Bygone Theatre Rentals – Appliances

Bygone Theatre has finally gotten our  storage space sorted, which means we are ready to start renting out some of our great vintage pieces! Take a look at some of our larger items here; all prices listed are before HST. Please note that we are able to negotiate payment structures, and that discounts are available when renting multiple items at once. Email us at info@bygonetheatre.com with any questions, or to place an order; we require a minimum of 3 days notice for all prop rentals.

  1. Vintage Fridge: used in Wait Until Dark, gorgeous late 50s/early 60s white fridge with dusty rose interior. Inside latch has been modified to make for easier opening. Rental Price: $75.00/wk

2. Vintage Stove: used in Wait Until Dark, charming late 1940s white stove with oven.
Rental Price: $75.00/wk

3. Vintage 1950s Ringer Washer: used in Wait Until Dark, white General Electric washing machine with wringer, mid-50s, excellent condition.
Rental Price: $75.00/wk

Bygone Theatre - 1950s Wringer Washer Rental

4. Vintage 1950s Red Mini Fridge: Late 1940s/1950s, bright red mini fridge with chrome handle. Great for a photoshoot, or for a cafe/soda shop look.
Rental Price: $75/week

Bygone Theatre Red Mini Fridge

Stay tuned for much more, including vintage office supplies, props & costumes.

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!

AUDITIONS – His Girl Friday

Bygone Theatre is holding auditions for its March production of HIS GIRL FRIDAY, running March 2-5, 2017. Directed by Emily Dix.

This is a non-union, profit-share production.

HIS GIRL FRIDAY
Screenplay by Charles Lederer
Based on the play “The Front Page” by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
Adapted for the stage & additional dialogue by Craig Dix

VENUE
Aki Studio, Daniel Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. E., Toronto
Wheelchair Accessible | General Admission

SYNOPSIS
This iconic screwball comedy tells the tale of Walter Burns, a hard-boiled newspaper editor who learns that his ex-wife, “newspaper man” Hildy Johnson, is going to give-up reporting to marry a bland insurance salesman from Albany. Determined to sabotage these plans and keep Hildy with the paper (and himself), Burns convinces her to cover one last story; the execution of cop-killer Earl Williams. Things quickly spiral out of control and Burns and Hildy find themselves tangled up in the case, and each other’s lives. A hilarious look at the struggle to balance life and love.

AUDITIONS
Bygone Theatre is holding auditions December 2 & 4, 2016. To request an audition slot, please send your headshot and artistic resume to director Emily Dix (emily@bygonetheatre). Those selected for an audition will be given a chance to sign up for a slot. Please note that this is a non-union, profit-share performance.

CHARACTERS
We are casting for the following characters; please note, we encourage submissions from actors of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Some smaller roles may be doubled, as indicated.

Hildy Johnson: female, age 27 – 35
Walter Burns: male, age 30 – 37
Bruce Baldwin: male, age 27 – 35
Maisie/Jeanie: female, age 20 – 25
Diamond Louie: male, age 25 – 40
Duffy/Dr. Eglehoffer: male, age 35 – 60
Pete Davis/Doctor/Deputy: male, age 30 – 60
Murphy: male, aged 25 – 40
Bensinger: male, aged 25 – 40
Endicott: male, aged 25 – 40
McCue: male, age 25 – 40
Warden Cooley /Lieutenant/Policeman: male, aged 25 – 40
Earl Williams: male, age 35 -60
Mollie Malloy: female, age 20 – 30
Sheriff Hartwell: male, age 35 – 60
Mayor: male, age 35 – 60
Joe Pettibone: male, age 35-60
Gertrude Baldwin: female, age 25 – 35

Please visit the show page on our website to download a copy of the script.

Performer Spotlight: Nicole Byblow

Today’s performer spotlight is on one of our Retro Radio Hour regulars, Nicole Byblow. A trained singer and huge Judy Garland fan, Byblow is performing two songs that (while written in the 1910s) Judy performed in her early films.

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Gene Kelly & Judy Garland performing a Vaudeville routine in For Me And My Gal

Bio: Nicole Byblow is a graduate of the Berklee affiliate Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology program in Nelson, British Columbia. She works in Toronto as a pianist and singer.

Among her career highlights Nicole counts performing at the Juno Awards Industry Gala and recording and performing with Juno award winner Buck 65.

She is thrilled to have had the opportunities, through her involvement with Bygone Theatre, to perform her favourite music from the golden era of show business.

Want to catch Nicole Byblow onstage? Get your tickets online now – only 2 shows left!

