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This

September 16 – October 1, 2016

THIS

by Melissa James Gibson
directed by Rebecca Ballarin
September 16 – October 1, 2016

​Four friends since college struggle with questions of marriage, loss, love, and loyalty. Sitting on the edge between comedic and painful, THIS dives into the anxieties and insecurities of five messy, imperfect–real–people.

The New York Times called this 2010 play by Canadian-born Melissa James Gibson a “tart, melancholy comedy about a group of close friends entering the choppy waters of middle age.” ​

Show Times
Wednesday – Saturday 8pm   |    Sunday 2 pm
Tickets: $20 |  Wednesdays: 2-for-1  |   Sundays PWYC (pay what you can)

pecial Audience Events

  • Thu Sep 22, 6:45 pm:  Join director Rebecca Ballarin and the show designers in the lobby to find out how the show was created. Stay or the show or return another night. (Snacks will be served!)
  • Sun Sep 25: Post-show talkback with cast and crew

Video Trailer - THIS

Cast

Amanda Jane Smith  Jane
Audra Gray*  Marrell
Andrew Batten  Tom
Michael Harvey  Alan
Christian Martel  Jean-Pierre
Appearing with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

Creative/Production Team

Rebecca Ballarin   Director 
Samantha Holland  Co-Producer
Gloria Mok  Co-Producer
Socha Gibson  Set Design 
Deborah Lim  Lighting Design 
Kelly Anderson Sound Design
Daina Valiulis Costumes/Props Design 
Lucy McPhee  Stage Manager  
Jules Mendoza Assistant Stage Manager 
Sharmylae Taffe-Fletcher  Associate Lighting Design 
Victoria Ius  Associate Set Designer
Malcom Lindsay, Ian Wratschko  Set Builders 
Julie Demers  Scenery/Props/Costume Assistant
Bruce Peters  Photographer
Nick Porteous Videographer
Suzanne Courtney Poster/Postcard Design

Cast Bios

Amanda Jane Smith  Jane
Amanda is a stage, screen and voice actor originally from Oshawa, Ontario. Recent credits include Tennessee at RAW Studios, You Are Trying My Patience at the InspiraTO Festival and The Council at the New Ideas Festival. She can be seen in the series IRL (In Real Life) airing on Bell Media’s Fibe TV1. This is Amanda’s first mainstage play with the Alumnae Theatre. Many thanks go to her loving family for all their support.  Special thanks to the women who shared their personal stories of loss in order to help her tell THIS.

Audra Yulanda Gray* Marrell
Audra is thrilled to be joining the cast for Alumnae’s Theatre production of THIS.  She is a graduate of the University of Windsor’s BFA Acting program and the One Year Classical Acting program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England.  This is her first show back after having taking a long hiatus from theatre.  Her TV credits include: IRL the Series (Fibe TV 1), Orphan Black (Temple Street), Hannibal (NBC), and The Listener (Shaftesbury Films).  Audra wants to thank cast and crew for all their wonderful work and family friends for all their love and support!

Andrew Batten  Tom
Andrew is happy to return to the Alumnae stage to play Tom.  Previous Alumnae  roles include playing Deon in August Osage County, Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance, Guy in Gloria’s Guy, Greg in Sylvia, Brack in Hedda Gabler, Mike in Memory of Water, and Dumby in Lady Windermere’s Fan. This is his first Tom.  Thanks to Debbie and friends and family for all their support, in this and everything else.  Thank you for coming tonight.  Acting is way more fun when there’s an audience.

Michael Harvey  Alan
Michael is pleased to be returning to The Alumnae Theatre after many years. Recent credits include Haunted Halloween (Fallsview Casino Niagara), Cabaret (Hart House Theatre) HairsprayCatsA Chorus Line (Curtain Call Players) Tommy, Kiss Of The Spider Woman, La Cage Aux Folles, Little Shop Of Horrors (Scarborough Music Theatre). Other credits include theme park and cruise ship song and dance reviews. When not in choir or dance class, Michael can be found working on his new one-man cabaret show in the shower while drinking wine from the box. 

Christian Martel  Jean-Pierre
After a year of living in Paris, Montréal-born Christian Martel is back in Toronto and couldn’t be more excited to be on stage again, performing in English… even if a slightly Parisian version of it. An avid Toronto lover, Christian moved to the city in 2006, where he immediately got cast on TFO’s VOLT, a weekly sketch comedy TV show, as a co-host, actor and reporter. Things you probably didn’t see Christian in: Something is Wrong, by Naught a Theatre Company, and The Eagle With Two Heads, which Christian co-produced within Fish2Frÿ, a company he co-founded.​

Creative/Production Team Bios

Rebecca Ballarin  Director
Rebecca is a freelance director, producer, and set designer, and alumna of the Centre for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.  Rebecca is very excited to be back at Alumnae Theatre after directing Curved for the 2016 New Ideas Festival. Recent credits include producing the premiere of Osia for the 2016 SummerWorks Performance Festival, and directing Toronto-based drag queen Pearle Harbour’s show Sunday School. Rebecca will be directing 7 Stories for Hart House Theatre in March 2017.

