A Note From Our Artistic Executive Director at the Start of Our 10th Season

On Saturday November 26, 2022, we opened our first production of our 10th season, The Birds, at Hart House Theatre. As my speech was somewhat improvised and a little scattered and emotional, I wanted to share a cleaner version of it now – there’s a reason I’m usually the one behind the camera/stage, and writing this out is sure to be a better way to ensure I share all I want to say.

As you likely know if you are reading this, my name is Emily Dix and I am the Artistic Executive Director of Bygone Theatre, a company I founded in October 2012 along with Matt McGrath and Tom Beattie. Both of them have since moved on, but I’m happy to say that many of the wonderful people I work with today have been with the company in some capacity or another for years, and I hope that continues to be the case. In 2015 we became a non-profit and formed our first Board of Directors: Elizabeth Stuart Morris was Chair, Leete Stetson was Vice Chair, Elizabeth Rose Morriss was Secretary and Conor Fitzgerald was Treasurer. While our Chair and Vice Chair were only with us for a season, Conor has gone on to become Bygone Chair and Elizabeth, who has worked with Bygone in various capacities since the very beginning, is still our Secretary. We have since added to our board Dr. Mark Terry as President, and Vinay Sagar as a member. This team has provided guidance and support in countless ways, and because of them we were able to become a registered charity in the summer of 2022. I would like to extend my thanks to all who have helped in the formation of this company – it isn’t as glamourous a role as some of the creatives, but it is essential, and we couldn’t do it without you.

Through the years Bygone has produced numerous one-night-only performances in addition to our mainstage shows. These include many “Finn and Friend” productions, staring the incomparable Tom Finn and his hilarious brother, Kevin Finn, as well as a series of retro game shows hosted by the one and only Bob Burnhart (aka actor and dialect coach, John Fleming). We have also produced over a dozen “Retro Radio Hour” shows that feature the talents of dozens of lovely singers and actors, both those who have been featured in mainstage shows and those who joined us for a one-off performance. These smaller performances still require a tremendous amount of talent, planning and work, and many have been mounted as fundraisers, meaning those involved have donated their time to help grow the company. To everyone who has been involved in one of these events of which there really are too many to count, thank you.

Our last major production was The Rear Window, performed at Theatre Passe Muraille back in March of 2019. It had been our biggest show to-date, and while a major financial risk, it was one that we felt we needed to take. The show was a success with great reviews and a total of 11 Broadway World Toronto nominations, four of which led to wins: Best Direction of an Equity Play – Emily Dix; Best Original Lighting Design – Wesley Babcock; Best Leading Actor – Tristan Claxton; and Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Kate McArthur. Unfortunately, what we had hoped would be a big jump forward in the growth of our company was quickly stalled in 2020, at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, we had to press pause, and went for over 2 years without producing a live show.

During our production hiatus, we shifted focus to develop the other aspects of our company. We always knew we wanted to work towards charitable status, and so we put all our time and effort into building our Sustainability and Diversity & Accessibility Mandates, and our education program. With the help of Dr.Mark Terry, we partnered with the Youth Climate Report, and became the first theatre company to publicly commit to following all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. When the YCR was awarded an honourable mention at the 2020 UN SDG Action Awards, we were given the opportunity to share a video that outlined our commitments. Since then, we have further narrowed and focused our mandate into three main areas: Mend & Make Do; Vintage Aesthetics, Not Values; and Indie Unite. We reaffirmed our commitment to accessibility, and committed to providing clearer breakdowns in all casting and production calls, highlighting specific skills, abilities, potential challenges and possible solutions. We majorly expanded our commitment to diversity, and instituted quantifiable goals such as reserving 50% of auditions slots for BIPOC performers, and providing free admission to all Bygone shows and events for anyone who identifies as being of Indigenous descent. We also provide free advertising space to Indigenous-led organizations, and are seeking funding to be able to hire an Indigenous artist as a consultant as we continue to expand this mandate.

In 2021, we were awarded the Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Award for Best Live Theatre, and were runner-up for NOW Magazine’s Best Small Theatre – if you like the work we do, voting is currently open for the Broadway World Toronto Awards, and while we did not produce anything last season we are nominated for Best Local Theatre in both the Professional and Non-Professional categories – you can cast your vote here.

