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The WAR of
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1812-15 Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth
With: Paul Braunstein, Aurora Browne, Richard Alan Campbell, Richard Clarkin, Mac Fyfe
Derek Garza, Jacob James, Linda Prystawska
Associate Director Deanne Taylor • Set & Lighting Andy Moro • Costumes Astrid Janson Music Brent Snyder • Sound Brent Snyder & Jake Blackwood • Props Brad Harley • Wigs Alice Norton Ass’t Costume Design Melanie McNeill • Stage Manager Andrew Dollar • ASM Laurie Merredew PA Adam Barrett • Photos Michael Cooper
Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group • Producers Jim LeFrancois, Deanne Taylor Presented by VideoCabaret in association with Young Centre for the Performing Arts
April – May 2013 • www.videocab.com
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Welcome to VideoCabaret at the Young Centre, and thank you for your presence. Your imagination is the stage on which we play.
ideoCabaret is one of Canada’s most inventive, prolific, and honoured companies. The founding playwrights, Michael Hollingsworth and Deanne Taylor, have written many enduring works and, with the company’s celebrated designers and actors, created unique styles of staging for plays, multi-media cabarets, opera, and masquerade.
The founders converged in a Toronto art gallery in 1976. They included: Deanne and other members of a groundbreaking video-performance troupe The Hummer Sisters; Michael, who had been un-stageable since his ‘73 play Clear Light was snuffed by police; art-rock composer Andrew Paterson and video-design-prodigy Chris Clifford. Together they created the first theatre productions integrating cameras, tapes, piles of hot-wired TV’s and live rock’n’roll – genre-mashing spectacles staged across Canada, in New York and London. In the early 80’s VideoCabaret moved into The Cameron House, an art and music club on pre- hip Queen Street West. The company wired the building for video, joining the upstairs studio and the Cameron stage in a half-real half-virtual theatre space, where Michael staged adaptations of Brave New World and 1984, while The Hummers ran for Mayor and helped define the local zeitgeist with Political Cabarets involving hundreds of actors, musicians, and painters. Through the 80’s and 90’s the company enjoyed co-productions with Theatre Passe Muraille, Factory Theatre and Theatre Centre. The core artists invented the ‘black-box-style’ of Michael’s twenty-part cycle: The History Of The Village Of The Small Huts, and honed the ‘video-cabaret’ style for Deanne’s plays about mass-media politics and other themes. From 2000 to 2011 VideoCab created and presented its work in the intimate Backroom of the Cameron House where Canadian musical greats have always played. There VideoCab reinvented many of the History Plays for repertory performance, created new work, supported play development and directing classes for guest artists, and continued a decades-long collaboration with Trinidadian Mas(querade) artists. In 2012 The Stratford Festival presented VideoCab’s production of The War of 1812 for two months of sold out performances. This year, at the invitation of Soulpepper visionaries Albert Schultz and Leslie Lester, The War of 1812 launches a long-awaited collaboration with the Young Centre. In June 2013 the production will be mounted at the Magnetic North Festival in Ottawa. VideoCabaret’s work is recognized by dozens of Dora Awards and scores of Nominations including, for The Life and Times of Mackenzie King, 2012 Nominations for Outstanding Production, Direction, Ensemble, Lighting and Costumes.At Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Awards ceremony in 2011, the Silver Ticket Award for outstanding contribution to the development of Canadian Theatre was given to Michael Hollingsworth by previous honourees.
Photo of Jacob James, & Linda Prystawska. by Michael Cooper.
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CA NA DA ’ S H I STO RY P L A YS by Michael Hollingsworth
THE HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE OF THE SMALL HUTS New France (Donnacona, Champlain, Brebeuf, Frontenac) The British (Plains of Abraham, Pontiac, The Loyalists, The War of 1812) Mackenzie/Papineau Rebellion • Confederation Red River Rebellion • Canadian Pacific Scandal Saskatchewan Rebellion • Laurier The Great War • The Life & Times of Mackenzie King WWII • The Cold War • Trudeau & The FLQ Trudeau & The PQ • The Life & Times of Brian Mulroney The History Plays are seriously humourous satires combining comedy, tragedy, pathos and farce to dramatise Canada’s history from Chief Donnacona and Jacques Cartier to Prime Minister Mulroney and President Bush the First. The original productions premiered from 1985 to 1999, delighting audiences with their style and substance. Since 2000, the first thirteen plays have been re-invented for repertory performance, winning new audiences and new awards.
