Cast Spotlight: Chris Peterson

chrispeterson

Bio: I’m originally from the U.S. and have been in Canada for almost 5 years. I’ve gone away and come back to acting a few times in my life, including studying at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC and performing in theatre/film projects there before taking a 10-year break to have a “real” job, etc., including 8 years as a Digital Producer (among other things) at Nickelodeon/MTV. After being laid off 2.5 years ago for my second time since moving to TO and my fourth time overall, I decided to return once again to my first love of acting and never leave again. Since then, performances have included August: Osage County (Alumnae), Four Hours (Alumnae New Ideas Festival), Sorry, Wrong Number/The Hitchhiker (Plain Stage), and Alone Together (Scarborough Players).  Starting Thursday after HGF closes, I will also be part of David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof at the Red Sandcastle Theatre. In addition to theatre/film/tv projects, I’m also a puppeteer with The Concerned Kids charity (so if you’ve got kids, book us to perform at their school!). More at chrispeterson.me and facebook/chrispetersonactor.

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

Much of the last couple of years has been spent immersing myself in the TO performing scene and I am always learning about new (to me) theatre companies, etc. Last year I learned about Bygone from the audition listing for their production of Wait Until Dark, but I was involved with the amazing August: Osage County at Alumnae so wasn’t able to submit. This time I happily was.

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

I hadn’t seen the original film, but I’m a definite fan of films from that era and the fast-paced action and humour. I also love the sound and rhythms of the dialogue and transatlantic accent. Even the characters who seem maybe not-so-great in this story are completely lovable, plus any reason to think about Cary Grant is a good reason.

What’s your favourite old movie?

There are still plenty I need to see, but off the top of my head – Singing in the Rain, Funny Face, and Casablanca.

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

Last May I was in a double bill of The Hitchhiker and Sorry, Wrong Number with Plain Stage Theatre, both originally part of Orson Welles’ radio program. Most recently, I was part of Unit 102’s Operation 24 this past December – 6 plays cast, written, directed, learned, and performed in 24 hours – which was crazy and amazing.s

Why should people come and see the show?

It’s funny and maybe even more important lots of fun, it’s got a great (and huge) cast and production team, and these older stories/films are called classics for a reason. Bring your parents/grandparents.

Anything else you want us to know?

Come see the show, and then go see Proof (it won a Pulitzer for a reason, and I get the feels at every rehearsal) either of the following two weekends, and then please keep on supporting local theatre and comedy and dance and art! Also, keep an eye/ear out for the new serial podcast Frequency which should be launching this month.

See Chris onstage March 2-5, and help support him and the show by making a donation through FWYC.

Performer Spotlight: Anuka

Early 20th century Americans (and Canadians) had a taste for the “exotic”, and so bellydancing was a popular act of the Vaudeville stage. While some performers were true bellydancers, hailing from the middle East and other foreign regions, many were simply flappers who realized the audience’s interest in revealing costumes and (at the time) scandalous dance moves. One of the most famous of the era was Margaretha Zelle, better known by her stage name, Mata Hari; she’s one to look up if you like scandal, mystery and intrigue.

Mata-Hari (2)

Mata Hari

As for our Vaudeville Revue, we are lucky to have the very talented, Anuka.

Anuka is a Toronto-based bellydancer. She performs as a soloist and is also the choreographer for her troupe Mirage, creating original dances every year for a variety of shows which have included the International Bellydance Conference of Canada, Ad Astra, Fan Expo, Steam on Queen, and her own productions (Moonlight Mirage in 2014, Twilight Mirage in 2011, Midnight Mirage in 2010 , and Winter Mirage in 2009). 

Tonight Anuka will perform Vintage Oriental Style bellydance. North America developed a unique style of bellydance which mixed influences from many different Middle Eastern countries and the dancers’ own creativity. This style, known as Vintage Oriental Stye or American Cabaret, includes movements drawn from variety of regional dances. The music was mix of popular and traditional melodies from different cultures, including Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish, and Armenian songs. Some distinctive elements of a Vintage Oriental show are veil dances, floorwork, sword dances, and finger cymbals.

www.anukadance.net

Want to see Anuka onstage? Get your tickets to Vaudeville Revue today.

