Bygone Theatre’s Youth Production Assistant Program 

Now looking for high school students to join our Youth Production Assistant (YPA) program!

Bygone Theatre is excited to announce our newly expanded Youth Production Assistant (YPA) program. Since 2012, we have welcomed high school students to volunteer on productions, giving them the chance to gain hands-on experience while they earn their mandatory 40 volunteer hours. This year, thanks to sponsorship by Jane Aster Roe (an artist and former YPA), we have expanded this program into a fully-fledged training position which includes assessments, a certificate of completion, and a $400 honourarium to help offset travel costs or time taken away from other jobs or commitments. It is our hope that this training program will give students the chance to see what a career in the arts entails before they make the commitment of attending a post-secondary program or jumping into the workforce. We offer a supportive, encouraging environment which highlights the students interests and needs to create a position that is truly custom-tailored to them. 

This season we will be selecting 2 students for our YPA program. Those who are not selected will still have the ability to volunteer on the production if they so choose. 

Past participants have done things like: 

  • Design and build a key prop piece for a show 
  • Build and paint scenic flats 
  • Learn how to run the tech booth and call the show 
  • Learn how to create props and help track them through a show 
  • Attend rehearsals and shadow the director 
  • Create social media content 
  • Work backstage as an assistant stage manager 
  • Run the concessions or assist with front of house duties 
  • Learn how to create a stage manager’s prompt book 
  • Learn how to build a budget in excel, and how to track finances 

If there’s something you’re interested in that isn’t on that list, let us know! 

Requirements: 

  • Must be enrolled in high school in Ontario (preferably the GTA) 
  • Must be able to attend some rehearsals or events in Toronto (note: depending on the student’s interests, a large portion of this may be able to be completed remotely, however ability to attend some in-person sessions is required) 
  • Must be triple vaccinated against COVID-19 (this is a requirement for all of our cast and crew this season) 
  • Must be passionate about theatre and be considering pursuing a career in the arts  
  • Enthusiastic and willing and learn! 

Assets: 

  • Strong English language skills 
  • Experience in theatre production 
  • Experience using social media for marketing and promotion 
  • Strong organizational skills 
  • Creativity  

In addition to being interested in the typical theatre things (acting, directing, set design etc.) those with the following interests may find this position rewarding: 

  • Visual arts 
  • Fashion 
  • Hair and Makeup 
  • Writing 
  • Business or Management 
  • Mathematics 
  • Construction 
  • Graphic Design 
  • Social Media 
  • Video Production 
  • Crafts 
  • Teaching 

This position will be highly tailored towards the participants interests and skills, so applicants should be honest in their cover letter about what they can bring to the position and what they hope to learn – in-experience is not a drawback! The purpose of this program is to give students hands-on training in a supportive environment and to help them prepare for further training or a potential career in the arts. Students will be taught a wide range of things like how to create a prompt book, call a show, sell and market a show, direction techniques and more, but their own interests and abilities will be what focus the majority of their participation.  A series of short pass/fail assessments will be given to ensure the student has gained or advanced their skills, and they will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the program. 

Diversity and Accessibility 

Bygone Theatre encourages students of all backgrounds, skills and experience to apply: the number one thing we are looking for is someone with an interest they want to pursue. Bygone is run by English-speaking artists, and so the ability to communicate in English is required, however, ESL students are encouraged to apply as we prioritize finding tasks that benefit all involved and many roles will not rely heavily on English language skills. Bygone Theatre prioritizes the selection of marginalized artists, and encourages those who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ2S+ and Mad/Disabled to apply: feel free to share in your cover letter any ways in which you identify, though this is completely optional. To learn more about our commitments to diversity and accessibility, visit our website, bygonetheatre.com/diversity-accessibility. If you will require us to provide any assistive devices for your participation, please let us know in your application.   

We understand that marginalized people sometimes feel as though systemic barriers, or those specific to their identity will prevent them from participating in programs such as these. We highly encourage all those who have an interest to apply, and if there is a concern you have that you worry may disqualify you, please let us know. We are very open to adapting and finding solutions to ensure participation. 

How To Apply: 

Send a 1-page cover letter, resume, and the contact information for 1-2 references to emily@bygonetheatre.com. Your cover letter should focus on what you hope to gain from the program and what areas you are most interested in. Your resume can highlight experience and skills – don’t worry if it’s not robust, listing things like volunteer positions, personality traits (eg. Positive, focused) and any programs you know how to use (from Excel to TikTok!) is all helpful. References should be able to comment on your general attitude and commitment towards projects – teachers, coaches or bosses are appropriate, parents or friends are not. Please be sure to give a brief explanation as to what the relationship is and provide an email and phone number. 