With the help of a generous donation last season from Jane Aster Roe of Aster Roe Productions, we were able to start two new initiatives; a revival of our Retro Radio Hour series, now to be in podcast form; and the expansion of our Youth Production Assistant program. As with all of our new programs and initiatives, our top priority is with providing payment and support to artists, who have been disproportionately affected during the past few years of the pandemic. With that goal in mind, our first charitable campaign was the creation of our Artist Fund, which gave 100% of funds raised directly to our artists. It is our goal to re-fill this fund with the ticket sales from each show, as well as through fundraising campaigns, so that we can work towards always providing industry standard rates to all the artists we engage. This year, we raised over $12,000 which went directly to the cast of The Birds – thank you to everyone who donated, and if you would still like to give your support, donations can be made via our Canada Helps page.

Throughout the pandemic we provided a series of free webinars on topics ranging from producing to vintage design – these will become a regular part of our programming. This season, thanks to a major donation from IG Financial, we are launching a new program: Empower Your Tomorrow: Financial and Business Literacy for the Arts – stay tuned for details. We are also thrilled to be providing a series of workshops through our venue partnerships with Hart House Theatre.

Finally, this season will include two more mainstage productions: The Yellow Wallpaper, a mix of ambulatory theatre and digital projection being presented at Campbell House Museum, March 2023; and Wayne & Shuster, Live! which will bring Canadian comedy legends Wayne & Shuster back to the stage with the support of their children, Michael and Brian Wayne and Rosie Shuster, thanks to sponsorship from Alterna Savings and a venue partnership with Hart House Theatre, May 2023.

Now that we’re all caught up on the craziness that is the last few years, it’s time to say thanks to those who have helped create what is not only our first show of our 10th season, but the first back since our COVID-19 hiatus, AND our first show as a registered charity: The Birds.

First, to the staff of Hart House Theatre. To Doug Floyd, who took a chance on a small company and let us come into a space we simply could not have afforded on our own – thank you for the encouragement and support, and for giving us a chance to show what we can do. This literally wouldn’t be happening without you. To Gillian Lewis, who is actually the HHT Education & Production Coordinator, but who seems to do basically every job there is. Thank you for helping with everything from organizing workshops to finding props and for the constantly positive attitude and excellent hugs. To Brian Campbell for his guidance and support as we get used to being back in a theatre, and a union house at that – thank you for your patience. To Lindsey Middleton for all the last-minute help when my computer decided to die THE WEEK of opening – thank you for being on-the-ball, keeping a cool head, and finishing the program I should have had done 3 weeks prior. To Parker Nowlan, for being an absolute superstar. I don’t even know where to start. Parker has done everything from set building to programming the lights and has been there to save the day numerous times through this process (starting with emergency printing at our callbacks). Thank you for all your help, and most of all, for doing it with a smile and the patience of a saint. To Brendan (oh my god how do I not know your last name??), who programmed our sound and took my rambling, very non-technical notes and requests and made it all work – thank you for also being super patient, and for making last-minute adjustments more times than I’d like to count. And to all the front of house staff, the Hart House volunteers, and the cleaning staff who’ve dealt with our cluttered backstage – it takes a huge group of talented and dedicated people to run something like Hart House Theatre, and I am thankful to all of you.

Warning – this is where I may start to get sappy.

To our cast and crew, starting with our team of production assistants. Thank you to Ainsley Munro for late-night flat painting, to Sarah Allen who shadowed Wes and helped with odd set and prop tasks that ranged from dressing to running to Rotblotts for more tape. To Kiana Josette, who is working with us in various producing capacities and who took stunning production photos and all the pictures of our opening night gala. To assistant/apprentice director Julia Edda Pape, who attended nearly every rehearsal and provided great vision and insight, as well as helping in a variety of PA roles, and who was a part of the workshopping of the script. Thank you for being consistent, reliable, hardworking and talented – you are going to go far. To our ASM/Associate Producer Jane Aster Roe, who has worked with us in some capacity since 2016 – thank you for doing everything from raising funds to selling tickets, setting props and doing coffee runs – your willingness to do whatever needs to be done has been invaluable and is very much appreciated. To my mother, Karen Henderson, who sewed the lovely dress you see on Daphne at the top of the show and to Tegan Ridge, who came in last-minute with some hair & makeup suggestions – thank you. A major part of Bygone’s image is our historically accurate aesthetic, and that couldn’t have been achieved without you.

