November 17, 2010
The Curtain Club production stars Helen Gialedakis, Rakhee Morzaria, Colleen Sibeon, Lorraine Whaley, Hayley Fisher, Louise Howlings, Flo McLellan, Colleen Simm, Zara Stuart-Jones, Joan Shaw, Lise Boily, Kirsty Campbell, Juanita Harris, and Phyllis Anderson, all seasoned actors, many of whom have been seen in several The Curtain Club productions over the years. Director Joan Burrows has taken a very dramatic look at some very difficult issues such as the possibility of a mandatory death sentence, parenting, racial discrimination, and the need for unanimous verdicts by jurors in the American judicial system. Also of particular difficulty for a director is that fact that throughout their deliberation, not a single juror calls another by her name because the names are unknown by the jurors.
Based on Reginald Rose’s television drama, Sherman Sergel’s Twelve Angry Women is about t twelve jurors who must decide the fate of a 19-year-old boy accused of murdering his father. What seems like an open and shut case slowly begins to shift when one of the jurors opens the eyes of the other's to the “facts”. As the twelve women re-examine and re-enact the murder , personalities clash and hidden selves are revealed in an effort to reach the final verdict.
Twelve Angry Women was first performed on Broadway some 50 years after the television version and opened on October 28, 2004 at the Roundabout Theatre, where it ran for 328 performances.
Reginald Rose (December 10, 1920 – April 19, 2002) was an American film and television writer most widely known for his work in the early years of television drama. Rose's work is marked by its treatment of controversial social and political issues.
The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of Reginald Rose's Drama
Twelve Angry Women, stage version by Sherman L. Sergel, the second play of the 2010/2011 Season. On November 19, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of Twelve Angry Women, at the incredible price of only $18.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).
Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome St. Matthews Health Ministry as recipients of the Charity Night for Twelve Angry Women.
September 16, 2010
In The Curtain Club production of The Perfect Rhyme the cast of 3 actors spurt poetry and stampede on large Elizabethan books. Director Sharon Dykstra describes the play as the story of a poor poet (played by Steve Hetherington) who spends his days composing perfect rhymes to his “lady” (played by Nicole Downie). She further adds that working on a period piece is both exhilarating and intimidating as both the actors and the design team have to research the details of the period. For instance their posture, manner of speech, costumes, social norms were different. She thanks her design team for bringing to life the period and her actors for keeping her laughing throughout the rehearsal process.
Steve Hetherington, a long-time member of The Club who plays the poet, explains: “The comedy in this play comes from the lady’s view of men who write poems, and the difference in stations of the poet, his man servant (played by Stephan Ermel), and his lady. I feel that it also comes from the ingenious set design created by Bill Cochrane which brings real focus to the books that the poet so loves. I have really enjoyed working on this production, not least because of the crazy costume that I need to wear...can you say purple pants!”
The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of The Perfect Rhyme by Canadian playwright Barry Yzereef, the first play of the 2010/2011 Season. On September 17, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of The Perfect Rhyme, at the incredible price of only $18.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).
Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome Friends of East Guillembury Library and Canadian Federation of University Women as recipients of the Charity Night for The Perfect Rhyme.
August 2, 2010
Alas, the 2009/2010 Season comes to an end.
This season must surely have been one of the most eventful of The Curtain Club’s 5+ decade history.
We planned to begin the season late in the year to compensate for the planned renovations (yes, new bathrooms and better space for our patrons, just about nothing for us, The Club members). But, we felt it was a necessary and important investment for our loyal patrons (that’s you).
So, our plan was to open the season with I Ought to Be in Pictures, a comedy by Neil Simon. A sure hit! But, alas, the renovations delayed the season opener (I am not sure why we were surprised), and we opened the season at The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts with Marion Bridge, a first for us and a fantastic experience (dare I say) for The Curtain Club and The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.
We were reassured by The Construction Team (which includes so many groups of people only Wayne – our Vice President, and Brian – our Theatre Manager, could keep up), that things would be ready for Laugh Lines (another first for us – a series of one-act comedies) to rehearse at The Curtain Club). We were wrong. After a valiant effort by the four Laugh Lines directors and their cast and crew, we snuck back into The Curtain Club just 10 days before the one-acts opened.
