His Girl Friday

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Cast Spotlight: Ashlie White

529520_10153462184710023_1936804906_nAshlie White is playing down-on-her-luck Mollie Malloy in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this will be her first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio: Ashlie originally hails from Alberta, where she received her diploma in Theatre Arts from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. Some of her favorite credits include: Martha (The Secret Garden), Clairee (Steel Magnolias) Penelope Pennywise (Urinetown), Lucy (You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown), as well as spending 4 seasons with the Edmonton Opera Chorus. Ashlie has been active with The Confidential Musical Theatre Project appearing in their productions of Nine (Toronto), and Kiss Me Kate (Port Perry). Ashlie is thrilled to be making her ByGone Theatre debut in His Girl Friday.

How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?

I had seen several postings on Facebook about Bygone Theatre and had been intrigued by their Retro Radio Hour radio plays. It immediately looked like something I wanted to be involved with.

What made you want to be involved? What do you love about the story?

I have always loved classic films. When I first saw the posting I had heard of His Girl Friday but never actually seen it. Once I read the script I fell in love with the fast paced writing farce like plot.

What’s your favourite old movie?

I’d have to say Singing’ In the Rain. I love old MGM musicals

Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?

I co-produced and acted in a production of The Attic The Pearls and 3 Fine Girls this November. In February I am playing Blanche in Plain Stage Theatre’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Why should people come and see the show?

This show has everything! Drama, comedy, crime, romance and classic 1940’s style.

You can see Ashlie onstage March 2-5, 2017, at the Aki Studio, Daniel’s Spectrum. Tickets on sale now at www.nativeearth.ca/hisgirlfriday.

His Girl Friday – Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets are now on sale for our upcoming production of His Girl Friday!

The show runs March 2-5, 2017 at the Aki Studio, Daniel’s Spectrum (the new Native Earth facility). Tickets are available for purchase online or in the Aki Studio box office; follow this link for more details, or to make your purchase.

Bygone Theatre Presents Frederick Knott’s WAIT UNTIL DARK

Bygone Theatre presents…

WAIT UNTIL DARK
written by Frederick Knott
directed by Emily Dix

April 14-16th, 2016 – limited run, only 5 performances
Tarragon Theatre Rehearsal Hall, 30 Bridgman Ave.

SYNOPSIS:

A sinister con man two ex-convicts are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll to the Greenwich Village apartment of a young photographer and his blind wife. Persuaded by a strange woman to transport the doll across the Canadian border, the photographer has unknowingly come into possession of the thousands of dollars worth of heroin sewn inside. Through a cleverly constructed deception, the con men convince the wife that the police have implicated her husband in a murder and that the doll is key evidence. However, with the help of a young neighbor, the young woman figures out she is the victim of a bizarre charade and realizes that her only chance of survival in this deadly game of cat and mouse, is to plunge all those involved into the total darkness that only she knows how to navigate.

STARRING:

Shannon Lahaie
Shannon Lahaie
as Susy

Shannon Lahaie is an actor, writer, and sketch comedian living in Toronto, Ont. She can be seen in the films `Think Deep“ (Digital Dimensions), “The Talent Scout“(Cinematik Kitsch), and “Ìnsane“(Stormdust Pictures) – which has been screened at over 35 Film Festivals throughout North America, earning her a Best Actress nomination at the FilmQuest 2014 Festival. She also performs and writes with her sketch comedy troupe Dame Judy Dench, whose recent show `That`s Just 5 Kids In A Trench Coat“ received NNNNN in NOW Magazine. She is thrilled to be a part of this great cast and to work with Bygone Theatre.

Mark Nocent
Mark Nocent
as Mike

Mark Nocent is a Honours Graduate from Humber College’s Acting for Film and Television Program. A resident of Toronto, Mark has found success in commercials, short films, notably the short “W4M”, part of an ongoing web-series by 9 Light Entertainment, and indie features, notably “Smoke it” which is currently in Post Production. On stage Mark has run a gamut of Musical Theatre, Sketch Comedy, and traditional plays, most recently touring the 2015 Fringe with the show ‘MARS’, written by Jayson McDonald.

EricMiinchAscot

Eric Miinch as Roat

Eric Miinch attended the University of Windsor where he graduated with an Honours BFA. He is a graduate of The Toronto Second City Conservatory and has performed in every major city in Canada. Recent credits include: The Village Green (Applebox Film Company), You Detective (Toronto Fringe), Finding John Stooge (EggMilk Productions).

