Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical – Cast Spotlight – Astrid Atherly

Astrid Atherly plays the sinfully seductive Vegas dancer, Kitty!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Astrid Atherly and in Kill Sister, Kill!  I am playing Kitty, Lily’s little ex-stripper sister. I envision Kitty being a restless soul looking for adventure. Tired of small town life, leaves home for greener pastures and ends up in a world of sex, drugs and alcohol, the trifecta of fun right! I feel her time in Vegas wasn’t all fun and games, but puts a happy demeanor because the truth sucks and she doesn’t want her sister to worry about her. I feel that Kitty loves her sister with every bone in her body. Yes, Lily is older, but Kitty’s street smarts lends to a protective side, that when confronted by danger in a grimy bar, protects her sister. I just recently finished playing Martha in Flotow’s Martha. It’s actually a lot of  fun to play such different characters. Going from a Lady in Waiting to the Queen to a Vegas dancer from Kansas, is a challenging and I am finding rewarding.

How did you first hear about the production?  

I first heard about Kill Sister, Kill!  a few years ago when they were at the Toronto Fringe Festival. I worked with Emily Dix, as a volunteer backstage crew at the New York Fringe last year! She told me about this production, found the audition notice and history wrote itself after that!

What has been your favourite moment of the rehearsal process so far?

My favorite moment was being introduced to the timbit song! I also have to say working with Samantha has been inspirational and a blessing. I honestly learn so much from this woman, I felt like I met a long lost sister. Also the fact that we have the exact same ethic background is crazy! I learn so much from this whole cast and seeing people so talented, working together is a great moment in itself.

Tell us about your character – what do you love about her? What are some challenges?

I love how out-going and sensual Kitty can be, but she is also smart and has a heart. She is strong and she doesn’t follow some rule set out for her years ago, she goes by the beat of her own drum. Some challenges I have with her, is Kitty’s death scene and some language within the script. My own personal beliefs are different from that of Kitty’s and I sometimes struggle to bring that as her truth, when it’s not my truth. What make her fun is that she is fun. She doesn’t want to have a care in the world. Things happens and one must move on, but I think she knows sometimes you need to be safe.

Why should people come see the show?

People need to see this show, because of its message. We don’t live in a perfect world, THERE ARE PEOPLE ACTUALLY LIKE THIS IN THE WORLD! The audience may feel uncomfortable at times, but these are very real issues and events that happen still today. You go from being disgusted to laughing in seconds.  To watch the story of a woman, who literally has her world torn apart, and see how she deals and rehabilitate her life is one of the biggest reasons to come. Her story is so powerful, it’s not pretty but life is not always pretty.

Any funny embarrassing rehearsal moments to share?

My pants slowly moving down, during combat practise of my death scene. I just had to lay there and take it!

Want to learn more about the show? Check out the website – www.killsisterkill.com

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Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical – Cast Spotlight – Felicity Adams-Hannigan

Felicity Adams-Hannigan or Fifi as most of us call her plays Kourtney, the hooker, in Kill Sister, Kill!

Tell us about yourself.

I play Kourtney the local hooker. I’ve envisioned her from the beginning as that party girl who came into the city from the suburbs one weekend, and just never took the train home.

This is the first time workshopping a musical for me, and my first time doing an original musical. Before this all of my work has been roles already originated by somebody else. This time I haven’t had anybody else’s interpretation influencing me, and that has been so scary, but so amazing at the same time. That being said, my favourite roles up until now have probably been Rossignol in Marat/Sade (Soup Can Theatre), Young Phyllis in Follies (Wavestage Theatre) and Pinkalicious in Pinkalicious the Musical (Vital Theatre).

How did you first hear about the production? 

I heard about the production through my friend Astrid (playing Kitty) who introduced me to Emily of Bygone Theatre through one of their Retro Radio Hours. I then met Michael the composer and musical director at a theatrical event in the city and he mentioned they were still searching for people and the rest is history. (Found out later at the same event I had met Jamie the director, but I didn’t know that’s who he was at the time). So, moral of the story: get your butt out to events! You never know what cool productions you’ll be hearing about.

What has been your favourite moment of the rehearsal process so far?

Hands down when our lovely director pointed at me and said “this, is a low level hooker”. Hopefully in reference to Kourtney, and not me.Tell us about your character – what do you love about her?

I liken Kourtney to a struggling actress. She knows she’s hooking in the minor leagues right now, but in her mind she’s just waiting for her big break. I’m loving her and mooky because they are much needed comedic relief in a very dark world.

Why do you think people should come see the show?

Because I’m in it, duh??!!
Okay, being serious, the feminist tones of the show appeal to me. I love that it’s a woman taking back the night. This is something I hold dear to my heart the older I get as I do not want my daughters (future tense) to live in a world where they think that if they are out late, or dress a certain way, or talk a certain way that they are asking for any kind of harassment from men.

Any funny rehearsal anecdotes to share?

When I sing high above the staff, I’ll admit it’s a challenge to even out my vibrato. One rehearsal Heather (Teresa) pointed out that I was an operatic hooker, and now during certain parts of songs I can’t stop giggling when I listen to myself.

Anything else we should know?

Just that this girl can now cross an item off her life “to do” list. NYC stage before age thirty!

Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical – Crew Spotlight – Director Jamieson Child

Jamieson Child is co-writer and director of the show. Here he shares his thoughts on the process so far.