Lucy McPhee  Stage Manager
Lucy is an emerging stage manager based in Toronto. Recent and upcoming credits include Stage Manager for Much Ado About Nothing (Hart House Theatre), Life After (a new musical by Britta Johnson at Toronto Fringe), 52 Pickup remount (Howland Company), (Paprika Festival/Binocular Theatre), Boston Marriage (Headstrong Collective) and Assistant Stage Manager for several previous Hart House Theatre productions, the Lower Ossington Theatre, and at the Toronto Fringe Festival. 

Samantha Holland  Co-producer
Samantha is a multi-disciplinary artist who works primarily as a producer, director and actor. Samantha  is a producer for Safeword Theatre, and  a founding member of Foxglove Theatre Collective. She has also recently worked with The Living Arts Centre, The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare School, Theatre By The Bay, Single Thread Theatre, Sirius Theatrical Company and The Paprika Festival. Samantha  is also currently working on an independent, large scale textile art project, check it out on instagram @Shakespeare_In_The_Sheets. Upcoming: director for The Four of Us (Foxglove), running September 16-27 at The Attic Arts Hub. 

Gloria Mok  Co-producer
​Gloria is a Mississauga-born playwright, director, producer, and arts educator. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Studies program and the University of Toronto’s OISE Program. She is currently studying Production at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. Selected credits include: Silk Bath (Silk Bath Collective), I’m Thinking About Thinking About Crying (Theatre Ramen), Avaricious (Theatre Gargantua), and [republic] of rhetoric (point-blank). 

Sorcha Gibson  Set designer
Sorcha is a Toronto-based set and costume designer, working in theatre, film, and dance. During her studies at Ryerson and since graduating, she has been drawn towards surreal and abstract concepts for stage and film. She recently organized and contributed to Ryerson’s portion of the exhibition at the Prague Quadrennial, in June 2015, and will be returning to Prague this fall to continue her studies in stage design at DAMU. 

Kelly Anderson  Sound designer
Kelly is a recent graduate of York University’s theatre program, specializing in Design, Playwriting, and Devised Theatre.  Recently, she has been working as a set, costume, sound designer, and playwright. Recent credits include: sound design for Pearle Harbour’s Sunday School (Justin Miller); costume design for Faust (Theatre by the Bay); playwright, set/costume/lighting design for The Winter Play Project (Theatre By Committee); sound design for Curved (New Ideas Festival); and composition and sound design for Carbon (Little Black Afro Theatre Company) and Romeo and Juliet (Guild Festival Theatre).

Daina Valiulis  Costume and props designer
Daina is a veteran visual artist and costume designer. She has spent years designing  for theatre, independent film and is proud to be the head designer for Solar Stage Children’s Theatre and a co-founder and designer at Shakespeare at Play. She is a member of CAFTCAD and IATSE and has worked in the wardrobe department at SuitsThe Strain, and Man Seeking Woman. Daina is very proud to be part of a stellar team of amazing women on THIS. Enjoy the show!

Victoria Ius  Set design assistant
Since graduating from Ryerson Theatre School, she has been working in theatre, music, and film.  Wardrobe credits include: Carmilla (Shaftesbury Films Inc),  Afraid of Heights (ReactivPictures), The Go-Getters (Walker Entertainment Inc.), Venus’ Daughter, (Obsidian Theatre), and Para-Pan Am Opening Ceremonies. Also Costume and Props Assistant, Macbeth: Walking Shadows, Shakespeare in the Ruff.

Sharmylae Taffe-Fletcher  Lighting designer
Sharmylae is an emerging theatre artist with a passion for lighting that spans her entire life. She is a recent participant in Obsidian Theatre’s Mentor/Apprentice program. Other theatre credits include lighting design apprentice for The Wild Party (Acting Up Stage), Death of the King (Modern Times), Ultrasound (Cahoots Theatre), as well as lighting designer for Bleeders (Watah Theatre, SummerWorks 2016), Letters to the Universe (Buddies in Bad Times), SheMami Wata, & the Pussy WitchHunt (Watah Theatre), Pose Ball (New Ideas Festival) and Finding Temperance (The Muddy Mary Project). Thank you to her supportive family and friends.

Deborah Lim  Head of lights
Deb is a Singapore-born, California-raised stage/production manager, designer, and technician, and the producer for Glass Reflections Theatre Collective. Deb is a graduate from the University of Toronto, having studied Criminology and Drama with a minor in Music History and Culture.

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