BERKELEY STREET COMPANY-IN-RESIDENCE
BERKELEY STREET COMPANIES-IN-RESIDENCE SPONSOR
WRITTEN BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ADAPTED & DIRECTED BY RAVI JAIN
FEB 6 - 24, 2019 BERKELEY STREET THEATRE
A WHY NOT THEATRE PRODUCTION PRESENTED BY CANADIAN STAGE
ADAPTED & DIRECTED BY
ASL & VISUAL TRANSLATION BY
DAWN JANI BIRLEY
DAWN JANI BIRLEY
ROSENCRANTZ, PLAYER KING GRAVEDIGGER, GUARD
MIRIAM FERNANDES POLONIUS
BARBARA GORDON OPHELIA
SET & COSTUME DESIGNER
LORENZO SAVOINI SOUND DESIGNER
THOMAS RYDER PAYNE LIGHTING DESIGNER
ANDRÃ‰ DU TOIT STAGE MANAGER
GUILDENSTERN PLAYER QUEEN OSRIC, GUARD
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
PRODUCTION MANAGER & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
KEVIN MATTHEW WONG
PRODUCER & COMPANY MANAGER
WHY NOT THEATRE ACKNOWLEDGES THE SUPPORT OF THE PERFORMING ARTS RESIDENCY PROGRAM AT BANFF CENTRE FOR ARTS AND CREATIVITY
AUDIENCE ADVISORY: HAZE AND STROBE-LIKE LIGHTING EFFECTS, LOUD NOISES, SEXUAL CONTENT.
APPROX. 2 HOURS 45 MINUTES (INCLUDING ONE INTERMISSION)
D I R EC TO R ’ S N OTE Classic plays are universal. They transcend time, language, borders and cultures. At the core of a classic is a central question that addresses fundamental reflections on who we are as humans -- to quote Shakespeare they hold a “mirror up to nature”. Without knowing it, when watching a new production of a classic, many artists and audiences who’ve seen earlier versions of a play seek the Xerox copy of what they remember. And for a long time, this limit to our imaginations excluded many talented artists from being able to interpret these stories, and limited the resonance and contemporary meaning of the plays for audiences. For Prince Hamlet, we wanted to set our imaginations free in order to rediscover this “old” story anew. Our ensemble defies conventional casting. The incredible Christine Horne stars as Hamlet, and Horatio (the central character of this adaptation) is played by the sensational Dawn Jani Birley. Our production is bilingual, both English and ASL are fully integrated, which is rare, and provides unique access to Shakespeare’s text for both Deaf and hearing audiences. By changing the perspective of the storytellers, we break expectations, discover new aspects of the story and contemporize it— without changing the language or story itself. Tonight, our aim is to have more people see themselves in the “mirror” being held “up to nature” and in doing so reflect on deeper truths contained in this play, confront the history of the theatre, and more importantly, reveal something deeper about the audience themselves. We hope you enjoy it, and thank you for coming to the theatre.
ARTISTI C D I R EC TO R ’ S N OTE It is with enormous pleasure that we welcome you to Why Not Theatre’s production of Prince Hamlet. I was dazzled by this production when it premiered at the Theatre Centre in 2017. I am struck by many aspects of the production. There is its dramaturgy. Director Ravi Jain’s adaption of the play is a brilliant kaleidoscope of memory, reflection, action, and poetry. There is its casting. Conventional expectations about gender, ethnicity, and ability are shattered and we are given what truly matters in great theatre: a stellar ensemble of actors who are vital to the story. And, there is the show’s physicality. Visceral and immediate, the staging of the show keeps me at the edge of my seat. This Prince Hamlet is the work of artists who are at the top of their craft. For over ten years, Why Not Theatre has been producing theatre that has not only pushed the artistry of the stage forward but also expanded the range of voices that have access to our stages. With Prince Hamlet, Ravi Jain and his collaborators offer a theatre that tells an exceptional story exceptionally well and, in telling this story, challenges the traditions that have kept the story away from the bodies of many. The result is a searing, smart, and engaging show that opens up the theatre to so many more possibilities. Thank you for joining us.
C A ST & C R E ATIVE Dawn Jani Birley
Thomas Ryder Payne
AndrĂŠ du Toit
Kevin Matthew Wong
C A ST CHRISTINE HORNE Hamlet Christine’s stage credits include Portia’s Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Ruff), Asking For It (Crow’s/ Nightwood), Prince Hamlet, Iceland (Why Not Theatre), Cam Baby (Toronto Fringe), The Road to Paradise (Human Cargo/Crow’s), Tom At The Farm (Buddies), The Seagull (Crow’s), Belleville (Company Theatre), Vimy, Farther West (Soulpepper), Between the Sheets (Nightwood), The Great Gatsby (The Grand), Andromache (Necessary Angel), Romeo and Juliet (Canadian Stage), The Turn of the Screw (DVxT), Miss Julie: Sheh’mah (KICK Theatre), Twelfth Night (Resurgence), and Gorey Story (Thistle Project). Screen credits include The GoGetters, Hyena Road, The Captive, Stories We Tell, and The Stone Angel. Christine has received a Dora Award, a Canadian Screen Award, and the Birks Diamond Tribute to Women in Film.