Slots for the YPA are limited due to our limited funding, however volunteer positions are always available. Those who are not selected for the YPA may still choose to volunteer for their mandatory 40 volunteer hours required to graduate. 

DEADLINE IS FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 at 5:00PM. 

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Now Accepting Audition Submissions for The Birds

Written and Directed by Emily Dix. Inspired by the Daphne DuMaurier short story and Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name.

SHOW DATES:

November 25 – December 11 (minimum of 12 performances)

FEE STRUCTURE:

All artists will be given a flat $400 honourarium and will be engaged in a profit-share. If union members are cast the show will be produced under the Equity Collective Agreement.

HOW TO APPLY:

Submit resume and headshot to auditions(at)bygonetheatre.com with the subject “The Birds – Auditions”. Those selected will be asked to submit a self-tape: callbacks will take place in-person at a date and time TBA. All cast and crew must be triple vaccinated against COVID-19 – proof of vaccination will be required along with self-tape submission.

SYNOPSIS:

THE BIRDS is a Cold-War Era thriller that examines what happens when the line between truth and paranoia becomes dangerously blurred. New York Socialite Daphne Daniels is headed to an old family cottage with her brother and husband for a weekend of R&R, but when her husband is unexpectedly delayed and their neighbours turn out to be Daphne’s old flame and his new girl, tensions run high. Things take a bizarre turn when reports of violent bird attacks start flooding the airwaves and the sudden crisis brings out everyone’s deepest fears and darkest convictions.

CHARACTERS:

Daphne: Female, 25-30
A young, recently married NYC socialite who is trying to bring some excitement to her marriage, reconnect with her brother, and stop the boredom of married life from pushing her to do something reckless as she would have in her younger days. Opinionated and outspoken at times, she finds herself following the pack if it seems like it will mean positive attention from those she admires.

​David: Male, 25-35
Daphne’s brother. Sensitive, anxious, and unsure of his sexuality, he has difficulty fitting in. Recently spent some time in the hospital after a botched suicide attempt, which his family brushes off as more of a retreat stay than necessary medical treatment. Attempting to reconnect with his sister who he has not been close to in many years. Feels like he’s on a tipping point.

​Mitch: Male, 30-35
Daphne’s old flame, the picture perfect version of mid century masculinity. His good looks and charm just barely cover his misogyny. Likes to be the hero, but prioritizes his own interests.

​Annie: Female, 20-25
Mitch’s new girlfriend, young and seemingly naive, eager to please and often submissive. The prototypical “girl next door”, she is underestimated by those who first meet her, but is more observant and clever than people give her credit for.

​Hank: Male, 35-50
A rough-and-tumble older man who lives alone in a small cottage and works as caretaker for those who use the houses as summer homes. Initially seems like a “good ole’ boy”, but the years spent living alone make him stubborn and set in his ways in a sometimes disturbing fashion. Old fashioned, well-meaning, but not to be messed with.

Diversity & Accessibility Mandates:

As per our mandates, 50% of all audition slots will be reserved for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour). Please see our mandate in full on our website: https://www.bygonetheatre.com/diversity-accessibility

Will You Be A Booster?

Will you be a booster for Wayne & Shuster?

Will you be a booster for Wayne & Shuster? Bygone is looking for people who want to share their fond memories of the men or their work. If you have something you’d like to share, email us at info@bygonetheatre.com. We’ll be doing a series of short interviews to be posted on our social media channels, and possibly our future documentary. Please share the word!

A Note from Our Artistic Executive Director

A message from Artistic  Executive Director Emily Dix regarding Bygone Theatre’s commitment to diversity and accessibility;

When I started Bygone Theatre back in 2012 my main goal was to produce engaging, character-driven theatre from the early 20th century – there were stories I wanted to see onstage that were only available at big companies, like Soulpepper, Stratford or Shaw, and I wanted something similar but on a smaller, more accessible scale. I set about making theatre with whomever I could find, and focused more on the work than those involved. Now, as Bygone Theatre enters our 9th season, it is clear we need to expand our focus and work harder to prioritize our commitments to diversity and accessibility; simply saying “all are welcome” and using wheelchair accessible spaces is not enough. We need to make concrete, measurable changes in order to better serve our community and our work.