We were all thrilled to be back home!
The third and fourth productions of the season were able to rehearse, enthral the audience, and close according to plan. But, what ever became of I Ought to Be in Pictures, the play that was supposed to open the season? Well, the cast and crew rehearsed off-site and it became the first ever summer production at The Club, opening just two weeks after Cliffhanger (the fourth play) closed! And what a fantastic success it was!
While all this was underway, the annual elections for new members of the Executive were held. So, we would like to thank Joan Burrows, who stepped down as president after her two year term and welcome Mary Jane Boon, our new president.
And, busy times for The Curtain Club continue with rehearsals underway for the first play of the 2010/2011 Season – The Perfect Rhyme. This comedy, arguably set in Elizabethan times, is sure to be another hit.
So, don’t dilly dally and get your season’s subscriptions now! And, yes, we are still fundraising as we have a hefty bill left from the renovations, and work is still underway – you may have noticed that the sign above our door that declares us as “The Curtain Club” is still missing! So, don’t forget to make a donation and we will graciously accept and even give you a tax receipt for your trouble!
July 12, 2010
Right: Vanessa Taylor comments on her role as Steffy: "This is perhaps Simon's most autobiographical work, as Herb, like the playwright, is a Hollywood screen-writer. I know also that Simon has daughters and was married several times. For me, playing Steffy was not dissimilar to playing an arbitrator to the fantastic emotional highs and lows experienced by Herb and Libby."
The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of I Ought to Be in Pictures by Neil Simon, the fifth and final play of the 2009/2010 Season. On July 16, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of I Ought to Be in Pictures, at the incredible price of only $15.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).
Director Andrea Emmerton notes: "In I Ought to Be in Pictures Simon writes the spirited and touching tale of an unusual family reunion. As a director, working with such rich material and at The Curtain Club is a pleasure. That said, it has been a very challenging year for us all. I started off this season stage managing Marion Bridge, which as you will recall, we had to stage at The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. With I Ought to Be in Pictures, which was rescheduled as the last play of the season from originally being scheduled to open this season in Fall of 2009, I was further challenged by the really short rehearsal time in the Theatre – you will recall that our fourth play Cliffhanger only closed on June 26, 2010. Why all these changes you might ask? Well, it’s all been due to the recent renovations at The Club. Which thankfully are complete but for a few details. What we still have on our shoulders are all the bills to pay. All that aside, working on I Ought to Be in Pictures has been a pleasure, especially given a very talented cast, a supportive design team and a hardworking production team headed up by producer JoAnne Spitzer. I know that the patrons will enjoy this play as much we have enjoyed working on it!"
I Ought to Be in Pictures focuses on absentee parent Herb Tucker (played by Daryl Marks), a struggling screenwriter who abandoned his New York family 16 years earlier to settle in Hollywood. When his daughter Libby (played by Hayley Ferguson) arrives at his West Hollywood bungalow with acting ambitions, Herb and his girlfriend Steffy (played by Vanessa Taylor) react with verve leaving the audience laughing out loud.
Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome Jewish Women International of Canada (JWIC)-Golda Meir Chapter as recipients of the Charity Night for I Ought to Be in Pictures by Neil Simon.
June 7, 2010
Kay Valentine comments on her role: "Given the choice between a drama and a comedy, I would always pick a comedy. But, working on a comedic thriller is particularly exciting. It's both challenging, because you are supposed to be quite stoic, and yet the audience is laughting their heads off. I can't say how enjoyable it's been working with Kingsley and the other members of the cast."
Dave Corbitt comments on his role: “Since I am avid fan of televised police dramas like Law & Order & CSI it is great fun to play a detective. I've even been watching some old "Columbo" shows to get some ideas for my character. Who wouldn't enjoy a role where you get your own gun and handcuffs!”
