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Posts tagged ‘Fringe Preview’

2014 Fringe Interview – Here After – Upstart Theatre

by Bailey Green

Meg Moran and I met up in the Fringe cafe where we bonded over our mutual love for the sci fi genre and chatted about her show Here After as part of the Toronto Fringe.

Here After is set 150 years in the future and humanity is in a dire state. We’ve become immortal. The immortality drug is discovered close to our present day in 2014 and, as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for things to rapidly fall apart. “The problem is that even if your body can live forever, your mind just can’t keep up,” says director and writer Meg Moran. Four people are trapped in an underground bunker, having retreated there shortly after civilization began to rip at the seams, where they are forced to keep their minds constantly stimulated. Otherwise, they’ll slip into a “coma-like state” and go blank.

“If everyone is immortal, overpopulation immediately becomes an issue, resource depletion accelerates, pollution increases and then you can’t breathe,” Moran sketches the timeline for the setting of the play. The four people have been trapped in the bunker together for over a hundred years, creating a pseudo-family. Very recently to the beginning of the play one of the character’s lovers goes brain dead. Here After examines issues relevant to society today through a unique lens, “this is a story of what could be the fallout of something that happens two weeks from now. The characters are people of this time dealing with the long term consequences of problems we are currently facing as a society,” Moran says. “We look at responsibility, loss, hope and the struggle to survive. Why do we keep going under extremely difficult circumstances?”


“What we’re looking at in some ways is the shift from the Jetsons future, to the more Hunger Games future,” Moran explains, “As we become more technologically advanced, we’re starting to realize that being constantly connected can have a sinister element to it.” The idea for the play first came to Moran on a plane where she imagined four characters playing games. The play itself is written by Moran and the process has been very collaborative. “I had a clear vision of the events and the world, but we did workshop it. If they need to play games to survive, we had to figure out what that looks like. It has been a growing changing thing for a long time,” says Moran of the process. She speaks very highly of her actors, of their inspiration, sense of play and willingness to give feedback.

Moran says her greatest challenge has been “finding the point where the script is done and the directing starts.” She feels this process has taught her how to better identify that point, and how to hand it off to someone else, in this case the actors. “You have to allow room for the happy accidents,” Moran smiles.

Upstart is a relatively new company founded by Meara Tubman-Broeren and Meg Moran, who met during their undergrad at York University. The company began with their site specific adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters. They’re still exploring what having a company means and what theatre they want to bring to the stage. For Moran, she’s passionate about experimenting with form, movement oriented pieces and re-telling of classic stories. “I will see anything,” she says, “You have to see things you don’t know about or understand. Otherwise you won’t grow as an artist.”

Here After

Photo Credit: Madeline Haney

Photo Credit: Madeline Haney

by Meg Moran, presented by Upstart Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival

Where: Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, 16 Ryerson Ave.

Directed by Meg Moran

Featuring Owen Fawcett, Elizabeth Tanner, Chiamaka Ugwu, and Enzo Voci

Produced by Meara Tubman-Broeren


Thursday July 3rd, 2014 at 7:45 p.m.
Saturday July 5th, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.
Sunday July 6th, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
Monday July 7th, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.
Wednesday July 9th, 2014 at 10:00 p.m.
Thursday July 10th, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
Friday July 11th, 2014 at 8:45 p.m.
Sunday July 13th, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.

Tickets: $10 at the door/$12 in advance. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, or at the door.

For more information, go to

Twitter: @Upstart_Twitter

2014 Fringe Preview – Andy Warhol Presents: Valerie – Fail Better Theatre

by Bailey Green

Intelligent, witty, political, sharp, funny and exciting—a few words I would use to describe this show after sitting in on a rehearsal with the cast of Andy Warhol Presents: Valerie by Fail Better Theatre. The name of their company comes from a Samuel Beckett quote that is one of my personal favourites, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail Better.” Director Matt White and actors (and the company’s co-artistic directors) Ben Hayward and Ali Richardson talked to me about their process.

