New Works Festival Program
Adrianna Prosser (Playwright/Red Anna)
Adrianna Prosser is sometimes an actor, sometimes a playwright, but a full time geeky social media addict who supports mental health advocacy. She is the Host for the mental health storytelling podcast Stories Like Crazy. Adrianna was the Arts & History Host for the IAWTV award winning educational webshow Cranium Cookie, about all things edu-tastic in Canada, and the Geeky Host for Geektropolis, an online community talking about all things geek-chic in Toronto.
Adrianna was playwright-in-residence at Gibson House Museum from 2009 to 2012, and created site specific history plays dealing with the Canadian identity through the Celtic immigrants and new settler experience, based on actual documents and happenings in Canada. Her shows "Pratties and Point", "Rebellious Women", and "The Secret life of a Schoolmistress" had sold out runs and was touted to be “…truly wonderful work," by Ann-Marie Macdonald, Canadian Author and Playwright.
Her one-woman bereavement piece "Everything but the Cat..." has been on tour to schools and theatres throughout the region to bring mental health awareness to communities about suicide loss and mental health. @adriannap
Caroline Concordia (Eliza Montcastle)
Caroline was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and is a graduate of the McMaster University Theatre and Film program. Fav theatre credits: Trainspotting, New Talent, Hair, Neck Breaking Car Hop, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Fugue, Stop Kiss, My Father’s House, Betting on the Riverman, The Adele Komorowski Project, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Fav TV/Film credits: Web of Lies, Scariest Night Of My Life, Paro Caro, and Extra Followers.
Many thanks and much love to her Mom, Dad, Ian, and friends.
Jason Martorino (The Mysterious Stranger)
Jason Martorino has worked in theatre, opera, film, television and web in over two decades as a performer. Recent TV credits include The Handmaid’s Tale, Bad Blood, Murdoch Mysteries, Dark Matter and The Strain. Feature film roles include a critically acclaimed appearance in the horror film Kingdom Come, which is particularly dear to him given his love of the horror genre. Favourite stage roles have included Thenardier in Les Mis with The Singers of Arcady, EdwardVIII in Crown Matrimonial and Roland Maule in Present Laughter with Stage Centre Productions, as well as Lucentio inThe Taming Of The Shrew with Archangel Entertainment. Favourite opera credits include Buffo in L’impresario with Opera Jeunesse, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, The Usher in Trial by Jury, and Constable Lawson in Filumena at The Banff Centre. @jasonmartorino
Phil Rickaby (Bill the Bartender)
Phil Rickaby is a storyteller, creator, performer. Phil is the writer and performer of The Commandment, and a founding a member of Keystone Theatre, a Toronto company that creates plays inspired by silent film. Phil is also the host of the Canadian theatre podcast Stageworthy. @philrickaby
Maksym Barnett-Kemper Shkvorets (The Brother)
Dramaturgy - Eric Woolfe
Stage Manager - Stevie Baker
Original Music - Jason Martorino Costumes/Props/Projections/Artwork - Adrianna Prosser
Weaponry - Fantastic Creations
Liam Stewart - Lighting
Scarred Leather would like to thank Eric Woolfe for his gooderness and Dramaturgy, Daniel Levinson of Rapier Wit, Trevor Rines, Chris Warrilow of Fantastic Creations, AJ LaFlamme, Joe Kilmartin, JM Frey, Jennifer and Ryan Figueiredo, and everyone who smashes stigma around mental heath everyday in their own way.