PLAYWRIGHT’S NOTE THE HISTORY OF THE VILLAGE OF THE SMALL HUTS is a comedy of manners, satirizing Canada’s various colonial periods. It is an historical epic for an audience raised on Rock and TV. It is the goons of history in their very own Goon Show. It is the Canadian book of the dead, a merry tale told by ghosts and demons. Canada is state-of-the-art colonialism – perfect, immaculate, pure. Double-think is a seminal characteristic of Canadian citizenship. Blink your eyes and you’re a nation, blink your eyes and you’re a colony. Blink your eyes… The History Of The Village Of The Small Huts dramatizes the French and the British imperial periods of Canadian history, and chronicles Canada’s place in the American Nation Planet. The only thing one knows for sure is that the new boss will be the same as the old boss. What is going to happen has already happened.
– Michael Hollingsworth Photo of Michael Hollingsworth by Michael Cooper
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Making History with Michael Hollingsworth
Taylor Artistic Co-Director of VideoCabaret and Associate Director of The War of 1812.
n 1982 Michael Hollingsworth was known for hip black comedies (one of them closed by the Toronto police) and video-rock stagings of Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World; he may have seemed the playwright least likely to spend the next thirty years writing about Canadian history. But that year, Canada presented a pageant in which a British queen and a Québécois prime minister marked the repatriation of the Constitution. Michael was drawn to the drama, and suddenly became aware that he barely understood its significance. Born to Welsh and Irish parents, he had arrived in Canada at the age of five and, like most Canadians of the TV generation, knew more about the Alamo than the Algonquin. Humbled by ignorance and driven by passionate curiosity, he posed a question – “Why is this country the way it is?” – and set out to answer it. He began ransacking usedbook stores, reading original materials at the library and devouring the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, thrilled to find that Canada’s history was as tragic and ridiculous as any country’s. For a young playwright in search of characters and plots, here was treasure. Michael committed himself to writing a comprehensive cycle of plays to be called The History of the Village of the Small Huts (an early translation of the Huron-Iroquois word Canada), basing his writing on the premise of three founding nations: Native, French and British. His mind was well stocked with plays from every era, and his project inclined him toward the ancient and Renaissance theatres, with their epic stories, teeming characters and minimal sets. As he began to write New France, the outsized characters of Canadian history aligned with stageworthy archetypes – kings and courtiers, warriors and lovers, saints and hypocrites, old husbands and young wives – who personify the eternal tragi-comedy of the human heart.
With unerring taste for the sublime and the tormented, Michael reduced hundreds of historic figures to forty-eight essential characters, and papered the walls of his apartment with a totally unproduceable four-hundred-page draft. Working with fearless actors in lively workshops, he rediscovered the old tricks of theatrical “doubling” – early exits, delayed entrances, monologues to hold the stage while costumes are changed – and then devised charts of characters and scenes to track the actors’ paths. The stories of Donnacona and Cartier, Champlain and Anadabijou, Brebeuf and Atironta, Frontenac, Garangula, Les Filles du Roi and dozens more were condensed until they could be staged with a cast of nine on the slim resources of VideoCabaret and Theatre Passe Muraille. Since the première of New France in 1985, Michael has launched a thousand fools upon the stage in twenty-five productions of an expanding repertoire of History Plays.
