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Surrender, Dorothy


Surrender, Dorothy

by Liz Best


November 15 – 19, 2017 in the Studio Theatre

​Online dating’s been around for awhile. But it’s not something you’d ever consider, right?  Until Ally, in her 50s, meets someone – online! She insists that her friends, all seasoned players in the relationship game, share her joy and her online experience. What follows is a hilarious, rueful, touching examination of the murky, ambush-laden search for connection, even love, as played out on the net. Snappy dialogue, penetrating  insights as five clever women support each other in taking risks and learning to live again, even when your heart’s been broken.

Trailer by Nicholas Porteous

Thursday November 16 Free Panel Discussion: Finding Connection and Romance after Fifty
Join us after the performance for our panel discussion, moderated by June Morrow– author, dating blogger and facilitator. Our panelists will be Valerie Givson, author of “The Later Dater” and Julie Ritchie, administrator at Six Degrees Introductions.
Saturday November 18 Writer/Director Talkback with Liz Best and Joan Burrows.


LIZ BEST, Playwright and acting as Erin*

Liz is an actor, director and playwright. She has appeared in commercials, film, television and on stage, 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.  Liz was last on Alumnae’s stage in Inked Heart at Fireworks 2016. Her play, The Bay, was part of the Big Ideas Festival 2017 and she just finished directing The Lady Is A Bother at Red Sandcastle Theatre.

*Appearing by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

JOAN BURROWS, Dramaturge and Director

Joan has been a member of the Alumnae Theatre since 2006 and is active with the New Play Development Group. Her work has been produced by the New Ideas Festival here at the Alumnae. She has also been a long time member with The Curtain Club in Richmond Hill and has won awards at both the ACT-CO and Theatre Ontario Festivals for her work as a director and stage manager.  She is especially proud of the provincial awards she received for Staff Room, 2004; Lenin’s Embalmers, 2014 and The Drowning Girls, 2016. Last September she directed her play, Gloria’s Guy, at Blackhorse Theatre and in May she was working with Sheridan College in the development of her play, Willow Quartet, into a musical. Joan is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and her play credits include:  Staff Room; The Photograph; Gloria’s Guy; Willow Quartet; Four Hours and a new play, Persons of Interest.

ERIN C. MAXFIELD, Stage Manager

Erin is a Toronto-based artist and a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Studies program. She founded ECM Theatre, a collective that produces work written by and about women, and co-wrote and directed Nourishment for the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival. When not in rehearsals or tech/show-week, Erin works as a casting assistant for various television series that are shot in and around Toronto. Selected SM credits: Turtleneck, In On It (emerGENce Theatre) The Crucible (Kindling Collective), WILF, Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests (TGTO), Four Hours (Alumnae Theatre: NIF, 2015), Thumped! (Ten Toes), The Black Sheep Project (UofG).


Last seen at the InspiraTo Festival, MC has spent over 20 years acting, writing and directing in comedies, dramas and musicals and she’s worked with many companies (Alumnae, Cabbagetown Theatre, Amicus, On Kew and Curtain Call, etc.). MC is fun-loving, happily single, works in the world of Food & Beverage and she has extensive online dating experience (+|-), about which she’s thankful she has maintained a sense of pride, self-awareness and independence.


Having lived and travelled extensively, a favourite dream role was performing in A Chorus Line in Washington DC as Sheila. Recent roles include Maxine in Stepping Out at Alumnae, Miriam in Strictly Murder and Josephine in The Madwoman of Chaillot. Active in the Canadian Indie film world, often playing various Mother roles (not all of them nice) Lisa has won two Best Supporting Actress awards in worldwide Short Film festivals.


An award winning actress, Barbara has performed across the GTA and Durham in film, television, voice and stage. Selected credits include Violet in August: Osage County (WCT), Rose in Les Belles Soeurs (OLT), The Actress/Lizzie in Blood Relations (ESP), Janet in Waiting for the Parade (SP) and Ida in The Cemetery Club (Encore Productions).


Alysa loves to act, direct and facilitate Popular Theatre workshops for individuals and organizations. Acting credits include Hello and Goodbye, Byre Theatre – Scotland, Wail at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Champlain Cocktail, Heyoka Circle Theatre, and many others.  She has trained at the Banff School for Fine Arts and U. of T.

VIVIAN GUIDO, Costume Designer

Vivian Luisa is a Toronto-based freelance designer, illustrator and artist. She began her small design company “Vivian Luisa Designs” in 2014 where she produces custom eveningwear wear, outerwear and costumes. She is currently in her third year in Ryerson University’s Fashion Design program. Other than theatre and film costumes, she is inspired by the world around her to continue finding creative new ways to innovate the fashion industry.

BODENE and DAVE CORBITT, Sound Designers

Bodene and Dave Corbitt have been designing sound for twenty years for community theatre in the GTA. As friends of Liz the playwright and Joan the director, they are happy to be a part of the Dorothy team.


After a 22-year hiatus Catherine returns to the Alumnae as props lady for Surrender Dorothy.  A member since 1979, Catherine has done a myriad of Alumnae shows including acting, production, and stage management.

JENNIFER McKINLEY, Lighting Operator

Jennifer McKinley is a writer, producer and performer. She has performed at clown, sketch comedy and storytelling events throughout Toronto and beyond. Jennifer debuted her solo show, Operation SUNshine, at the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival. Production credits include New Ideas Festival and The Underpants (Alumnae Theatre), The List (No Exit Theatre Company), and Jacqueries, Part 1 (Jacob Niedzwiecki/SummerWorks). Jennifer is a founding member and lead coordinator of the Feminist Art Conference in Toronto.

JANE SMYTHE, Lighting Operator

Jane Smythe, a local actor and crafty person, is delighted to be helping to light Surrender, Dorothy in this iteration of Alumnae Theatre’s FireWorks Festival. Appearances at Alumnae include The Pear is Ripe and most recently as Dr Vera Peters in Radical at the New Ideas Festival.


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