Cast Spotlight: Sean Jacklin

sean-jacklinSean Jacklin plays hardboiled newspaper editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant in the film) in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this is Sean’s first production with Bygone Theatre.

Bio: Sean is a graduate of both George Brown College and the University of Guelph’s theatre training programs. While not acting, Sean also fancies himself a playwright, theatre technician, director and musician. Sean will be appearing shortly alongside Epigraph Collective in their show Don’t Look Back and as part of the Mercury Song series in Bright Lights, City Nights. Recent credits include: Deputy Governor Danforth in The Crucible (Kindling Collective), Eric Birling in An Inspector Calls and Harry Pepper in Barefoot in the Park (The Classic Theatre Festival), The Inspector in The Enchanted, Foigard in The Beaux’ Stratagem, Aristarch in The Suicide, and Augustus Lorton in Lady Windermere’s Fan (George Brown College)

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

I actually heard about Bygone theatre last year when they were putting up Wait Until Dark. I had finished a run of that show the summer before and knew someone in it as well. This production (His Girl Friday) I learned about from Alex Clay. He messaged me saying the show needed another actor and I remember thoroughly enjoying the movie (and always loved Cary Grant) so I joined up!

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

The show is so witty and quick that I had to jump on the opportunity to play Burns. So much of the humour is influenced by the old vaudevillians (The Marx Bros., The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy etc.) and I was practically raised on that so it felt pretty natural to say yes to the show. 

What’s your favourite old movie?


Duck Soup. Hands down the best Marx Bros. film and one that leaves me in stitches every time I watch it. It’s also interesting to note when it was made. 1933, the same year a certain sad wannabe dictator was made chancellor of Germany. The whole movie is a send up of militarism and idiotic diplomacy. A movie well suited to our times as well I’d say (sadly).

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

I’ve worked with the Classic Theatre Festival in Perth, ON for the past 8 years or so on and of, both on stage and off and their mandate is to do the golden hits of Broadway and the West End so there is some overlap between their shows and Bygone theatre’s show. Most recently with them I played Eric in An Inspector Calls and Harry Pepper in Barefoot in the Park. More locally I played Deputy Governor Danforth in The Kindling Collective’s production of The Crucible  back in October and graduated from George Brown College’s theatre program last April, where I performed in Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Suicide, The Beaux’ Stratagem, and The Enchanted.

Why should people come and see the show?

If you love comedy, come to the show. If you want to see a show that stands out above some of its contemporaries when it comes to gender dynamics it is also an interesting piece. Most of all it’s gonna be a fast paced barrel of fun, and nobody should miss out on that.

Anything else you want us to know?

If you are looking for something completely different come to the Mercury Cafe on Queen E. March 10 and 11 for Bright Lights, City Nights. It’s a song series/play that myself and some of my George Brown colleagues have crafted about life in the city and all that entails. It’s a low-key but fun kinda thing. Alternatively I am also working with Epigraph Collective on Don’t Look Back, a verbatim theatre piece centred on the millennial generation and it’s struggles with life, love, and the baby boomers. It’s been incredibly eye opening interviewing different people to get material for the show and seeing how many different perspectives there are on certain issues and also how many similarities in opinions there are.

Tickets are on sale now for His Girl Friday – buy before Feb. 15th to take advantage of our Earlybird Discount.

Cast Spotlight: Ryan Kotack

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You may remember Ryan Kotack from past Retro Radio Hours, or from his role as a Policeman in Wait Until Dark.

Bio: Originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ryan Christopher Kotack studied professional theatre at University of Guelph to then pursue a film/ TV career in Toronto. You may have seen him in shows such as the medieval drama REIGN & science fiction thriller DEFIANCE. His selected film credits include; IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES, ANTISOCIAL 2 & AGAPE. He stars as ASIM in the award-winning short film BOSNIAK, currently screened by AIR CANADA.

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

After enduring many auditions of mine, Emily finally caved in last spring and offered me a small role in Bygone Theatre’s WAIT UNTIL DARK. Clearly, she does not learn from her mistakes. Here I am once again.

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Ryan Kotack in Wait Until Dark

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

The pace. The comedy. The characters!

3. What’s your favourite old movie?

King Kong. One of the greatest love stories ever told about a monkey.

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

I love period pieces. I minored in history in University. My fourth year graduating theatre class produced a war-era collective creation called Sincerely Yours. The story focused on broken relationships in Hollywood, during the United States involvement in WWII, while propaganda movies began to shape America.

Recently, I played a Scottish Military Advisor to the Regent of Scotland in the television show REIGN. They gave me a sword, we had an amazing dialect coach on set. It was such a privilege and I loved it all.   

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Ryan Kotack (far left) in Reign.