To mount these grand productions on modest budgets depends on the priceless collaboration of many great souls. From the beginning, Michael worked with visionary designers over multiple productions, and each added immeasurably to the ongoing creation of the style. Chris Clifford’s videolandscapes for Michael’s earlier work revealed the power of closely framed gestures, quick highlighted appearances and a limitless cast of characters. In writing the History Plays, Michael reclaimed this dramatic vocabulary for the empty stage with rapid cross-plotting, in pithy scenes, defined by the stage direction: “The lights fade out, in another playing area the lights fade in.” Lighting and set designs by Jim Plaxton (1985–99) and Andy Moro (since 2000) match the playwright’s formal idea, using shards of light to frame the actors, and brief blackouts to edit their appearances and vanishings. To fill these flickering scenes with unforgettable
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Photo of Michael Hollingsworth & Deanne Taylor, in rehearsal by Michael Cooper, 2012
images, Astrid Janson designs hyperbolic costumes that transform the actors’ bodies with bellies, bottoms, breasts or biceps, and instantly establish period and place without further scenery. The props and puppets by Brad Harley and Shadowland, and the wigs by Alice Norton, complete a handmade spectacle of great beauty and wit. The History Plays are ultimately brought to life by seven or eight actors, playing dozens of continuing characters in tiny shards of light with Dervish-level choreography. The challenge has always attracted marvellous actors, forming a slowly changing ensemble whose veterans pass on to newcomers the arts of finding one’s light and not losing one’s moustache. Between productions, Michael develops new drafts with the company who take the stage with cold pages in hand, channel astonishing characters, track seven character arcs and provoke bellyfuls of laughter. In rehearsal, lighting and sound designs are integrated from day one; the actors intensify their characterizations and trim all but the most eloquent moves or gestures, trusting the precise frames of light to magnify a raised eyebrow. In stylized make-up they
play any age, sex or ethnicity; they exit as one character and re-enter thirty seconds later as another; backstage, the intricate dance of costume changes and prop-handling never pauses. Playing with the actors, through thousands of cues are the invisible performers: the late composer and musician Brent Snyder, and the managers of lighting, sound and stage. Michael and his collaborators have created a vast human comedy – a nose-tweaking, beard-pulling, rib-tickling, gutwrenching satire of Canada’s heroes and hosers, winners and losers – that does answer the question “Why is this country the way it is?” with regular eerie resonance. But finally, it is the audience who make epic theatre possible, who enlarge cardboard swords into armies, who allow a few actors and bits of cardboard to conjure a world. In Michael’s generous theatrical vision, many characters contend for the spotlights of history, many players harmonize their artistry, and the most trusted collaborator in the dramatic journey is the audience, for it is on the stage of their imagination that the company plays.
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VideoCabaret’s production of
The WAR of 1812
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1812–15 Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth Associate Director Deanne Taylor Set and Lighting Andy Moro • Costume Astrid Janson Composer Brent Snyder • Sound Design Jake Blackwood, Brent Snyder Props Brad Harley (Shadowland Theatre) • Wigs Alice Norton Assistant Costume Design Melanie McNeill Stage Manager Andrew Dollar • Research Assistant Mac Fyfe Assistant Stage Manager Laurie Merredew Costume Makers Barb Cassidy, Erika Connor, Lina Falomkina Cutter Deanna Brown • Milliner Marianne Alas Props Assistant Arber Makri Proscenium Swag & Costume Repair Lina Falomkina Wigs Assistants Phoebe Norton, Wendy Seater Production Assistant Adam Barrett Producers Jim LeFrancois, Deanne Taylor For the Young Centre House Technician Melissa Grandovec • Audio Technician William Fallon Additional music by Gin Lane (Peter Alexander, Ken Purvis, Gavin Watt) Actors and stage management appear courtesy of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. This production features soundscapes of war, including recorded representations of musket and cannon fire. There will be one 15-minute interval. Photo of Linda Prystawska and Mac Fyfe by Michael Cooper.
Artistic Directors Michael Hollingsworth & Deanne Taylor Producer Jim LeFrancois Archive & Communications Adam Barrett Graphic Design Rick/Simon Avoid Graphics Photography Michael Cooper Video Bongo Kolycius Bookkeeper Nijole Mockevicius Board of Directors Suzanne DePoe (President), Janet Burke, Marni Jackson, Alice Klein, Allan Novak Advisory Board Gary Farmer, Bongo Kolycius, Leslie Lester, Christopher Pinheiro, Ceta Ramkhalawansingh
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The Cast of Characters Paul Braunstein Governor General Prevost, Gen. Rensselaer, American Soldier Aurora Browne The Prophet, Sophia Shaw, Mrs. Hull, Cow, Wyandot Soldier, De Salaberry, British & American Soldiers Richard Alan Campbell Gen. Harrison, James Secord, Gen. Sheaffe, Gen. Drummond, Servant, British & American Soldiers Richard Clarkin Gen. Isaac Brock, Gen Winfield Scott, Gen. Pike, Gen. Ross, Cabinet Man, British & American Soldiers Mac Fyfe Captain Fitzgibbon, Aneas Shaw, Gen. Proctor, Cabinet Man, British & American Soldiers Derek Garza Tecumseh, Gen. Hall, Cow, British & American Soldiers Jacob James President Madison, John Strachan, Richard Boerstler, Joseph Willcocks, British & American Soldiers Linda Prystawska Dolly Madison, Laura Secord, Ann Strachan, British & American Soldiers
Photo of the Company backstage by Deanne Taylor
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In 1812, Americaâ€™s War of Independence is almost three decades past, but conflict continues with Britain and with the First Nations. On the Atlantic, American trade with France is blocked and pillaged by the Royal Navy. In the lands south of the Great Lakes, Britain is supplying arms to the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and his brother the Prophet, who dream of uniting First Nations against the aggressive westward push of American settlers. In Upper Canada (now Southern Ontario), the majority of settlers are originally from the northern states â€“ British Loyalists or recovering republicans who have been granted land and clasped again to the paternal bosom of the King. General Isaac Brock, long expecting an American invasion, has garrisoned the new capital of York (now Toronto) and appointed as chaplain the Reverend John Strachan, who shares his suspicion that many locals are traitors and Yankee spies.