Ask a person on the street if they know of Andy Warhol, and they probably will. But what about Valerie Solanas? Chances are slim. History forgot the woman who shot Andy Warhol, but Fail Better Theatre is bringing her story to light in a powerful new piece of theatre premiering at the Toronto Fringe Festival. This immersive, site specific piece takes place at the Influx Creative Space, an art studio, where Andy Warhol and his assistant Gerard are holding a party for Val—and you’re invited.

“We didn’t initially know this piece would be about Valerie,” says actor and writer Ben Hayward, “We thought it would be about their relationship or the shooting, but the more we read we realized there’s tons of stuff about Andy Warhol but nothing about Valerie. She’s always just a footnote in Warhol’s biography.” The collaborators chose to focus on Valerie because of her dynamic and active voice. Through the process they discovered Warhol to be a much more passive and less dramatic character who often allows things to happen around him instead of provoking the action. “Rather than giving him an exorbitant amount of text, we make him a presence by omitting text,” director Matt White describes. “But he’s still there, this is his world that everyone is playing in.”

Processed with Rookie

The idea of creating “a better play” comes from the collective process of Hayward, Richardson and White. “There can’t be an ego,” Matt White says and then chuckles, “because if there was Ben would have shot me about ten days ago.” This project has been in the works for eight months and has underwent multiple radical changes. It began with Richardson and Hayward writing together, but eventually progressed to Hayward taking over the bulk of the writing—though Richardson still contributes to the script. “It’s a delicate balance have the playwrights in the room with you,” says White. “From the top you just have to instill a non-fragile environment. At the core, we have to trust that everyone is good. So you’re good, but you can always be better.” Hayward agrees, “it’s actually nice to have it change so much. I go home and work on the script and it’s awesome. Meanwhile Ali goes home and memorizes a thousand lines and then has to forget eight hundred the next day.” The three collaborators jokingly refer any and all major cuts or changes as ‘building a better play.’ “In a different play, this scene or that scene would have been really cool,” Hayward smiles.

Richardson and Hayward got lucky when a new biography about Valerie Solanas came out this past spring. “At Christmas I looked online and the biography came up for pre-order, so I emailed Professor Breanna Fahs at the Arizona State University and asked for an advance copy,” Richardson says. “That wasn’t possible but what she [the professor] did do was verify our sources.” They had found an online PDF copy of Valerie Solanas’ play Up Your Ass, but according all sources only one copy of the play exists in a museum in Pittsburgh. “It’s in the Andy Warhol museum, in a drawer in a vault because no one knows who she [Valerie] is or cares. The ultimate irony is that Andy in fact finally did steal her work, in way,” Ben says. The PDF turned out to be Valerie’s play and became one of the many sources integrated into the text of Andy Warhol Presents. To name a few of their sources: Up Your Ass, the film “I shot Andy Warhol,” Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto, Valerie’s biography, multiple Andy Warhol books and a four hour PBS documentary about Warhol. Needless to say, they know the history of these two people inside and out.

The SCUM manifesto itself is widely available, and it began as the bulk of Valerie’s text. “We kept tweaking and tweaking the text to be more experientiel and to give it a storytelling quality,” Hayward says of the writing process. The company includes original music in the piece, with lyrics inspired by Valerie’s manifesto and the production added a chorus of five other actors a few weeks ago. “Matt suggested more people would help make the piece more interactive,” Hayward says—which is key for a show that requires a level of audience participation and engagement. “Ben and Ali wanted to include these adapted scenes from [Valerie’s play] Up Your Ass. But we had no one to play them. So we brought in a chorus to help animate the piece,” says White. The scenes were written with Valerie’s politics in mind, but are not actual extractions from Up Your Ass. However much of Warhol’s text in the play is actual quotes and adaptations of quotes, and the same goes for Valerie’s text.

The company is excited for their first production, and look forward to the new challenges that will come with an interactive audience. “If there is a call to action in the play, it is avoiding the temptation to be passive,” Richardson says. “The form of the piece speaks to that. There is no getting away from what’s happening in the room.”