This is my third time directing this frigging show. You think I’d be sick of it by now. I’ve worked on numerous projects in the intervening years since my brother [Drac] and I first put on the earliest version of this show back in 2010 when it was nothing more than a very serious joke–but whether I’m acting, writing, or directing some other thing, I just keep coming back to Kill Sister, Kill!. I think we’re a little obsessed with our own idea and get too much joy freaking out an audience with new challenging material, mostly using humour and shock. I hate watching a lot theatre, but there is so much potential in the live format to grab people in their seats and give them a good shake, so this is me being a pissed off spectator wanting something entertaining out of the experience if I’m going to leave my house and spend more than $20.

A lot has happened since that first show and this time we’ve managed to assemble an amazing crew of very talented artists with a new perspective. Bygone Theatre helped us get the show back on its feet. Finding Mike Zahorak (Composer) and David Backshell (Lyricist) has launched us deeper into the depravity with more juice than ever before. They gave us the creative power we needed to expand and hear this story in a whole new way; now proudly, a full-length 90 minute musical. *Tears of joy.

However, this is my first time not acting in the show. I leave the character of Ronnie in better hands with Tom [Finn] anyway. So it goes. Taking off my performer cap was easy when he walked into the audition room. That’s how you know when you’re making the right decision out of a hard one…when the answer simply lands in your lap; it’s just following your instinct. I’d love to say that’s how easy my decision making process has been throughout the whole production so far, since I know the track so well, but we’ve changed the story so much, added new characters, big all-cast musical numbers, that I’ve been digging like a fiend into books, watching video, researching, pulling favours asking friends and colleagues for assistance wherever I need it. I’m lucky to be surrounded by a wicked cast who do more to empower me than they know. The true joy is in seeing our material come to life.

As for now, my excitement for taking Kill Sister, Kill! to the NYC Fringe off-Broadway stage is completely stunned by the colossal amount of work that remains to see this show reach the high level of thrilling performance that myself and my team demand from it. Will it be easy? No, but will we kick serious ass and blow minds? We’re ready for it.
I told you I like a challenge.

Kill Sister, Kill! – Cast Spotlight – Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams is starring as the punk low-life, Dagger, in the upcoming production of Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

 

My name is Aaron Williams. I am an actor and vocalist from Mississauga. I studied Philosophy, Religion and Music History at the University of Toronto before starting my journey as an actor. I think has given me a the tools necessary to deal with the multiple existential crisis’ that I’m sure will arise from choosing this career path.

 

How did you first hear about the production?
I first heard of the production through a Facebook forum and sent an email and never heard anything back. I assumed that they had cast everyone. I forgot about the production until one day I received a message from Tea the associate producer who had seen me playing Judas in Hart House Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar and asked me to come down for an audition and was lucky enough to be brought on board.
What has been your favourite moment of the rehearsal process so far?
I have no one favourite moment, though the fundraiser was a great time. Generally rehearsals have been very enriching, being so close to the creation of a show like this with such hard working people has been a highlight. It has given me an opportunity to play a wild, outlandish character who’s evil as all sin, which honestly is the funnest part about acting, creating those dynamics.
Tell us about your character – what has been fun or challenging in playing this role?
Dagger is most definitely a sadist. He takes pleasure in the pain of others, even those close to him. He has absolutely no regard or respect for other humans, whatsoever, and is a villainous junkie fiend. What I like about him is that he’s completely void from concern. He does not give shit, which I can appreciate. Some of the difficulties is bringing myself to simulate some of the actions Dagger has to carry out in the script.
Why should people come see the show?
People should come see the show because it will definitely be one which will keep peoples mouths ajar, while at the same time being comedic and vile yet very very tense. Not to mention how raw and raunchy it is.
You can check out Aaron’s performance August 26-30th at Theatre 80 in NYC. For tickets, go online.

Kill Sister, Kill! A Musical – Crew Spotlight – Writer Drac Child

Kill Sister, Kill! co-writer Drac Child shares a bit about the writing process, and gives us a brief history of the production.

Five years ago, my brother and I wrote Kill Sister Kill, then titled Sister, Sister (sorry Tia and Tamara); it was a simpler, shorter script with less-refined profanity, restrained displays of wanton violence and only five (!) songs. A lot has changed over the resulting period, including yet another version of the script for a 2013 production, an infusion of new music and lyrics and a new cast. Come 2015 and the addition of Bygone Theatre to the production, with an entirely new creative team, Kill Sister Kill is in it’s best shape yet. Imagine the past productions were Tim Allen on a coke bender: disgusting but funny, but looking worse for wear. This year, KSK is Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street: increased stamina, better looks, yet still comically adept and more importantly, revolting.

My brother and I have been at this for awhile now; churning out scripts and making them into viewable entertainment is something we’ve done since childhood. I was tempted to say that the only thing that’s changed is that we fight less than we used to as kids, but that’s patently untrue. But, due to that history, our voices and ideas compliment each other; once the concept for a scene gets rolling, we just keep throwing dialogue at it until we’re both laughing or wincing. Year after year, Kill Sister Kill has always been a challenge, whether it’s tackling musical theatre for the first time, or producing shows with nothing but the small amounts of money in our staggeringly barren bank accounts, but this time, everything seemed to synchronize. The entire production is an assemblage of incalculable madness, but we’re all getting along and turning things around on time and no one’s died yet.

Success.

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