To Wes Babcock, our set designer who eventually came on as lighting designer as well, and had to work with tight deadlines and an even tighter budget – thank you for not only doing your job wonderfully well, but for helping with all the dozens of things that were decidedly not your job, like helping with sound cues and InDesign files – I know you weren’t the production manager, but you were definitely a production manager. More importantly than that, you’ve been an amazing friend, as you always have been, and I appreciate you lending an ear not only to my worries and questions about the show, but to my complaints about life in general. I’m so happy to have known Wes for many, many years, and hope to have him in my life for many more to come – I promise every time we will pay you more than the last.

To our wonderful stage manager, Kate McArthur, who is one of the most beautiful people I know. I am so proud of you and all your work on this, jumping into a role you hadn’t filled in years, you’ve done an amazing job and shown you really can do anything. Thank you for being a constant support in every way, you’re one of my closest friends and I could not have maintained my sanity this past month without you. I look forward to spending this entire year creating things with you.

To my fantastic cast – Anna Douglas, who I have not known for long, but who I could immediately see was the perfect Daphne. Anna approaches her work with a focus and dedication that is truly admirable, and while I rarely have time to point it out in rehearsals, I see new details and nuances every time she runs a scene, and those are noticed and appreciated. Her commitment to the show and determination to make it a success has been clear since day one. Thank you, Anna, for the attention-to-detail, thoughtfulness and thoroughness in all that you do.

To Alex Clay, another one of my closest friends, and someone who I have been lucky to work with several times before. Alex read the very earliest versions of this script and has been a sounding board throughout the entire process. Thank you for the lunch-time phone calls to go over ideas, and for coming to each rehearsal focused and ready and full of incredibly lame jokes that always make me laugh. I’m so happy to see you in a role that allows you to show such range, and excited for everyone to see what a talented and capable actor you are. I’m so happy to have you in my life.

To Oliver Georgiou, who I knew was “Mitch” about 5 seconds into his audition. Oliver is wonderful onstage and off – not only is he a talented and engaging actor, he is a thoughtful and supportive team member who has done everything from running warm-ups to bringing me allergy medicine the day after I complained about a dusty theatre. Oliver’s additions to the script have been essential, and the ending is what it is thanks to him. Thank you for supporting and elevating all my ideas, and for being a great listener and a wonderful person to be around.

To Kiera Publicover, who is one of the most wonderfully laid-back actors I’ve ever had a chance to work with, thank you for being a constantly positive and calming presence – much needed in a show as intense as this. Kiera took what could have easily been a small, two-dimensional part and built it into a fully-formed, engaging and endearing character that is exciting to watch. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things you go on to do. Thank you as well for your assistance with editing the Land Acknowledgement, and for the suggestions of Indigenous organizations to support.

To Chad Allen, who I had worked with briefly before years ago when he swooped in last minute to save the day by playing several small roles in His Girl Friday. Chad is a true pro, and has excellent taste in coffee. Thank you for always bringing focus and dedication to all you do, and for being such a positive and guiding presence in rehearsals – I look up to you, and not just because you’re a giant and an “old man”. Chad has also taken a small role and turned it into a character worthy of a spin-off. Thank you for always going above and beyond.

Last, but certainly not least, to Conor Fitzgerald, Bygone’s Chair, my fellow Producer, and my partner in every aspect of life. Thank you for creating business plans and spreadsheets, for driving ridiculously far away for obscure auction pick-ups, for keeping me supplied in Diet Coke, and for supporting me during every stage and mood and thing. It sounds so cheesy to say he is my other half, but it really is true, and I could not do any of the things I do without him.

To all who have helped Bygone become what it is today, and to all who have supported The Birds in anyway, thank you. I hope you enjoy our show and our season, and all the big things to come.

  • Emily Dix
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Meet The Cast of The Birds

Meet the cast of Bygone Theatre’s upcoming production, THE BIRDS. Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 at Hart House Theatre.

ANNA DOUGLAS – Daphne Daniels

BIO: Film, television, and stage actor Anna Douglas was born in Toronto, raised in Nashville, schooled in Indiana (BFA from U. of Evansville), then finally returned to her hometown from a stint in Los Angeles almost 10 years ago. She is best known for her role in FX’s hit series Mrs. America playing LGBTQ activist Jean O’Leary. Her award-winning performance as Lucy Van Pelt in Ted Lasso-star Brendan Hunt’s LA and NYC hit play, Absolutely Filthy, is another highlight of a 27-year career that includes appearances on Working Moms, Saving Hope, and Ransom, and stage credits at the Soho Playhouse (NYC), South Coast Repertory (CA), and The Kennedy Center (DC). She is thrilled to return to the stage for the first time since the pandemic began, and extends her profound thanks to Bygone Theatre for the opportunity.