Waltzing With Puppets
Chloe Whitehorn (Playwright)
A graduate of Queen’s University’s (Kingston, Canada) theatre program, Chloë Whitehorn is a playwright, actor, and underwater photographer. Chloë’s work often examines taboo moralities, tragic love, and the licentious desires and imaginative reasoning of human beings. Her plays include Love, Virtually, Divine Wrecks, The Pigeon, The Frank Diary of Anne, Clarissa on her Deathbed, Dressing Amelia, The Deepest Trench, and How to Not Die Horribly in a Fire. Chloë is a founding member and playwright in residence at Mad River Theatre who will be producing Mourning After the Night Before at the Toronto Fringe Festival this July. For more information please visit her webpage: www.chloewhitehorn.com
Victoria Shepherd (Director)
Victoria Shepherd is thrilled to direct Chloe Whitehorn's Waltzing With Puppets, having previously directed Ms. Whitehorn's The Pigeon, named one of Toronto's Top 10 Theatre Productions 2018 by Life With More Cowbell, and staged readings of Jegger and Malone and Divine Wrecks. Over the past 25+ years, Victoria has directed dozens of productions on stages throughout Toronto.
Brianna Riché (Emma)
Brianna Riché is so thrilled to be a part of the first Whiskey Ginger Collective New Works Festival with such a lovely cast and crew. Brianna graduated from the Acting for Film and Television program at Humber College and since then has been engaging in lots of community theatre in the city of Toronto. Some notable performances include Loretta in The Melville Boys, Babe in Crimes of The Heart, and Pippa in the upcoming Toronto Fringe Festival production of Mourning After the Night Before, which was also written by the wonderful Chloe Whitehorn. Here's hoping you can take something away from the story and message we have to offer in this performance today. Thank you for supporting us creatives and the Whiskey Ginger Collective. Enjoy the show!
Matt Jensen (Henry)
Matt Jensen is an actor, writer and director who has performed in shows such as Translations, The Crucible and Shining City. His most recent screen credits include the YouTube Original "Blackout" and "The Boys" on Amazon Prime. On the side, he writes and directs his own shorts and particularly enjoys the editing process, cutting them himself.
Aurelia Adams (Stage Manager)
Aurelia has had an interest in theater production since being the costume designer for her Architecture School Production The Cyclops. As a designer of spaces and objects, she enjoys the process of bringing any work of art to life. Watching the blooper reels and the Making-Of’s often captures her interest more so then the final production itself. She is very excited to have the opportunity to be involved in the WGC's inaugural New Works Festival.
John Stuart Campbell (Composer)
John Stuart Campbell has been sound designing and composing since 1992 and working for Victoria Shepherd for over twenty years. Most recently he scored The Pigeon (Chloe Whitehorn, directed by Victoria Shepherd) for Alumnae Theatre Company and won the 2018 Thea award for Sound Design in Tainted Justice (by Don Nigro, directed by Victoria Shepherd) for Village Players. When he isn’t trying to create the world with soundscapes he can be found playing bass in Tom Petty Greatest Hits Live or hammering out Celtic rock in The Pint of No Return.
Liam Stewart (Lighting)
It's been said that "Theatre is an empty box, it is our job to fill it with fury and ecstasy" and of course, light. Liam Stewart has been a Toronto based Lighting Designer and Gaffer for the last 3 years. Testing the limits of lighting fixtures, combining film and theatre styles alike, to bring you the show of a lifetime. Liam is also an avid photographer and his work can be found online under the title 'Single Tear Pictures' always open to new projects, his help is just a click away.
Alexis Chubb (Set Design)
Alexis is pleased to be working with the New Works Festival. Alexis has previously worked with Victoria and Chloe on the production of The Pigeon at Alumnae's Fireworks Festival as well as designed for August: Osage County at Alumnae. She has also designed Sabrina Fair, Scotland Road, Moonlight and Magnolias, and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife with Amicus Productions and Tainted Justice, Queen Milli of Galt, and Real Estate at the Village Playhouse. Enjoy the show.
Livia Private-Fuchs (Costumes)
Livia is a THEA Award nominee for best costume design for her work on Tainted Justice (Bloor West Village Players Production). Most recently she did the costume design for the Irish Players production of Dancing at Lughnasa. Working with her mother (who does most of the sewing), she is happy to have grown up with the experience of tailoring, a good sense of fashion and an interest in fashion history.
