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My Drama Career

I've been interested in drama since ... who knows when.  Way back.
Really way back.  Probably since I saw "The Pirates of Penzance" back
in the first grade.  Ever since then, I've dabbled in quite a few 
plays myself, along with taking five years of high school drama and a 
bunch of other courses on the side.  Here are some quick summaries of
some of the plays I've had the fortune to act in ...

Free to Be, You and Me

The first actual play I was in.  I was in other school kinda plays, 
written by teachers and the like, before, but in Gr. 7, I actually
auditioned and got a pretty cool role in this play.  It's more a series
of skits than a coherent play - it was a big production, which more
than half the school in it.  The scene I was in was called "The 
Southpaw" and was written by Judith Fitzgerald - ever read that 
book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day" 
back when you were a kid?  Well, she wrote that one too.  I played
a female baseball player (now that was definitely a stretch, since
I can barely play to save my life) who got into a fight with her male
best friend when he wouldn't let girls join his team.  Guess who won
the fight?  Hee.  Well, I got my spot - and spots for all my girlfriends
on the team, and we ended up best friends again.  It's a really fun
play - it got me hooked on performing, that's for sure.

Antigone

From the fun and fancy of Free To Be in junior high and off to serious
high school drama with Jean Anouilh's modernization of Sophocles' Greek
tragedy, Antigone.  Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, defies her uncle
Creon by burying her deceased older brother when it had been forbidden
for anyone to do so.  The battle that ensues is passionate and gripping,
and since it's a Greek tragedy, you can guess what happens.  Not very
cheery, but very dramatic. I played Antigone's nanny - I actually had
some of the stupidest lines in history, and the fact I hated the 
condescending senior who played Antigone didn't help, but it was a great
play in the end, and I had fun.  What an entry into high school drama!

Still Stands the House

I did a few scenes of this Canadian Prairies classic in Gr. 11 drama 
class.  The story of a husband and wife making their living as 
farmers in rural Manitoba in the early 1900's and the problems caused 
by their domineering older sister was actually quite a challenge to 
do - I was Ruth, the hard-as-nails, cold, unemotional sister.  The 
mannerisms of the early 20th century took awhile to master, but it 
ended up being pretty good, if I do say so myself.

No One Has the Right

Ah, my first foray into social issue drama, and my first leap into
writing and production.  When the Metro Toronto Police Department 
approached the head of the drama department at my school, Jane Deluzio,
and asked her to put together a play to fight hate crime, I was one
of the first people she asked to join.  Being the youngest member of
the rather odd cast was kinda traumatizing at times, we put together
a touring play, written and staged completely by ourselves (well, with
Jane's excellent direction and suggestions, of course) and toured it
in high schools across Scarborough.  The play ended up being mainly
based on racism and homophobia, and was called, as you can see, No One 
Has the Right.  We actually won quite a few awards for this won - whoa,
make a difference and gain dramatic acclaim all at once!

More Than Words

More than Words came about as a co-op education pilot program put 
together by the Scarborough Board of Education.  Lead by Jane 
Deluzio, my drama teacher who'd also directed No One Has the Right 
(see above), fourteen students from schools across the city passed 
through preliminary auditions and came together to put together a two-
hour workshop and forty-minute play on sexual harassment to educate 
junior high school kids on the issue.  Well, this cast was the 
weirdest gang of actors I've ever worked with, but somehow we managed 
to write, block and act in a play that ended up being performed in 
almost 100 schools.  It was quite an experience - we learned a lot, 
and we hope the kids did, too.

Us and Them

I originally thought this was going to be my last hurrah as a high-
school actor, but it didn't end up that way.  Anyway, Us and Them was 
a rather unorthodox play - instead of having lines already divided 
into characters, it had lines, but we had to divide them to suit 
characters our cast came up with.  Directed by Wendy Ryerson, the 
play ended up with a cast of relative newcomers, and for awhile in 
rehearsals, looked like it might end up as a disaster, but we managed 
to pull it off quite decently.  It's the story of a Recorder (played 
by Yours Truly) who watched the world from ... well, above?  From 
somewhere.  And what she sees is a repetitive pattern of wars and 
destruction leading from prejudice.  It's told in a very simple way, 
but the message comes across.  

Little Women

The same day Us and Them premiered, I also had another performance - 
a scene from the play version of one of my favourite books, Louisa 
May Alcott's Little Women.  This was actually an assignment for a 
scene study unit in OAC drama class, but we ended up performing it.  
I played Meg - the ladylike, dignified older sister.  What a 
stretch!  :)  My three castmates and spent a few days tripping over 
long skirts and trying to be "old-fashioned", but after awhile it 
started to come naturally.  The day of four performances (two of 
this, two of Us and Them) was definitely a day I won't easily forget!

The Stupid Judge, and Russian Tales

This is the play I'm currently in rehearsals for - I'm playing the 
Officer of the Court in this hilarious tale of Shemiaka, the stupid 
judge, and the people who come to his court for justice.  Between 
Shemiaka's stupidity and the total absurdity of the cases brought to 
him - including one in which a priest claims to have given birth to a 
calf - this play is going to be quite something.  That is, if 
everyone manages to get their lines memorized someday ...


The Theatre World ...

The Shaw Festival
The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, is the largest festival of the plays of George Bernard Shaw in North America. Check out this site to see who and what are playing at this season.
The Stratford Festival
One of the largest Shakesperean festivals in North America and definitely the largest in Canada. Stratford is a quaint little place, and the festival is always incredible.
Rent
I love Rent! Since it's come to Toronto, I've seen it twice and want to go again. This is a musical for the 90s - it's about life, and everything that goes with it. See it!
Les Miserables
Les Miz is another one of my favourites. It's coming back to Toronto this summer and I can't wait to see it again. This is a really nice site - check it out!
The Phantom of the Opera
This is a page dedicated to the Phantom in Canada. It's been playing in Toronto for nine years and I haven't seen it yet, can ya believe it? But I love the music and will get around to it someday.
Miss Saigon
The Canadian cast of Miss Saigon totally rocked. I saw it on it's closing date in Toronto and wish I'd seen it earlier so I could see it more than once. Ah, well, it'll be back


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