5. Why should people come and see the show?

You get a chance to travel to the era of Cary Grant and it is a guaranteed laugh! On a more serious note, the show is very relevant in portraying the power of the press. How does the media shape our reality? Have we progressed or regressed from WWII? 

6. Anything else you want us to know?

I am currently studying the Advanced Meisner Technique under Adrian Griffins. This man studied at the Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City with Sanford Meisner. 

Help support Bygone Theatre by making a donation through our FWYC campaign – all proceeds go towards this great show with a large & talented cast!

Cast Spotlight: Michael Barkey

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Michael Barkey is playing reporter Endicott in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday; this will be his first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio: Michael Barkey, who plays the role of Endicott, is proud to join the cast of His Girl Friday. His most recent theatre role was as Marc in Sandworms! at Alumni Theatre.  His favourite role of 2016 was as Detective Carling in the feature length, sci-fi film Transmission, to be released in 2017.  Michael has trained at George Brown College, Second City, and Armstrong Acting Studios. He is a trained linguist, a licensed electrician, and has held diverse work and volunteer positions around the world.

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

I discovered the casting call for the production on a casting website and applied right away. I didn’t know about Bygone Theatre before this but it’s clearly one of the best companies in Toronto!

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

His Girl Friday is hilarious, see, and I love a good laugh. This is a chance to work on comedic timing, accents, and period specific themes.  The story is well crafted, and has substance and social relevance.  How grand that this is a screwball comedy but also touches on some darker themes such as greed, selfishness and corruption. 

3. What’s your favourite old movie?

At the moment, I’d say “The Big Sleep”.  Of the many amazing film noir stories, this classic stars a hard-boiled detective and has the delicious blend of an intricate plot, an undercurrent of desire and sexuality, and a cynical perspective of human nature that keeps me coming back for more. 

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

This is definitely the first time I’ll be acting in a stage adaptation of a classic film that was itself an adaptation of a play to begin with. What a treat!  

My most exciting recent role is in the independent, sci-fi, noir film “Transmission” due for release later in 2017.  You can find our more about this made-in-Toronto, soon-to-be-cult-classic, at the following website:

www.famousmotionpictures.com/films/transmission

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Michael Barkey in TRANSMISSION, Famous Motion Pictures/ Matthew Scott

5. Why should people come and see the show?

Come to see His Girl Friday for the damn good story and come for the laughs!  Come for the fast-paced passion, deceit, and moral ambiguity. You’ll also get a steamy glimpse into the world of the newspaper business in the early 20th century, with all it’s dubious practices.  Asking questions about the media and journalism is crucial these days and boy, this was quite the chapter in the history of the dissemination of information to the public.  Anything to get the story!

See Michael onstage this March in His Girl Friday – tickets on sale now.

Cast Spotlight: Alex Clay

Alex Clay plays newspaper man McCue in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday.

Bio: Alex studied at the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto, collecting degrees with all his might until he realized that the safest and most stable route for him was definitely acting. Alex debuted as Jason in Guelph Little Theatre’s Rabbit Hole. He then played Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a park somewhere. Next, he discovered the world of acting in short plays with Special Delivery at Theatre InspiraTO festival, Remembrance at Social Capital, and Lifeboat at Small But Mighty Productions. Alex then got his creep on. First, as a dimwitted camera operator turned enigmatic demon in Interview with a Demon, then as a teenage prodigy turned psychopathic murderer in The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb. This summer Alex made his Toronto Fringe Festival debut in Inch of Your Life: Episode 1…stay tuned folks! Most recently, he trekked to Windsor to play Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Alex is thrilled to be making his Bygone Theatre debut with this amazing group of artists.

1. How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?
I do my best to keep up with as many theatre companies in Toronto as I can, so at some point I stumbled upon Bygone Theatre and I really liked their mandate and play selection, so I began following them on social media. I have a few friends who have worked with them in the past as well. When I saw the casting call for His Girl Friday I was excited to see that their newly adapted script was made available. I read the script, loved it, auditioned, and here we are!

2. What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?
There is a strong female lead; Hildy Johnson is badass. It’s a classic screwball comedy. Many of the characters are so self involved that in the context of the play it’s funny, but it’s also a statement that still resonates today about how people can become desensitized by the tedium of their jobs. Media coverage is a hot issue these days and this play provides an insider look at the coverage of a high profile case.