ALEX CLAY – David Harper

BIO: Alex is a stage and screen actor from Dundas, ON. He graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.A in History and Theatre and an M.A in History. He then received his B.Ed. from UofT, but chose to buckle down into a safe and sensible career as an actor. Alex co-founded the Toronto-centric theatre company, The Theatre Circuit and their inaugural season consisted of The Inch of Your Life Trilogy in which Alex portrayed the character of Luke Richmond. Some of Alex’s other recent theatre credits include Owen in Girl in the Machine (Seven Siblings Theatre), Clayton Perry/Mike in The Cenotaph Project (Theatre by the Bay), Victor in Private Lives (Pure Carbon Theatre), Markus in Some of us Pretend (Bricks n’ Sticks productions), Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (Paper-Knife Theatre), Richard Loeb in Dialogues of Leopold & Loeb (Labyrinthus Mundi Productions), and Pat Lor/the Demon in Interview with a Demon (B. Smart Productions). Alex is incredibly excited to be back on stage, and with Bygone Theatre no less! With Bygone, he previously played McCue in His Girl Friday and Charles Thomas in The Rear Window. Alex would like to extend his thanks to Bygone Theatre for this opportunity to play on the historic Hart House stage.

OLIVER GEORGIOU – Mitch Brenner

BIO: Oliver Georgiou is an actor, comedian, and clown. He was recently featured as a festival headliner at Detroit Improv Festival while simultaneously filming the lead role in the 1950s horror-comedy homage Vampire Zombies… From Space! across the border. He is the producer and host of Dodo Dome at Sweet Action Theatre where he runs weekly workshops for actors and clowns to stay in practice.

Oliver absolutely loves devised theatre. His first attempt was the critically-acclaimed Me With You at Toronto Fringe 2015. He then produced SODA Theatre and SODA Underground in 2017, each with a subsequently riskier approach to devising a quality improvised play. Oliver is a Second City House Co. alum and was a series regular on Caverns & Comedians which won Outstanding Gaming Series in the 2018 Canadian Podcast Awards. He is ecstatic to be back in a theatre space with such a fantastic company, cast, and script. 

KIERA PUBLICOVER – Annie Hawthorne

BIO: Kiera Publicover (she/they) is a Queer multidisciplinary artist, theatre creator and actor. Originally from Toronto, Kiera is a recent graduate of the University of Windsor’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. In 2018, Kiera co-founded Arrowwood Theatre Company which she has been co-Artistic Director of since. Kiera’s creative interests live in exploring themes of family, femininity and the ways in which society performs gender. Her work revolves around experimentation with alternative forms of theatre creation, such as physical devising, collective creation, verbatim theatre and more.
Previous: Agnes at the Weston: Then & Now Festival (Shakespeare in Action/Arrowwood Theatre Co.), herself in Contactless (Soulpepper/Arrowwood Theatre Co.), herself in Canada’s Next Chopped Model Minority (2021 Paprika Festival), #8 in The Wolves (University Players), and more. Currently, Kiera is the Playwright in Residence at House+Body Theatre, working on an original theatre piece, Talking to Dead Cats in the Night, generously funded by the Canada Arts Council.

CHAD ALLEN – Hank

BIO: Chad Allen is thrilled to be working with Bygone Theatre again in their production of The Birds. Since last appearing on stage at The Newmarket 10-minute Play festival, Chad created Bistro Boys Productions with whom he wrote and acted in two award winning short films, The Blind Date and The Procedure. He has also appeared in popular tv shows The Boys and What We Do in The Shadows as well as The Expanse with David Strathairn. Chad lives in Toronto where he continues to help tell thought provoking stories that inspire and entertain be it in film or on stage, acting, writing, directing or teaching. Chad can be found on Instagram or Twitter under ChadAllenCreating or at his website http://chadallencreating.com. 

Broadway World Award Winners

The Broadway World Toronto Award Winners have been announced! Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, including;

EMILY DIX – Best Director, The Rear Window


Emily Dix

TRISTAN CLAXTON – Best Performance by a Leading Actor, The Rear Window


TRW_Tristan Claxton

KATE MCARTHUR – Best Performance by a Featured Actress, The Rear Window


TRW_Lena Cute

WESLEY BABCOCK – Best Original Lighting Design, The Rear Window

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THOMAS FINN – Best Cabaret Performance, A Rat Packed Christmas

Thomas Finn Headshot

See the complete list of winners here.

