Retro Radio Hour – Winter Wonderland

Retro Radio Hour – Winter Wonderland is just around the corner! This is the 7th in our radio series, another fun-filled evening of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic & a Christmas sale all in support of our mainstage season. The show is playing at the Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas St. E (Yonge & Dundas) Friday November 27th; doors open at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door.

This month’s show features…

Elizabeth Stuart-Morris – Bygone’s Chair
Elizabeth makes her Bygone performance debut this week. Come see the lovely lady who’s been hard at work behind the scenes. You may have seen her in other performances in Toronto, like the recent Summerworks production of Seams.

Leete Stetson – Bygone’s Vice Chair & Past Performer
Leete has been a part of Bygone since its beginning. He starred as Tony in Dial M For Murder and as Brandon in Rope, as well as having participated in past radio shows.

 Emily Dix – Bygone’s Artistic Executive Director
Emily usually works behind-the-scenes, directing and producing Bygone’s shows, but she has performed in every one of our radio shows to-date.

Matt McGrath – Bygone Founding Member
In addition to working on the production side of Bygone’s shows, Matt has been seen onstage in previous radio shows, and as Kenneth in Rope.

Ian McGarrett – Past Performer
Ian made his acting debut as Thompson in Dial M For Murder and since then has been a staple of Bygone’s radio series. He also played the role of Dr. Kentley in Rope.

Leigh Beadon – Past Performer
Leigh has been involved in the last few radio shows, performing his incredible magic/mentalist routine!

Michael Zahorak – Past Performer
Mike first joined Bygone as the composer for Kill Sister, Kill. Since then he has performed for several of our radio shows.

#BTradio #WinterWonderland

Advertisements

Rope: Opening Weekend

On Friday Rope opened to a packed audience; our Opening Night Gala was a hit and the show was a smashing success. I’m so proud of all those who have been involved and it was wonderful to finally see everything fall into place onstage. This Saturday November 22nd we have two performances; a 2:00pm matinee, which as of late Friday night is 78% sold out and a 7:30pm evening show, which is currently 93% sold out. It’s great to have such full houses and we open the show is received well!

If you would like to get tickets to this weekend’s performance, check out TOtix.ca. Tickets can be purchased online up to 2 hours before the event. After that, tickets can only be purchased at the door; cash only, please.

If you are unable to join us for opening weekend, not to fear! Next Friday November 28th we have a 2:00pm PWYC matinee for Arts Workers and a 7:30pm performance. On Saturday November 29th we have a 2:00pm matinee and we close that evening at 7:30pm.

All photos courtesy of the talented Danielle Son; check out her website here: http://www.logosphotography.org/.

To see the rest of the production stills check out our facebook page.

More updates coming soon!
-E

“Rope” Opens in One Week!

On September 15, 2014, the cast of Rope met for our first read-through. After a single reading, I knew I had made the right casting choices. We had an incredibly talented group of actors, and thankfully, everyone got along from the start.

First read-through, September 15, 2014

First read-through, September 15, 2014

We got into rehearsals right away, and quickly started making interesting discoveries about the text. The onstage chemistry grew fast, and offstage new friendships started to form.

10710604_512572048879300_5753244984142753518_n

We put together an awesome fundraiser, Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! and got to see everyone’s comic side.

Jamieson Child, Nicholas Arnold, Emily Dix & Caitlin Robson

Jamieson Child, Nicholas Arnold, Emily Dix & Caitlin Robson

And a glamourous side as well.

1796741_522986401171198_957593629920706136_o

Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! cast

As the show progressed, and intensity grew, I started to get really pumped about the show. Despite seeing scenes over a dozen times, these guys were giving me chills. I knew we had something great.

In one week we will open at the Gibson House Museum. It has been 2 months of hard work but it has certainly been worth it. Don’t miss your chance to see this amazingly talented cast; Leete Stetson, Nicholas Arnold, Jamieson Child, Chelsey MacLean, Matt McGrath, Ian McGarrett, Elizabeth Rose Morriss and Caitlin Robson.

Join us for our opening night gala at 7:00pm on Friday November 21; show starts at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance through TO Tix.

-E.