Dave Walpole
Dave Walpole as Carlino

Dave Walpole was born August 11th, 1986 and stems from Hamilton, Ontario. Not an ordinary kid growing up, Dave was born with a congenital heart defect for which he had to have two surgeries at the ages of 4 and 5. Dave was always the class clown and soon began to stretch his talents by doing more comedy and drama. During high school he played a small part in the Wiz, and was the captain of the school’s improv and sketch team. After high school he took his training to Humber College for Comedy Writing and Performance. There he learned from SNL’s Robin Duke, and Second City’s Alan Guttman. Upon finishing the program, he went to work on Royal Caribbean Cruise lines, hosting dance parties, and activities. Aside from also being a stilt walker in the ship parades, Dave Walpole and his partner Patrick Carolan formed “The Blues Brothers Released”, a tribute band to the Blues Brothers, where he performed as Elwood Blues for Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Lines. Since his departure from the ship life, Dave Walpole has been in numerous projects such as Dumb and Dumber To, CNN’s new series Race For The White House, The Volunteer by Rosco Films, and Civil War Chronicles, soon to be released for the American Heroes Network. Currently the host on YouTube’s InformOverload, FTD Facts and his personal project The Ivy Show featuring him and his loud mouth long haired chihuahua named Ivy. Currently he is slated for a feature film The Weekend by Livingston Studios.

Abby Strachan
Abby Strachan as Gloria

Abby Strachan was born in Toronto and has loved to perform for as long as she can remember. She has been involved in many small theatre productions and school plays as well as Mirvish’s production of The Railway Children. She was the recipient of the Karen Kain School of the Arts Drama Award, and currently majors in theatre in her high school. She is very excited to be playing Gloria in Wait Until Dark.

Andrew Lorimer Headshot
Andrew Lorimer as Sam

Andrew Lorimer is an actor originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He made the move to Toronto three years ago after being accepted into the George Brown Theatre School. Some of his notable roles include: Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Quonta Drama Festival Adjudicator Award for Youth and Theatre Ontario Outstanding Juvenile Award), and George Gibbs in Our Town (Quonta Drama Festival’s Bob Sproule Award). He also had the very exciting opportunity to work with the Theater Reconstruction Ensemble in New York City, exploring the text of Hamlet to create new theatrical work. Wait Unit Dark marks Andrew’s premiere on stage in Toronto.  

Ryan Kotack
Ryan Kotack as Officer Sully

Ryan Christopher Kotack is an actor and screenwriter. As an actor, his work has screened at international film festivals. His first feature film, IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES, gave Ryan Christopher critical praise: “newcomer Kotack delivers an admirably lived-in performance that make fully convincing characters’ growing sense of despair,” (Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER).In addition to his work on screen, Ryan Christopher has written for Canadian Film Review, ACTRA Toronto’s Performers On Set Magazine, and short films NEW DOMAIN & MARS IS LAUGHINNG AT US, in association with ACTRA Toronto YEAA SHORTS and ReelWorld Film Festival. A University of Guelph Theatre Studies Alumni, Ryan currently is an advanced study of Meisner Technique (Adrian Griffin) at Fraser Studios. Ryan is grateful to be on stage with Bygone Theatre and cherishes the support from his friends and family. Catch Ryan Christopher Kotack in the television show REIGN (CW/CTV) this Spring.

CASTING CALL – Audition Submissions Now Open for “WAIT UNTIL DARK”

SHOW INFO
Bygone Theatre is looking to cast the 60’s thriller, Wait Until Dark.
Non-union, profit-share production.
Show runs from April 14-16th, 2016 in the rehearsal hall at Tarragon Theatre. 5 performances.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS
ROAT: Lead, mid 30s – 50s, murderer & theif, intelligent, actor must be able to do a few distinct voices.

SUSY: Lead, mid 20s – early 30s, blind, a housewife (married to Sam).

MIKE: Supporting, mid 20s – early 30s, con artist recently released from jail. Not a totally bad guy, but very manipulative.

CARLINO: Supporting, mid 20s – early 30s, con artist.

SAM: Supporting, mid 20s – mid 30s, photographer, ex-marine, Susy’s husband.

GLORIA: Supporting, young girl, around 10 (**open to casting a child or a young looking woman, children under 18 must have parental consent). Stubborn & strong-willed.