Broadway World Toronto Award Nominations

We’re thrilled to have a total of 14 nominations for the Broadway World Toronto Awards, 11 of which are for people involved in our March 2019 production of The Rear Window.

TRW_Tristan Claxton
Tristan Claxton as Jeff in The Rear Window.

Congratulations and best of luck to all those who are nominated, voting only takes a couple of minutes and can be done here. Bygone is honoured to be recognized in the following categories;

Best Community Theatre – Bygone Theatre
Best Direction of a Play (Equity) – Emily Dix (The Rear Window)
Best Play (Equity) – The Rear Window
Best Independent Theatre ProductionThe Rear Window
Best Leading Actor (Play, Equity) – Tristan Claxton (The Rear Window)
Best Leading Actress (Play, Equity) – Kate McArthur (The Rear Window)
Best Original Costume Design – Emily Dix (The Rear Window)
Best Original Set Design – Emily Dix (The Rear Window)
Best Original Lighting Design – Wes Babcock (The Rear Window)
Best Performance by a Female in a Featured Role (Play, Equity) – Kate McArthur (The Rear Window)
Best Performance by a Male in a Featured Role (Play, Equity) – Tristan Claxton, Alex Clay (The Rear Window)
Best Cabaret Performance – Thomas Finn, A Rat-Packed Christmas, Crooning Comics and A Night With Frank & Judy
Thank you to all the talented and lovely people who we’ve worked with this past year, here’s to many more!

Cast Spotlight: Kevin Forster

Kevin Forster plays Hal in our upcoming production of “Loot”, running March 7-18, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre, Toronto.

Kevin Forster plays Hal in our upcoming production of Loot; this is Kevin’s first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Kevin is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School and is thrilled to be working with such an amazing team on this wacky and wonderful show! 

Selected Theatre: Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam county Spelling Bee and Marshall/Al in Seven Stories (Hart House Theatre), Peter in The Diary of Anne Frank (FSWC), Joe in Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Bjorn in Always Abba, and Flotsam in The Little Mermaid (The Lower Ossington Theatre), Jay in New Order (NovelSidwalk), Goneril in Cinderella, and Dopey in Balm In Gilead (Ryerson Theatre School), Clown in Bust-ed (Toronto Festival of Clowns).
Television/Film: Well Spent, Fear Thy Neighbor, God Hates A Coward, A Midsummer Nights Dream

What made you want to be a part of Loot?

Loot is a really funny script with so much potential when it is put on stage. I am a big fan of physical comedy, and this script is filled with opportunity to explore that.

How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?

I really enjoy playing Hal. It is an interesting balance finding the humor in the scenario while keeping the truth and integrity of who he is. Also, we both love to frequent brothels, so that helps.

What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?

My favourite part of rehearsal is playing with the other actors. Every time we run through a scene, new things are discovered. Everyone is willing to allow things to evolve and explore. It may not be right, but we won’t know until we go there.

What’s your favourite thing to have come out of the 1960s?

Non dairy creamer

Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?

Recently was in a production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” I am also in a folk rock band called “People Walking By” We play all the time so check us out! @people.walking.by

Why should people come out and see the show?

It’s a show with British accents, money, and death. What could be better? Certainly beats sitting at home swiping through dating profiles. Unless those profiles include British accents, money, and death. Then you’ve got a hard decision to make.

Anything else you want us to know?

The dot on top of the letter ‘i’ and ‘j’ is known as a tittle.

You can see Kevin onstage March 8-17, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre.
Get your tickets today!

Cast Spotlight: Scott McCulloch

Scott McCulloch plays Truscott in our upcoming production of “Loot”. See him onstage March 8-17, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre, Toronto.

Scott McCulloch plays Truscott – a council employee from the Metropolitan Water Board, and certainly not a police Inspector – in our upcoming production of Joe Orton’s Loot.