Toronto’s Top 10 Lost Vaudeville Theatres

In planning for Vaudeville Revue we’ve learned a lot about Toronto’s former Vaudeville theatres that have disappeared over the years. Whether they were converted into something for a new use or demolished altogether, the are very few Vaudeville palaces still standing in our city today.

Here’s a look at some of the greats that have been lost over the past century.

1. Shea’s Hippodrome

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Shea’s Hippodrome – 440 Bay St., Toronto

When Shea’s Hippodrome opened in 1914 it was Vaudeville theatre in Canada was was quickly deemed one of the top 4 in North America. Sadly, this colossal beauty had a short life;  the Hippodrome was demolished in 1957. For an interesting story about its very unique and very expensive Wurlitzer Organ, check this out.


2. The Standard (The Strand, The Victory, Victory Burlesque)

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The Standard – Corner of Spadina & Dundas, Toronto

The Standard opened in 1921 as a Yiddish theatre and remained a centre of Toronto’s Jewish community until it was converted to a cinema in 1934 and renamed The Strand. In 1941 it was rebranded again, this time as The Victory, part of the Twentieth Century Theatre chain. In 1961 it became the Victory Burlesque, one of only 3 burlesque houses in the city. While the building still remains, the theatre closed its doors permanently in 1975.

3. Shea’s Victoria

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Shea’s Victoria – 83 Victoria St., Toronto

 

The Shea Brothers opened their second theatre, Shea’s Victoria, on the corner of Richmond and Victoria in 1910. This 1800 seat theatre included a projector so that films could be screened in addition to live theatre performances.

4. The Uptown

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The Uptown Theatre – Corner of Yonge & Bloor

Loew’s Uptown Theatre opened in 1920, a 3000 seat sister theatre to The Pantages (currently the Ed Mirvish Theatre). This one as well was created for both cinema and Vaudeville. In 2001, new regulations required the theatre to become wheelchair accessible, something that would have cost about $700 000. Despite community outcries, the theatre was demolished in 2003. Sadly, the ill-advised removal of a structural beam lead to its accidental collapse and resulted in the death of a 27 year old man.

5. The Belsize (Regent, Crest)

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The Belsize – 551 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto

The Belsize Theatre opened in 1927, another venue for theatre and film. Unlike many on this list, The Belsize didn’t turn from live theatre to film, but the other way around. In the 1950s the only theatre of note showing live theatre was The Royal Alexandra (who showed primarily American shows and tours) and many felt that a place was needed to showcase Canadian theatre. In 1953 the venue ceased showing films and was renovated and reopened as The Crest, a live theatre venue. In 1971 films began showing again and in 1988 it was again renovated and reopened, this time as The Regent, a movie theatre that still stands today.

6. The Runneymede

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The Runnymede – 2225 Bloor St. West, Toronto

The Runnymede Theatre opened in 1927 as an “atmospheric Vaudeville”house, the first of its kind in Toronto. The venue was meant to make you feel as though you were transported to somewhere magical and exotic; the ceiling was painted blue and bulbs were lit up like stars, silver and blue lights were projected to give the feeling of clouds. By 1999, the theatre was no longer profitable, even as a 2-screen cinema. The building was purchased by a Chapters Bookstore, and in the conversion they kept and maintained much of the interior. Today, it is the location of a Shoppers Drug Mart, and while it still features much of the original trim and interior facade, there’s something very sad looking about its current appearance.

7. Capitol Theatre

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The Capitol Theatre – 2492 Yonge St., Toronto

The Capitol opened in 1918 and showed Vaudeville acts and silent films. By 1933, the theatre was converted to show only films. The theatre closed its doors in 1998 and remained empty for several years, before finally being purchased, undergoing major renovations and reopening as The Capitol Event Theatre. While the seats were removed and a bar installed, much of the original ornate interior remains, much like it does at the Runnymede.

8. Academy Theatre

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The Academy – 1286 Bloor St. W, Toronto

The Academy opened in 1914, a smaller venue than most on the list with only 410 seats. It’s not known when exactly the theatre stopped showing Vaudeville acts, or when it stopped operating as a cinema, but it is likely to have occurred sometime after the 1960s. The venue still stands, though has not operated as a theatre in years.

9. Variety (Arcadian) Theatre

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The Arcadian (formerly Variety) Theatre – 8-10 Queen St. East

I have significantly less information on this theatre, but it housed in a building built in the late 1880s, and was likely built before the 1920s. In the late 1920s its name was changed to The Arcadian, and it seems that by the 30s it was a cinema and no longer live venue. The theatre closed in 1954 and for some time had a retail show that used the old sign. However, it has since been demolished.