POLICE OFFICERS (2): Minor, 25+

SYNOPSIS
A sinister con man, Roat, and two ex-convicts, Mike and Carlino, are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll, which they are much interested in, to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam Hendrix and his blind wife, Susy. Sam had apparently been persuaded by a strange woman to transport the doll across the Canadian border, not knowing that sewn inside were several grams of heroin. When the woman is murdered the situation becomes more urgent. The con man and his ex-convicts, through a cleverly constructed deception, convince Susy that the police have implicated Sam in the woman’s murder, and the doll, which she believes is the key to his innocence, is evidence. She refuses to reveal its location, and with the help of a young neighbor, figures out she is the victim of a bizarre charade. But when Roat kills his associates, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between the two. Susy knows the only way to play fair is by her rules, so when darkness falls she turns off all the lights leaving both of them to maneuver in the dark until the game ends. (from Dramatist Play Service website).

AUDITIONS
To apply for an audition, send a recent headshot & artistic resume to director Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com, with the subject line: “Wait Until Dark Auditions”, no later than 5:00PM ON MONDAY FEBRUARY 1ST, 2016. Those selected to audition will be contacted via email to arrange a time.

To Cast, With Love – Director’s Notes from “Dial M For Murder”

There’s never enough space in the tiny little programs to say all that I want to about a show, and about all the amazing people who’ve helped to make it happen. I’ve considered doing what some directors do, and making a speech at the end of closing night, but that always felt more like a selfish statement than a good time to thank everyone; no one wants to see the boring old director after seeing the awesome show, and I don’t want to keep the cast and crew from getting out and celebrating. So in an effort to say all my thank-yous, but keep our program from becoming a full length novel, I’ve decided to write here the “director’s cut” version of my notes on “Dial M For Murder”:

First off, to my fellow producer and co-founder of Bygone Theatre; Matt McGrath. Matty is my best friend and my go-to for just about everything in life. When we started this company, he was mostly interested in being involved as an actor, but as the company has grown he has stepped up and taken on some major production roles, most of which he had no prior knowledge of. Matt does everything from scraping together the funds for the show, to working on the set, to going out and putting up hundreds of posters. He essentially functions as an assistant director and I often go to him for advice on scenes or moments in the play, be it just for reassurance or for actual help should I ever find myself stuck. He is an invaluable part of this company, this production, and my life. So many thanks, and a thousand hugs and kisses go to him.

My stage manager Jayden Hsueh has not only take on the dreaded SM tasks like booking rehearsal spaces and working out scheduling issues, but he has stepped up to help with finding props and building sets as well. Jayden is always a happy, positive influence in the room, and his smile (and the cookies and doughnuts he often brings to rehearsals) helps to keep everyone’s energy up. Jayden is motivated and reliable, and I can’t wait to work on another production with him.

Alexis Budd, our fight director, is a great guy to work with. He is smart, funny, and always patient when teaching actors the choreography. He has a creative mind and is great with thinking on the spot, but is always open to suggestions from actors or myself as well. His acting experience helps him not just give tips on how to safely move and fake things like slaps, but on how to really sell it as well. If I ever find myself needing another fight director, he’ll be my first call.

Jackie McClelland is our props master and one of our set designers for this show. I was thrilled to get her, as Jackie is working with increasingly bigger companies and productions, and I worry one day she’ll go off and leave us behind! Jackie is clever and a great problem solver, and has worked out all our props issues. She has a great eye, and is a fun and positive person to work with; I hope we’ll get the chance to do another show together again soon.

Mike Bazzocchi is an amazing builder. He has a unique background that includes engineering and acting, so he not only knows the practical elements required in making a set, he knows what will look good and what the actors will need as well. He’s quick on his feet, positive, and great at explaining things to those of us with no design knowledge. I hope to be able to give him a more creative set to design one day, as I know he is capable of coming up with really original ideas as well as making something that looks like an authentic 1950s living room. He makes me laugh, and I always feel confident any task left to him will be done, and done well. Thank you for that.

My mother Karen Henderson made not just our lovely pinch pleat curtains, but all of Margot’s dresses as well, which not only saved us a lot of money (and me a lot of time), but meant that we could have authentic 1950s dresses that fit our actor perfectly. She is a life-saver as her sewing expertise means I can pick out virtually any pattern and fabric, for any actor, and leave her to do all the hard work of actually making the thing! Every time we do a show and I pile more and more costumes on, she swears it’ll be the last time, but hopefully it doesn’t actually come to that as her costumes are a big part of what makes our shows look great.

Reg Matson is our technical director (and Inspector Hubbard, but I’ll get to that), and has helped me to solve problems from how to run sound from strange spots onstage, to what should be done with the lights. Reg not only has vast theatre knowledge, he has a great artistic mind. He never tells someone what they should do, but asks them questions and helps them to figure out what it is they really want to achieve. He’s been an amazing positive influence in so many ways these past few months, and I know we’ll continue to work together in the future.