Rope – Cast Spotlight – Leete Stetson

Leete Stetson has worked on every Bygone show to date; he was music director and part of the choir in Doubt: A Parable, played Tony Wendice in Dial M For Murder and has performed in each of the Retro Radio Hour shows. Leete joins us again as the sinister Brandon Wyndham in Rope.

1. What first attracted you to  Bygone Theatre and this production of Rope?
The lovely and talented Emily Dix. To date, I think I’ve been involved in just about everything Bygone Theatre has done. Emily and I have many interests in common, one of which is Alfred Hitchcock who did a film adaptation of this play.

2. What challenges have you faced/OR/ what is your favourite part of working on a site-specific play that runs in real time?
My favorite part of working on play that runs in real time is that you don’t have to make up what happens to the character in between scenes. The biggest challenge of working on a play that runs in real time is that you don’t get to make up what happens to the character in between scenes.
3. What have you done to prepare for your role?
I’ve sat in the dark late at night and had deep conversations with the air about death and the futility of existence. Then, I’ve turned on the lights and read the script until I could say almost all of my lines in the right order.
4. What has been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?
I like the parts where I’m waxing philosophic with Rupert/Jamieson Child. He’s a good listener. My second favourite part of the rehearsal process is yelling at Emily when I disagree with her.
5. Why should everyone come and see Rope?
It’s not very often that you get to see a play in as beautiful a location as the Gibson House museum. It’s not very often that you get to see a play whose scope is as pinpoint-focused as one room, one evening. It’s not very often that you get to see a play with as talented a group of actors as Nicholas Arnold, Jamieson Child, Caitlin Robson, Elizabeth Rose Morriss, Matt McGrath, Chelsey MacLean and Ian McGarrett

 

Want to see more of Leete? Get your tickets to Rope through TO Tix.

Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! Wraps Up at the Black Swan Comedy Bar

A huge thank you to all those who came out to Retro Radio Hour – Suspense! Thursday night. The show was a huge success and it was great to get the talented cast of Rope up onstage.

Check out our youtube channel for video footage of the night, and be sure to come support the cast again when we mount Rope at the Gibson House Museum this November!

 

Say Hello To The Cast of “Rope”!

This weekend we had our auditions for our November production of Rope; what an amazing group of talented people! Some tough decisions had to be made but it’s made for what I’m sure will be a stellar cast. So say hello to the cast of Rope!

Leete Stetson as Brandon Wyndham

Leete Stetson

Leete Stetson

You may remember Leete Stetson as Tony Wendice in last August’s production of Dial M For Murder.

Bio: Last year, Leete Stetson played Tony Wendice in Bygone Theatre’s production of Dial M for Murder, and assisted with Doubt and the Retro Radio Hour series. Despite what you may assume from his previous work with Bygone, he has murdered hardly any people. Leete is also the General Manager of Theatre Double Take and one third of the creative force behind the comedy/mystery podcast Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre. In his spare time, he serves you coffee.

Nicholas Arnold as James Kelly

Nicholas Arnold

This is Nicholas Arnold’s first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio:  Nicholas Arnold is an award-winning writer, director and producer in the film industry as well as a professional actor in theatre and film. Nicholas produced his first documentary at the age of 14 and followed that with his feature directorial debut, “The Vicious Circle,” a film on bullying and hatred, by the time he was 17. Recently, Nicholas premiered his second feature film, “William’s Lullaby,” this time focusing on depression and grief and how it affects child-hood development. As an actor, Nicholas was awarded the Bancroft Theatre Guild Award for Acting Excellence for his 2008 portrayal of “Sparkle” in Judith Thompson’s gritty drama, Habitat. He has also toured Ontario with his one-man show, A Tribute to Jerry Lewis and in 2012 toured the Southern US in The Best of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

Jamieson Child as Rupert Cadell

Jamieson Child

Jamieson Child


This is Jamieson Child’s first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio: Jamieson Child is an actor/ filmmaker/ playwright and graduate of Ryerson University’s Film Studies program. He has directed, co-written, and appeared in three shockingly funny shows created with his brother, one of which, Kill Sister Kill, premiered to startled reviews at the 2013 Toronto Fringe. Some past theatre credits include Cosi and You Are Here (Alumnae Theatre), and Orsino in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Ruckus Magazine). He is an original member of the New Drama Company (www.newdramacompany.com). This is Jamieson’s first experience on stage with Bygone Theatre. He is very pleased to join such great company for Rope. Enjoy the show.