Bio: Loot marks the first time in a career spanning more than 30 years, well over 100 plays and close to 50 film and television productions. that he has appeared A) with Bygone Theatre B) at the Alumnae, and C) (fulfilling a long-time ambition) in one of Mr. Orton’s plays. He is delighted on all counts. Scott has been exceptionally busy doing indie theatre over the last two years, with his work including productions of Three Sisters (Wolf Manor Theatre Collective), Titus Andronicus and Edward Albee’s The Play About The Baby (Seven Siblings), Den of Thieves (which he directed for Triple Bypass Productions) Hogtown (the largest collective in Toronto theatre history) at Campbell House, and The Trial of Judith K for Thought For Food at the TPM Backspace for which he received a Broadway World: Toronto nomination for best performance by a male in a featured role. Dad in The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (JR Theatre), Richard in Time Stands Still (Leroy Street Theatre) and Dr. Black in the dora award winning The Belle of Winnipeg (Keystone Theatre) are just a few of his other favourite stage roles. Favourite experiences in front of the camera include the films “Blood Empires”, “Phone Company Man”, “The Lady of Names”, and episodes of “My Babysitter’s a Vampire”, “Mayday”, “Aaron Stone”, and “Relic Hunter.” Watch for Scott on the festival circuit in the short films, “Fowl Play” and “Split.” He holds a BFA from the University of Windsor, and an MFA from Northern Illinois University.

What made you want to be a part of Loot?

I’ve always wanted to do one of Orton’s plays, so I was all over it as soon as I saw the audition notice.

How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?

Truscott’s probably not the most admirable of human beings, but I love playing him. The longer I work on the role, the more I find I do have in common with him, to a greater or lesser degree, but the first thing that jumped out at me was the need to be the smartest person in the room. I’ve been trying to work on that in my personal life, but as Truscott, I can give it free reign. And of course there’s the whole wearing of women’s underclothes thing. There’s no actual mention of that in the script, but I’m pretty sure he does.

What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?

My favourite part of the rehearsal process so far has been just getting to play in the Orton sandbox with such a talented group of playmates.

What’s your favourite thing to have come out of the 1960s?

My favourite thing to come out of the 60’s? Well, I’m dating myself here, I suppose, but . . . me. And the Rolling Stones.

Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?

A web series project (which co-stars Luba Goy) that I’m involved with is being pitched to potential investors in March in NYC, so I’d love it if people could give our FB page a like: www.facebook.com/savecaptjakes/ Several episodes are already available for viewing there too. I also have several short films in the can which should be popping up at various festivals before too long: 45, Fowl Play, Split, and Roadmarks. And a feature I did a few years back, Blood Empires, is still widely available online.

Why should people come out and see the show?

Orton was ahead of his time, but sadly he didn’t live long enough to write more than a handful of plays and they don’t get done nearly enough. Here’s a rare opportunity to see one of his best, performed by a crackerjack cast. Did I mention it’s hilarious?

Anything else you want us to know?
Diet Coke is even worse for you than regular Coke.
[DIRECTOR’S NOTE: I feel this may be directed specifically at me, but I choose to ignore it!]

See Scott onstage March 8-17, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto. Get your tickets now!

Cast Spotlight: Jonah McGrath

Jonah McGrath plays police inspector Meadows in Bygone Theatre’s upcoming production of the Joe Orton farce, Loot; this is Jonah’s first production with Bygone Theatre.
Bio: Jonah McGrath is a 23 year old performer from Toronto. He graduated from the Dramatic Arts program at Brock University in 2017 with a concentration in performance. Jonah has acted in a multitude of theatrical productions over the past seven years including: Play by Samuel Beckett, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny by Bertolt Brecht, The Man in the Case by Anton Chekov and many more. Jonah is ecstatic to be a part of Bygone Theatre’s Loot ensemble and for the personal artistic growth and sheer hilarity that are bound to result from such a fabulous opportunity.
What made you want to be a part of Loot?

I was instantly drawn the hilarity of the plot of Loot. For nearly as long as I’ve been an actor I have loved good comedies and more specifically good english farces. It’s also worth noting that 
have just recently moved to Toronto and I was keen for the opportunity to connect with/work with fellow theatre artists from the city.
How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?

Meadows is an unquestioningly obedient sidekick to Truscott. As a result of his steadfast loyalty to the British police force he remains quite aloof throughout the entirety of the play. I can certainly identify with this to some degree. There have most definitely been times in my life when my unquestioning faith in social constructs have lead me into a state of aloofness.

What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?

Well, I think that the cast that’s been assembled for this production is both infinitely talented and funny. Just being given the opportunity to observe their exploration of the script and their respective characters has been immensely funny and informative as a growing artist.

Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?