Nicole Byblow chose all the lovely period music for the show. Nicole and I first met when doing “Retro Radio Hour”, and I’m so glad to have found not just a talented performer, but a fellow Judy lover as well! Nicole has a great ear and a real understanding of the period, so she’s certainly someone I will work with again. She’s a fun and sweet person, and great at everything she does.

Janice Li is our high school production assistant, and has helped with everything from sitting in on auditions, to making the bricks for the exterior wall, to doing random tasks like coffee runs and sweeping the stage. She’s always up to any task we give her, and I think she will do well as she goes off to focus in production design. I hope she’s managed to learn someone along the way, or at the very least had some fun – we’ve certainly needed all her help!

There have been dozens of people who have helped out with things along the way, and I hope I can remember them all here, so thank you to;

My aunt, Heather Henderson, who donated all our concession items and helped to make the cast t-shirts.

My sister, Rebecca Dix, who worked on the display boards, the concessions, and running Front of House.

My father, Kevin Dix, who shuttled around props, costumes, and concessions, driving up from Waterloo to do so.

Our former producer, Tom Beattie, who donated funds, supplies, and his time to this show.

Brian and Margaret McGrath, Matt’s parents, who donated both money to the show, and allowed us to use their garage to build the set, while putting up with not just the noisy actors and the mess, but with feeding all of us as well!

Danielle Son who took lovely photos of the show.

Kyle Pearson, K. Nolan, and Chris Ross who all came to help out with the load-in.

UC Follies, who helped with both cross-promotions, and who leant us space and props for the show.

Orphaned Egret Productions
, Newborn Theatre, BeMused, and Hart House Theatre, who all helped to promote the show.

Jesse Watts, who was the first to make a donation to “Dial M For Murder”.

Noa Katz and Deb Lim who are assisting backstage.

The staff at the Robert Gill Theatre; the late Lou Massey who helped with our initial set-up, Paul Stoesser who helped in running tech week, Teo Balcu who took the lead in our lighting design, and Vanita Butrsingkorn who assisted in all sorts of backstage and technical elements during tech week.

TAPA, TO Tix, and The Robert Gill Theatre for all the help and support.

Insomnia Restaurant and Lounge for sponsoring our opening night after party.

And, last but not least, my fabulous cast.

I’m so happy to have met Leete Stetson. He is a talented actor and a wonderful friend, and I thank him for all his support and advice on and offstage. We became friends while acting together in Hart House’s “Romeo and Juliet”, and quickly discovered a mutual love of musicals, and a lot of similar tastes. While he and I may disagree on some fundamental theatre things (like bare walls versus a full set), the debates are always friendly and useful. I know I will work with him again, and can’t wait to see what amazing character he does next.

Rebekah has been a total joy to work with. Every note I give her she takes and acts on immediately; she started out as Margot looking and sounding great, but the progression I’ve seen her make through the rehearsal process has really been astounding. She’s turned what could have been a 2-dimensional, typical 1950s housewife into a complex and compelling character, and she makes these changes with such ease that it’s clear she’s one to watch out for. On top of her talent onstage, Rebekah has helped with things like hemming pants, and has offered to pick up the slack wherever it’s needed. I hope we will work together again as she is a lady of many talents, and a very sweet girl to boot.

When I first met Kenton I hoped that he would be as talented as he was sweet and charming, because after 30 seconds of talking to him you know he’s someone you want to work with. Lucky for me, he was. Kenton takes initiative not just with learning and running lines, but with running warm-ups with the group as well. He has amazing stage presence, and is a total joy to watch. A man of many talents, I know he will go far, and I just hope that before he gets too big I have another chance to work with him! All that energy he has is bound to come in handy as he is one who I think will find himself constantly working.

As an actor, Reg is thoughtful and deliberate. He has a very analytical approach to acting, and often pauses to talk through the motivations of all the characters onstage. He is clever and committed, and I love to watch him go through his process as it often brings out new and interesting moments in the show.

Jason  has been a total joy to work with, because he is a kind, thoughtful and genuine human being as well as being a talented actor. Despite having a relatively short amount of time onstage, Jason has been at nearly every rehearsal and has helped with things like being on book, or reading for someone who wasn’t there. He’s always quick to offer assistance with anything, and is always in a positive mood. He takes notes to heart, and has created in Lesgate a truly disturbing character that is so far from his real self that it is a testament to how good an actor he really is.