Chelsey MacLean as Leila Arden

Chelsey MacLean

Chelsey MacLean

This is Chelsey MacLean’s first Bygone Theatre production, however, she worked with director Emily Dix back in 2007 on a play called Stalls.

 Bio: Chelsey MacLean is thrilled to make her Bygone Theatre debut in the role of Leila Arden. Past credits include Theatre Sheridan: Make-Up Artist in Merrily We Roll Along, Dance Ensemble/ Swing in Chicago, Bessie Bletcher in Colours in the Storm and ensemble in Oklahoma! The Singer’s Theatre: Mimi Maquez in Rent and Yvonne in Miss Saigon. Chelsey is a recent graduate of the Sheridan Music Theatre Performance Program and is grateful to her Sheridan family of faculty and friends.

Matthew McGrath as Kenneth Raglan

Matt McGrath

Matt McGrath

Producer Matt McGrath is thrilled to be acting in his first Bygone production!

Bio: Matt has been acting on stage for over a decade; for five years he performed in productions with the Youngest Shakespeare Company. He attended Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts for their drama program, and graduated from U of T with a degree in Cinema Studies and English.

Selected Stage Credits: “Excuse You” (Theatre On A Though/Toronto Fringe); “Young Frankenstein” (Alexander Showcase Theatre); “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” (Hart House Theatre); “Absolute Alice” (Stratford Factory Productions/Toronto Fringe); “Hairspray” (St. Michael’s College); “Pigeons In Love” (InspiraTO Festival); “Arsenic and Old Lace” (Victoria College Drama), “The Philadelphia” (Victoria College Drama).

Ian McGarrett as Dr. Kentley

Ian

Ian McGarrett

You may remember Ian McGarrett (by voice at least) from Bygone’s production of Dial M For Murder; he played Thompson and all the voices on the phone and radio.

Bio: It was my grandmother who instilled in me an interest in theatre. I can remember when I was seven or so, acting out improvised scenes with her based on bits from The Beverley Hillbillies in which she was Miss Hathaway and I was Mr. Drysdale. My grandmother was a schoolteacher and introduced me quite early to Shakespeare, reading from The Merchant of Venice, Portia’s speech about the quality of mercy and all that glisters etcetera. Although I maintained my interest in theatre and even did some volunteer work at the Tarragon and Factory Lab but owing to inordinate stage fright we have to skip fifty years before I first appeared on stage. Three words. “Sir. Yes, sir!” but for that I got to take a bow and I was hooked. I next auditioned for Nuts and got a callback, hoping to play the court’s security guard or maybe the stenographer, only to be surprised when the director asked me if I was okay with playing the District Attorney. That’s fairly well up to date, not much of a bio and all I can say is… still hooked.

Elizabeth Rose Morriss as Miss Kentley

Elizabeth Rose Morriss

You may remember Elizabeth Rose Morriss from our Retro Radio Hour. She also worked with director Emily Dix on the Newborn Theatre production of Noble Savages several years ago.

Bio: Elizabeth Rose Morriss has degrees in Music Theatre (Acadia University) and Education (Nipissing University). She has been involved with the Civic Light Opera Company since 1999, playing roles including Magnolia in Show Boat, Marsinah in Kismet, and Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes. Elizabeth has appeared in the Toronto Fringe Festival in Lord of the Rings: the Musical: the Musical (2007), SQUAT: A Super Secret, Back-Alley Musical (2013), and Group Therapy (2014). Other credits include the two-person comedy Romantic Fools at the Queen Elizabeth Dinner Theatre, Newborn Theatre’s 2012 Odds & Ends Festival at the Tarragon Theatre (with director Emily Dix), a recurring role as Mina in Dracula at Casa Loma, and Bygone Theatre’s 2013 Retro Radio Hour. Elizabeth is thrilled to be working with Bygone Theatre again!

Caitlin Robson as The Maid

Caitlin Robson

Caitlin Robson

This is Caitlin Robson’s first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio: Caitlin Robson is a Toronto-based emerging artist. Recent acting credits include Anna in Karenin’s Anna at Toronto Fringe (Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Production and outstanding Ensemble, NOW Magazine; Fringe Highlight, The Torontoist); Judith in Equivocation, Persephone Theatre (nominated for eight SAT awards) Caitlin is also an experienced drama instructor, and an independent director and producer. Thanks to her friends and family for all their love and support!