Peggy Wrightson comments on her role: “Let’s face it, I love being on stage. This is just another chance to suspend reality. My role in this play is very critical and is great fun to play. If I knew being evil could be so much fun, I wouldn't have spent so much of my life trying to be good!”
Kingsley Owen comments on his role: “Once I began to learn the role, I came to realize that I have a lot of Henry's personality traits and so I've put them to use. I tend to have my head in the clouds and ignore practicalities. I am outspoken in my theories but can be persuaded to change them. This ambivalence in Henry gives rise to both suspense and humour. While this play is an 'audience pleaser' it's not so simple to perform. It's a mystery and so the actor has to remember what he knows and what he doesn't know at any given moment in time in order to react appropriately. And, at 76 I'm 12 years older than Henry but I'm hoping the audience won't notice.”
The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of Cliffhanger by James Yaffe, the fourth play of the 2009/2010 Season. On June 11, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of the Cliffhanger, at the incredible price of only $15.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).
Director Sharon Dykstra notes: “In Cliffhanger Yaffe mixes two crowd pleasing theatrical genres: suspense and comedy to sublimely entertain the audience. As a director, working with material that is so rich and full of humour is rewarding, but I have to really thank our cast for bringing Yaffe’s imagination to life.”
Henry Lowenthal (played by Kingsley Owen), a veteran professor of philosophy at a college, and his wife Polly (played by Kay Valentine) are looking forward to Henry’s appointment to an endowed chair so that they can enjoy their golden years. But their plans are kyboshed when Henry’s successor, a malicious and ambitious woman, Edith Wilshire (played by Peggy Wrightson) decides to not recommend Henry for the chair. Henry, in a moment of poor judgement, puts himself and Polly in a predicament from which hilarious complications arise. A rather sinister young student, Melvin McMullen (played by Stephan Ermel) and a suspicious police lieutenant, Dave DeVito (played by Dave Corbitt) add to the suspense and humour.
Playwright James Yaffe, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1927, is a graduate of Yale University and is one of the most prolific American writers of the 20th century. In addition to plays, he has written novels, short stories and for television.
Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome St. Matthews United Church, B'nai Brith Canada, and York Central Hospital Volunteers as recipients of the Charity Night for Cliffhanger by James Yaffe.
May 31, 2010
The Curtain Club is pleased to announce its participation in Doors Open 2010. On June 12th along with various other locations in Richmond Hill, The Curtain Club will open its backstage space to fans and patrons.
Joan Burrows, President of The Curtain Club, notes: "Theatre is enjoyable and thrilling to an audience because of the illusion that’s created on stage. Opening our backstage doors may destroy this but I know that our patrons will also find the experience fascinating. Much of what we do is created in a very small space. Our regular audience only gets to see the lobby and the auditorium but Doors Open will allow them to tour backstage and check out the dressing rooms, storage spaces, workshops as well as the technical area of the booth for lighting and sound operation. Also, our wardrobe room will fascinate as well as entertain as we plan to pull several items out for you to try on - so bring your cameras!"
Doors Open guests are encouraged to refer to following website for more information: http://www.richmondhill.ca/documents/doors_open_flyer_w_map.pdf
The Curtain Club will have a booth at the Heritage Village Festival, June 12th in downtown Richmond Hill (on Yonge Street between Major Mackenzie Drive and Crosby Avenue). Drop by The Curtain Club booth to win tickets for the fourth play of the 2009/2010 Season: Cliffhanger by James Yaffe. For more information on the Heritage Village Festival refer to the following website: http://www.richmondhill.ca/documents/heritage_village_festival.pdf
The Curtain Club will have a booth at the Town of Richmond Hill’s annual Canada Day Celebration, July 1st at Richmond Green Park. Drop by The Curtain Club booth to win tickets for the fifth and last play of the 2009/2010 Season: I Ought to be in Pictures by Neil Simon. For more information on the Canada Day Celebration refer to the following website: http://www.richmondhill.ca/subpage.asp?pageid=canada_day_celebrations
May 9, 2010
Congratulations to The Curtain Club and it’s members on nominations and awards received during the Association of Community Theatres - Central Ontario Gala.