Andy Warhol Presents: Valerie

by Fail Better Theatre presented as part of the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival

Processed with Rookie

Directed by Matt White

Written and Performed by Ben Hayward and Ali Richardson

With Ray Jacildo, Emily Johnston, April Leung, Nick Potter, Natasha Ramondino & Jon Walls

When: July 3rd – 13th. 8pm nightly + 2pm July 10th

Where: InfluxCreative Space (141 Spadina at Richmond)


2014 Fringe Preview – MUTE! The Musical – Infinity Arts Productions

Interview by Charlotte Cattell

I had heard of MUTE! The Musical by word of mouth before and now here it is as part of The Toronto Fringe Festival, spreading the word on bullying through song and dance to a brand new audience. I was also pleased to find out that many performers I know are part of this production, which in turn allowed me the wonderful opportunity to hear a bit about their process from a member of the cast, Holly Wyder, and from the show’s creator and director Alinka Angelova. 


Charlotte: What is the basic premise of the show?

Holly: It’s primarily focused around the theme of anti-bullying in the form of a musical, which of course is in the title. This theme is raising awareness of the hardships that children may face when it comes down to the pressures placed upon them by society and their peers. But the show takes place at the best performing arts school in Canada and the story follows a girl who is new to this school. Everyone else has heard about how amazing her singing voice is and so the gossip begins. Just like at most theatre schools gossip is a huge part of what the students have to deal with. So there are high expectations from the other students to hear her voice. And into the story a tragic event causes this girl to become mute so she loses her will to sing. The bullies hound her for this and add to the pressure, trying to get her to prove herself and show that she can really sing. And there is a big competition at the end where the climax and excitement and empowerment really comes to the surface.

Charlotte: Would you say the characters are separated into groups to represent what school cliques are actually like?

Holly: Well, there are definitely bullies and non-bullies which are seen pretty clearly as the story unfolds. And there is the one popular girl who takes it a bit too far. But there is also a bit of a love story in there as well so there is something for everyone!

Charlotte: And who are you playing specifically?

Holly: My character is Mandy. She’s basically the preppy nerdy type of character. I personally have really liked it because she’s a smaller character. So, I’ve had a lot of opportunity to play with the role and kind of add things to the character that I have a lot of fun doing. Everyone has been very supportive and positive about each other’s creativity and what each person can bring to their respective roles.

Charlotte: And how do you feel about opening this week? Do you feel ready and excited?

Holly: Again everyone has been super positive and it’s so great because through the entire process everyone has also just been super enthusiastic about being there. Everyone wants to be there and bring this show together to deliver a message. And I think we are ready to start sending that message out to our audiences at Fringe.


 After speaking with Holly I couldn’t get over how great it was to hear that a larger group of people were coming together so strongly and so passionately to orchestrate a show that has a really important message in this day and age. However, I thought, how did this show come to be what it is? Where do these messages of hope originate?

Alinka Angelova, the creator and head of this show and its process, was kind enough to answer some of questions!

Charlotte: What inspired you to write a show about bullying?

Alinka: There are a number of things that contributed to the making of MUTE. These are just a few of them: A little area of Phantom of the Opera with Christine coming out from being unknown and transforming into becoming the star of the grand show, Oprah Winfrey’s “Challenge Day” where they counselled and brought together the bullies and the Bullied.

Another contribution to MUTE was my Brazilian friend ‘Juliana’, an amazing dancer that I believe will be great one day. I named the main character after her.

Last but not least, when I was young, I had briefly experienced some bullying from one of my older brothers, Robert Chambers. The most amazing thing about that is, over the years he has helped me tremendously in composing music for my Musicals. We have partnered together to do many projects including MUTE.

Charlotte: And what lead you to make this show into a musical?

Alinka: I have always loved musicals. I especially LOVE musicals like MUTE such as, ‘Grease’, ‘Hairspray’, and ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’.

For some reason, no matter what I write, it always turns into music. Life without music for me would be like life without a heart.

Charlotte: How does the rehearsal process for the Fringe Festival differ from previous ones?

Alinka: I feel more pressured during this rehearsal process because this is first time I am taking MUTE into a professional atmosphere, so I want it to be the best it can be. I had to cut down a 3 hour show to 90 min, and we only rehearse once per week.

This time, I’m more at ease because I am working with a group that is more on a professional level. So they pick up choreography faster, they get into character easier, and they’re pretty dedicated.