As a company that produces “vintage theatre”, we are in a unique position when it comes to diversity. We have the opportunity to re-examine stories through a more authentic lens, looking at them not from the perspective of turn-of-the-century, primarily white audience members, but through one of historical insight, that acknowledges that the world has always contained diverse communities with fascinating stories, even if they weren’t being published or produced.

Plays from the 1920s-60s often feature racist stereotypes, that or they completely white-wash the story and show no diversity at all. When re-staging these stories it can be easy to fall into the trap of eliminating the overt racism while still maintaining the subvert – colourblind casting, 2-dimensional characters, or tokenism. Does that mean these stories are no longer relevant, or not worth retelling? No. But they do need to be redone. And that needs to be done with care.

While diversity and accessibility have always been important to us, we have admittedly existed in a bit of a bubble. Attempts to engage communities outside of my own have rarely been met with much success, and to be honest, the difficulty in doing this lead to me not making it a top priority. I do the majority of the work for Bygone on my own, and I did not know how to engage people past simply putting the message out there, and I never had time to really learn how.

Then COVID-19 happened.

After the initial upset of coming to terms with the uncertain year ahead of us, we at Bygone came to the realization that this “break” in the regular programming is exactly what we need. We are taking this time to learn and improve, not just as artists, but as people, and a part of the Toronto theatre community. We are listening to the voices speaking out against discrimination in the arts (the #InTheDressingRoom thread on Twitter was eye-opening and deeply upsetting). We are listening to the voices telling us how to be better allies. And we are taking time to make important changes and commitments, and to share that with you now as a commitment to change and accountability. This is not a final comment, it is a series of first steps. As we continue to learn and grow we will readdress these commitments, make more, and do more. I will make these a priority, and am working on learning how to do more. The following statements come from myself, and the Bygone Theatre Board of Directors:

Bygone Theatre believes Black Lives Matter.

Bygone Theatre sees the racism faced by BIPOC communities, believes their stories and stands with them in solidarity.

Bygone Theatre sees the homophobia and prejudice members of the LGBTQ2+ community faces, believes their stories and stands with them in solidarity.

Bygone Theatre sees the women who face sexism and discrimination, the members of the #MeToo movement, believes their stories and stands with them in solidarity.

Bygone Theatre sees the challenges and discrimination faced by Mad/Disabled communities, believes their stories and stands with them in solidarity.

We are making a commitment to support all these communities, prioritize their members and stories in our work, and to continue to work to become better allies. The following is our Commitment to Diversity and Accessibility, as of June 30, 2020.

BYGONE THEATRE DIVERSITY & ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENTS

OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY

Auditions & Casting

  • 50% of all audition slots will be reserved for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour)

  • Our Diversity & Accessibility statements will be included on all audition postings

  • We will begin our casting process earlier than we have in the past in order to make time to submit postings to diverse communities currently outside of our network

  • We will continue to provide character breakdowns that do not include physical attributes or race (unless essential to the story) and will promote colour-conscious casting

  • Casting will prioritize actors that have the shared experience of the character ​​

Rehearsal Process​

  • The first day of rehearsal will include a talk about equity, diversity and inclusion​

  • All cast members will be required to sign a contract that includes a code of conduct which addresses equity, anti-racism and sexual harassment – this will include a clear structure breakdown for a complaint and resolution process

  • Should we produce a show that centres around a character or story about a diverse community, we will hire a consultant or creative team member from that community to address any issues both in the play and the rehearsal room

Production Process​

  • We will prioritize the hiring of female, LGBTQ2+, Mad/Disabled and BIPOC production artists*​

  • We will prioritize businesses run by women, LGBTQ2+, Mad/Disabled and BIPOC folks when purchasing items for our company or productions

  • We will research the companies that we patronize to ensure they have values consistent with our own

*At the time of writing Bygone Theatre is without any consistent funding, and so our productions rely heavily on the support of volunteers. When we achieve a status that allows us regular operating funding we will re-address this and make a more concrete commitment to diversity numbers, but at the moment many roles are filled by our Artistic Executive Director (who often produces, directs and designs our shows) and whomever chooses to volunteer.