At the moment, I’m also working with a group of past peers and professors from Brock University on a devised theatre piece entitled We Who Know Nothing About Hiawatha. This production will explore the extreme societal disconnect between the indigenous population and the rest of Canadian society. This show will be staged at the In The Soil Arts Festival in downtown St Catharines over the course of late April. 
Why should people come out and see the show?
Because it’s hilarious! I also believe that this piece is remarkably relevant to a modern Canadian audience. Joe Orton provides a wealth of commentary on those in positions of authority and social attitudes towards death which I think will most definitely resonate with Toronto show goers. If you’re a fan of either absurdist humour or scathing British commentary then this is the show for you!
Anything else you want us to know?
Come and check out We Who Know Nothing About Hiawatha as well as a variety of other theatrical productions and artistic exhibits at the In The Soil Arts Festival in St Catharines. The festival will run from April 27th to the 29th.
See Jonah onstage March 8-17, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre. Tickets on sale now.

Cast Spotlight: Patrick Young

Patrick Young plays the recently widowed Mr. McLeavy in our upcoming production of Loot; this is Patrick’s first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Patrick retired last year from Sheridan College, where he founded the joint actor-training program with University of Toronto Mississauga and headed it for 25 years. He directed two shows for Theatre Sheridan and twenty-something for Theatre Erindale, from The Importance of Being Earnest and The Maid’s Tragedy to Picnic and Unity (1918). He has also been Artistic Director of Dalhousie Theatre Productions, Associate Director of the Lighthouse Theatre Festival, and Director/Dramaturg of the Muskoka Festival Musical Theatre Writer’s Colony, and is the author of four award-winning biographical plays (three of them with music by Bob Ashley) as well as several adaptations of classics. In his earlier incarnation as an actor, his Toronto credits included the record-breaking hits Flicks, The Relapse, and the original production of Automatic Pilot, as well as Chinchilla and the last national tour of Spring Thaw. Elsewhere the range included Misalliance and Threepenny Opera in Boston, Uncle Vanya and Tobacco Road in Indiana, Windsor in Charlottetown, Dames at Sea in Winnipeg, Hay Fever across BC and Scapin across Ontario, plus guest starring on such TV series as The Great Detective and Night Heat.

What made you want to be a part of Loot?
As soon as I had a chance to re-read it, I knew I wanted to play Mr. McLeavy. So I looked up Bygone Theatre and was pretty impressed. Then I asked to audition and the rest is history.

How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?

McLeavy is a breath of ostensible normality in a world gone mad. With his naïve trust in institutions and authority (at a time when we’re doubting them more than ever!), he throws the point of the play into perspective. And don’t we all wish that we had reason to get that trust back?

What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?

We’re just starting it – it’s getting the play on its feet to explore the possibilities and test the choices. And I love working with my talented cast-mates!

What’s your favourite thing to have come out of the 1960s?

I was at university then so that’s easy: The Beatles! Though I should also mention the beginnings of the sexual revolution. We all benefit from both of them!

Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?

Not yet, but my production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST for Theatre Erindale was chosen one of the Ten Best shows west of Toronto in 2017 – including Stratford and Shaw (!) — by the Ontario Arts Review. I’m definitely game for more acting or directing, but as I just retired from a full-time College Professorship, I’m not in a rush. And I have travel plans!

Why should people come out and see the show?

Because it’s going to be so much fun! It’s so cynical that it’s the perfect antidote to today’s cynicism!

Anything else you want us to know?

Yes – the link to the go-fund-me campaign!

See Patrick onstage March 8-17th, 2018 at the Alumnae Theatre.
Get your tickets now!

Cast Spotlight: Kenton Blythe

Kenton Blythe is playing trouble-maker Dennis in our upcoming production of Loot. You may remember Kenton from one of our Retro Radio Hours, or from his role as Max Halliday in Dial M For Murder, back in 2013.

Renting out a professional theatre and building flats for Dial M For Murder were major costs.
Kenton Blythe and Rebekah Manella in Dial M For Murder, 2013

Bio: Kenton is excited to be farcing around with you and this awesome cast. Selected Theatre Credits include: Grey (Toronto Fringe)[Best Ensemble Nominee My Entertainment World], Heart of Steel (Next Stage Fest.) Cabaret. Juno and the Paycock (Shaw Festival), Evil Dead: The Musical (Starvox Ent. w/ Jeffery Latimer Ent.), Dial M for Murder (Bygone Theatre) Selected Film: Sandman: 24 Hour Diner (Youtube / Vimeo), Reign (The CW), Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War (AHC), Looking For Today (Canadian Film Fest.) Twitter: @KentonBlythe IG: @KentonBlythe Youtube: Kenton Blythe

What made you want to be a part of Loot?