10. Madison Theatre (The Midtown, The Capri, The Eden, Bloor Cinema, Hot Docs Cinema)

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The Madison Theatre – 506 Bloor St. W, Toronto

The Madison has had more renos and new names than most on this list. It originally opened in 1913, an early Picture Palace that also featured Vaudeville acts. In 1940 it was demolished and rebuilt as The Midtown, a cinema; all that remained of the original building were the two side walls. Movie attendance declined in the second half of the 20th century, and in the 1960s it was under the new management of the Famous Players chain and renamed the Capri. In 1973 it was again re-branded, this time as The Eden, and the theatre switched from playing mostly double-bills to a heavily censored “adult”films. Come 1979, Famous Players closed The Eden and re-opened it as The Bloor Cinema, now offering first-run, family-friendly entertainment. Soon the theatre introduced memberships and classic theatre runs, and eventually became a part of the Festival Theatre circuit. In the late 2000s the theatre had a bit of an uncertain future (read more here), but eventually it was bought, renovated, and re-opened as what it stands as today; The Hot Docs Cinema.

Think we missed some important former Vaudeville theatres? Tweet us your suggestions; @BygoneTheatre #VaudevilleRevue

Want to learn more about Toronto’s theatre history? Check out this amazing blog, where I sourced a lot of our material; Historic Toronto.

We may not have a Vaudeville house to perform in, but we’ll have historic acts on our stage and artifacts and more history like this in our lobby; join us for Vaudeville Revue, June 22-24th, Alumnae Theatre. Tickets on sale now.

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Vaudeville Revue – June 22-24, 2016

Cast Spotlight – Andrew Lorimer

Andrew Lorimer plays photographer & ex-marine Sam Hendricks in Wait Until Dark 
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do when you’re not rehearsing for Wait Until Dark?
-WUD is my first real experience being on stage in this city. About three years ago I decided to leave home (Sault Ste. Marie) and begin seriously training for this career. I could go on and on about the events that led to this decision or why I eventually went to theatre school (wait, why did I do that?) but I’ll spare you that topic for now.
When I’m not rehearsing for the show, I watch a lot of baseball. No, I’m not a Blue Jays fan….and we’ll just leave it at that. I also watch Netflix, listen to podcasts, fantasize about owning a dog, read, and cook (I am half Italian you know, so it’s in the blood).
2. How did you hear about the show? What made you want to get involved?
-I heard about this show through social media and knew I had to get involved once I read the script. To me, this script has the feeling of a Hitchcock film. When you combine that with the 1960s New York setting, it’s too good to pass up.
I am also a huge Bruce Springsteen fan (I’ve been to almost 15 of his concerts) and the text mentions the city of Asbury Park, NJ several times. This city is essentially a place of worship for his fans (his very first album is “Greetings From Asbury Park”). The playwright could have picked any city in Jersey and chose Asbury Park. It was a sign for me to audition.
3. What has been your favourite moment in rehearsal so far?
-A few weeks ago we held a “Retro Radio Hour” fundraiser. The actors in the show (including myself) had a chance to read radio plays from the 50’s in front of an audience. What can be greater than that?! Oh, right. Add in the fact that these actors were doing this at a bar.
4. How do you prepare for playing a role like Sam? Have you done a similar role in the past?
-I’ve always felt a connection to the city of New York, especially during the 1960s. A large amount of the art I absorb has some connection to that city and time. In theatre school, we performed a children’s show set in both. It’s one of the most wonderful memories I have from that point in my life. I remember listening to ALOT of Hendrix, Motown, etc during that time to capture the “spirit of the 60s”.
5. Why should everyone come see the show?
-Like I said earlier, if you like the tension of Hitchcock’s films you’ll love this production.
6. Anything else you want to add?
– Next up for me is “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (Bard in the Park) followed by “Hairspray” (YES Theatre).
I wouldn’t be here today without the support, mentorship and love from the following people that I would like to thank (since this is my first show in Toronto): Theatre SMC, Jack W, Anna M, Mom/Dad, the 6CP and, most of all, Kelsey.
Catch Andrew onstage April 14-16th at Tarragon Theatre. Tickets selling fast, buy yours today at waituntildarkto.bpt.me.

Cast Spotlight: Abby Strachan

1.Tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do when you’re not rehearsing for Wait Until Dark?

I recently turned fifteen and am in grade nine. At my high school I major in Drama as well as taking Advanced Placement courses in order to challenge myself academically. I love to read and write poems and stories. I’ve been dancing since I was 4 and that’s when I really found my love of performing. I’ve also been teaching dance to younger dancers since I was twelve and I love babysitting and working with kids.