s President James Madison prepares for war, American troops burn Prophetstown, shattering the centre of the Native confederacy and forcing Tecumseh into a full alliance with Brock and the British. With the greatest part of the British army fighting Napoleon in Europe, the Native forces are crucial. America declares war on Britain, marches a large force to Fort Detroit and plans to invade Canada with
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every confidence of a warm welcome and instant regime change. But Brock and Tecumseh invade America with a small force, and Detroit is surrendered immediately; months later, the American attack on Queenston is repelled by British troops, Native warriors and Upper Canadian militia.
he war will not be over by Christmas. The battles of Frenchtown, Stoney Creek, Beaver Dams, the Thames, Chateaugay and Lundy’s Lane – and the ravaging of farms and homes between – are seen through the stories of legendary generals and presidents-to-be, Captain Fitzgibbon and the Bloody Boys, farmers Laura and James Secord, and the heretofore unknown soldiers Smith and Thomas. After three years of bloodshed on land and lake, the Yankees have burned York, the Yorkees have burned Washington, and everyone has burned the Natives. In 1814 a peace settlement is signed between America and Great Britain – and the latter, with a combination of ignorance and indifference, abandons the alliance with the Natives south of the Lakes, whose lands are lost forever. The border between America and the Canadas is left exactly where it was in 1811, but atrocious memories and useful myths will heighten allegiances on both sides and shape two distinct cultures.
The War of 1812 was originally the final part of The British, a quartet of plays (also including The Plains of Abraham, Pontiac and The Loyalists) about the northern expansion of the British Empire into French and Native territories. The play is deeply researched and richly imagined – characters and events are compressed and dramatized with a liberal use of theatrical license.
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COMPANY Biographies Paul Braunstein – Acting Ensemble This show marks Paul’s sixth show with VideoCabaret, and his first outside of the Cameron House with the company — others include Laurier and The Life & Times of Mackenzie King. Paul has worked extensively for twenty years in theatres across Canada, such as the Neptune in Halifax, the NAC in Ottawa and the Tarragon here in Toronto. Recently he toured Volcano’s Goodness to the Belfry in Victoria. Select theatre credits include: The Overcoat, Kilt, Much Ado About Nothing, And Up They Flew, Alias Godot. Film and Television: The Thing, Jesus Henry Christ, Eddie The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Heartland, Suits, Flashpoint, Less Than Kind, Murdoch Mysteries, The Listener, Rookie Blue and Saving Hope. Paul is also a professional drummer from time to time, and is the proud father of three sons. Aurora Browne - Acting Ensemble This is Aurora’s first show with Videocabaret and she is delighted to join the Ensemble. A graduate of York University’s BFA Acting program, Aurora has been performing in Toronto for almost twenty years. She was a member of the mainstage cast at Toronto’s Second City, where she co-wrote and performed in four award-winning revues. Theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Little Prince (Resurgence Theatre); An Inconvenient Musical (Factory Theatre); Hello....Hello (Tarragon Theatre) and The Tempest (Magnus Theatre). Aurora was nominated for the Tim Sims Encouragement Fund Award, and in 2008 won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Female Improviser. Richard Alan Campbell – Acting Ensemble In addition to last summer’s run of The War of 1812 in Stratford, Richard has appeared in six other productions for VideoCabaret, including The Red River Rebellion, Laurier, The Great War and The Life & Times Of Mackenzie King (Dora Nomination, Acting Ensemble). He most recently appeared in It’s A Wonderful Life and Turcotte’s Triple Crown for Theatre New Brunswick. Other selected credits include: The Tempest, The Taming Of The Shrew (Theatre by the Bay); Ruined (Obsidian/Nightwood Theatre); A Christmas