Charlotte: And what are you aiming to achieve with the show at Fringe as opposed to when it was performed for schools? 

Alinka: I am aiming to achieve sold out shows in hopes that someone who knows the business will see its potential and offer to invest in MUTE and take it further. I would also like to win “The best of the Fringe award”!

Charlotte: Lastly, where do you hope to take this show once you have completed Fringe? What are your future goals for this production?

Alinka: I would like to take this show on another School Tour starting with Toronto. Ultimately, whether sooner or later, I’m taking it to Broadway.

There are definitely some big goals for this show and with good reason! I would like to thank Holly and Alinka for taking the time to discuss with me a bit about the show and I wish everyone involved a happy run. And for the folks wandering around the Fringe, be sure to stop by and check out the toe tapping anti-bullying joys of MUTE! The Musical.

MUTE! The Musical.

Presented by Infinity Arts Productions as part of The Toronto Fringe.


Written By: Alinka Angelova

Director: Alinka Angelova

Choreographer: Teisha Smith-Guthrie

Cast: Bryna Weiss
Sam Strelshik
Nicole McCafferty
Rochelle Robinson
Kierans Jordan
Freeyon Chung
Roselyn Kelada-Sedra
Charlene Dorland
Alyssandria Messina
Holly Wyder
Luiz Monterei
Jenifer Boyce
Jackie-Rose Brown
Preston Squire
Robert Venton

Creative team:
Director: Alinka Angelova, Composer: Alinka Angelova and Robert Chambers, Choreographer:Teisha Smith-Guthrie, Backstage Manager: Veronica Chambers, Assistant Director: Jerome Chambers, Photographer: Leo Vicari

Where? The Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst Street)

When? July 2-12

July 02 at 08:15 PM
July 04 at 03:30 PM
July 06 at 01:15 PM
July 07 at 08:15 PM
July 08 at 01:00 PM
July 11 at 05:15 PM
July 12 at 11:00 PM

Tickets: $10 at the door, OR you can order online: as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival



2014 Fringe Preview – Valkyrie – Rarely Pure Theatre

by Bailey Green

Sex, violence and theatre create a wicked combination. Rarely Pure Theatre presents Valkyrie, a new work by Thomas McKechnie that promises to “walk a fine line between agony and ecstasy” (says stage manager and RPT member Christina Bryson). In Norse mythology, Valkyries were immortal female warriors that chose who lived and died on the battlefield. These Valkyries are on a different mission, in a different time and sans immortality. Bradley and Erin (played by Monique Renaud and Tara Koehler) have both undergone very scarring experiences with men. They take it upon themselves to begin a Valkyrie quest to deliver justice to other men who have caused trauma to women. But this night is different. They bring a victim back to their lair. To find out what happens after that, you’ll have to see the show.

Artistic director (and the third member of the Valkyrie cast) Spencer Robson explains more about what is at the core of the piece, “it deals with spousal abuse and with sexism in multiple ways. The most interesting part about this piece, for me, is that the characters are far from heroic. You want to be able to root for them but, though every character might be justified in their actions, they are still bad people. It will be jarring for the audience. There’s justice but it isn’t what you want or expect.”

Valkyrie was born back in February of this year when the members of Rarely Pure (Spencer, Monique and Christina) met with Soulpepper Academy playwright Thomas McKechnie. “We really wanted to do an original piece at Fringe this year. Thomas saw our production of As You Like It and we had a meeting after. We asked if he would be interested in writing for us and he was,” Spencer says. “After that we bounced some ideas off him. He asked us what sort of play we would be interested in, what the traits of the actors were. Eight days later he had the first draft.” What followed were months of workshops and readings. The show’s veteran director Bruce Gooch is also a playwright, so his professional eye helped search the script for adjustments. “Bruce, and Tara who is also a playwright, aren’t afraid to stop and ask questions about the script, which is very new for me. I’m used to working with a more “finished” product,” says Spencer.

