how to fail as a popstar Season Sponsor
A Canadian Stage Production Commissioned by Canadian Stage #popstarplay Play and Original Songs Written and Performed by
Vivek Shraya Directed by
Jessica Severin Apprentice Stage Manager
Clare Preuss Choreographer
Head of Wardrobe
Set and Costume Designer
Joanna Yu Lighting Designer
Associate Lighting Designer
Vivek Shraya James Bunton
Head of Properties
Sound Design by
Feb 18 â€“ Mar 1 Upstairs TheatreÂ
For Whitney Houston, whose voice made a brown queer kid in Edmonton believe in her own voice, and Madonna, for showing me the power of pop.
This production runs approximately 75 minutes with no intermission
A special thank you to the early supporters of my popstar dreams: Mom, Dad, Shamik, Katherine, Shemeena and Tegan and Sara, and to Brendan for seeing the value in failure. Special thank you to
Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. Her bestselling book I’m Afraid of Men was heralded by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel,” and her album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part-Time Woman, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books. A fivetime Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, featured on The Globe and Mail’s Best Dressed list, and received honours from The Writers’ Trust of Canada and The Publishing Triangle. She is a director on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. How To Fail As A Popstar is Vivek’s debut play. vivekshraya.com @VivekShraya
Brendan is the Artistic Director at Canadian Stage. As a director, his work has been presented across the country. His productions have garnered multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and he is a recipient of the Ken McDougall and the Pauline McGibbon awards for directing. Notable productions include Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Martin Crimp’s Fewer Emergencies, Jean Genet’s The Maids, and Daniel MacIvor’s Arigato,Tokyo. Brendan is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, where he is a regular instructor, and holds a Masters in International Arts Management. Prior to coming to Canadian Stage, Brendan was the Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
Clare Preuss has collaborated with companies across Canada and in Germany, Lebanon, Switzerland and Uganda including: Alameda, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, BeMe, Blyth Festival, Buddies in Bad Times, Cahoots, Carlos Bulosan, Driftwood, Dynamo, Factory, fu-GEN, FRICTION, The Guild, Gwaandak, High Performance Rodeo, Native Earth Performing Arts, New Harlem Productions, Theatre Monnot, National Arts Centre, Nightwood, Paprika, Ramshackle, Stratford Festival, Sundown, Theatre Direct, Theatre Passe Muraille, Volcano, Why Not Theatre and Young People’s Theatre among others. Clare has been nominated for numerous awards and has received one so far. She is a certified yoga instructor, sessional instructor at the University of Calgary and the Artistic Director of Downstage. Clare is happy for this chance to work with Canadian Stage and to be a part of such a great team!
C.J. Astronomo (she/her) has worked as a freelance lighting designer, production manager, and technician in a variety of live performing arts throughout Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. Select lighting design credits include: Acha Bacha (Theatre Passe Muraille); The Crucible (Hart House); the marquise of O (the red light district); The Rocky Horror Show (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Post Eden (Suburban Beast); Oh, the Humanity… (Outside the March); Serious Money (Nightwood Theatre). C.J. also assisted at the Stratford Festival for seven seasons on shows including Coriolanus; The Rocky Horror Show; Alice Through the Looking-Glass. She will be designing Wolf Hall at the Stratford Festival in their 2020 season. Many thanks to Imogen Wilson for being a popstar on this production!