Sonny Cooke-Baskier (Puppet Creator)
Lily Stewart (Board Operator)
Special thanks to Shepherd Renovations, Vivien Shepherd, Bloor West Village Players and Theresa Arneaud, Marcella Pravato, Cat Ratusny, Rosalind Hyatt Ormeand, Deborah Ann Frankel, and everyone who supports us artists in our everyday lives.
Sweet Mama and the Salty Muffins
Ciarán Myers (Playwright)
Ciarán Myers is a playwright and director in the Region of Waterloo. He has had two full-length plays premiere in the UK: TOUCH (5/5 Stars, Edinburgh) and The Adding (4/5 Stars, Off-West-End) as well as a handful of <10-minute plays in London and elsewhere: Jubilee Line (Royal Court), Silk (503), Egon Schiele (CSSD and ART/Baron's Court), Coffee Bombs (CSSD & Unresolved Fest), and Cavity (CSSD). Original plays produced in Canada include an updated draft and production of TOUCH (GLA), House of Fun (GLA), a shorter draft of Sweet Mamma and the Salty Muffins (Alumnae), Hamburger (Registry / IUTC), and Creation Story (indie). The short play, Coffee Bombs, is due for publication this summer as part of the Refractions: Scenes anthology with Playwrights Canada Press. Ciarán is the co-Artistic Director of the Informal Upright Collective. In the few weeks immediately preceding this he wrapped a series of short world premieres with Informal Upright and directed Bloomsday for Lost & Found, both in Kitchener. He is presently working hard as the Playwright in Residence at Kitchener's GreenLight Arts. Ciarán primarily supports his family by teaching drama to youth and adults on weeknights. A newcomer to Toronto's theatre scene, he is magnificently grateful that you are here to support these new works in development.
Kendra Jones (Director)
A director, creator, and dramaturg, Kendra Jones graduated with Distinction from the MA Text & Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), London, and holds a BA(Hons) in Theatre Performance from the University of Winnipeg where she has also been guest faculty. Favourite directing credits include Sea Wall, 4.48 Psychosis (Theatre By the River), Drunk Enough To Say I Love You, Seagulls (selardi theatre), Clever Little Lies (Assistant director to Steven Schipper, RMTC,) and Richard II (Assistant Director to Christopher Brauer, Zone41). Kendra is also a creator of original work, including Dear Mama, Tonight at Eight, Autel, and her adaptation of Marlowe’s Edward II. She writes about contemporary performance from an academic perspective on her blog; this writing focuses on the performer-audience relationship and the ethics of performance, and has been published by CBC Manitoba, Common Ground Publishing, Brunel University and the Humanities Education Research Association. Look for Kendra’s site-specific production of Tim Crouch’s I, Malvolio at Toronto Fringe! www.kendrajones.net
Ara Glenn-Johanson (Mama)
Ara Glenn-Johanson is a director-choreographer and performer. As a performer, she has appeared at the American Repertory Theater (Lilac in The Lily's Revenge & Dimitri/Vinnie in The Donkey Show), the Magic Theater (Mary Prime Love in The Lily's Revenge), on international tours with PLS (Mischief in Mankind) and Mugwumpin (This Is All I Need), and with numerous theatre and dance companies in Toronto, San Francisco, New York City, and Boston. Direction and choreography projects include Act 3 - The Love Act of The Lily's Revenge (American Repertory Theater), Shakespeare In Hospitals 2018, Mankind (NYC Cloisters, PLS), The Magic Fish (Outside The Box Festival), This Will Be Our Last Transmission (Alumnae Theatre, Fireworks), and She Kills Monsters (Boston Center for the Arts). Her contemporary performance works include Flooded (2017), Hyperthesis: Or, Overthinkers In Love (2014), and I Have This For You (2013) and have been curated in New York City, San Francisco, Toronto, San Diego, and Boston. She was an Artist-in-Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts (CA) and The Garage (San Francisco) among others. She teaches physical acting at Centennial College and holds a BFA (NYU-Tisch) and MFA (UC Davis).