OUR COMMITMENT TO ACCESSIBILITY

Auditions & Casting

  • We will provide accessible auditions by prioritizing accessible spaces, and, when not available, allowing self-tapes or other opportunities for audition submission

  • We will clearly state the accessibility issues with any space we use, and will provide accommodation whenever necessary

  • We will clearly state all accessibility issues and potential solutions on all casting and production calls – for example, roles that can be fulfilled from home or that can be completed on a flexible schedule​ will be stated clearly so as to encourage those with accessibility issues to apply

  • We will continue to hold rehearsals in spaces that are accessible by the TTC

  • We will continue to create flexible rehearsal schedules that value actor’s time

Rehearsal & Production Process​

  • We will continue to encourage open communication especially around issues of accessibility, and will provide accommodation as necessary

  • We will continue to provide a judgement-free zone and will consult with cast and crew privately to ensure all of their needs are being met

  • We will provide all cast and crew with a clear breakdown of roles, responsibilities and hierarchy in order to ensure clear communication, and will include protocols for submitting concerns or complaints

Audience & Community

  • We will continue to prioritize accessible performance spaces and advertise possible accommodations

  • We will continue to provide ticket discounts to disadvantaged groups

  • We will continue to offer Relaxed Performances (dependent on show)

AUDITIONS – Bygone Theatre Presents “Loot” by Joe Orton

Apply now to audition for Bygone Theatre’s next mainstage show, Joe Orton’s “Loot”!

It’s that time again! Bygone Theatre is holding auditions for its upcoming production of LOOT – here’s everything you need to know;

THE SHOW
WHAT: 
Loot, by Joe Orton, directed by Emily Dix
WHEN:  March 8-17th, 2018 (11 performances)
WHERE: Alumnae Theatre mainstage
SYNOPSIS: Only hours before her intended burial, the late Mrs. McLeavy is removed from her coffin by her son, Hal, and his best pal, Dennis, who have together just robbed a bank and need the coffin to stash the loot. Absurdity abounds in the dark, 1965 farce that examines attitudes surrounding death, police integrity, and the Catholic church.

This production is non-union, profit-share, and eligible for the Dora Awards.

CHARACTERS
All characters require the use of a British accent and excellent comedic timing.

HAL – early 20s, British, gay, the son of the recently deceased, full of Catholic guilt

DENNIS – early 20s, British, a sexual deviant & an undertaker

FAY – mid to late 20s, British, a nurse, says she’s a devout Catholic, uses her sexuality to manipulate men

MR. MCLEAVY – middle aged, British, a recent widower, old-fashioned, a devout Catholic, concerned about his son

INSPECTOR TRUSCOTT – middle aged, British, the bumbling police detective, not above bribery and violence, embodies every negative stereotype of the police force

MEADOWS – 20s-30s, a police officer (minor role)

AUDITIONS
WHAT TO DO: 
Email director Emily Dix (emily@bygonetheatre.com) with your headshot and artistic resume, and the subject line “Loot Auditions” to request an audition
WHEN: Auditions will be held on Friday December 8th and Saturday December 9th; callbacks TBA.
WHERE: Audition location will be sent to those selected for an audition

REHEARSALS
Will take place in January and February on evenings and weekends. Expect a total of 80 rehearsal hours before getting into the venue (exact schedule is made up after casting to accommodate as many people as possible).

AUDITIONS – His Girl Friday

Bygone Theatre is holding auditions for its March production of HIS GIRL FRIDAY, running March 2-5, 2017. Directed by Emily Dix.

This is a non-union, profit-share production.

HIS GIRL FRIDAY
Screenplay by Charles Lederer
Based on the play “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
Adapted for the stage & additional dialogue by Craig Dix

VENUE
Aki Studio, Daniel Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. E., Toronto
Wheelchair Accessible | General Admission

SYNOPSIS
This iconic screwball comedy tells the tale of Walter Burns, a hard-boiled newspaper editor who learns that his ex-wife, “newspaper man” Hildy Johnson, is going to give-up reporting to marry a bland insurance salesman from Albany. Determined to sabotage these plans and keep Hildy with the paper (and himself), Burns convinces her to cover one last story; the execution of cop-killer Earl Williams. Things quickly spiral out of control and Burns and Hildy find themselves tangled up in the case, and each other’s lives. A hilarious look at the struggle to balance life and love.

AUDITIONS
Bygone Theatre is holding auditions December 2 & 4, 2016. To request an audition slot, please send your headshot and artistic resume to director Emily Dix (emily@bygonetheatre). Those selected for an audition will be given a chance to sign up for a slot. Please note that this is a non-union, profit-share performance.

CHARACTERS
We are casting for the following characters; please note, we encourage submissions from actors of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Some smaller roles may be doubled, as indicated.