Joanna Yu For Canadian Stage: Set design for Shakespeare in High Park 2019 As You Like It, and Measure for Measure. Joanna is a set and costume designer born in Hong Kong and raised in Thornhill, Ontario. Design credits include collaborations with: Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Young People’s Theatre, Tarragon, Canadian Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Factory Theatre, Obsidian, Cahoots, fu-Gen, The Blyth Festival, The Musical Stage Co., Theatre Passe Muraille, Buddies in Bad Times, Why Not Theatre, Project: Humanity, The Grand, Neptune Theatre, Mirvish, Lemon Tree Creations, Signal Theatre, Luminato. Joanna is the 2019 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper award for Costume Design and the 2017 recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award. Upcoming: costumes for The Garneau Block, Citadel Theatre; costumes for House, Factory Theatre. www.joannayudesign.com
Imogen Wilson Imogen is delighted to be working with C.J. and the entire Popstar team on this piece. Previous credits include: Lighting Designer for La Bohème: A National Tour of Opera in Bars (Against the Grain), What I Call Her (Crow’s Theatre), No Clowns Allowed (Bloodpact Theatre), Slow Dance (Toronto Dance Theatre), Dark Heart (Thought for Food). Assistant Lighting Designer for Caroline, or Change (Musical Stage Company), Let’s Run Away, Every Brilliant Thing (Canadian Stage), Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Front Page, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Bronte: The World Without (Stratford Festival), Bat Outta Hell (Mirvish), A Beautiful View (Festival Players of Prince Edward County).
James Bunton James Bunton is a Toronto-based independent composer and a multiple Dora Award-winning sound designer. His sound design and compositions include works for: Quote Unquote
Collective, Scott Free Productions, The Shaw Festival, Tanja Jacobs, The Exhibitionists (CBC), Forcier Stage Works, Philip McKee, Departures Entertainment Inc. (Outdoor Life Network), Stuart McIntyre & Paul Mathew (Consul Media), and Richie Mehta (Rickshaw Productions). Recent credits include audio production and mixing on works by Donovan Woods, Evening Hymns, For Esmé, David Myles, Ansley Simpson, Joey Landreth, Wild Rivers, Vivek Shraya, and on the Friends In Bellwoods and SLOW Volumes compilations.
Jessica Severin Jessica Severin is a Toronto-based Stage Manager and a graduate of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Over the past 15 years, she has worked across the country and internationally for companies such as Mirvish Productions, Vancouver Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier, Glimmerglass, the Royal Opera Versailles, Luminato, Musical Stage Company, Soulpepper, Obsidian, Nightwood, Tarragon, Ross Petty Productions, the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Drayton Entertainment, Harold Green Jewish Theatre and others. Her most recent productions include: Rusalka, La bohéme (Canadian Opera Company); Anne of Green Gables (Thousand Islands Playhouse). This is her Canadian Stage debut.
Kimberly Moreira Kim Moreira is from Milton, Ontario. A graduate of the Sheridan College Technical Production program, she is so honored to be working on this show. She hopes to have a career in theatre and performance that includes much more original and important Canadian work in the future. Kim thanks her teachers and mentors for helping her get to this point. Shout-outs to my eversupportive family and friends, especially MYTP and all my theatre pals.
