RICHARD II: Cast and Crew Highlights

Photos from the cast and crew of Richard II and Marie Trotter

Rae Costin- Stage Manager

"Richard II has been an amazing experience for my first time as SM. The cast and rest of the crew have been so helpful and worked so hard, I'm hoping that at least a little bit of their talent might run off. To see just how talented they are, come to the JCR on March 30th, April 1st, and April 2nd to see them perform.

Rion Chow- Projections and Sound Designer

"It was fun to design this show because of the concept that I was presented with. Kevin's re imagination of the show works extremely well with what is currently happening in the states. My only wish is for this show to somehow get to the states for the audiences that truly matter to see it" 

Emma Tse- Co-Director

"The time we were given was a real challenge, but it was a great experience working with this talented and extremely dedicated cast that made it work. Everyone should come to the show to see the great work they've done. As well as our fantastic projections, and fun political undertones."

Liz McLoughlin- Queen 

"This show is a testament to the dedication of it's cast and crew. We ran at every challenge head-on and found something great along the way. People should come see this production because not only is it a rare opportunity to see a Shakespeare production that is not often produced, but also lets the audience really become a part of this familiar story."

Andrea Castaneda- Mowbray

"In this time of political turmoil its great to be in a show that reproduces the values of law and power, public and private, especially as an actor who loves political drama!"

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LEGALLY BLONDE SPOTLIGHT: Gavin Barill

By Gavin Barill
Photos courtesy of Gavin Barill and Marie Trotter

Legally Blonde is the first musical I've ever done, and the first production I've done at university. If you'd like to know anything about the musical you can look to the cast. We really embody the values of Legally Blonde. For example we really try to embody the main moral from the musical: learning to love your style and the style of others. The self expression of the cast is so varied, and we really love each other despite the differences. Also, we're funny as hell. This musical is so dear to my heart, it's taught me a lot about being true to yourself. For example, I recently bought a blanket scarf and now I match a good fifth of the cast. So come see the musical, you might be inspired to buy some fab new clothes!

Legally Blonde: The Musical in rehearsal

Legally Blonde: The Musical in rehearsal

A photo of the taking of a group photo.

A photo of the taking of a group photo.

The beauty of blanket scarves.

The beauty of blanket scarves.

Gavin and his scarf

Gavin and his scarf

Catch Legally Blonde and the myriad of scarves starting November 27th! Tickets at http://uofttix.ca/view.php?id=1216  

LEGALLY BLONDE SPOTLIGHT: Jaimie Henderson

By Jaimie Henderson
Photos courtesy of Jaimie Henderson, Dorcas Chiu, and Steven Worboys

When I was 14, I was lucky enough to see Legally Blonde the Musical with its original Broadway cast in New York City. Ever since that first “ohmigod” was I hooked!

Getting to work on this show is a dream! I play the character Serena, who makes up one third of Elle Woods zany, fun-loving, best friend trio. When I got the role I was more than ecstatic for a few reasons the main one being… when I walked out of that theatre in times square eight years ago I remember turning to my mom and saying, “I want to be in this show, and I want to play Serena.”… and now I am, it felt a bit like a ‘pinch me’ kind of moment. The other reason the show has been so special is I am getting to play the best friend of one of my actual real like best friends Olivia Lewis (Who is our amazing Elle Woods). When Olivia and I met at camp over six years ago we would spend our time off reenacting songs from the musical. She then moved to the UK for university and when she got back to Toronto in September, it was crazy that we were not only finally living in the same city but also playing our dream roles in one of our dream shows!

Jaimie and Olivia in rehearsals.

Jaimie and Olivia in rehearsals.


The whole process has been a fast wild ride! The whole cast is made up of such talented, loving, dedicated people I couldn’t feel more privileged to get to work with such a group.  It’s so lovely working with a group that makes you laugh everyday, it makes the environment so positive! This cast is a group of people who really bring their hearts to the show; every time we work on something new I feel so supported and loved it feels easy to take risks.


