#335 – Drew Murdoch

Drew Murdock (he/him) is a theatre maker based in Saint John, NB. He is the director of the Fundy Fringe Festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer. Drew also works year round at The Saint John Theatre Company and regularly works with the Atlantic Repertory Company, Theatre Six, Improvisation Corporation, Loylist City Shakespeare, and other fine theatre makers in Saint John as a stage manager, lighting and projection designer, production manager, video director, and more.

fundyfringefestival.com
Twitter: @FundyFringeFest
Instagram: @fundyfringefest

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#334 – Dr. Kathleen Gallagher & Andrew Kushnir

Andrew Kushnir is an actor, playwright, director, as well as artistic director of the socially-engaged theatre company Project: Humanity (PH) in Toronto. Since 2021, he has steered PH’s Proximity Lab, an incubator for new approaches to verbatim theatre — a form he has been working in for 15 years. He has collaborated on two books coming out in 2022: Moving the Centre: Two Plays: Small Axe and Freedom Singer (Talon Books, with Khari Wendell McClelland) and Hope in a Collapsing World (U of T Press, with Kathleen Gallagher). Andrew is the creator and host of _This Is Something Else – _an investigative theatre history podcast for the Arts Club. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta, a Loran Scholar and alumnist of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction at the Stratford Festival. Andrew is the inaugural recipient of the Shevchenko Foundation REACH residency prize.  A proudly queer Ukrainian-Canadian, he founded the We Support LGBTQ Ukraine Fund with the Veritas Foundation in April 2022. 

Dr. Kathleen Gallagher: A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Distinguished Professor, and Director of the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto, Dr. Kathleen Gallagher studies theatre as a powerful medium for expression by young people of their experiences and understandings. She has published numerous books and articles at the intersection of youth, theatre, and the social world. Her most recent works include the 2020 edited collection, _Global Youth Citizenry and Radical Hope: Enacting Community-Engaged Research through Performative Methodologies _and the 2022 monograph Hope in a Collapsing World: Youth, Theatre, and Listening as a Political Alternative    

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#333 – Georgia Findlay

Georgia Findlay (she/her) is a Toronto-based actor, playwright, producer and younger sister. This summer she made her Fringe debut with her first original script “Joan & Olivia: A Hollywood Ghost Story,” which explores themes of sibling rivalry through the ghosts of real life Old Hollywood movie star-sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland. Selected credits include: several roles in the 2019 Newmarket National 10-Minute Play Festival; Mrs. Clandon, “You Never Can Tell” (2019, George Brown Theatre School, Susan Ferley); Arsen Kazbeki/The Fat Prince, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” (2019, GBTS, Richard Greenblatt); Josie Hogan, “A Moon for the Misbegotten” (2017, GBTS Scene Study, Elizabeth Saunders). Georgia learned so much in her whirlwind Fringe experience, and can’t wait to continue following her passions and expanding her career.

Instagram: @georgiagfindlay

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#332 – The Spindle Collective & Riot King

Natalia Bushnik (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and Dora Mavor Moore-nominated playwright. She is fascinated by immersive experiences that examine morally grey territories and unnerve audience members in their complicity. Select theatre: ‘SAMCA’ (Spindle Collective); ‘The Bathtub Girls’ (Kairos Theatre); ‘PING!’ (Workshop-Aaron Jan/Urjo Kareda Residency). Select film: ‘Revenge of the Black Best Friend’, ‘peopleWatching’ (CBC Gem). Her radio play, ‘Just Across the Causeway’, was produced through the National Theatre School’s #ArtApart Program, with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council, and a live version was performed as a staged reading in the UK through Little Lion Theatre Company this past November. Her favourite pastimes include having no visible eyebrows and watching c-level horror movies.

https://natbushnik0.wixsite.com/spindlecollective
Twitter: @spindletheatre
Instagram: @spindlecollective

Kathleen Welch is a writer, performer, and composer from Toronto. She is passionate about new works and loves creating projects with people she cares about. She previously wrote the music for Just Across the Causeway by Natalia Bushnik with whom she later co-created the play Samca. Some favourite past roles include Catherine in Widow’s Wedding Dress, Mrs. Forthright in False Claims, and Clara in Fermata. Kathleen is currently in an original children’s musical of The Three Little Pigs and is working on her first album, Greasy Girl. When not not performing she can be found drinking wine, eating pasta, and cuddling her cat Athena.

