TIP Spotlight: Todd Thomson of Don’t Dress For Dinner

Name: Todd Thomson
Home town: London, Ontario
Role/position: Bernard in DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER

Todd Tomson

Thousand Islands Playhouse: You’re stranded on one of the 1000 islands.  Other than food and water, what three items would you take with you?
Todd Thomson: Guitar, swim suit, my son. 

TIP: Do you cook? What is your favourite meal to cook?
TT: Cedar plank salmon with new potatoes, and corn on the cob!

TIP: What led you to acting/theatre?
TT: It’s the most joyous occupation of any job I’ve done. 

TIP: Tell us one truth and one white lie about yourself. We will try to guess which one’s which.
TT: I bungee jumped off the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver. I have 12 patents for my inventions in computer software. 

TIP:What’s at the top of your bucket list, theatre or otherwise?
TT: To play Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman, and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing

See what kind of madcap hijinks  Todd gets up to in DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER, now playing at the Springer Theatre until August 22! Click here for more info on the show.
 

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TIP Spotlight: Jamie Northan of Blind Date

Name: Jamie NorthanNorthan, Jamie1
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Role in Blind Date: Stage Manager and Sound Improviser. (But, I’ve done every role in Blind Date)

Thousand Islands Playhouse: If you could have one super power what would it be? 
Jamie Northan: Time travel.

TIP: What’s at the top of your bucket list?
JN: Learn to surf & live somewhere tropical. 

TIP: What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
JN: Saying “Gananoque”.

TIP: What led you to improv?
JN: Loose Moose Theatre! The work they do, and the learning opportunities they provided were amazing and addictive!

TIP: What is your favourite part of dating? Why?
JN: Flirting and the chase. I love when the person who you’re interested in is playing that fun back and forth that gives both of you butterflies. 

TIP: What is your favourite dating activity (dining out, long walks on the beach, quiet night in, wild night out on the town)… why? 
JN: There’s no one right activity. It’s who you’re doing it with, not what you’re doing. 

There are only SIX chances left to catch BLIND DATE before it closes on July 26. Tickets are going fast, so make sure to call the Box Office today, or book your tickets online here.

Follow Jamie on Twitter @jmenorthan
Follow Blind Date on Facebook Blind Date OnStage and Twitter @BlindDateOnTour

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TIP Spotlight: Christy Bruce of Blind Date!

Bruce2

Name: Christy Bruce
Hometown: Originally Calgary, but now Toronto
Role in Blind Date: Mimi

Thousand Islands Playhouse: If you could have one super power what would it be? 
Christy Bruce: Time travel.

TIP: What’s at the top of your bucket list?
CB: Seeing more of the world. 

TIP: What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
CB: Its beauty and relaxed pace. 

TIP: What led you to improv?
CB: We like to call Loose Moose Theatre (where we all started) the Island of Misfit Toys. It was a place we just felt like we fit in, and I love knowing someone has my back.

TIP: What is your favourite part of dating? Why?
CB: Getting to know someone on a deeper level. And, the butterflies in your stomach. 

TIP: What is your favourite dating activity (dining out, long walks on the beach, quiet night in, wild night out on the town)… why? 
CB: My God! I’d take them all. Variety is the spice of life. 

There is only one week left to catch Christy as Mimi the Clown in Blind Date, now playing until July 26 at the Firehall Theatre. Tickets are going fast, so make sure to call the Box Office today, or book your tickets online here.

Follow Christy on Twitter @christybruce11
Follow Blind Date on Facebook Blind Date OnStage and Twitter @BlindDateOnTour

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TIP Spotlight: W. Joseph Matheson of The Pirates of Penzance!

Modern Major Genera - POP - TIP2015Name: W. Joseph Matheson

Hometown: Alliston, Ontario (born Saskatoon)

What would your pirate nickname be?: Lefty

Role in Pirates of Penzance: (Modern) Major General Stanley

  1. If you could have one super power what would it be?
    Curing cancer
  2. What’s at the top of your bucket list?
    A long trip to Italy.
  3. What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
    The fireflies.
  4. What led you to musical theatre/singing or acting in general?
    Wanting to tell stories.
  5. You’ve crashed your pirate ship on one of the Thousand Islands. What would you name the island?
    Ottawa. Just to confuse U.S. Border patrols.
  6. What is your signature pirate look… why?
    Eye Patch and a hook (“Lefty”).

