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: Holiday Special – Performer Spotlight – Leete Stetson

Leete has been involved in every one of Bygone’s productions so far, and we hope to keep seeing a lot of him. Most recently he starred in “Dial M For Murder” as Tony Wendice. Leete is also working with AD Emily Dix through his company Theatre Double Take, run by himself and Grace Smith.

Leete Stetson

Leete Stetson

What made you want to be a part of Bygone Theatre’s “Retro Radio Hour: Holiday Special”?
I was contractually obligated to when I killed Santa

  1. What is your favourite holiday movie?
    A Christmas Carol with Buddy Hackett, Robert Goulet and Mary Lou Retton
  2. What is your fondest holiday memory?
    Mom and Mr. Gailey buying a house with a swing in the back yard.
  3. What is your most awkward holiday memory?
    Getting my tongue stuck to a lamp post.
  4. What are you most excited for in regards to “Retro Radio Hour”?
    Matt carving the roast beast.


Don’t miss Leete’s hilarious antics! Come see him and all the gang on Saturday November 30th; check the event page for details.

Friends of Bygone – Theatre Double Take – Barely Staged Reading Series

Artistic Director Emily Dix will be working closely with the Theatre Double Take team the next few months while she stage manages TDT’s  “Madeleine Robin Known as Roxanne “. But first, TDT presents part of their Barely Staged play reading series; Artistic Director Grace Smith tells us all about it.

swtm_poster_smallWhat is your role with Theatre Double Take and the Barely Staged Reading Series event “Stalwart Women and Tempestuous Men”?
For Theatre Double Take, I am the Artistic Director and co-founder.

For “Stalwart Women and Tempestuous Men”, I am first and foremost the producer! I also, along with Theatre Double Take’s GM Leete Stetson, selected the plays we’ll be reading. Technically, I think also count as Director for this event, to the extent that a staged reading can be said to have a director…

Give us Theatre Double Take’s history – how and why did it get started?
I’ve always had a fascination with literary and dramatic adaptations, whether they be drastically adapted new works or just a framing device or production concept that casts a new light on the original. I loved analysing adaptations, I love seeing how the tiniest change from one medium to the next can have huge thematic ramifications, and I just love seeing a new take on older source material. As such, in my own writing and producing, I’m drawn finding ways to incorporate classic works, historical materials, and well-known characters.

The seeds of Theatre Double Take began many years ago in Halifax, when I wrote, directed and produced a modern adaptation of Euripides’s Hippolytus for the Atlantic Fringe Festival. This was under the production company name ‘Cilantro Dream Theatre.’ The play wasn’t very good (neither was the company name). Fast-forward to Toronto in 2012, I started working on an adaptation/mash-up of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, once again using the ‘Cilantro Dream’ name for lack of a better one.

I soon realized that adaptations were my thing, and deciding that Cilandro Dream Theatre was a rather silly name, fellow co-founder Leete Stetson and I settled on Theatre Double Take. (We both claim it was our idea).

As a graduate student, I also dig how you can incorporate research or a ‘thesis’ into adaptations. For me, this company is a great way to merge my scholarly and creative pursuits.

Give us a quick run-down of “Stalwart Women and Tempestuous Men”
You’ll come in, get some free noms and drinks, chat with other theatre folk. Then, over the course of about 90 minutes we’ll present two one-act plays: first “Lake Doré” by J.E. Middleton, and then “The Second Lie” by Isabel Ecclestone McKay. There will be room for discussion after both plays have been read, as well as general socialization. All in all, it’ll be a low-key, chill sort of event; late-comers are welcome, you can eat and drink while listening to some rarely heard plays – what’s not to enjoy?

As far as my research shows, there hasn’t been a production of either of this plays in some time (they were first performed in 1930 and 1920, respectively) so this is a rare chance to hear them out loud!

What has been your favourite part of working on “Stalwart Women and Tempestuous Men”?
Looking through old anthologies of plays to select a couple for reading was great fun! We found a few really bizarre ones before settling on “Lake Doré” and “The Second Lie,” some of which we’ll probably use for future Reading Series events. One 19th century play I found began with a character being pushed off a cliff!

Also, getting to talk to our cast about the scripts has been great; they’re a smart bunch!

Any fun rehearsal/performance stories or anecdotes you’d like to share?
Well, it’s a reading so not much rehearsal involved… but there have been some fun coincidences with the cast!

First, about have of the cast is people we know from the Dalhousie Theatre Department, from which both Leete and I graduated. So, it’s been a reunion of sorts.

Ken MacAlpine, who is reading in both plays on the 29th, also played the lead in that Hippolytus adaptation way back in Halifax years ago… so he’s been there, in a sense, since the very beginning!

We also had one actress unfortunately drop out (due to totally respectable reasons, and she was very apologetic). Leete and I said to each other, “What about Claire St-Francois?” who we knew from Dalhousie and I had just learned was living in Toronto. I told myself I would email her next time I had a free moment, and then went about my day. Wouldn’t you know it, just that night I ran into her at a show! Luckily, she said ‘yes’ and has been a great addition to our reading cast.

Where and when can everyone see the show?
8pm on October 29th, at The Box (98 Niagara St, near Bathurst St and King St W).

Anything else we should know?
The 1921 Hart House production of “The Second Lie” starred none other than Vincent Massey, later to become the Governor General! I’ve posted that fact in a couple places, but I keep bringing it up because I think it’s pretty neat.