Overall, playing Serena has been a constant party! Her sassy, fun, loving, hilarious attitude has been so much fun to explore! I can’t wait for people to come and get to experience the fun and joy we get to feel on a daily basis!

The cast practicing the bend and snap.

The cast practicing the bend and snap.

Come check out the fun for yourself… if for no other reason then to learn the ‘bend and snap’ because everyone knows… “…It’s been known to alter all laws of physics and logic.”

Legally Blonde: The Musical will be showing November 27th- December 5th at 8pm, with a matinee show at 2pm on December 5th!

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1483239811981124/

Tickets:  http://uofttix.ca/view.php?id=1216

Acting in Evening of the Dead

By Gokhan Solmaz

Pictures taken by Marie Trotter

 

Blurry Director Joey Condello with Stage Manager Jules Mendoza

Blurry Director Joey Condello with Stage Manager Jules Mendoza

Performing Evening of the Dead at the Drama Festival was an exhilarating experience. Performing at Hart House was even more humbling. The Follies really helped make Evening of the Dead a fun and exciting experience. It was a challenge that taught me a lot about what it means to be a part of the theatre community. Bringing the show back has been strangely nostalgia inducing and re-creating the scenes with some new performers has been fantastic. I'm really glad that we have the chance to put it on again. 

What would you do in a Zombie Apocalypse? Cast member Gokhan Solmaz with fellow actors John Richardson, Lyla Belsey, and Claire Shenstone-Harris.

What would you do in a Zombie Apocalypse? Cast member Gokhan Solmaz with fellow actors John Richardson, Lyla Belsey, and Claire Shenstone-Harris.

I really enjoyed working with Director Giuseppe Condello, his process is really complementary to my own. We just read through the script and got it on its feet. Especially with this particular script, our goal was never to label it and have it be that. We actually discovered on performance night, back in February, how humorous it really became. Every production aspect that Joey made complimented how fun the show is. 

 

Behind the scenes action!

Behind the scenes action!

I really can't stress how fun this whole experience has been. Getting it up for Drama Festival, and then re-rehearsing it for Halloween again. It's a great fun piece to de-stress from midterms! 

UC Sketch Follies' SALAD

Written by the UC Sketch Follies (2014-2015)

 



Salad

Cast:

JEMIMA

CELESTE

KELLY

WAITER

 

Three girls sit at a table, looking at the menu.

 

Ladies, what a great 90-min spin!

 

JEMIMA

Liza was a tyrant today!

 

CELESTE

But, I love her. She’s the best spinstructor in the Bay Area.

 

KELLY

It’s such a treat to be taking this 6-week lifestyle transformation program! We never get to see each other anymore.

 

JEMIMA

My almost-fiancé and I have been house-hunting, it's just so hard

to make time!

 

KELLY

I’m so hungry. Those burgers are so tempting today.

 

CELESTE

I know! I’m starved but it’s Day 17 and so far, we’ve all kept each other accountable.

 

JEMIMA

Girls we’ve been doing so well. Honestly, just get some protein in those greens - it will fill you right up!

 

Waiter comes to take their orders.

 

SAM

What can I get you girls?

 

CELESTE

(turn to GIRL 1)

Why don’t you just have the Cobb Salad.

 

 

 

KELLY

(to waiter)

Great call. Hold the blue cheese and the

carrots. Triple the kale. Slice the

onions. And, lay four evenly-sized

dill pickles on the side, please.

 

WAITER writes it down

JEMIMA

Yeah and I'll have the Greek Salad. Hang up

the feta. Orchestrate a bed of

romaine and baby arugula lettuce

only, divided by cubes of tomato

and cucumber benches. Sprinkle

fresh pepper and toss in

some heart of palm, but, please, do not get

ahead of yourself. Only a few like

you're kissing your sweet, sweet

mom on the lips. [she winks]

 

KELLY

Ooh! I almost forgot. I would

absolutely adore some fresh asparagus's... asparagii crushed and misted over my salad. To be clear, I do not want solid asapargews included in the salad, I would like the essence of an asparagus to be present in the dish.