William Yong William Yong has created more than eighty dance and theatre works which has been presented worldwide. He was trained and received his masters degree with distinction at the London Contemporary Dance School in U.K. Past companies he worked for include: Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance and Matthew Bourne’s AMP in the U.K.; Canadian Stage, Against The Grain, Theatre Rusticle, Red Snow Collective, lemonTree creations, Toronto Dance Theatre, CORPUS, Peggy Baker, Fila 13 in Canada and many others. William and his works have received seven Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations. He was also nominated for MyTheatre Awards’ ‘Outstanding Direction’ for Comfort. William was also the recipient of the 2013 “I love dance/ J’aime la danse” Award for Innovation. William and the ensemble of Against The Grain Theatre’s opera production Kopernikus were awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award 2019 for ‘Outstanding Performance of an Ensemble’ in Opera Division. www.zataomm.org
Stage Employees of Canadian Stage are represented by Local 58 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Music Credits Music Ur the 1 Written by V. Shraya & J. Bunton
Something So Right Written by Paul Simon
Early One Morning (Traditional)
Mary Jane Written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard
La Isla Bonita Written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard and Bruce Gaitsch Govinda Madhava and Gopala Keshava (Traditional) I’ll Be There Written by Berry Gordy, Jr., Bob West, Hal Davis, and Willie Hutch Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Written by Pierre Marchand and Sarah MacLachlan Performed by Sarah MacLachlan Jump Written by Jermaine Dupri, The Corporation and Ohio Players Performed by Kriss Kross Real Love Written by Mark Morales and Mark C. Rooney Performed by Mary J. Blige Straight Up Written by Oliver Leiber Performed by Paula Abdul Take A Bow Written by Babyface & Madonna Performed by Madonna
Madrid Written by V. Shraya Performed by Vivek Shraya I’m a fag 4 U Written by V. Shraya Criminal Written and performed by Fiona Apple Pull Written by V. Shraya Truth Or Dare Written by Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo Performed by N.E.R.D. feat. Kelis & Pusha T Never Enough Written by V. Shraya Performed by Vivek Shraya Like I Love You Written by Justin Timberlake, Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams Performed by Justin Timberlake feat. Clipse I Won’t Envy 2.0 Written by V. Shraya
Cut Written by V. Shraya Performed by Vivek Shraya Sex & Candy Written by John Wozniak Performed by Marcy Playground A Good Thing Written by V. Shraya Time Running Written by Tegan Quin Performed by Tegan and Sara If We’re Not Talking Written by V. Shraya Performed by Vivek Shraya Scratch Written by V. Shraya Performed by Vivek Shraya Seven Nation Army Written by Jack White Grace Kelly Written by Mika, Jodi Marr, John Merchant and Dan Warner Performed by Mika If We’re Not Talking (Ben Mono Remix) Written by V. Shraya Performed by Vivek Shraya Showing Up Written by V. Shraya
C ANAD IAN S TAGE S U P P O RTERS AN N UAL F U N D Canadian Stage would like to thank the following individuals whose contributions to our annual fund help to sustain our ability to collaborate, innovate and create with cutting-edge artists from Canada and around the world.
ARTISTIC DIRECTO R ’ S CIRCLE Underwriter $25,000+ Alexandra Baillie Marilyn Baillie, C.M. & Charles Baillie, O.C. David W. Binet Susan Crocker, C.M. & John Hunkin, C.M. John & Nancy Embry Ron Lalonde & Jane Humphreys
Shawn McReynolds & Elaine Kierans Trina McQueen, O.C. Maureen & Roger Parkinson The Shishler Family Sandra Simpson Sylvia Soyka The Henry White Kinnear Foundation The William and Nona Heaslip Foundation Anonymous (1)
P ro d u ce r ’ s Clu b Director $10,000-$24,999 Sara Angel & Dr. Michael Angel Adam Burke Camp Tech, Avery Swartz Monica Esteves & Chris Bretz Margaret & Jim Fleck Sheila Goldman Brendan Healy Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M. Timothy & Frances Price Gretchen & Don Ross, O.C. The Sabourin Family Foundation Eli & Philip Taylor Julie, Peter & James in Memory of John David Wood Anonymous (2)