I loved the script when I read it and I always get cast as murders and racists, so a farce is a lovely change of pace.

How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?
Dennis is fun loving, scatter brained, and perpetually horny. Yes.
What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?
Figuring out how to make everything I say sexual in some way. Don’t know if they’ll all make opening night…
What’s your favourite thing to have come out of the 1960s?
The Beatles, and my Aunties (All of them.)
Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?
Check out my youtube channel and facebook page for highlights from the show I wrote and performed at the 120 Diner in November 2017. Conor Fitzgerald (One of the producers of this show) and I made a movie that premiered at the Canadian Film Festival in 2016 called Looking For Today which is also on Youtube. Finally you should check out the Sandman fan film I was in called Sandman: 24 Hour Diner.
Why should people come out and see the show?
We have all the comedy of a corpse without the smell.
Anything else you want us to know?
Here are all my social media outlets, you should totally follow them:
Twitter: @KentonBlythe
Instagram: @KentonBlythe
Facebook: Kenton Blythe (the page)
YouTube: Kenton Blythe
You can see Kenton Blythe onstage at the Alumnae Theatre March 8-17, 2018.
Get your tickets online now.

Cast Spotlight: Sarah Thorpe

Sarah Thorpe plays Nurse Fay in Bygone Theatre’s “Loot”. March 8-17, 2018 at Alumnae Theatre.

Sarah Thorpe plays decent Catholic Fay McMahon in the upcoming production of Loot; this is Sarah’s first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Theatre artist and creative core member of Soup Can Theatre. BAH Theatre from York University. Created and performed in the award-winning one-woman show Heretic, a modern retelling of the story of Joan of Arc, in 2015. Acting credits: Gut Girls (Alumnae), Titus Andronicus (Seven Siblings), Behold, the Barfly! (Spoon Vs. Hammer/TO Fringe 2016/TO SketchFest 2017), The Comedy of Errors (Confidential Shakespeare Project), The Loyalists (Single Thread), Canadian premiere of Bare (Waters Edge), The Nightwood (Luminato), inaugural production of Tomson Highway’s Pimooteewin/The Journey (Soundstreams). Soup Can credits: directing Love is a Poverty You Can Sell 1 & 2 (TO Fringe 2010 & 2013, Best of Fringe 2010, Next Stage 2012), No Exit, Marat/Sade; producing Circle Jerk, A Hand of Bridge/No Exit double bill, Antigone (TO Fringe 2012). Producing elsewhere: Let’s Go! (DMT), Gut Girls, Behold, the Barfly!. Recent recipient of two OAC grants: mentorship in directing with Alan Dilworth through Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program, and a recommender grant through Volcano Theatre to create a play about Maud Wagner, the first known female tattoo artist in the US in the early 1900s. Facebook.com/SarahThorpeArtist • SoupCanTheatre.com

What made you want to be a part of Loot?

I love the satire in Loot. Nothing is sacred. It’s like a Monty Python episode in that way – everything is on the table to poke fun at.

How do you feel about your character? Do you relate to them at all? Share any of the same traits?

Without giving too much away, Faye is a master manipulator but she finds herself in a situation where those skills may not be enough to help her get what she wants. We’ve all been in situations where we find ourselves in over our heads and scramble to try to get the situation back in our control.

What’s been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?

It’s just a really fun room to be in. It’s a farce, so I think it’s important that the atmosphere we work in is light and absurd, in a constructive way of course.

What’s your favourite thing to have come out of the 1960s?

Lots of music: David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground, Marianne Faithfull, I could go on….

Are you working on any other projects at the moment/ What might we have seen you in recently?

I recently received a recommender grant from the Ontario Arts Council (recommended via Volcano Theatre) to create a piece about Maud Wagner: a circus artist who became the first known female tattoo artist in the US in the early 1900s. I’ll be creating this piece with two friends and colleagues, one a circus artist and one a tattoo artist. Once Loot‘s run is over, I’ll be jumping in to that! 

Why should people come out and see the show?

Need a break from reality and a couple of hours to just laugh and enjoy some ridiculous hi-jinks? Get your butts to bygonetheatre.com to get your tickets!

Anything else you want us to know?

I’m not a natural blonde 😉

See Sarah onstage March 8-17th at Alumnae Theatre. Tickets on sale now.