2.How did you hear about the show? What made you want to get involved?

I heard about the show through mandy.com and I wanted to be involved because I love theatre and I think that the concept of Wait Until Dark is so cool because the main character is a blind woman who saves herself.

3.What has been your favourite moment in rehearsal so far?

For me this show’s been great because I’ve learned so much from the people around me. Everyone is very talented and I’ve learned a lot about acting and the industry.

4.How do you prepare for playing a role like Gloria?

In order to prepare for Gloria, I really just spent a lot of time trying to understand her choices and her thought process. Gloria as a character is pretty sad because she has such a tough home life and even though she acts really tough (and mean sometimes) she’s really just a little kid.

5.Why should everyone come see the show?

Everyone should come see Wait Until Dark because it’s very unique considering the time it was written in. In this day in age everyone’s talking more and more about female empowerment, and I believe that this play demonstrates a strong female lead. It’s also a really fun thriller!

6. Anything else you want to add? 

Thanks to my family especially my mom for getting me to and from rehearsals and to my friends in drama at school for being so supportive.

Are you a high school student interested in theatre? Take advantage of our PA Day Discount and see Abby onstage Friday April 15th at 1pm – tickets only $15 for students with valid id, buy them online now.

Retro Radio Hour – Nifty 50s

It’s almost that time again! Retro Radio Hour is back, this time celebrating all things 1950s! Join us and the cast of our next show, Wait Until Dark, on Friday March 25th at the Imperial Pub for an evening of vintage radio plays, oldies music, magic, classic cinema trivia and more! Doors open at 8pm, tickets are only $5 at the door (cash please!). All proceeds go to support Wait Until Dark, running April 14-16th in the rehearsal hall at Tarragon Theatre.

Hope to see you there!

Retro Radio Hour Nifty 50s

Earlybird Discount for WAIT UNTIL DARK

Tickets are now available for next month’s production of Wait Until Dark, and we have a special Earlybird Discount running from now until April 1st; buy your ticket now and pay only $20, 20% off of the regular ticket price! Limited quantities available, so get yours soon at waituntildarkto.bpt.me or by using the widget below.

 

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Click Here to visit the Brown Paper Tickets event page.

CASTING CALL – Audition Submissions Now Open for “WAIT UNTIL DARK”

SHOW INFO
Bygone Theatre is looking to cast the 60’s thriller, Wait Until Dark.
Non-union, profit-share production.
Show runs from April 14-16th, 2016 in the rehearsal hall at Tarragon Theatre. 5 performances.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS
ROAT: Lead, mid 30s – 50s, murderer & theif, intelligent, actor must be able to do a few distinct voices.

SUSY: Lead, mid 20s – early 30s, blind, a housewife (married to Sam).

MIKE: Supporting, mid 20s – early 30s, con artist recently released from jail. Not a totally bad guy, but very manipulative.

CARLINO: Supporting, mid 20s – early 30s, con artist.

SAM: Supporting, mid 20s – mid 30s, photographer, ex-marine, Susy’s husband.

GLORIA: Supporting, young girl, around 10 (**open to casting a child or a young looking woman, children under 18 must have parental consent). Stubborn & strong-willed.

POLICE OFFICERS (2): Minor, 25+

SYNOPSIS
A sinister con man, Roat, and two ex-convicts, Mike and Carlino, are about to meet their match. They have traced the location of a mysterious doll, which they are much interested in, to the Greenwich Village apartment of Sam Hendrix and his blind wife, Susy. Sam had apparently been persuaded by a strange woman to transport the doll across the Canadian border, not knowing that sewn inside were several grams of heroin. When the woman is murdered the situation becomes more urgent. The con man and his ex-convicts, through a cleverly constructed deception, convince Susy that the police have implicated Sam in the woman’s murder, and the doll, which she believes is the key to his innocence, is evidence. She refuses to reveal its location, and with the help of a young neighbor, figures out she is the victim of a bizarre charade. But when Roat kills his associates, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between the two. Susy knows the only way to play fair is by her rules, so when darkness falls she turns off all the lights leaving both of them to maneuver in the dark until the game ends. (from Dramatist Play Service website).

AUDITIONS
To apply for an audition, send a recent headshot & artistic resume to director Emily Dix at emily@bygonetheatre.com, with the subject line: “Wait Until Dark Auditions”, no later than 5:00PM ON MONDAY FEBRUARY 1ST, 2016. Those selected to audition will be contacted via email to arrange a time.