Planning has been key to finding balance in this process, especially for Robson as he juggles the roles of co-producer, artistic director and actor. “It sounds like a nightmare every time I say it out loud,” Spencer laughs, “but working with my friends who I trust and respect has really made this show possible.” He also says that taking on different roles on the production side has helped him as a working actor in the industry. “Now when I’m working for someone else, whether a theatre company or on a film set, I understand how difficult the production side is. So now I know that while I may not always understand what is going on or why a decision is made, I know that it isn’t my job to. They [the producers] spent time mulling over that decision, I just wasn’t part of their process.” Spencer continues, “I can better understand where people are coming from. It’s helped me lower my stress levels and just be immediately more comfortable.”

Rarely Pure Theatre was founded in the winter of 2012/2013 with its inaugural production “Until Our Paths Cross Again,” which was written, produced and directed by Monique Renaud. “The fact that Mo did that all on her own just really made me want to jump on board,” Spencer says of the company’s beginnings. Robson, Monique Renaud and Christina Bryson formed the company. The name comes from an Oscar Wilde quote, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Now almost two years later, the company has several productions under their belt including, The Pillowman and As You Like It. As a new company their mandate isn’t yet set in stone. They are still open to experimenting as the company collaborates with new artists, like National Theatre School graduate Tara Koehler. The company is passionate about theatre and exploring work that excites them as artists. Spencer says that the commitment to each project comes naturally, “we get to choose what we want to do, the people we want to work with, the plays and themes we want to work on.” The company has sights for the future as well, determining what show, or show(s), they want to do in the fall. Another priority is the re-definition of roles within the company and investing in a better website.

But for now they’re immersed in Valkyrie, facing the powerful and dark piece head-on as opening night approaches.


by Thomas McKechnie, presented by Rarely Pure Theatre as part of the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival



Where: Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgeman Ave, Toronto)

When: July 2-13th, 2014

July 2nd: 10:30pm

July 5th: 8:45pm

July 8th: 7pm

July 9th: 5:15pm

July 10th: 12:00pm

July 12th: 3:30pm

July 13th: 12:00pm

Tickets: $10 at the door, OR you can order online: as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival


2014 Fringe Preview – Three Men in a Boat – Pea Green Theatre Group

Interview by Charlotte Cattell

On a warm Friday afternoon I entered a very warm rehearsal hall. But even in the stifling heat I entered a room of extremely happy and exceedingly warm-hearted artists. Having just completed a run, this generous team agreed to sit down with me and talk a little bit about their upcoming production in the Fringe, Three men in a Boat. I had the privilege of speaking with Adaptor: Mark Brownell, Director: Sue Miner, Stage Manager: Hilary Unger, and the Cast members including: Scott Garland, Matt Pilipiak, and Victor Pokinko.

Charlotte: Sue, tell me a little bit about the show. How did this group and project come together?

Sue: Well, the show is Mark’s adaptation of an old book by Jerome K. Jerome. The book was published in 1889, and it’s known all over the world, it’s a very very famous book. There have been a lot of different interpretations, but this story actually came into Mark and my life years and years ago. We actually… well, he’s been wanting to do a play on it since the nineties, hey?

Mark: (Nodding yes.)

Sue: We’ve done the Fringe for a very long time, the Pea Green Group, and Mark was actually a theatre history teacher of both Scott and Matt. So, he said, let’s do “Three Men” with these guys, and I had just worked with Victor. So this is how we all came together.

Mark: We got too old to do it ourselves, we needed some young bodies.

Charlotte: And Mark, what drew you initially to this piece?

Mark: It has a really strange lasting appeal because it’s never been out of print. And the reason is, I think, is because bad camping experiences are kind of universal and eternal, and Canadians understand that really well. That’s why it goes well in Canada. It just never falls out of fashion. This story has a freshness to it, even though it’s Victorian and the language is very old fashioned, for some reason it strikes a chord with us to this day.

Sue: And also, the fact that these three guys are stressed out and have to get away from it all. And we think it’s new to us. You know, it’s like, I have to get off Facebook, I have to get away, but these guys are feeling the same things that we do and they have to get away. So that’s what they try to do.

Charlotte: How has the overall rehearsal process been?

Matt: It’s been great! It’s been a whirlwind. This is our day nine of twelve, but it’s great because, although it’s a short amount of time, it’s the only thing we’ve been focusing on and we’ve been able to constantly live in this world for the last week and a half. It’s been a lot all at once. Sweaty and fun, but it’s been really good.