So, Ya Wanna Be In Vaudeville? CASTING CALL

Hey you! Ya, you! Have you ever dreamed of playing the circuit? Making it big on stage? Think you got what it takes to be a star of Vaudeville? Well then you’re in luck – forget those critics, Vaudeville ain’t dead! We’re breathing new life into it this June with Bygone Theatre’s…

VAUDEVILLE REVUE
Alumnae Theatre Mainstage
June 22-24, 2016

We are currently accepting proposals for acts and are looking for the following;

  • Singers
  • Dancers (tap, ragtime), solo or group
  • Comedians (think more sketches than stand-up)
  • Acrobats/gymnasts
  • Magicians
  • Musicians
  • Jugglers
  • Clowns
  • Unique acts

Acts should be 3-8 minutes long and family friendly (keep it PG). We are looking for period appropriate, which for Vaudeville means 1890s-1930s, so keep that in mind when it comes to material, style and music – don’t worry about costumes, we’ll take care of those. Please note, only scripts and songs written before 1935 will be accepted.

At the moment we are looking for people with specific acts in mind; they don’t need to be completely polished, but we want to know what your source material is and your general concept. There may be an open casting call at a later date for those who want to be involved, but that will depend on this round of submissions.

How to apply:

  • Email director Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com with the following;
    • A copy of your source material (ie. a link to or pdf of the script, sheet music etc.)
    • A description of your proposed act that highlights, a. the number of performers, b. any specific materials required (props, set, costumes etc.), c. the approximate length, and, d. a breakdown of what the performance will include (if it’s something like a dance that need explanation, for sketches the script will suffice).
    • Any support materials you may have (video footage of a previous performance, or a self-tape is ideal)

What Else You Need To Know:

  • This is likely to remain a non-union production, but at this stage Equity members are welcome to apply, as we are still working on funding
  • This will be a profit-share production
  • All performers will receive a high-quality, professionally filmed copy of their performance
  • Rehearsals will be in June 2016, with a load-in/dress on June 21, and evening performances June 22-24; matinees TBD

Deadline for this first round of submissions is Friday February 12, 2016, at 5:00pm. 

Spread the word and spread the love – Vaudeville is back!

-E.

Friends of Bygone – Alumnae Theatre

Another lovely company that has donated a pair of tickets to our upcoming Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! is Alumnae Theatre. Their Fireworks Festival is running this November; check out the details here:

FireWorksNowwebThis year’s festival features two new plays and [new this year] a playwrights’ intensive.

BURYING TONI
by Catherine Frid
directed by Ginette Mohr

YOU HAVE TO EARN IT
by Ramona Baillie and Maria Popoff
directed by Jennifer Radford

FIREWORKS PLAYWRIGHTS’ INTENSIVE
with Maja Ardal
hosted by Joan Burrows

November 12-29, Wed-Sat @ 8pm, Sat & Sun @ 2pm Ticket Prices – $15.00 – Sunday Matinees ‘PWYC’ – Festival Price $25.00
Visits www.alumnaetheatre.com/fireworks.html for more information

Check out their website or facebook event for more details.

Dial M For Murder – Actor Spotlight – Leete Stetson

Leete is starring in “Dial M For Murder” as the deviously charming Tony Wendice. Leete has previously worked with Bygone Theatre, both as the music director for “Doubt: A Parable”, and as a performer in their “Retro Radio Hour” fundraiser.

Leete Stetson aka Tony Wendice

Leete Stetson aka Tony Wendice

Bio: Leete Stetson is an alum of the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Dalhousie University, graduating in 2009 with a BA with combined honours in music and theatre. In Toronto, he has worked with Hart House, Alumae Theatre, Charcoal Sketch Productions, Cilantro Dream Theatre and Bygone Theatre, though this is his first time acting in a Bygone show.

1. How did you get started in theatre?
I started acting in highschool, more as a lark than anything, to complement my training as a singer. Throughout highschool, I found more and more that I liked it and wanted to pursue it as a career.

2. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal process?
Rehearsing. Delving into the script and finding connections with the other actors.

3. What are some challenges you face as an actor?
The fact that I’m just not that talented.

4. Any advice you want to give to others pursuing acting?
Anything anybody is willing to teach you, learn that.

5. What are you most excited for in regards to “Dial M for Murder”?
It’s an incredibly fun and funny group of people that I look forward to getting to know better. And also the material is a lot of fun, and I’m excited about finding all those little moments that can be enhanced with looks, gestures and unexpected profanity.