Don’t miss Joe in The Pirates of Penzance only playing until Saturday, July 18th! You can buy your tickets today online or at the Box Office: 613-382-7086.

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CLOSER THAN EVER: Spotlight on Steven Greenfield

Name: Steven Greenfield
Nickname: Steveo
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

If you could have one super power what would it be?
Time manipulation.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
Being on an original cast recording.

If you could name one of the Thousand Islands what would you call it?
JVR Archipelago

What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
HMG’s Silver Cinema! It’s so adorably whimsical!

What life lesson has made you stronger as a person?
Changing who you are in order to be “right” for something then makes you “wrong” for something else. Be authentic!

Have there been any unexpected doors that have opened for you that have led you to where you are today?
Music directing, in general, is a door that opened for me through taking piano lessons as a child. Not a career that I ever expected, but I love it!

What led you to musical theatre/singing? 
My mom was an elementary school music teacher. I’ve been singing since before I can remember. 

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CLOSER THAN EVER: Spotlight on Paul Clifford

Name: Paul Clifford
Hometown: Kingston, Ontario

If you could have one super power what would it be?
To have mind control, and to fly.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
To retire in Spain.

If you could name one of the Thousand Islands what would you call it?
Enrique Island

What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
The farmers market and bandstand concerts.

What life lesson has made you stronger as a person?
Having a kid gives new meaning to the term endurance.

Have there been any unexpected doors that have opened for you that have led you to where you are today?
Meeting my wife/moving to Japan.

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CLOSER THAN EVER: Spotlight on Leon Willey

Name: Leon Willey
Nickname: Leon
Hometown: Bowen Island, BC

If you could have one super power what would it be?
To stop time.

Leon Willey Headshot - CTE

What’s at the top of your bucket list?
To be in a great production in every province.

If you could name one of the Thousand Islands what would you call it?
Sawyer’s Island

What is your favourite thing about Gananoque?
The Playhouse on the river.

What life lesson has made you stronger as a person?
Hummmmm…I really enjoy life and don’t ever need to apologise. 

Have there been any unexpected doors that have opened for you that have led you to where you are today?
Yes. There are many little ones, I just have to walk through. 

What led you to musical theatre/singing?
A girl.

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A Comedic Masterpiece

By Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig-Standard

“Aside from being a farce of mistaken identity, the play pokes fun at Victorian society’s views on money, marriage and, naturally, class. The humour rolls out fast and furiously.”

“As the two playboys, Christopher and Smith play off each other nicely. Christopher’s Algy strikes the perfect note, and he certainly knows how to deliver a punchline.”

“The brides-to-be, Degenstein and Deon are both terrific and play off each other well. Their testy tea together was wonderfully done.” 

“Lady Bracknell has the best lines in the play, and Irving comedically delivers them with just the right amount of disdain and haughtiness.”

“With so many terrific scenes, a great deal of credit must go to director Daryl Cloran for making them so.”

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Meanwhile in Gananoque

Posted on March 7, 2013 by Lawrence Aronovitch

A friend mentioned to me some time ago that there was a new artistic director at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, near Kingston. Her name is Ashlie Corcoran, and one of the things she decided to do at TIP was to set up a Playwrights Unit for 2013. So earlier this year she invited four other playwrights and myself to meet with her and Assistant Artistic Director Charlotte Gowdy at the Playhouse once a month for the next year. We’re each working on a brand new piece, and we each get allotted a couple of sessions over the year to share and discuss our work. Ashlie’s plan is to present readings of our work at the Playhouse in December 2013.