Production Crew
Emily Dix – Director

Emily Dix

Emily Dix

Our Artistic Director is going to be directing this production; she has directed all Bygone Theatre shows to date.

Bio: Emily is a founder member and the Artistic Director/Producer of Bygone Theatre. She has worked as an actor, director, stage manager and designer. In August of 2014 she traveled to New York with Promise Production to stage manage their production of “No Visible Scars” for the New York City International Fringe Festival. Emily is in charge of all of Bygone’s artistic decisions, as well as marketing and promotion.

​Selected Directing Credits: “Festival of Dance” (Hart House Theatre); “Dial M For Murder” (Bygone Theatre); “Festival of Dance” (assistant director, Hart House Theatre); “Revelation” (assistant director, New Ideas Festival, Alumnae Theatre); “Doubt: A Parable” (Bygone Theatre); “Plasterface” (Newborn Theatre); “Noble Savages” & “Children Don’t Cry” (Newborn Theatre, Odds & Ends Festival); “Pigeons In Love” & “Bucket” (InspiraTO Festival); “The Night of the Iguana” (assistant director, Hart House Theatre); “Hairspray” (St.Michael’s College); “Arsenic and Old Lace” (Victoria College Drama Society); “Stalls” (Sears Drama Festival); “Liars” (Sears Drama Festival).

Devon Potter – Stage Manager

Devon Potter

Devon Potter

Devon Potter is our stage manager for Rope; this is her first Bygone Theatre production.

Bio: Devon is a Toronto-based Stage Manager, Producer, theatre reviewer, writer and sometime performer who has been involved in theatre for the better part of two decades.  When not doing or reviewing a show, she spends her time watching Indie films and dreaming of life in Paris.  Selected credits include:  As Stage Manager:  Parade (StageWorks Toronto), South Pacific, My Fair Lady (Scarborough Music Theatre), Miss Caledonia (Lunkamud/Summerworks Theatre Festival), The Cat of Kensington (Cats in the Cradle/Toronto Fringe Festival FringeKids!), A Quest of Character (Kid-Safe Productions/Toronto Fringe Festival FringeKids!).  As Co-Producer:  Nine (Scarborough Music Theatre).  As Production Assistant:  The Canadian Premiere of Martin Crimp’s The City (Actors Repertory Company).

Friends of Bygone – Aria da Capo: Rewired

1425202_714023341996008_1435630822043045471_oLast night was the opening of the original play, “Aria da Capo: Rewired”. As we won’t have a chance to see it until closing, I thought I’d do a quick write up now.

Location: Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace
Date & Time: May 15-17, 8:00pm, Saturday May 17, 2:00pm
Tickets: available here www.artsboxoffice.ca OR call: 416.504.7529. $15 general admission, $10 for arts workers.

Synopsis: Welcome to the entertainment, a fast-paced high-stakes comedic wilderness flooding your televisions, laptops, smartphones and brains, every second of every day.

Cast: Kathleen Goodleaf, Matt McGrath, Megan Poole, Jenn Sartor, Will Hofstetter
Directed by: Reg Matson
Lighting Design by: Colin Harris

45 minutes long.

 

What’s The Word, Hummingbird? – New Ways To Contact Us

We’ve got some new email addresses to help keep things organized! Be sure to add us to your contacts!

For Audition Requests & Information:
auditions@bygonetheatre.com

For General Info:
info@bygonetheatre.com

To Contact Artistic Director Emily Dix
emily@bygonetheatre.com

To Contact Producer Matt McGrath:
matt@bygonetheatre.com

Our old address, bygonetheatre@hotmail.ca is set up to forward to our new one, so no worries if you forget, but in time we’ll phase that out, so be sure to get our new emails in your contact list!

Cheers,
E.

Dial M For Murder – Crew Spotlight – Matt McGrath

Matthew McGrath is one of the Producers for “Dial M For Murder” and is a founding member of Bygone Theatre. He produced “Doubt: A Parable” and performed in “Retro Radio Hour”.

Producer Matt McGrath

Producer Matt McGrath

Bio:

Matt Mcgrath has been acting on stage for over a decade. He attended Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts for their drama program, and graduated from U of T with a degree in Cinema Studies and English.

