During the pandemic, Village Players featured a number of PWYC Zoom productions. They were so successful with audiences, actors and volunteers that we continued them this season, focusing on unpublished plays by local playwrights. Our last one was…
CARROT CAKE CAFÉ
Directed by Nancy-Jane Price
Written and produced by Meg Gibson
Live Zoom Performances: Friday, Feb 17 & Saturday, Feb 18, @ 8:00pm PWYC
Top: Shadan Rahbari as Baby, Iqbal Faizer as Nathan, Drea Burck as Gigi
Lower: Liam Doherty as Kevin, Tania D’Amico as Sara, Joel Haszard as Boo
Carrot Cake Café is a bittersweet comedy about people starting out in life, the challenges they face and the unexpected support they find. Sara is a struggling entrepreneur, trying to make a living running her own small café, supported by her BFF Nathan, hustling to get by as a freelance writer. Sara is frustrated at every turn by her mother, Gigi, but then love and support arrive where least expected. A perfect comedy for Valentines, young and old.
About the playwright, Meg Gibson:
Meg Gibson has been around theatre since her days as a 13-year old “theatre brat” and is becoming one of Toronto community theatre’s most experienced directors (see her full bio on the webpage for our July 2022 show Gloria’s Guy). She has also been a Village Players mainstay online for the past two years: teaching workshops on Monologues and on Advanced Audition and Acting and both acting in and directing Zoom play-readings.
The director, Nancy-Jane Price:
Nancy-Jane fell under the thrall of community theatre while living in the Bahamas, when she was asked to step into the role of a Grecian belly dancer in a musical take-off of A Tale of Two Cities set in ancient Greece. The local paper panned the play, citing the music as a “cacophony”. She was not deterred & has continued to enjoy acting, directing and just about every other job no one else wanted to do, in Nassau, Australia, Toronto, & Mississauga.
She directed A Tomb with a View for the Cricket Club Players, Glass Menagerie for the Mississauga Players, and was a founder and director of “The Absolutely PC Troupers”, putting on murder mystery dinner theatre at the local Legion and seniors residences. Usually a very physical director, she looks forward to the challenge and opportunity of directing her first zoom play.
The second PWYC Zoom show of the season was…..
by Carol Libman
Director: Morris Jacobs
Producer: David Eden
Live Zoom Performances:
December 9-10, 2022 at 8pm; Sunday December 11 at 2pm. PWYC
About the play:
A light-hearted, entertaining, funny and above all human “Road Movie” at 30,000 feet. The indomitable Evalina, journeying back to the old homestead to celebrate her 90th birthday, battles — and conquers — security checks, seat-mate problems, lost luggage and a somewhat fraught family reunion.
Top: Taranpreet Kaur as Carly, Anne Harper as Evalina, Joel Haszard as Roger
Lower: Eric Jeddry as George, David Nicholson as Fred
About the playwright, Carol Libman:
A native Montrealer now living in Toronto, Carol was one of the founders of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, home of the Carol Libman Resource Centre which was established in honour of her 20 years of service to PWM. She is an active member of the New Play Development Group of the Alumnae Theatre, and a member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Her other full-length plays include: A Life Beyond Doubt, A Very Different Place, Lies and Consequences, and Leap of Faith – a Rare Day Projects’ production at the Village Playhouse in June 2022
About the director, Morris Jabobs:
Morris is a longtime Village Player, having acted in 1989’s The Mumberly Inheritance and Maggie’s Getting Married in 2015. For Medina Theatre Ensemble, he directed From Chelm to Chollyvood, Zimmerman’s Neighbourhood (both of which he also wrote), and Sun In My Eyes. During the pandemic, Morris acted in several informal Village Players zoom play-readings, prompting him to offer to direct this one. We’re glad he did.
Our first PWYC Zoom show of the season was. . . .
A WAKE: WE ARE DANCING
by Mary Barnes Amoroso
October 21-22, 2022 at 8pm; October 23 at 2pm. PWYC
Director: Pat McCarthy
Dramaturg/AD: Carolyn Zapf
Producer: Meg Gibson
Top row: Anne Harper (Mairead), Annie Massey (Narrator), Gavin Magrath (Rory), Tina McCulloch (Maureen)
Lower row: Candice McIndoo (young Mairead), Daryl Ledwon (Patrick, young Patrick), Kim Sprenger (Siobhan), Catherine Thorne (young Maureen)
About the play:
Siobhán sets in motion her Canadian version of a wake between bitterly estranged family members following the death of her Irish-born father. Fuelled by whiskey-laced tea, a night of uncomfortable truth telling ensues, and Siobhán’s views of her family and her path forward change forever.
About the playwright, Mary Barnes Amoroso:
Mary has long pursued her love of theatre. As a teacher and educator, she co-founded and ran Eclat School of Performing Arts. As an active member of Alumnae Theatre, she served as chair of the New Play Development group, stage manager, Mainstage Programming Committee member, and producer. Producing credits include Thirteen Hands (2017), Impressionism (2019), and FireWorks Festival (2022). The inspiration for A Wake: We Are Dancing came from her interest in the immigrant experience for both those leaving their birthplace to come to Canada and their children, born and raised here. She is delighted to join forces with the team at Village Players for this ZOOM production.
About the director, Pat McCarthy:
Pat has been directing for two score and ten years, winning her first Best Director award in 1964. She has directed for the Toronto, Hamilton, and London, Ontario, Fringe Festivals. For the Village Players, she directed Without Whom by Rob Downes, which went on to the London Fringe. As well, she has been dramaturg and director for numerous new works, staged readings, and workshop productions, including Zoom productions during the lockdown. Recently, she was Co-Artistic Director/Producer of the New Ideas Festival for 10+ seasons. Directing and receiving favourable reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has checked off several items on her theatrical bucket list.
About the dramaturg/AD, Carolyn Zapf:
Carolyn is a writer, dramaturg, and publishing professional. She is currently editing several non-fiction books for the University of Toronto Press. As a playwright, she has written commissioned works for theatres across Canada, and was the first playwright-in-residence for the National Theatre School of Canada (English section). For Alumnae Theatre, she served as co-artistic director/producer and dramaturg of the New Ideas Festival for 8+ years, and is presently a dramaturg for FireWorks Festival, as well as for several individual playwrights. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.