The other playwrights are all relatively local: Douglas Bowie, many of whose works have already been produced at TIP; Craig Walker, who teaches in the theatre department at Queen’s University; Sarah Dennison, a recent graduate of the theatre program at Guelph; and my fellow Ottawa playwright Jessica Anderson.

The project I decided to work on at TIP is one that’s been in the back of my idea drawer for a very long time – because it’s an interesting bit of family history. In the early nineteenth century, an ancestor of mine won election to the Lower Canada assembly for the riding of Trois Rivières, but he was prevented from taking his seat because he was Jewish. The “Hart Affair” was a significant political issue in its day, and it wasn’t until quite a few years later that the rights of Jewish subjects to hold office was established in British North America.

Our group’s March meeting was last night at the Playhouse, and it was my turn to present. I had about 20 pages of scenes that I wanted to share and I was typically nervous and worried – what would these other writers think of my work? – and busily thinking up all sorts of excuses for my failings. But I was absolutely delighted with the supportive and constructive feedback from the other people around the table. And that’s the value of a group like this. It’s energizing. I spent the drive home thinking about everyone’s comments and the wheels are spinning madly in my head as I ponder what I want to do next with the script. Writing groups sometimes work and sometimes don’t – often it’s a question of chemistry between the people in the room. This one certainly works, and I’m grateful to Ashlie for organizing it and for inviting me to participate in it.

Stay tuned for more updates on this project over the rest of 2013, and pencil in December 5 at the Playhouse – that’s when my work is scheduled to be presented.

– Lawrence

(Source: http://www.aronovitch.ca/meanwhile-in-gananoque/)

Be sure to follow Lawrence on Twitter, @laronovitch, and the Playwrights’ Unit, @wright_the_play for frequent updates.

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Sneak Peek- Boeing Boeing!

Daryl Cloran

Daryl Cloran returns to the Playhouse to direct BOEING, BOEING  – a hilarious farce that is sure to take you up, up and away!  Produced in association with Western Canada Theatre, the same production will play in Kamloops (where Daryl is the Artistic Director) this fall.  We caught up with Daryl recently to ask about his return to the Playhouse, the ins and outs of directing a farce, and onstage mishaps!

1) What are you looking forward to most directing at the Playhouse in Gananoque?

I’m really excited to be part of Ashlie’s first season. Ashlie and I have a long history – she was my assistant director on a couple of productions when she was first starting out – and now she’s a directing super-star! (I like to pretend I had some hand in that, but really it’s just that she’s super talented)  Plus, I studied at Queens (many moons ago) so TIP holds a very special place in my heart, and it’s always so nice to come back to the region, especially now that I live in BC!

2) What is different about directing a farce, as opposed to another type of play?

Timing, timing, timing! The comedy in farce lives and dies on timing. A moment played with the right beats will be absolutely hilarious. With the wrong beats, it will be met with resounding silence from the audience.

3) Why do you think Boeing Boeing is still popular/relevant more than 50 years after it was first written?

There is something timeless about the “fish out of water” story. Robert is a poor hapless character that is completely out of his depth. It’s easy for an audience to cheer for him as he flails around trying to keep things under control. Plus the 1960s are very cool again – thanks to the hip aesthetic of shows like Mad Men. Our production will be slick, sexy and very funny.

4) Have you directed a farce before, and if so, what are some of the funniest things that has happened? 

Last season I directed Noises Off, which is one of the funniest farces ever written. It’s incredibly complicated to direct because there is action happening “on-stage” and “off-stage” at the same time. Kirk Smith played Gary in the production (Kirk will be playing Robert in our production of Boeing Boeing). There is a moment in the play when a doorknob is supposed to come off in Kirk’s hand. But during one performance, when Kirk grabbed the doorknob, he lost his grip and the doorknob went flying into the audience. Kirk stopped for a beat, and I could tell he was quickly realizing how important the doorknob was to the rest of the scene. Suddenly he ran all the way down the stairs (he was on the 2nd floor), he jumped off the stage, ran into the audience, grabbed the doorknob, ran back up the stairs and continued the scene as if nothing happened. The audience loved it. And I’m sure many of them thought it was supposed to be played that way!


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