Carol (TNB); King Lear (Driftwood Theatre); The Graduate (The Grand Theatre); The Sideshow Of The Damned (Eldritch Theatre); King John, Titus Andronicus, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and more (Shakespeare in the Rough); Audience Unveiling Protest, Waiting For Lefty (The CO). He was an Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Rough for three seasons. Film/TV: Charlie Bartlett (MGM), Coltrane, 5ive Girls (5ive Girls Films), Murdoch Mysteries, Mayday, Warehouse 13. Love to Cedar and Coltrane. Thanks to Michael Hollingsworth for inspiration and genius. Richard Clarkin - Acting Ensemble For VideoCabaret: The War of 1812 (Stratford), The Great War, Red River Rebellion; Speaking In Tongues, Festen, A Whistle In The Dark (Company Theatre); SiT (Belfry); Hannah’s Turn (Summerworks); The Eco Show, Half-Life Tour (Necessary Angel); Ring Round the Moon, Twelfth Night (Soulpepper); The Lion King, Death of a Salesman (Mirvish); Sherlock Holmes, Dinner With Friends (Theatre Aquarius); The Fighting Days, The Price, Waiting
for Godot, Mating Dance of the Werewolf, Beauty Queen of Leenane (MTC); King Lear, Merchant of Venice (Stratford); Hedda Gabler, The Pregnant Pause (ATF); Dora nomination for Uncle Vanya (Guardian Springs); co founder Primus Film: Solo, Molly Maxwell, Goon, You Are Here, Finn’s Girl, Land of the Dead, Production Office, The Third Eye, City of Fear, The Five Senses Television: The Firm, Lost Girl, The Listener, Republic of Doyle, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, Flashpoint, The Border, Naturally Sadie (series regular) Mac Fyfe – Acting Ensemble Mac is very pleased to be a part of The War of 1812, thrilled to be at the Young Centre, and is looking forward to touring The War of 1812 to Ottawa, where he played Brutus with the Ottawa Shakespeare Company last fall. In addition to his work on the stage, Mac has appeared in film and television for projects such as Being Erica, The Con Artist, etc. Derek Garza – Acting Ensemble Derek is a First Nations Chicago-based actor with his M.F.A in Acting from Penn State University. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Mortar Theatre Company in Chicago and was last seen as Grandpa in Salt Baby at the Next Stage Festival. Other Chicago theatres he has worked with include TimeLine Theatre, Mortar Theatre Company, Victory Gardens, Chicago Dramatist and Steppenwolf. Derek returns to Toronto after playing Almighty Voice in the Canadian tour of Almighty Voice And His Wife and assistant directing Tara Beagan’s Free As Injuns with Ruth Madoc-Jones. Thanks to all his friends, family and B! Jacob James – Acting Ensemble For VideoCabaret: The Life & Times of Mackenzie King, The War of 1812 (Stratford). Elsewhere: Seven seasons with the Stratford Festival - Ariel in The Tempest, Moth in Love’s Labours Lost, Tim in Noises Off; four seasons with The Thousand Islands Playhouse Russian Play/Essay, Drowsy Chaperone, 39 Steps and Billy Bishop Goes to War. He has also appeared in Billy Bishop Goes to War for the Globe Theatre in Regina. Film/TV: Damnation (Redstar), Urban Legends (A&E), The 99 (animated series, for Teshkeel). Jacob is overjoyed to be back with his VideoCab wolf pack. Linda Prystawska – Acting Ensemble The War of 1812 at the Tank House Theatre marks Linda’s sixth show with Toronto’s wild and wonderful VideoCabaret. Other shows for VidCab include The War of 1812 at the Stratford Festival, The Life & Times of Mackenzie King, Laurier, The Canadian Pacific Scandal and Red River Rebellion. Born in Luzern, Switzerland and raised in Ottawa, Linda divides her time between acting and teaching. For other theatres in Canada, favourite credits include: Angels in America (the Angel) at Canadian Stage, Trainspotting (Canadian Stage); George F. Walker’s, Adult Entertainment, Escape from Happiness (Factory Theatre); Antony and Cleopatra (Octavia), Troilus and Cressida (Helen of Troy) for The Stratford Festival; Macbeth ( Lady Macbeth) and Midsummer Night’s Dream ( Hermia / Snout) at Young People’s Theatre and “Sima” in Claudia Dey’s Beaver at Passe Muraille. As always, many thanks to parents, Walter and Viki, for their support and generosity, and to Michael and Deanne for their unwavering vision.