Congratulations to Colleen Sibeon who was awarded best performance by a female in a supporting role in a drama for her portrayal of Louise MacKeigan in Marion Bridge. Congratulations also to Dan Suplido for his nomination for best set design for Marion Bridge. This production was the only one entered into the festival this season due to the renovations of The Curtain Club and was staged at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.
We recently moved to Richmond Hill. I just found you guys on the web and was thrilled that our little town has a theatre. I was all prepared to order season tickets and apply for membership. I was very excited about the new Center for Performing Arts. Imagine how I feel now that I discover you are in CANADA and I am in Richmond Hill, Georgia- a place really wanting for performing arts…sigh. BTW - your sets look amazing!
April 16, 2010
I note on my calendar that you open EINSTEIN soon. Please pass on my regards to the cast and crew for a successful run.
April 15, 2010
Richmond Hill, Ont. (April 15, 2010): The Curtain Club is pleased to announce the opening of Einstein’s Gift by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen, the third play of the 2009/2010 Season. On April 16, 2010, after the opening night performance, patrons will be treated to a reception in the lobby of the theatre with an opportunity to meet the cast, design team and crew. Plenty of tickets for the run of the Einstein’s Gift, at the incredible price of only $15.00 each, are available from The Curtain Club box office (905-773-3434).
Einstein’s Gift features a star studded cast of 9 actors, many of whom play multiple roles in this tribute to two important men of the 20th Century: Fritz Haber and Albert Einstein. While the two Nobel Prize winning scientists may not have know each other quite in the way that Vern Thiessen describes, the play is Thiessen’s attempt to show the “humanity” of the two, caught in the web of moral issues of pre- and post-World War I.
Einstein (played by Dave Henderson) and Haber (played by Rob Goodale) exemplify the differences between pure and applied science, but Thiessen also uses them to explore the relationship between imagination and knowledge; between faith and nationalism; between pacifism and war. This not to be missed production of Einstein’s Gift is directed by Joan Burrows and explores what happens when society takes what one discovers or invents and does something horrible with it.
Joan Burrows notes: “In 1905, who would have thought that anything these Jewish-German men were developing would result in negative consequences? In this dramatization of their lives, Thiessen gives us a challenge in the play’s structure – Brechtian in style and very fitting given it is the story of Germany from the turn of the century to the beginning of the second world war. The play has been a “gift” to all of us who have worked on it, stretching us creatively and intellectually. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as we have!”
Supporting Dave Henderson and Rob Goodale are Brandon Moore (as Otto, one of Haber’s research assistants), Samantha Lynch (as Clara Immerwahr, a Jewish-German chemist and the first wife of fellow chemist Fritz Haber), Ainsley Ford (as Charlotta Natha, Haber’s second wife), Marcus Bruce (as various characters including Bernhard Rust, Minister of Education), Ashley Casciato (as various characters including a German soldier and a cabaret singer), Art Sinukoff (as various characters including a German general and a deacon), and Ken Marquardt (as various characters including Colonel Peterson and a Gestapo soldier).
Playwright Vern Thiessen was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and studied, both, at the Universities of Winnipeg, and of Alberta. He is a past-President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and won the 2003 Governor General's Award for English-language Drama, for Einstein's Gift, which was first performed in 2003 at The Citadel Theater, Edmonton Alberta.
Each season The Curtain Club gives back to the community through its Charity Night initiative. One performance of each play is given to local charities to use as a fundraiser or a volunteer thank you. The Curtain Club is pleased to welcome Salvation Army, Richmond Hill Community Church and Friends of the East Gwillimbury Library as recipients of the Charity Night for Einstein’s Gift.
March 14, 2010
The Club is abuzz with rehearsals for Einstein’s Gift by Vern Thiessen. With fencing specialists giving actors lessons, and light and special effects designers creating the visual impact of the prewar German academic life, Club members are hurrying to get another play up and running in this compressed, post-renovation, season. In the photo "Harber" and "Einstein" are seen fencing.
March 13, 2010
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