DAWN JANI BIRLEY Horatio + ASL and Visual Translation Toronto Theatre Critics Award Winner for Best Actress in a Play 2017 for her role as Horatio in Prince Hamlet and Sweden Riksteatern’s Artist of the Year 2015, Dawn Jani Birley is a versatile actor spanning more than ten years of professional experience in theatre and film. Birley attained a Master of Arts in Physical Theatre with Merit from St Mary’s University in London and her career takes her all over the world. Favourite credits include being cast in the world’s first sign language opera, Kung Karls Jakt, as Najdra in När vinterns
stjärnor lyser här, and as Horatio. Her passion is to show that Deaf and hearing can work together on the front line in bringing positive change in today’s world.
MIRIAM FERNANDES Rosencrantz/Player King/ Gravedigger/Guard Miriam Fernandes is a Torontobased actor, director and theatremaker. She is the Associate Artistic Director for Why Not Theatre, and the Co-Artistic Director for YVA Company. Acting credits include Jungle Book (WYRD/Kidoons), Animal Farm (Soulpepper Theatre), Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre), Dinner with the Gods (Wolf and Wallflower, Sydney AU), The Snow Queen and A Sunday Affair (Theatre New Brunswick), The Living (Summerworks Performance Festival), and Soliciting Temptation (Tarragon Theatre). She has trained with the SITI Company, and is a graduate of Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. With YVA she directed Nesen, (MiniMidiMaxi Festival, Bergen, NO) and is currently developing new projects including an adaptation of Three Little Pigs and her new play, Partition.
BARBARA GORDON Polonius Barbara is delighted to be part of this great adventure. She has performed in many theatres across Canada, most recently at the Belfry in Victoria in A Doll’s House Part 2 and Theatre Calgary in The Humans. Over the years she’s appeared at most Toronto theatres, where she has been honoured with two Dora awards. Upcoming on Vision TV, the filmed version of Diane Flacks’
Unholy, a Nightwood Theatre production. Her film career has included such Canadian works as Life, Still Mine, Men With Brooms, Hypercube, Dead Ringers, and Skinwalkers. Canadian television work includes continuing roles in Road to Avonlea, This is Wonderland, Little Mosque on the Prairie, The Best Laid Plans, and many television movies.
JEFF HO Ophelia Jeff is grateful to be touring Prince Hamlet with such a beautiful group of artists. He is a Toronto-based theatre artist, originally from Hong Kong. Recently, he debuted and performed in his play, Trace, produced by Factory Theatre, in association with b current, directed by Nina Lee Aquino. Acting credits: Hana’s Suitcase (Tour: Toronto/Montreal/ Seattle/YPT), Unknown Soldier (lemontree creations), Murderers Confess at Christmastime (Outside The March), Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet (Repercussion Theatre), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Orphan Black (BBC America). As a playwright, Jeff is working on a modern adaptation of Antigone, produced by Young People’s Theatre. His debut play, Trace, will be published by Playwrights Canada Press. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School.
HANNAH MILLER Guildenstern/Player Queen/ Gravedigger/Guard Hannah Miller is a Toronto-based mother and theatre-maker, originally from Ra’anana, Israel. Most recently she played the role
of Rabbi Michael Levitz-Sharon in Bar Mitzvah Boy (Harold Green Jewish Theatre). Favourite credits include: Lividia Swan in Head Over Heels, (Caravan Farm Theatre), Abigail Williams in The Crucible (Soulpepper), Morgan Libra in Leviathan (Sex-T-Rex), Giulietta Massina in Fellini Cabaret (ProArteDanza), Evelyn in The Tribunal (Martha Ross & John Millard) as well as some obscure docudramas you might have seen on TV very late at night. Upcoming performances include: Eden in Birds of a Kind by Wajdi Mouawad (Stratford Festival). Hannah is thrilled to be reunited with her Prince Hamlet family, it is truly a gift for her to be here.