Despite being onstage for only about a minute in this show, Ian has shown up to all the rehearsals and stayed attentive, offering suggestions, advice and questions throughout the process. He has truly taken the “there are no small parts, only small actors” motto to heart and has created several distinct characters for his brief phone conversations. He has been helpful by being on book and keeping track of actors blocking while he’s not onstage, and has always been a positive influence in the room. And with a voice like his, there’s no doubt he’ll find himself more work in theatre, or radio!

To everyone who helped in anyway, be it by working on the show directly or just being someone to talk to when the stress levels got high, thank you. And to everyone who came out to see all our hard work, thank you – none of this could happen without you.

-Emily Dix
Artistic Director
Bygone Theatre

Friends of Bygone – Photographer Danielle Son

One of the most valuable friends a theatre company can have is a good photographer! So much time, money, and effort goes into a show, but by it’s nature theatre’s fleeting; every performance is different, and can never be perfectly recreated. And when the run is over, all that is left are some photos to keep the memory alive, which is why we’re so happy to have the talented Danielle Son working with us once again so that our show can be preserved and remembered!

Danielle first worked with us in January 2013 on “Doubt: A Parable”, taking phenomenal pictures like this:

Anne Shepher as Sister Aloysius and Jordan Gray as Father Flynn, 2

Anne Shepherd and Jordan Gray in “Doubt: A Parable” – photo by Danielle Son

When we did our fundraiser in May, “Retro Radio Hour”, Danielle stopped by to get some great live event photos like this one:

Rebecca Russell and Leete Stetson in "Retro Radio Hour" - photo by Danielle Son

Rebecca Russell and Leete Stetson in “Retro Radio Hour” – photo by Danielle Son

Yesterday she swung by rehearsal and snatched some amazing photos like this chilling shot from the “Dial M For Murder” fight scene:

Rebekah and Jason Manella in rehearsal for "Dial M For Murder" - photo by Danielle Son

Rebekah and Jason Manella in rehearsal for “Dial M For Murder” – photo by Danielle Son

You can check out all her “Dial M for Murder” rehearsal stills here on our facebook page.

And be sure to check out her website for some of her other work!

“Dial M For Murder” – Rehearsal Photos

We’re doing runs all week so I thought I’d nab some quick rehearsal photos – here’s the cast in their new “Dial M For Murder” t-shirts!

Remember, the show runs August 15-17 at the Robert Gill Theatre. Tickets are available through TO Tix and we highly encourage you to buy in advance!

If you like these pics, check out our facebook page for more!

The cast of "Dial M For Murder"

The cast of “Dial M For Murder”

Kenton Blythe as Max Haliday

Kenton Blythe as Max Haliday

Leete Stetson and Rebekah Manella as Tony and Margot Wendice

Leete Stetson and Rebekah Manella as Tony and Margot Wendice

Jason Manella as Captain Lesgate

Jason Manella as Captain Lesgate

Reg Matson as Inspector Hubbard

Reg Matson as Inspector Hubbard

Dial M For Murder – Actor Spotlight – Kenton Blythe

Kenton plays Max Halliday in “Dial M For Murder”, his first production with Bygone Theatre.

Kenton Blythe aka Max Halliday

Bio:

Kenton was born in Edmonton, Alberta and is from a small town to the south of it called Beaumont. For the Footloose fans: that is where the hell it is. He has been practicing theatre for a number of years and had spent 2 years at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton in their Young Musical Company before making the trek to Toronto to study at the Randolph Academy for the preforming arts. He graduated last August. Since graduating Kenton has appeared as Brad in the Rocky Horror Show (Fallen Rock Productions) and more recently Len in Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy (Hart House). He would like to dedicate this performance to his girlfriend, whose constant love and support are ever present in his life (assuming she has not left him by the time the show goes up.) Love you honey.

1. How did you get started in theatre?

I got started in the theatre when I was thirteen. I was cast as a demon in a Terry Pratchett play. A character with a really long name with no vowels. I remember it sounding like Wix Hertle Jewel Pickles.  Which sounds a bit like a law firm from Oz.

2. What is your favourite part of the creative process?

Performance, naturally.

3. What are some challenges you face as an actor?

Maintaining spontaneity with every line. Sometimes it becomes muscle memory, and there can be only so much magic in that.

4. Any advice you want to give to others pursuing acting?

Know what you want in every scene, know enough about the business side to know when you are being misled and know enough about yourself to not be afraid of what you work on.

5. What are you most excited for in regards to “Dial M For Murder”

I’m excited to solve a murder every night.