatre, InspiraTO and Attitudes master class dance studio. She is delighted to bring her dance and stage skills in a supportive role to Stepping Out.

Brenda Darling (Director)
Brenda cut her professional theatrical teeth at Theatre Passe Muraille in 1969-1971. After 7 years in international development (USA, Europe, India), she returned to Passe Muraille as a theatrical jack-of-all-trades: actor, office manager, publicist, fundraiser and general manager. She founded MythMakers, an independent management and production services company (the precursor to the government-funded STAF) and later became administrative producer of World Stage, Harbourfront Children’s Festival and Festival de théatre des amériques. At MythMakers, she has written, directed and edited several short documentaries and dramas and production managed a dozen shorts. For Alumnae, Brenda has directed 3 NIF plays: Water Under The BridgeMagda and Canis Familiaris, as well as being a NIF co-producer for three seasons.  She and her husband have co-edited historical books by her mother.

Alyssa Martin (Choreographer)
Alyssa is artistic director of Rock Bottom Movement, a dance theatre company she created in 2012.  She creates mixed programs that appear at varied venues such as studios, parks, and urban spaces, as well as festivals such as Fresh Blood, DanceMatters, and Fringe, as well as internationally.  An instructor at Ryerson, her alma mater, she has choreographed their pantomime Cinderella as well as new works for their dance program. She was featured as an emerging talent by Dance Current Magazine and is the recipient of the Kenny Pearl Award and Toronto Dance Theatre’s Emerging Voices mentorship.

Liz Best (Assistant Director)
Liz is an actor, director and playwright. She has appeared in commercials, film and television roles in Canada and the United States and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Performance in a TV series, for her work on Meet The Family. Her directorial credits include: The Goodbye GirlPlaza Suite and The Sunshine Boys.  Last year, Liz’s plays, Surrender Dorothy, and Imprint, were selected to be part of Alumnae’s Fireworks and New Ideas Festivals.

Liz Currie (Stage Manager)
This is Liz’s first MainStage show with Alumnae, and she couldn’t be happier that it’s Stepping Out.  Selected past stage manager credits include: A Christmas Carol (Curtain Call Players), Sizzle and Spin (Plan A Productions), and Sabrina Fair (Amicus Productions). ASM credits include: West Side Story, Cabaret, Young Frankenstein, Annie, Joseph, and Rocky Horror Show (Curtain Call Players). Although not seen on stage, she always feels a part of the show family, and she wants to thank the entire cast and production staff for this wonderful opportunity! Thanks to all the friends and family who support me!

Razie Brownstone (Props Mistress)
A long-time member of Alumnae Theatre, Razie has served in many capacities – Treasurer, ASM, head of the costume department, head of props, light operator, costume designer as well as actress. Doing what we love and sharing our love of theatre with others is what Alumnae Theatre is all about.

Doug Payne (Set Designer and Lead Carpenter)
Doug has worked in the TV industry for over 35 years as a stage hand, rigger, assistant to Wayne & Shuster, film grip, set designer, art director, and production designer.  His 30-year career with the CBC resulted in six international awards and a Gemini nomination.  Doug’s credits include Street Legal, NHL Awards, Hockey Night in Canada, The National, three winter and two summer Olympics, The Canadian Antiques Roadshow, numerous Canada Votes, and several hundred other productions. This the first theatre set build for Doug.    


Alyssa Quart Cartlidge (Vera)
Last seen at Alumnae as Diane Drake in You Are Here, Alyssa is excited to be back on stage. A graduate of Ryerson Theatre School, other credits include Dolly Trull in The Beggar’s Opera (Caravan Farm Theatre), Claire in Proof (East Side Players), and Jenny in Jenny’s House of Joy (Scarborough Players).  A lover of dance, Alyssa started out in musical theatre and spent many shows convincing people to “Look at the face, not at the feet!”. Growing up, she wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer. After watching hours of Dance Moms, she feels well equipped to tackle tap.

Jeanette Dagger* (Mrs. Fraser)
Jeanette has graduate degrees in both music performance and theatre, with a long career in opera and on stage. She taught at the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) and the University of Windsor in both the music and theatre departments. She served as Artistic Director of Kingsville Repertory Theatre where she directed numerous musicals. She received great reviews for her direction of several musicals for the Victoria Operatic Society and also served as voice coach and assistant for the shows at the CCPA. She last directed Betty Jane Wylie’s play Moon and Murna (New Ideas Festival) and just finished acting in Cottage Radio (Fireworks Festival). She is happy to be part of the cast of Stepping Out.