Hildy Johnson: female, age 27 – 35
Walter Burns: male, age 30 – 37
Bruce Baldwin: male, age 27 – 35
Maisie/Jeanie: female, age 20 – 25
Diamond Louie: male, age 25 – 40
Duffy/Dr. Eglehoffer: male, age 35 – 60
Pete Davis/Doctor/Deputy: male, age 30 – 60
Murphy: male, aged 25 – 40
Bensinger: male, aged 25 – 40
Endicott: male, aged 25 – 40
McCue: male, age 25 – 40
Warden Cooley /Lieutenant/Policeman: male, aged 25 – 40
Earl Williams: male, age 35 -60
Mollie Malloy: female, age 20 – 30
Sheriff Hartwell: male, age 35 – 60
Mayor: male, age 35 – 60
Joe Pettibone: male, age 35-60
Gertrude Baldwin: female, age 25 – 35

Please visit the show page on our website to download a copy of the script.

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.

CREW CALL – Assistant & Volunteer Positions

Bygone Theatre is currently looking to fill several paid and volunteer positions for our upcoming productions. We have roles available for both experienced arts workers and for those interested in getting their feet wet; high school students may apply for some of these. Check out the details below, and contact Executive Director Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com with any questions.

Want to get involved but don’t see something that quite fits? Give us a shout, we are always happy to meet with new people and find ways to involve those who are interested.

The following positions are open for those looking to gain experience working in theatre, or for those who just like to be involved. Potential roles include;

  • Assistant stage manager
  • Assistant set designer
  • Production assistant
  • Marketing & social media assistant

These roles are open to those with little to no previous experience, including high school students. Students may fulfill their requisite 40 volunteer hours with these positions. Children under 18 will need to provide a signed parent permission form.

How to Apply:
Send a one-page cover letter to Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com, outlining any relevant skills or experience and describing how you would like to be involved, and what you would like to gain from the position.

 

Deadline for crew calls is February 1, 2016 at 5:00pm. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and an appropriate candidate may be accepted before the deadline; early applications are encouraged.

CREW CALL – Wait Until Dark

Bygone Theatre is currently looking to fill several paid and volunteer positions for our upcoming productions. We have roles available for both experienced arts workers and for those interested in getting their feet wet; high school students may apply for some of these. Check out the details below, and contact Executive Director Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com with any questions.

Want to get involved but don’t see something that quite fits? Give us a shout, we are always happy to meet with new people and find ways to involve those who are interested.

WAIT UNTIL DARK – MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION, APRIL 2016

We are currently accepting applications for crew members for our upcoming production of Wait Until Dark. We are looking for the following;

Stage Manager: 
Duties & Responsibilities:

  • In charge of booking rehearsal space & coordinating with cast & crew for all meetings & rehearsals
  • In charge of creating a detailed prompt book and coordinating with the designers and director to ensure all necessary items are purchased and accounted for
  • Assisting the director in rehearsals, taking notes as needed
  • Calling the show
  • Other tasks as required

Skills & Requirements:

  • Excellent attention-to-detail & multitasking skills
  • Reliable access to a method of communication, be it email or phone, and able to provide prompt replies
  • A firm but patient & polite demeanour
  • Previous stage management experience is necessary, experience in a site-specific location is preferred

Tech Director
Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Creating & programming sound and lighting design for the show
  • Working with the director to achieve her vision, while offering creative input and feedback
  • Securing any required technical elements (eg. renting equipment, ensuring there are enough extension cords, securing sound effects, etc.)
  • Coordinating with the stage manager for tech and performances

Skills & Requirements:

  • Creative individual willing to work together with the director in the creation of all technical elements
  • Strong knowledge of technical requirements and programs
  • Preference given to those who are able to assist in running the tech, as well as doing the design and set-up

Set Designer
Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Creating detailed technical designs and orchestrating the creation & load-in/set-up
  • Working with the director to achieve her vision, while offering creative input and feedback
  • Assisting the director & producer with creating a detailed budget for the set that stays within the overall show budget
  • Coordinating with the stage manager and technical designer for the build, load-in and tech, as required

Skills & Requirements:

  • Previous set-design and construction experience
  • Strong knowledge of various building supplies and techniques
  • Able to creatively design and construct a product that fits both the creative design and stays within budget
  • Must be available to build the set and assist with the load-in and strike

To apply, send a brief cover letter and resume to director Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com.

This is a non-union, profit-share production. Lead positions  also include an honourarium; email for more details.

Deadline for crew calls is February 1, 2016 at 5:00pm. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and an appropriate candidate may be accepted before the deadline; early applications are encouraged.

Check out our other blog post for assistant & volunteer positions.