Liz Whitebread (Singer)
Elizabeth Whitbread is an actor, singer, theatre creator and emerging producer and arts administrator originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. After obtaining her Honours: Theatre degree from the University of Winnipeg, and working with a number of wonderful indie theatres in Manitoba, she moved to Toronto in 2016. Since then, she's been lucky enough to work with such amazing arts organizations as Nightwood Theatre - as part of their Young Innovators program - and Paprika Festival - as one of their Festival Administrators. She also currently serves as Associate Producer with lost&gone, a new immersive events company.
As an actor, Elizabeth performed most recently with Theatre By Committee in their workshop of a brand-new, original, fully immersive site-specific piece called 'Practice Drill'. You may also have seen her haunting the Gladstone Hotel with lost&gone this Halloween, or in 'Women of the Fur Trade' at the Toronto Fringe this past summer.
Favourite past credits include Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show (Wasteland Productions), Ensemble in Heathers: The Musical (Winnipeg Studio Theatre), and a solo version of Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis which performed at both Toronto and Winnipeg Fringes (Theatre by the River).
Thanks to Ciaran for the words and, as always, to Kendra for inviting me to play with her.
Michelle Jedrzejewski (Bassist)
Michelle is an actor, writer and comedian driven to create stories that inspire positive social change. She's performed on stages across North America, on hit television shows, and looks forward to sharing her half hour comedy Princess Material with you soon. You can catch her comedy duo, Those Two Gals and improv troupe, Fire Fire Fire! on stages around the city. Big thanks to my family, friends, and to you for being a part of this process!
Upcoming: Check out Michelle's stand up performance in Dawn Patrol at Comedy Bar and her comedy duo, Those Two Gals, in The World's Biggest Improv Tournament.
Renée Strasfeld (Caroline)
Renée Strasfeld is a Toronto Based Singer Actor who tours North America performing for children. She is thrilled to be playing with and for the ‘big kids’ for a change. Renée can be heard on the radio for Sport Check, Giant Tiger, and Lysol. She has also voiced some video games. Renée can be seen this summer in the Toronto Fringe festival with her sketch comedy troupe ‘We are Sports’ performing their show 'Carpe into my DM’s’. Many thanks to Ciarán, Kendra and the whole Sweet Mama Family. Much love to Mom, Dad, Gaby, Sam Julien and Mark.
My Rugged Toad
Lyrics by Ciarán Myers
Music by Sierra Noble & Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner
Arranged and Performed by Liz Whitbread
Lonely Mountain Song
Lyrics by Ciarán Myers
Music by Liz Whitbread & John Norman
Performed by Liz Whitbread
So Raise Me
Lyrics by Ciarán Myers
Music by Ara Glenn-Johanson & John Norman
Performed by Ara Glenn-Johanson with Liz Whitbread
Through It All
Lyrics by Ciarán Myers
Music created and performed by Renée Strassfeld
Playwrights Note on the Songs
I set this story inside the world of Appalachian folk music to pursue a kindred sense of fun and playfulness inside the importance and gravity of the character’s work and wishes. I grew up in an environment steeped in roots music. Mindful that this specific music is largely influenced by and at least partially borrowed from African American traditions, I wrote original gospel lyrics to acknowledge that and to signpost it’s influence on white American music. I would like to also acknowledge that, at this time, gospel music is imperfectly situated in this play. We are grateful to live and be influenced by such a rich tapestry of deeply-seeded and beautiful expressions. This is a workshop production of an unfinished project.
SPECIAL THANKS to Sukhpreet Sangha, Nathaniel Voll, Rachel Barna, Sierra Noble, Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner, Lisa Lenihan, Emma Miziolek, the Alumnae Theatre, the D'Arcy Symposium, and our families.