Linette Doherty* (Rose)
Linette is pleased to be a proud Trini in real life and in this production of Steppin’ Out.  She played the lead in One Heart Broken Into Song, and worked with tap legends Savion Glover and the late Gregory Hines, playing Elaine opposite Mr. Hines in Bojangles. An actor as well as a dancer and singer, she toured with Ballet Creole and Kalimba Kalimba, and can be heard on the original cast recording of We Will Not Forget, and CBC Radio’s Rush Home Road.  In 2004, she opened The S.P.A.C.E. where children and adults learn from industry professionals in a warm, supportive atmosphere.

Rebecca Grenier (Andy)
Rebecca is excited to be performing in her first theatre role in Toronto. Originally from Ottawa, Rebecca has appeared in such pieces as Guys and Dolls, The Bench Seat and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. Rebecca has an extensive background in dance including tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and modern. After graduating with a Fine Arts Certificate in Dance, Rebecca took time off to focus on her acting career. Rebecca is overjoyed to be playing Andy, a role that appeals to both her love for dance and theatre. Special thanks to Mom, Dad, EM, ML, CG.

Lisa Kovack (Maxine)
Lisa had been wondering why she had been keeping a dusty pair of tap shoes at the back of the closet. Now she knows why!  She is so very grateful to be performing with this lovely cast and crew in her Alumnae debut. Recent Toronto credits include Josephine in Madwoman of Chaillot at Amicus Productions and Miriam in Strictly Murder for The Village Players. Lisa also loves to pursue opportunities in indie film and has two feature films premiering in 2016.

Kay Randewich (Dorothy)
Kay is delighted to have this opportunity to blow the cobwebs off her tap shoes for Stepping Out.  Recent appearances include Robin Hood (Amicus), Murder Mistaken (Village Playhouse) and numerous productions with Act II Studios, her home away from home. Her play,  Authorized Novels (in which she also played the role of Jane Austen) was recently produced at the Ryerson 50+ Festival (Act II). When not engaged in theatrical pursuits, Kay dances Argentine tango. She intends to keep those tap shoes tapping, though.

Felicia Simone (Sylvia)
Felicia is delighted to make her debut with Alumnae after acting in film and television for the past few years. Recent credits include TV drama series Rogue , sci-fi series The Expanse, along with an indie horror feature My Bloody Bachelorette, to be released in 2016. Simone studied theatre and dance at the Victoria School of Performing Arts in Edmonton, before moving to Toronto to pursue her career. She has trained with casting directors Gloria Mann and Larissa Mair, and attended Armstrong Acting Studios. In addition to acting, she also continues to train in singing and dance.

Mish Tam (Lynne)
Mish is a Toronto-based dancer and actress. Her passion for performing has taken her all over the world: most notably, she has danced on stages in South Africa, Italy, the US, and across Canada. In 2013, she made her musical theatre debut (Dancer and Dance Captain) in Deon Denton’s Pieces of Me. In addition to her stage credits, Mish is also an up-and-coming film and television actress who has worked on several films, commercials, and music videos. 

Scott Turner (Geoffrey)
Scott is delighted to be a part of Stepping Out. After graduating from Sheridan in 2004, Scott landed a dream job as a featured singer aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, completing ten contracts. This summer, Scott performed in the hit Mary Poppins at The Lower Ossington Theatre, and this fall performed in Urinetown with the Confidential Musical Theatre Project. Some of his favourite credits include Grease (Atlantis Theatre), Into the Woods (Theatre Sheridan), and Jekyll & Hyde (CMTP). Love to Gerrie for his constant support.

Jessica Westermann* (Mavis, Dance Captain)
A professional dancer, Jessica has been a member of the What’s On? Tap! Dance Company for 11 seasons, and toured with William Orlowski for 5.  She has studied with notable tap dancers, including Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, and Jason Samuels Smith. She has performed on both coasts of Canada and throughout Ontario.  Jessica teaches tap to students ages 3 to 83, and is proud to bring the joy of tap to the stage.  Many thanks to my family for their love and support, and to Richard, Jacob, and Anna, without whom none of this is possible.
*appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

​Production Team

Elizabeth Verwey (Producer)
Sandra Burley (Assistant Producer)
Bill Scott (Lighting Designer)
Bec Brownstone (Wardrobe Designer)
Margaret Spence (Wardrobe Designer)
Gabrielle d’Angelo (Sound Designer)
​​David Shelly (Program Design)
Pat Hawk (Front of House)

Doug Payne (Set Design, Lead Carpenter)
Fraser Pace (Assistant Carpenter)
Mike McEwan (Set Builder)
Razie Brownstone (Props)
Marinka Yosiffon (Props)
Glara Han (Assistant Props)
Marsha McLean (Assistant)

For the Alumnae Theatre Company

Brenda Darling (Executive Producer)
Chloë Whitehorn (Marketing)
Tina McCulloch (Social Media)
Carina Cojeen (Web Admin, Audience Development)
​Krystyna Hunt (Reservations Manager)


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