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Adam Barrett – Production Assistant Adam is VideoCab’s digital mechanic, and has helped with the creation of the company’s archive and online Play Gallery. Adam has worked as an actor in numerous Fringe sensations, including Ambiguous (Afterglow Theatre), Dirty Girls (knockabout theatre) and his own script, theUrbanFarmShow. Film: Actor in Lost Girl, Trigger, and that McDonald’s commercial a while back. Production Manager: Sky Gilbert’s upcoming Some Arguments About Buddhism. Associate producer: LIAR, by Adam Garnet Jones. Production Coordinator: Trigger, by D. MacIvor, directed by B. Macdonald. Since blindly diving headfirst into the filing cabinets at the VC Studio, Adam has become passionate about preserving Toronto’s rich theatrical history, and loves nothing more than finding old VHS tapes. Jake Blackwood – Sound Co-Design & Operator Jake is a musician, composer and sound designer based in Toronto, ON. Recent credits include: The War of 1812 (Sound Designer, VideoCabaret/Stratford Festival), The Life & Times of Mackenzie King, The Great War (Sound Designer, VideoCabaret), Into (Composer and Sound Designer, Afterglow Theatre Company), Fighting Fire with Snow, Adrift, Speaking of Which (Production Designer, World’s End Theatre Company in Fogo Nfld.). Training: Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts. Website: www.soundcloud.com/seguine Andrew Dollar - Stage Manager Andrew’s past shows with Video Cabaret are: The Life & Times of Mackenzie King, The Great War, Laurier, The Canadian Pacific Scandal, The Saskatchewan Rebellion and Red River Rebellion, Other Stage Management credits include: Double Bill and The Aleph (Soulpepper Theatre Company), Live Wrong and Prosper (The Second City Theatre), Gandhi High (Tetrault Productions) Girl In The Goldfish Bowl, The Dishwashers, The Fantasticks and The Glass Menagerie (The Red Barn Theatre), Them & us, Thunderstick and The Rediscovery Of Sex (Theatre Passe Muraille) The Drowsy Chaperone (Best Man Productions and Mirvish Productions) McGillicuddy and The Passion Of Narcisse Mondoux (The Blyth Festival) Enoch Arden and Bebe (The Theatre Centre). Brad Harley - Props Brad is a long-time collaborator on VideoCabaret’s The History of the Village of the Small Huts, having worked on almost every one of them, since the beginning of time. With Shadowland Theatre (selected design highlights): Large scale figures for Frida & Diego at the AGO, Hansel & Gretel: A Case Study (writer, designer), Crude-mentary Tales, The Light That Stands Still, The Essence of Ambrose Ichor, Ashkenaz Festival Parades since 1995 and Art House Cabaret (costume design, for Buddies in Bad Times). Internationally: Horse and Bamboo Theatre (U.K.), Bread and Puppet Theater (U.S.), and Trinidad’s Peter Minshall. Film: A Travelling Medicine Show (Amnon Buchbinder, art direction). Brad is a co-founder of Shadowland Theatre, and is the recipient of three Dora Awards for Outstanding Costume Design.