Brendan Kinnon is a Toronto based actor and director who is passionate about contemporary theatre and producing new Canadian plays. They are the Founder and Creative Director of Riot King: Art Market – an artist hub producing experimental theatre and arts-community events. They are also the Communications Manager for Theatre of the Beat – a touring social justice theatre company starting conversation to inspire change.
Brendan has worked internationally and across the country as an actor, but has focused much of their work on building the arts community in southern Ontario. When not on stage or sending emails you can find Brendan working away in their garden or strolling around the many wonderful parks of Toronto!

www.riotking.com
Twitter: @riotkingto
Instagram: @riotkingto

SAMCA
Winner of the 2022 Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest, Spindle Collective and Riot King present ‘SAMCA’, a contemporary, horror folktale by Natalia Bushnik (‘The Bathtub Girls – Critic’s Choice 2017 Hamilton Fringe’) and Kathleen Welch. Combining original music written by Welch, movement theatre, and design, ‘SAMCA’ shares the story of two sisters, Miha and Prava, and the horrors that happen in the woods at night. Tread lightly…for the woods can hear you.

Tickets: https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:609/

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#331 – Aaron Jan

Aaron Jan is a Hamilton-born playwright, director, dramaturg. and educator. He has worked as a creator with Factory Theatre, UpintheAir Theatre, Soulpepper, York University, Boca Del Lupo, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, the Musical Stage Company, Canadian Stage, Theatre Erindale, Sheridan College and most recently as a guest director at the Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University. A member of the critically acclaimed Silk Bath Collective, Aaron is the 2019 winner of the Ken McDougall directing award, the 2021 inaugural co-winner of Highland Arts Theatre’s Rita Joe playwriting award, a 2021 Johanna Protege Award, the 2022 winner of the Urjo Kareda Award and a co-recipient of The Musical Stage Company’s Aubrey and Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals. Alongside Karen Ancheta, Aaron is a co-founder of Porch Light Theatre (currently a company in residence at Theatre Aquarius), and is dedicated to making his hometown a place where professional theatre artists can make new work and be compensated fairly for it.

http://aaronchihojan.wixsite.com/home
Twitter: @afatchineseboy
Instagram: @afatchineseboy

Porch Light Theatre
https://www.industrypresents.com/porchlight-theatre
Tickets to House Key Project: https://boxoffice.hamiltonfringe.ca/event/866:605/

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#330 – Vikki Velenosi

Vikki describes herself as a storyteller, a serial entrepreneur and a fighter of the status quo. She lives in Toronto with her dog GusGus and her two cats, Matt Damon and Gracie Lou Freebush.

Current Projects
Founder/CEO-Space Space Revolution
Head Writer-Business Owner By Mistake Blog
Co-Founder-Brick and Mortar Theatre and Studios (RIP)

Twitter: @Vikkivelenosi
Instagram: @businessownerbymistake

2 Robs, 1 Cup: What Happens When You’re Done Eating Shit?
Tickets: https://fringetoronto.com/fringe/show/2-robs-1-cup-what-happens-when-youre-done-eating-shit

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#329 – Stephen Elliott Jackson & Neta J. Rose

Steven Elliott Jackson is an award-winning playwright originally from Minto Manitoba and now living in Kitchener, Ontario. In 2017, he won Best New Play at the Toronto Fringe for “The Seat Next To The King” and it was produced in Canada and the United States subsequently. It was published by Scirocco Drama. In 2020, he won Best New Play for “Three Ordinary Men” at the Hamilton Fringe and it will be produced in June 2022 by Cahoots Theatre in Toronto. In 2022, he will be premiering TOM as well as The Garden Of Alla and The Prince’s Big Adventurer at the Toronto Fringe.

www.stevenelliottjackson.ca
Twitter: @MinmarGaslight
Instagram: @minmar_gaslight

Neta J. Rose is a proud Ashkenazi Jewish queer non-binary actor based in Toronto/Tkaronto. They are a founding member of Create! Youth Theatre, in Scotland, now entering its 13th year.

