BirdBrain copy

April 22 – July 5, 2014
Young Company Travelling Production

“Under my hat, it’s just fun and laughter, under my hat, I have no fear. Under my hat, there’s a secret treasure…”


By Vern Thiessen
Based on the story Vogelkopf by Albert Wendt
Directed by Charlotte Gowdy

  • The Thousand Islands Playhouse Young Company consists of emerging artists who travel across Eastern Ontario with a children’s show that they perform in schools, libraries, parks and at events. Read more about the troupe here.

    Bird Brain
    Great for grades JK – 5!

    When a kind-hearted woodcutter comes across a nest of freezing baby birds, he is somehow enchanted into giving them a warm home under his hat. The problem is, Bird Brain lives in a world where tipping your hat to others is not only a courtesy, but in fact the law with severe punishments. Bird Brain finds himself torn between doing what he feels is right to save his little friends and following the laws and social norms. Will he follow the rules, or follow his heart? This courageous comedy about choosing to be different is full of laughs and teaches us that strange behaviour isn’t always foolish.

    Click here for the Bird Brain Study Guide

  • Tour Dates

    School Tour: April 22 – June 27, 2014

    FREE Public Performances: June 5 – July 5, 2014
    Thursdays and Saturdays 4:30pm: Town Hall Park (Gananoque)
    June 7, 2:00pm: Firehall Theatre
    July 1 (Canada Day), 3:00pm: Town Hall Park (Gananoque)


  • Cast

    Luke Brown
    Nan Chen
    Alexandra Montagnese
    Dylan On

    Creative Team

    Director: Charlotte Gowdy
    Assistant Director/Choreographer: Bridget Gilhooly
    Composer/ Sound Designer: Sean McCabe
    Costume Designer: Jayne Christopher
    Set & Props Designer: Brian Frommer


    Vern Thiessen – Playwright
    A multi-award winning playwright, Vern Thiessen’s plays are seen around the world from New York to New Zealand, Canada to China. In 2003 he won the Governor Generals Literary Award, Canada’s highest honour for playwriting. His work has been translated into several languages including German, French, Polish and Hebrew. His play, Shakespeare’s Will has been produced twice at Canada’s Stratford Festival. Lenin’s Embalmers, A More Perfect Union and Einstein’s Gift have been produced Off-Broadway in New York. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Thiessen now divides his time between Canada and New York City. He is married to acclaimed novelist, Susie Maloney.

    Luke Photo

    Luke Brown
    Luke hails from the small town of Sussex, New Brunswick. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Alvin Shaw Memorial Award, presented at the New Brunswick Drama Festival to an individual with the most professional potential. Luke has worked with children at KidSing Performance Schools for four years, where he led musical theatre classes and summer camps. The magic of theatre continues to stimulate his imagination as a student in the Queen’s University Department of Drama.


    Nan PhotoNan Chen 
    Nan is a Queen’s University Drama student in the Concurrent Education program. In the fall, Nan will be returning to Queen’s to attend Teacher’s College. When not on stage of waving at people who are too far away to see him, Nan enjoys teaching ESL and drama at summer camp, participating in drama workshops at the Royal Military College, roaming the streets of France, reading, running and rolling on the floor laughing. Nan is thrilled to work with the Young Company!


    AlexHeadshotFinalAlexandra Montagnese
    Originally from Northern Ontario, Alexandra attended high school in Kingston, Ontario at KCVI eventually making her way to Montreal where she completed her studies in English Drama and Theatre at McGill University. Alex is the co-founder of the arts collective La Plante in Montreal. She is excited to be working with the vibrant, inspiring energy of the Young Company community!


    Dylan photoDylan On
    A native of Ottawa, Dylan has spent the last four years completing his undergraduate degree in Drama and Psychology at Queen’s University. Last summer he performed theatre for young audiences with Barefoot Players in Kingston. Next year he will be heading to Toronto to study at York University’s MA program in Theatre & Performance Studies.



    Charlotte Gowdy- TIP AADCharlotte Gowdy
    For the Playhouse: Director: Peg and the Yeti, Assistant Director: Boeing Boeing
    Elsewhere: Director: Red (Theatre Kingston); Dumbo Squid (Summerworks, Birdtown & Swanville); The Comedy of Errors, Escape From Happiness, Better Living (Fanshawe College Theatre); Why Do You Smoke So Much Lily (Nightwood, 4×4 Fest). Assistant Director: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Touchmark Theatre); 5B (Hysteria Fest); Imprints (Theatre Gargantua). As Actor: Three seasons at Shaw Festival, Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Grand Theatre, Blyth Festival, St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival, Odyssey Theatre, Theatre NorthWest, Resurgence (touring production), Theatre Lac Brome, Nightwood Theatre, Canadian Stage (Dream in High Park).
    Other: Graduate National Theatre School (acting); Ecole Philippe Gaulier (Paris, France); Guest Instructor, Drama Department at Queen’s University.
    Upcoming: Playing Rita in Educating Rita (Thousand Islands Playhouse).

    Bridget Photo

    Bridget Gilhooly
    Education & Theatre Training:
    Queen’s University, Department of Drama
    Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
    Theatre Credits: Pippin (Blue Canoe Productions); Almost, Maine (5th Company Lane Productions); Nine, Anne & Gilbert, Songs for a New World (Blue Canoe Productions); Tuesdays and Sundays (5th Company Lane Productions); Madame, Madame, Pulse (Vogt Studio Series); Spring Awakening, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Queen’s Musical Theatre)

    Sean photoSean McCabe
    Education & Theatre Training:
    Queen’s University, Drama Major
    Hometown: Ottawa, ON
    Theatre Credits: Lilies (Queen’s Drama); Nine, Songs for a New World (Blue Canoe Productions); Tuesdays and Sundays (5th Company Lane); Memoirs of a Gay Sean (Vogt Studio Series); Spring Awakening, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Queen’s Musical Theatre).

    jayne headshotJayne Christopher
    For the Playhouse: 24th Season in the Thousand Islands Playhouse Wardrobe; designs for many TIP Young Company Productions; costume design for Henry & Alice: Into the Wild, Drowning Girls, Marvellous Wonderettes, Forever Plaid, Old Love, Saltwater Moon. Elsewhere: Hair, Grease, Nunsense, Fiddler on the Roof, White Christmas, Three Penny Opera, 42nd Street, Anything Goes and Les Mis. (St Lawrence College Musical Theatre Program); Winter Wonderettes (Theatre Kingston). Other: Jayne is a happy resident of Gananoque, and the proud Mum of Jessica and Laura.

    Brian Frommer
    Biography and headshot coming soon!

  • Photos

    no images were found

    Ashlie’s Inside Story

  • Press

    “This Bird Brain is Intelligent” – Kingston EMC

    “Bird Brain” Triumphs in Town Park – A Fresh News Start

  • Sponsors

    Town of Gananoque