Astrid Janson – Costume Design Her work as a set, costume and production designer has been seen on many stages across Canada as well as in Europe and the US. Recent projects include a new production of Otello in Sweden, Doc for Soulpepper, Nureyev (a dance film) for TV and a new ballet of Alice in Wonderland in Germany. For VideoCabaret she has designed the costumes for twelve productions of Michael Hollingsworth’s award-winning series, The History of the Village of the Small Huts. Astrid is the recipient of thirteen Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Silver Ticket Award for lifetime achievement, Gemini Award (Shadow Pleasures), Toronto Drama Bench Award. Jim LeFrancois - Producer Jim is an award-winning artist and producer of contemporary Canadian theatre. Credits include ten seasons at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Artistic Producer in 2003-09); numerous shows for VideoCabaret (The Life and Times of Mackenzie King, The Great War, The Mackenzie/ Papineau Rebellion, The British, New France and The Life and Times of Brian Mulroney). Awards: Dora Mavor Moore Award (Outstanding New Musical, ArtHouse Cabaret, co-devised with David Oiye), the inaugural Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award (2008) and a Harold Award. Jim is also writing/composing a new musical; the soundtrack and virtual storyboard will be released in the fall. Many thanks to Michael and Deanne. Melanie McNeill – Ass’t Costume Designer Melanie is proud to have been a part of the Videocab family since Confederation. Select designs include: Shakespeare’s Nigga (costume, Obsidian Theatre), Les Fourberies de Scapin (costume, Theatre Français de Toronto), Bloodless (costume, Theatre 20), Expire (set & costume, ProArte Danza), Spelling 255 (set & costume, Carousel Players); Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show, Madhouse Variations (set & costume, Eldritch Theatre); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (costume, Birdland Theatre); and Andromache, Hamlet (assistant costume, Necessary Angel). Film/TV: Todd & The Book of Pure Evil, season 2 (Assistant Costume Designer, SPACE). Melanie has received one Dora Award (for Madhouse Variations) and was nominated for the 2013 Virginia & Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design. Laurie Merredew - ASM Laurie is excited to be back for her fifth run with VideoCabaret. Recent credits include: Stage Manager: Laws of Motion (Small Elephant Co-Op), Assistant Stage Manager: The War of 1812, The Life & Times of Mackenzie King, The Great War (VideoCabaret), The Tempest (Theatre by the Bay). Apprentice Stage Manager: The Merry Widow (Toronto Operetta Theatre), Rigoletto (Opera Hamilton), The Great Gatsby (The Grand Theatre), Our Town, The Time of Your Life (Soulpepper Theatre Company). Laurie is a graduate of York University’s Theatre Production & Design program.
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Andy Moro – Lighting & Set Design Andy is a multi-award-winning designer of mixed Mushkegowuk Cree and Euro heritage. He has been designing for The History of the Village of the Small Huts since 2000. Recent work includes Native Earth’s free as injuns by Tara Beagan, Set and Projection for New Harlem and Saskatchewan Native Theatre’s The Hours That Remain by Keith Barker, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Transmigration, YPT’s Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest and Agokwe at Buddies in Bad Times, the National Arts Centre, The Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Aki Studio Theatre and the Yukon Arts Centre. Upcoming is ARC’s Bea at the Factory. He is a core member of the creative team at the Banff Centre’s Indigenous Dance Residency and cofounder of the Production Mentorship program at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre.
Alice Norton - Wigs Alice has designed for VideoCabaret’s The History of the Village of the Small Huts since 2003. Other design credits include: Andromache, Hamlet (Necessary Angel/Theatre Babel), El Numero Uno (Young People’s Theatre), e-dentity (Theatre Gargantua/Mirvish), ArtHouse Cabaret (Buddies in Bad Times), Opera to Go (Tapestry New Opera). Performance Art: In Pursuit of Happiness (Tanya Mars). Dance: Spinster’s Almanac (Susie Burpee). Film: Dr. Theo’s Travelling Medicine Show (Amnon Buchbinder/Shadowland). Alice’s background in carnival and parade and her penchant for caricature have been essential ingredients in the success of her collaboration with Astrid Janson and VideoCabaret. She also runs her own salon, House of Big Hair, on Toronto Island. “As for Alice Norton’s wigs – well, just imagine if Frank Gehry were a hairdresser!” NOW, 2007.
Photo of Aurora Browne & Richard Clarkin (top left) by Deanne Taylor. Photos of Paul Braunstein (above), Derek Garza (far left) and Richard Campbell by Nathan Kelly.
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Everywhere you are.
In print, online and now on iPad. Download the free app at nowtoronto.com/app.