3. What’s your favourite old movie?
This is a really tough one. I’m a huge fan of Hitchcock, including Rope and Dial M for Murder, both of which Bygone Theatre has produced. But if I had to go with one it would probably be Fritz Lang’s mystery thriller M…or Jean Renoir’s pacifist war film La Grand Illusion…or Vittorio De Sica’s heart wrenching Bicycle Thieves. I told you this was a tough one. These three films could probably not be any more different from one another, but they all have really interesting things to say about the human condition. La Grand Illusion is a film about the First World War that subtly reveals the looming danger of Hitler (released in 1937), and Fritz Lang ably shows the dangers of a mob mentality when a child murderer is on the loose, and De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves is partly responsible for breathing life into a new way of filmmaking. This is ground breaking, revolutionary, must-watch material. #selfidentifiedfilmnerd

4. Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?
Around this time last year I was in a new play by Brad Walton called The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb which is only similar in so far as it was set only about a decade prior to His Girl Friday. This script demands a fairly fast paced delivery of the lines, which is something I became accustomed to in working on Massimo Pagliaroli’s Inch of Your Life: Episode 1 at last year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. I look forward to working with Massimo and his great cast and crew on the upcoming instalments in that series.

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Former Bygone member Tom Beattie and actor Alex Clay in The Dialogues of Leopold and Loeb.

5. Why should people come and see the show?
People should see this show because there is nothing else quite like it, certainly not on the stage in Toronto anyway. It’s got humour, mystery, intrigue, and phenomenal period appropriate costume and set design. The tickets are quite affordable and we are performing at a relatively new and up and coming venue, the home of Native Earth Performing Arts, Aki Studio at Daniels Spectrum. Check out Métis Mutt before it closes on February 5th!

6. Anything else you want us to know?
Go to the theatre, if not this show, then some other one (but definitely still consider this one). The performance of a play only lasts 60, 90, 120 minutes, whatever its runtime may be, and then it ends and will never be seen again. You can do a one-month run and no two shows will be the same. It’s alive, it’s breathing and it’s brought to you by talented (often local) artists. I could not be more proud of what I do, and I do it for you. Support the arts!

Cast Spotlight: Matthew Hallworth

Matthew Hallworth plays reporter Roy Bensinger in our upcoming production of His Girl Friday.

Bio: Matthew is a Toronto-based Producer, Writer, Actor, Improviser and Singer. He is a largely supportive member of the Toronto Improv Community both on stage and as a Stage Manager at The Second City. His most notable work is “Fumbled” a short film created as part of the 48 Hour Film Project which he was Producer, Writer and Actor on and won “2nd Runner Up” and “Best Ensemble”.

1. How did you hear about Bygone Theatre and this production of His Girl Friday?
I have been familiar with Bygone Theatre for some time because of their Retro Radio Hour shows, I just had to jump on the opportunity to do a fast-talking 1940’s piece!

2. What made you want to be involved?/ what do you love about the story?
I’ve always had a fascination with classic comedies and as a modern comedic performer; I feel its important to be in touch with these classic styles as so many elements are still very much crucial today. I love all the layers to this work; the love triangle, the sleazy reporters, the big plot changes and the fun of all of it!

3. What’s your favourite old movie?
The Great Dictator (1940) I’m a huge admirer of Chaplin’s work and this one really speaks to me as a brave political satire which mocked Hitler before the world knew him to be a monster. Everyone knows the famous speech at the end, but the film all around is a beautiful work of slapstick and screwball comedy, all the bits with Chaplin and Jack Oakie still make me laugh hysterically. 

4. Have you been in a show like this before? What else might people have seen you in recently?
I was once cast in a slapstick production which unfortunately never came to be! I’m mainly an Improviser and perform throughout the city, I recently Produced and Directed Miracle on the Danforth, an Improvised Holiday Special at the Social Capital. In March you can see me in Round 2 of the World’s Biggest Improv Tournament with my esteemed partner, Sean Browning. 

5. Why should people come and see the show?
The comedy, drama and relationships in this piece are timeless; add to that the presence of a strong female character (Hildy) and, well, this is going to be a great time! 

See Matthew onstage this March in His Girl Friday. Buy tickets now.

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 Holiday Auction

Bygone Theatre’s Holiday Auction is just around the corner! We’ve got something for everyone, with some bids starting as low as $5. Wide range of items including theatre tickets to shows produced by Buddies in Bad Times, Scarborough Music Theatre, Hart House Theatre, Crow’s Theatre and Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre; vintage items from Tucked Away Antiques like signed photos of classic Hollywood stars and vintage movie posters; charming themed gift baskets; getaway packages to New York, Tuscany and Sonoma, and much more!

Proceeds go towards our upcoming production of His Girl Friday, running March 2-5, 2017. This is a big show with a big cast – 18 actors! – and so we have a lot of work to do. Help support local theatre while doing  your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home! Auction runs online from 9:00am Thursday December 8th to 2pm on Saturday December 10th – bid at bygonetheatre2016.eflea.ca.