JEMIMA

Yes and sir, please make sure

absolutely no individual part of my

salad is touching another. For

instance, let's picture an

organized garden of fresh

vegetables as a metaphor for my

salad. You enter the garden, it's a

beaming summer day, but oh no! A

rabbit has entered the garden.

Kelly mimes entering a garden

You knew you should have insisted that

Paul fix that rabbit hole in the

fence.

Celeste mimes being a rabbit

The garden is a mess,

carrots lay amidst the green

romaine and the icebergs have now

interacted with your radicchio. Do

not let the rabbit into my salad.

Kelly and Celeste mime the scene

See the rabbit

Kill the rabbit

Become the rabbit

Kiss your rabbit wife on the mouth.

This is your life now,

(looks at Waiter's name tag),

Jordan.

 

Kelly and Celeste return to their seats

 

WAITER

And, you?

 

CELESTE

I actually think I’m going to have the caesar.

 

KELLY

I don’t know if that’s a good idea...

 

JEMIMA

Ceasar is so fatty.

 

CELESTE

Don’t worry, ladies.

I'm going to need you to hold the

caesar dressing, the croutons, the chicken and the lettuce. Tap em' out, get a new plate. Enter: chickpeas, normal peas, wasabi peas rinsed and strained so one can no longer taste the wasabi or the peas, diced organic smoked ham, dried grapes - but not too dry, no raisins - 18 grams of asiago cheese shaped into small stars by the hands of a virgin male nurse and, you know what, Jordan, why don't you go ahead and throw those croutons back in.

KELLY

Oooooh you should add in... Oh, what am I

thinking of? Chia seeds? No.

 

JEMIMA

Flax seeds?

 

KELLY

No... Pistachios? No.

 

JEMIMA

Pumpkin seeds!

 

KELLY

Yes! Pumpkin!

 

CELESTE

OH yes, could I please get one

pumpkin on the side, a small knife

and a template to carve a festive

face.

 

JEMIMA

Please also add to my order: a

single sunflower seed doused in

lemon juice and some basil.

 

WAITER

I'm sorry, I actually forgot to tell you about our specials. Maybe you want to get them on the side? Our extra large poutine fried in cream cheese sprinkled with krispy kreme donuts with a corner store beef jerky reduction baked in cinnabon. This is our special called Im a weak little piggy and its 95% OFF TODAY!

 

All the girls look at each other confused, shaking their heads.

 

JEMIMA

Oh, I’m sorry we’re actually on a 42-day meal plan… *whispers*

 

WAITER

Pardon?

 

KELLY

She means, we’re in a committed relash- with salads ...we’re not allowed..

 

JEMIMA and CELESTE start agreeing at the same time, mumbling

 

WAITER

I'm so sorry, I can't hear you.

 

CELESTE

We’re fine. We’ll just take five… that’s all… 

 

WAITER

I’m sorry, are you changing your order?

 

ALL GIRLS

No…. no… no…

 

WAITER

So, to be clear--

 

CELESTE

Five poutines each.

 

Speaking at the same time

JEMIMA

On mine I would like triple the serving of

butter ...

KELLY

Seven hamburgers stacked on top of each

other…

WAITER

Okay got it. And just one more thing, we like to have a little fun with this promotional deal so I am going to need you to say our promotion code “I’m a little piggy oink oink”

 

EVERYONE

I’m a little piggy oink oink…

 

WAITER

Louder, piggies!

 

EVERYONE

I’m a little piggy, OINK OINK OINK. 

 

WAITER

And it does come with a side. Would you like fries or salad?

 

EVERYONE

in unison

FRIES, Jordan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

BLACKOUT




Touring with Home for Boys

Written by Robin Taylor Wright

I used to tour with a band across Canada and the northern states. My main source of inspiration was Michael Azzerad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life, extracting the most useful instances of DIY (do-it-yourself) touring; for example, you (try to) play every city in which you make your stop, eating out of grocery stores (I embraced the hummus and cucumber sandwich), and keeping your accommodation budget at zero (travel beds can be very comfy). Who would’ve thought that I would keep these tools for my subsequent adventure as a playwright.