RICK ROBERTS Claudius Rick Roberts recently appeared in Animal Farm, Waiting For Godot, and Accidental Death of an Anarchist at Soulpepper; Enemy of the People and Within The Glass at the Tarragon Theatre. He has appeared in Proud (Belfry Theatre); Zastrozzi (Stratford Festival); Brutus in Julius Caesar (Citadel Theatre). Among his film and TV work, he played the title role in the CBC movie Jack, appeared in This Life (CBC), Republic of Doyle (CBC), and Coroner (CBC), Still Mine (directed by Michael MacGowan), Jonestown: Paradise Lost (Next Films). Rick codirected Melody Johnson’s onewoman show Miss Caledonia and directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Soulpepper. He has written several plays and has developed shows for television. He’s a graduate of National Theatre School of Canada.
KHADIJAH ROBERTSABDULLAH Laertes Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah is a Dora-nominated and My Entertainment Award-winning actor, writer, producer, and chef. Living her life at a multitude of intersections has motivated Khadijah’s efforts to create meaningful and socially relevant work that is reflective of our cultural landscape. Notable credits include: audiobook narration for The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and The Book of Negroes; for the theatre: Lila in Kat Sandler’s Bang Bang, Laertes in Ravi Jain’s Prince Hamlet, Claudette in How Black Mothers Say I Love You; for television: American Gods, What We Do In The Shadows, Workin Moms, and Designated Survivor. Check out what else Khadijah is up to next on IG @dijyro and Twitter @dijyroberts.
KAREN ROBINSON Gertrude Recent: Sisters (Soulpepper) and Bang Bang (Factory). Six seasons at Stratford include Harlem Duet, Agamemnon, Shakespeare In Love, and The Aeneid. Other: The Importance of Being Earnest (NAC), Stuff Happens (NAC), The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble (Obsidian), Intimate Apparel (ATP), The Tempest (Canadian Stage), Eternal Hydra (Crow’s), Doubt (Citadel), da KINK in my hair (San Diego; UK). Film/TV: Schitt’s Creek (CBC), King (Showcase), Saving Hope (CTV/NBC), Corner Gas: The Movie, Portrait of a Serial Monogamist, Lars And The Real Girl, Slings and Arrows. Awards: a Dora, an ensemble NAACP Award, a Sterling, and the Best Actress Award at the Salento International Film Festival in Italy.
C R E ATIVE RAVI JAIN Director Toronto-based stage director Ravi Jain is a multi-award-winning artist known for making politically bold and accessible theatrical experiences in both small indie productions and large theatres. As the founding artistic director of Why Not Theatre, Ravi has established himself as an artistic leader for his inventive productions, international producing/ collaborations and innovative producing models which are aimed to better support emerging artists to make money from their art. Ravi was shortlisted for the 2016 Siminovitch Prize and won the 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award for Emerging Director and the 2016 Canada Council John Hirsch Prize for direction. He is a graduate of the two-year program at École Jacques Lecoq and he was the inaugural artistic-director-inresidence at The Theatre Centre.
LORENZO SAVOINI Set and Costume Designer Lorenzo Savoini is an award-winning set, costume, and lighting designer. Most notably he has created designs for Soulpepper Theatre, Stratford Festival, Les Grand Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Theatre Calgary, Citadel Theatre, MTC, Tarragon Theatre, Neptune Theatre, National Arts Centre, Theatrefront and Why Not Theatre. His design for Soulpepper’s Of Human Bondage was selected to represent Canada at the 2015 Prague Quadrennial. He is the co-creator of Cage, a multi-disciplinary performance art-theatre piece which, along with Of Human Bondage, had its OffBroadway debut in 2017 at Signature
Sound Designer Thomas Ryder Payne is a composer and sound designer for theatre, dance and film. Selected past work includes designs for Stratford, Shaw, Mirvish, Soulpepper, Canadian Stage, Tarragon, Factory, TPM, YPT, Crows, Modern Times, Aluna, BIBT, Nightwood, Toronto Dance Theatre, NAC, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, RMTC and many others. Thomas has received 2 Dora awards and 19 nominations.
College her love for travelling and the theatre community has taken her all across Canada and India with new works. Born and raised in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, of Indian descent, Neha is now proud to call Canada her new home. Selected Credits include: Prince Hamlet, Iceland (Why Not); We Are Proud to Present... (Theatre Centre); Animal Farm, 27 Club (Soulpepper); Other Side of the Game (Cahoots/Obsidian); One Thing Leads to Another (Young People’s Theatre) Assistant SM: The Birds and the Bees, The Wilberforce Hotel (Blyth Festival 2015 & 2016), Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper).
ANDRÉ DU TOIT
Theatre’s Pershing Square Theatre. He has won two Dora Awards and has been nominated for fifteen.