Innovator $5,000-$9,999 Hugh Clark Huw Evans & Kathryn Bird Margaret Genovese Kathy Inch & Steve Simpson Kingfisher Foundation Sheena Macdonald & Phil Schmitt
John Montesano Remembering Otto & Marie Pick Charitable Foundation Rob & Penny Richards Jim Riley & Nicole Sigouin Chris Tambakis & Rebecca Leigh
Visionary $2,000-$4,999 Rick Archbold & Rick Feldman Tony Baylis & Jacqueline Kirk Murray & Ellen Blankstein Jennifer Bratty Gary Bryck & Renée Barrette Margaret Craw & Trevor Lloyd Desiree Chan & Richard Trevisan Dr. Roy Eappen Steven Endicott Robert & Julia Foster Linda Glover Franca Gucciardi Robert Henderson & Diana Burke Ken Hugessen & Jennifer Connolly Robert & Popsy Johnstone
Peter Lyman & Judith Moses David Lynch & Melanie Carino Gail MacNaughton & In Memory of John MacNaughton Paul Maranger & Robert Brown Ronan McGrath & Sarah Perry Ian & Patti Milne Robert Morassutti Elisa Nuyten & David Dime Perry Orestes & Tim Giguere Penny Partridge Vanessa Pfaff Len & Vivian Racioppo Gabrielle M. R. Richards In Memory of John & Norma Rogers Lena & Greg Sarkissian Greg Sharp Jason Silzer T.J. Tasker Doug & Gail Todgham Antoinette Tummillo & John Carter Carole Winberg
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Patron s’ clu b Ambassador $750-$1,999
Walter M. & Lisa Balfour Bowen Ernest & Barbara Balmer Cathy Bateman Marcia & Henry Blumberg Boszko & Verity Inc. David & Patti Bragg Louise Cannon Paul & Jean Emond George & Doone Estey Colin Gruchy David Heden Mary & Arthur Heinmaa Peter Herrndorf & Eva Czigler Jane Hill Orit & Raphael Hofstein Dr. Nina Josefowitz Ian & Dorothy MacDonald Alice Morgan Joanne Niblock & John Ozikizler Roger Pearce Andrew Reddon & Diane Cordell The Sam Sorbara Charitable Foundation Gerald Sheff & Shanitha Kachan Dennis & Denny Starritt Graham & Catherine Tobe Sybil Wilkinson David Young Anonymous (1)
William & Lorna Anderson Ioana Bala Bandiera Family Douglas Barrett Vali Bennett Jennifer Birmingham Malcolm Burrows David Clarry Lorena Chioran Nancy Cohen Robert Cook Professor Wayne Dowler Kevin Doyle Sandra Dudley Bill Dunk-Green Debbie Dumaresq Ellen & Robert Eisenberg Roy Firth & Elaine Casavant Mr. Christopher Ferguson Richard & Justine Giuliani Foundation Eric B. Hanbury Karen Heater Isabel Henniger Angela Herwin & Michael Dales Susan & Richard Horner Nancy Howe Nancy Jain Alex Josephson Gerda Kaegi Karen Kalchhauser Edward & Ann Kerwin Emily Key Diane & Jim King
In Memory of Jacqueline Kolber Deborah & Rae Lake Delphine Milbrandt Susan Moellers April Moon & Dickon Wallis Larry Moore Ms. Susanne Palmer Eric E. Parker Maureen Parry Jerry Patava Dee Patterson Thomas Payne Sanjiv Purba Georgia Quartaro Greg Reed & Heather Howe Joy Rosen Glenna Ross Mr. Greg Seale Heather Sheehan Steven & Brynie Silver Ivor Simmons Mary Spyrakis Carol Strom Dennis C. Thomson & Leo Maloney Tamara Trojanowska Michael Trent Dr. Paul Truelove Monique Tschofen Les & Ellen Wallace Ruth Watts-Gransden Brent Whitby Dr. Blossom T. Wigdor, C.M. Greg Wilkie Morden Yolles Irene Zaguskin Anonymous (7)
I N M E M O RIAM We would like to thank the following people who have made gifts in memory of loved ones. In memory of Ruth Salzman Rebecca Dennis Terry Eng Toby Greenbaum
Connie Hirsch Roslyn Houser, Peter & Andrew Friedenthal and Kayla Robins Francy Kussner & Arthur Yallen
Goodmans LLP Sweeny & Co Architects Standil Family Shery Wasser
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ONE Properties RAW Design Robin Simpson-McKay
always still the dawn WRITTEN BY
Liza Balkan, Severn Thompson
Sarah Dodd, Sochi Fried by McKenzie James
a double bill of NEW WORKS BY ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT AND INSPIRING VOICES OF HER GENERATION