September 1st: "Half an hour til Home for Boys! These cats are rarin' to go."

September 1st: "Half an hour til Home for Boys! These cats are rarin' to go."

When I started writing plays, I felt that I was at the mercy of someone else’s go-ahead - like, oh gosh, I really hope so-and-so likes my script so it can be financed. However, as I recalled my earlier music days, I said “fuck it, I’m going to hit the road with this piece”.

That said, it was a combination of connections, hard work, and fluke that Home for Boys needed in order to be ‘road ready’. Having a creative group of friends at Glass Reflections willing to take a risk on my work is an invaluable thing to me. However, this is not because of this urge to ‘make it big’, but cherishing being a part of a collective grassroots artistic organization. After the incredibly executed show closed in July, I decided to head west.

Renting out the basement of a converted church - which is now called the Refinery - I used one of my Saskatoon connections to help me meet other amazing local actors; I always made sure to only hire local as not only would it help me hear the characters read differently, but to attract a local crowd - not unlike opening for a local band in every city in order to introduce yourself to the ‘scene’. The four readers I chose, mostly on blind faith, exceeded my expectations, put on a great show, and met some wonderful friends for life.

In Vancouver, I booked an evening at Cafe Deux Soleils, where I played a few times before. The owner thought it would be a novel approach to start entertaining live play readings. Although the crowd was a bit smaller, I could tell that this was a change in the cafe’s usual routine that really stood out. Plus, my readers once again were having a wonderful time, despite the fact that Staples completely pooched my photocopies and thus had a script malfunction.

September 4th: "That's a decent crowd! Get outta the way, randall! — with Karyn Mott."

September 4th: "That's a decent crowd! Get outta the way, randall! — with Karyn Mott."

I thank Glass Reflections and UC Follies for taking on my new script. I would like to continue this travelling playwright thing if I get the time and money for it. I encourage anyone to create more and more of their own work on a shoestring budget. Stop waiting for someone to validate you. If I can, anyone can. Theatre could use a little ‘less is more’ punk rock approach to start breaking down some walls. It keeps theatre from being this pretentious ‘high art’ that bores people. I hope to do my part. 

Directing Agamemnon (Part One)

Written by Dorcas Chiu

Photos provided by Julia Howman

 

Let me tell you a secret; directing is HARD. Like, really hard.

Someone I consider a mentor recently told me that theatre or doing a play is basically like going on a road trip with selected friends and strangers. As an actor, you get to chill in the backseat and develop really close friendships through this month(s) long journey. But as a director, you’re effing driving, so you better know where you’re going, when you’re taking breaks, and what car you’re going to take.  It’s a lot of responsibilities, and everything adds up.

I found that especially in student theatre, you really have to be a well-rounded director. Of course, there were many people whom I relied on and consulted with throughout the process. I couldn’t have done Agamemnon with my entire production team. Blessed. But when the ball gets rolling, I found myself dramaturging, doing tech, stage-managing, producing, directing, and trying to remain calm. I think that’s the hardest thing about being a first time director, not trying to give out my wisdom through this blog post because who the hell am I to tell you what to do, is being a rock. I’m a very emotional person, that’s why I started out on stage. But a director is a rock, a sounding board, a DRIVER. The cast depends on you, they rely on your energy. So even if things are falling apart and projections are all lost 5 minutes before the dress rehearsal (actually happened during Agamemnon), you just need to take a deep breath and keep driving. Faith! Keep the ball of weeping mess at home, in front of your roommates, shoutout to Daniela.  

Anyway, that’s my blog post. There’s no process for directing, like there’s no one way to act. But I want to let everyone know that if you’re thinking about directing, be prepared! Take care of yourselves! In fact, everyone involved in student campus theatre, take care of yourselves! SELF-CARE!