THOMAS RYDER PAYNE
Lighting Designer André du Toit is a lighting designer for live performance based in Toronto. His designs have received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards and a Toronto Theatre Critics Award. His recent credits include Now You See Her, Mouthpiece (Quote Unquote Collective); The Orchard (Shaw Festival); Le Grand Continental (Luminato); Jerusalem (Outside the March/Company Theatre); Animal Farm, A Delicate Balance, Vimy, The 39 Steps (Soulpepper); Italian Mime Suicide, Paolozzapedia, The Double (Bad New Days); Love and Information (Canadian Stage); Oraltorio (Obsidian/ Soulpepper); Harlem Duet (Tarragon Theatre); The Assholes, As I Lay Dying (Theatre Smith-Gilmour); Helen’s Necklace, Watching Glory Die (Canadian Rep Theatre).
NEHA ROSS Stage Manager Neha Ross is a Stage Manager currently working and residing in Toronto. Since graduating in 2008 from Theatre Tech at Sheridan
Assistant Stage Manager Selected Credits: Philosopher’s Wife (Paradigm Productions); Prairie Nurse (Factory Theatre/ Thousand Islands Playhouse); Poison (Coal Mine Theatre); SaltWater Moon (Factory Theatre/ Why Not Theatre/Mirvish); S H E E T S (Veritas Theatre); Late Night (ZoomerMedia/Theatre Brouhaha); Faust (Theatre by the Bay); Byhalia, Mississippi (Cue6 Productions). When Tamara was nine years old living in Zrenjanin, Serbia, she and her friends started making plays and skits that they would perform for the neighbourhood in front of the building she was raised in. She still digs it.
ANDREW PYE Production Manager + Technical Director Andrew Pye is a theatrical Lighting Designer, Technical Director and Production Manager based in Vancouver and Toronto. His work can be found on stage in many mediums such as ballet, modern dance, opera and traditional theatre
across Canada. He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada, The Vancouver Design Forum and Vancouver Island University and The University of British Columbia studying Design and Production. Lately, Andrewâ€™s career is shifting and he is focusing his creative and technical muscles on emotionally charged pieces of theatre surrounding multiculturalism and inclusion. Some of his recent Technical Direction includes Empire of the Sun (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre), King Arthurâ€™s Night (Neworld Theatre Company), Out The Window (Theatre Centre), Wet (ITSAZOO).
KEVIN MATTHEW WONG Producer/Company Manager Kevin Matthew Wong is a theatre creator and performer, and an Associate Producer with Why Not Theatre. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Broadleaf Theatre, a company that merges environmentalism and live performance. His ongoing work The Chemical Valley Project is a multimedia solo-performance about environmentalism and reconciliation, created in collaboration with Aamjiwnaang First Nation Water Protectors Vanessa Gray and Lindsay Beze Gray, and co-creator Julia Howman. Kevin has been lucky to work and create with Cahoots Theatre, the Koffler Centre, Music Picnic, Carousel Players, Why Not Theatre, and the social justice residency The Gardarev Center. Upcoming: Projections Designer for Good Morning, VietMom (Cahoots Theatre), and creatingperforming The Chemical Valley Project (Broadleaf Theatre/ Theatre Passe Muraille) in April.
ABOUT WHY NOT THEATRE Why Not Theatre is an agile, international theatre company based in Toronto, Canada, rooted in the values of innovation, community and collaboration. Our work is inventive, cross-cultural, and reflects our passion for the exploration of difference. We challenge the status quo by examining what stories are being told, and who is telling them. More than just a theatre company, we develop creative strategies to build a healthier and stronger arts ecology. We MAKE and tour critically-acclaimed and award-winning new work, SHARE resources with other companies and artists to produce and tour their work, and PROVOKE change through new producing models and the presentation of work for new audiences. FOR WHY NOT THEATRE RAVI JAIN - Artistic & General Director OWAIS LIGHTWALA - Managing Director KELLY READ - Executive Producer KIRA ALLEN - Administrative Coordinator KEVIN MATTHEW WONG - Associate Producer TOM ARTHUR DAVIS - Associate Producer TALIESIN MCENANEY - Associate Producer MIRIAM FERNANDES - Associate Artistic Director (Metcalf Intern)
WHY NOT THEATRE SPONSORS PUBLIC FUNDERS: Canada Council for the Arts, Government of Canada, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council PRIVATE PARTNERS: RBC Foundation (Emerging Artist Partner), TD Bank Group (New Perspectives Partner), Kingfisher Foundation (Pilot Supporter), Metcalf Foundation, Wuchien Michael Than Foundation IGNITE PARTNERS: Charles & Marilyn Baillie, Chanchlani Foundation, Cooper Equipment, Blake & Susan Hutcheson + Bea Santos, Tamara Zielony