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We Gratefully Acknowledge ... the long-term support and commitment of the Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council to the development of original theatrical vocabulary, new plays, and strong repertoires; ... the extraordinary contributions of BMO Financial Group & Nada Ristich, our 2012-13 Season Sponsor and major supporter since 2007; ... the sustaining partnerships 2000-2012 of Media Sponsor NOW Magazine & Alice Klein who magnify our communications; ... the collaborative spirit of our 2013 Venue Partner, The Young Centre for the Performing Arts; … the ongoing generosity of Anne-Marie Ferraro, Cosmo Ferraro, Paul Ferraro and the Cameron House, Mendl Schwarz and Incredible Printing, Rick/Simon, Stan Bevington and Coach House Press. Photo of Jacob James and Linda Prystaws ka by Michael Cooper (2012)
VideoCabaret thanks the incredible staff at the Young Centre for making us feel at home, including: Albert Schultz Leslie Lester, TJ Tasker, Tal Hebdon, Craig McDermott, Erin Vandenberg, Katie Saunoris. Nick Tracey, Greg Poulin Peter Harte, Claire Sakaki, Jacob Robert Whibley, LJ Savage, Farwah Gheewala, Melissa Grandovec and William Fallon. This production of The War of 1812 was originally presented by The Stratford Shakepearean Festival of Canada in 2012 thanks to: Des McAnuff, Antoni Cimolino, Dean Gabourie, Judith Richardson, Anita Gaffney, Jason Mller David Auster, John Tiggleoven, David Prosser, Rosie Driscoll. Robbin Cheesman, Brad (Shaggy) Stephenson Tyson Wentworth, Greg Morris, John Bynum and Alana Scheel. Special thanks to 2012 cast members Greg Campbell Anand Rajaram & Michaela Washburn. VideoCabaret also thanks the following for their support: Margie Zeidler, Cliff Cardinal, Tara Beagan, Philip Akin Theatrebooks, Ken Cameron, Michael Ondaatje, Jacob Zimmer, Matthew Jocelyn, Cynthia Ashperger, John Sewell Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Margaret Evans, Kevin Bundy, Jason Jazrawy, Billy Merasty, Aviva Armour-Ostroff Herbie Barnes, Claire Hopkinson, Roseneath Theatre, Daniel Lynch, Toronto Police Stables’ Sgt. Patterson Officer Price & Elvis the horse, Terry Wedel & Euan Hunter at VO2 Mix, Ellen Roach, Carter West, Matie McPhee Sherri Catt, Frédérique Chauvin and Haley Pierce.
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A nd our 2012-13 Donors (as of April 4, 2013)…
JOIN THE LIST…
Empire Builders J. Hans Kluge, Bruce & Elda Ratford, Stephen Smith The Ed Mirvish Family Charitable Foundation The McLean Foundation Loyalists Cathy & Barry Joslin, Noel Mowat Native Allies James Aldridge & Vinetta Strombergs, Steven Lico Rick/Simon
Help VideoCabaret finance The WAR of 1812 YOURS not to do or die, YOURS but to go and buy… VICTORY BONDS If you would like to support VideoCabaret by making a tax-deductible donation, fill out the Donation slip included in your programme, or drop us a line at email@example.com. MERCI.
Secret Weapons Gordon & Kathleen Agar, Anne & Bob Bower Lesley Byrne, Della Golland, Beverly Harris Walda Janson, Daniel David Moses, Walter & Victoria Prystawski, Paul Renton, Mark & Bettie Tullis War Heroes Hrant & Sheila Alianak, Robert Allsopp, Cynthia Benoit-Sarrazin, Bob Bernecky, Richard Chester Elsie Dollekamp, Lisa Douglas, Sian Ferguson, Mary Finlay, Carmen Grant, Pamela Grundy Laurence D. Hebb, Jon Kaplan, Karen & Allan Kazmer, Ted Johns, Diana Macpherson & Jeffrey D’Hondt in memory of Jay Macpherson, Stephen Otto, Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Sandy Stagg Ann Stuart, Eloise Thurier, Robert Wallace Cannon Fodder David Ackerman, Owen Anderson, Michael Crook E&R Diesenhaus, David Fox, Pamela & Ron Mazza Neil Orford, Lillian Roth, Jonathan Brett Still Mary Williamson
If by some all too human error we have omitted your name, please let us know. We shall celebrate you prominently for the next year or five on our website and communications, and offer such pitiful apologies that you will forgive and give and give again.
Photo of Linda Prystawska & Aurora Browne by Nathan Kelly.
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“There are very few artists in the world that manage to be seminal and groundbreaking at once… in Toronto it is Michael Hollingsworth and Deanne Taylor’s VideoCabaret… for four decades these masterly renegades have been pushing down walls at the same time that they have been constructing a profoundly sound and unique artistic aesthetic. Artistic Director 23
VideoCabaret 808 Queen Street West, Toronto M5V 2A7 Ontario, Canada 416 703-1725 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.videocab.com
From VideoCabaret's 2013 presentation of The War of 1812 at The Young Centre.