​Selected stage credits; “Excuse You!” (Theatre On A Thought/Toronto Fringe); “Young Frankenstein” (Alexander Showcase Theatre); “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” (Hart House Theatre); “Absolute Alice” (Stratford Factory Productions/Toronto Fringe); “Hairspray” (St. Michael’s College); “Pigeons In Love” (InspiraTO Festival); “Arsenic and Old Lace” (Victoria College Drama).

1. How did you get started with Producing?
I started a company and gave myself a fancy sounding title.

2. What is your favourite part of the creative process?
Watching the actors grow into their characters.

3. What are some challenges you face working as a Producer?
Finding a boat load of money so we can put on the best show we possibly can.

4. Any advice for other people looking to pursue Producing?
Find several wealthy benefactors asap.

5. What are you most excited for in regards to “Dial M For Murder”?
Getting to see a talented group of actors perform in front of a beautiful set at the lovely Robert Gill Theatre. Don’t get much better than that.

Review: Excuse You! – Theatre On A Thought, Toronto Fringe

Last night I went to see the opening of Theatre On A Thought’s “Excuse You!”, written and directed by Bryce Alexander Dudley and performed at the George Ignatieff Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe. The play is a collection of customer service horror stories, loosely linked together through an over-arching plot about a bunch of theatre employees; it runs about 90 minutes.

“Excuse You” was a fairly typical Fringe experience for me; the script needed some work, and the show felt a little under-rehearsed, but the actors were funny, enthusiastic, and seemed thrilled to be performing.

The structure of the play was a little odd; the concept of an over-arching story to link various anecdotes about customer service in general was good in theory, but wasn’t executed as smoothly as one would hope. There were however, a few stand-out moments.

Matt McGrath as Stephen was hilarious. His monologue about the horrors of cleaning the woman’s bathroom was one of the highlights of the show. McGrath had excellent comedic timing and a great stage presence. He also played some of the stronger roles in my favourite part of the show; the bar scene.

One of the play’s strongest scenes was where the actors swept around the stage in a flurry of different characters, each appearing with a one or two-line joke before switching out and reappearing as someone new. This was where their actor abilities shone brightest; each character, despite very minor changes in costume, was distinct and amusing. Kudos goes to Peter Nicol who had some of the funniest parts, and skillfully played both young and old characters.

Erynn Brook was unfortunately given a rather unlikable character, Deborah, the typical “bitch” staff member, who in this play lacked the redeeming qualities such a role usually relies on. Despite this, Brook was funny, had strong comedic instincts, and wowed the audience with several perfect accents, something that is rarely seen in amateur theatre.

In stark contrast was the character Michelle, aptly played by the bubbly Heather Sande. While the part of Michelle was two-dimensional and a little dull, Sande stood out in the smaller roles, especially as the aloof drunk-girl dragged to the theatre by her irritating mother. Her energy onstage was contagious, and helped to push along some of the slower moving scenes.

Rhonda, played by Sarah Cervinka was the most believable of the main-plot characters. As the jaded, tired, wannabe-writer, Cervinka best captured the dry humour and sarcasm the role required. Her part as the overweight restaurant patron who demanded to know the ingredients in every item, was also a highlight.

Finally there was Chai Lavie as Tony. While Tony was more of a caricature than most of the other main-plot characters, Lavie’s physicality made him a joy to watch.

Overall the show’s greatest weakness came from a general sort of “messiness”. Actors bumped into the set, took a little too long setting props, exited too slowly, and the lights were poorly aimed, making it difficult to see a lot of the action clearly. However, Dudley has clearly assembled a talented cast, as each actor had moments of brilliant comedy and I did find myself laughing at much of the show.

If you’ve ever worked in customer service, or if you’re just looking for a good laugh this Fringe, this is one I’d recommend.

-E.

Check out their website at ExcuseYouToronto.com

SHOW DATES:
July 4, 8:15pm
July 5, 3:00pm
July 7, 10:00pm
July 9, 10:30pm
July 10, 12:00pm
July 11, 7:30pm
July 14, 5:15pm

George Ignatieff Theatre.

All fringe tickets are $10 and are available in advance at the fringe tent or at the door, while supplies last.