Neta’s stage credits include: Henry G20 (Luminato),The Omnibus Bill (TACTICS), The Bonds of Interest (Odyssey), The Penelopiad (Hart House), Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night (Foxtail – UK), Heart of a Dog (Nowadays Theatre/Next Stage), and 1184 (Phoenix Arts/Aga Khan).

They are also a poet and essayist whose writing has recently been published in Salty Magazine and in the Pandemic Poetry chapbook by Buddies in Bad Times.

Instagram: @neta.j.rose

The Garden of Alla
LA, 1921. “Alla Nazimova” (née Marem-Ides Leventon), prolific film pioneer, broadway darling and proud bisexual invites company to her home, “The Garden of Alla”, enticing them with her plans to make Oscar Wilde’s highly controversial “Salome” into a dazzling, big-budget film. Recruiting her “husband,” Charles Bryant to direct, and lover, Natacha Rambova for the opulent costume/set designs, the landmark movie will get made amidst the the trio’s romances and trysts – but at what cost, as religious lobbyist William B. Hays concocts a strict code of ethics that Hollywood studios must obey, threatening freedom of creative expression and true art?

Tickets: fringetoronto.com/fringe/show/garden-alla

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#328 – Stephen Near

Stephen Near is a writer and educator living in Hamilton. He is a graduate of York University (BFA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (B. Ed) and the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. Stephen is a member of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada and an alumnus of both the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Banff Centre. Last year, he was named the inaugural Writer-In-Residence for the Cotton Factory in Hamilton. His writing has appeared in a variety of online and print publications and his plays have been produced at a variety theatres and festivals, principally by the company that he co-founded, Same Boat Theatre. He is a proud husband, father and unabashed geek who is (still) obsessed with comic books and role-playing games.

stephennear.com
Twitter: @SNear23
Instagram: @stephenisnear

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#327 – The Cast of Three Ordinary Men

Starring Tristan Claxton, Jamar Adams-Thompson and Jack Copland, Three Ordinary Men takes us to the final day in the lives of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney & Andrew Goodman in 1964 Mississippi. Helmed by Taitt in her directorial debut as Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre, Three Ordinary Men will debut in June of 2022 — the 57th anniversary of the Freedom Summer Murders.

Play by Steven Elliott Jackson
Directed by Tanisha Taitt

Tristan Claxton

Tristan is a Toronto based actor and earned a BFA in acting from the University of Windsor and an MA in classical performance from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in the U.K.

Instagram: @tri_axton

Jamar Adams-Thompson

Jamar is a Jamaican-Candian actor and storyteller. Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario he holds a BFA-in Acting degree. He is constantly looking for new chances to tell exceptional stories. Film Credits Include: Flee The Light, Black Liberators WWII, and Kubrick. Catch Jamar next as James Chaney in Cahoots Theatre’s, Three Ordinary Men

Instagram: @jamaremery

Jack Copland

Jack is a Toronto-based actor, writer, educator, and producer. His long list of acting credits includes principal voice over (Total Drama Island), repertory theatre (Theatre on the Ridge), and internationally screened independent films (Pink Rabbit). Jack also writes and produces projects with his production company Rainy Day Films. In his free time, Jack volunteers as an instructor and assistant director with the Young People’s Theatre. Graduate of the Richard Ivey School of Business and the George Brown Theatre School.

jackcopland.com

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#326 – Laura Piccinin

Laura was born to tell stories. Whether as a dancer/aerialist with Tokyo Disney, a playwright and performer for the new Canadian musical, Every Silver Lining, or her solo show, Lesbihonest, premiering at Toronto Fringe 2022, a teacher at the Toronto District School Board, or as a comédienne in Footloose with Just for Laughs, Laura’s unstoppable passion in life lies in telling people all sorts of eccentric stories, whether they want to hear them or not.

Instagram: @lpiccinin

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