Scott: The virtue of such a shortened intense rehearsal process is that we as actors are given a chance to practice efficiency in process. We love playing, we still play in the room. However, this has been a wonderful opportunity to show up, do your job, and then have fun doing it. I wish we had more time, but with the time we’ve been given it’s one of the most awesome experiences I’ve had, and that’s due also in part to the professionalism of the actors and the trust of our wonderful director and the wonderful material to play with. And also, Mark has made cuts throughout to make it even more efficient. There’s something very refreshing about being able to zero in and harness the core of those entertaining bits.

Mark: It is a new script so we are cutting and chopping away. Putting stuff in to make it work.

Charlotte: Has the pressure of a short rehearsal process caused you to make rash decisions in terms of cutting or changing scenes in the script?

Mark: I wouldn’t say rash but we are well aware of the pace. The fact that it’s a journey, it has to be paced well. You can’t just have frantic action. You need the little nooks and crannies where they have pauses so the audience can take a breath as well. It’s quite a different experience were we to take it on further, which is of course what we want to do, but we’d have to expand it into ninety minutes and two acts and then the pace would be quite different.

Scott: Also, the minimalism of props and sets, the world is very much created mostly through our three combined efforts.

Matt: We have a stool, a chair, a stuffed dog and a banjolele. That’s it! And somehow we take the audience on an entire journey down the river.

Victor: I think what Scott said was bang on. The fact that we can play and that we can find play because there is a certain level of chemistry between me and these two that I can kind of harness and tap into and work off of. I think the reason we are able to get as much work done as we are is simply because the chemistry is flying constantly. And even if one of us is having an off day or an off run the other two are very ready to pull up and work a little harder to get things rolling.

Matt: Yes, even though I narrate a majority of the piece, it is impossible without the three. You need three to carry the story and you can’t have any part of the story happen without one of them.

three men

Charlotte: And Mark, as the writer, are you seeing what you expected to see while you were creating the piece?

Mark: Yes absolutely. I mean, I wrote the original text so long ago, that I obviously had three other people in mind, but when we reopened the text and had a look at it again I knew I wanted three very distinctive actors that stand out individually but can come together. And that’s the unique thing about these guys. They fit like a glove, from day one. They’re still close to their theatre school training so they haven’t gotten lazy like me. You know, you get far enough away from school that you lose that kind of edge, that sharpness and these guys have it in spades. I’m exceedingly happy with these guys.

Charlotte: I noticed that Rigzin Tute is noted as being in charge of music. Was the music created specifically for this piece?

Matt: Rigzin, who is the Music Director of this piece, didn’t write the music but he took an old song, it’s called the Eton Boating Song, and he arranged it into an a-cappella, three part harmony, barber shop sort of thing. That we use as a motif throughout the journey.

Scott: Would you like to hear the song?

Charlotte: Absolutely!

Victor: Do you have the pitch pipe?

Matt: Yeah!

Matt proceeds to blow into the pitch pipe. All of the gentlemen hum, and Matt counts them in with a rigorous and British “1,2,3,1,2,3”. They proceed to serenade me with one verse of an old fashioned and very upbeat song that put me right into their world and onto the boat with them.

Charlotte: Wow! That was so amazing thank you! It’s like a free concert! In the 1800s! Even from that I can get a sense of that chemistry you all spoke of earlier, which leads me to my next question. Sue, how has it been to take on this project with just a three person cast?

Sue: Three’s the perfect cast! Three is the perfect amount of people in a show because a one person show that’s a whole different animal, and two people you feel like you’ll be stuck with these two people, but three you’re never bored! Some of them sort of play other characters too and it’s so lovely.

Charlotte: And how has it been for you guys? How has it established the relationship dynamic between the characters?

Scott: To echo Victor, it’s wonderful to be in rehearsal with a cohesive unit. But the characters in the script are done in a way that each one is different enough to be interesting on their own but they’re similar enough that when they’re together they act as a unit. It’s three pillars holding up a show and it’s the perfect balance.

Victor: When you’re blitzing into a Fringe, if you have a ten person cast, the chance of you getting to know nine other people is difficult. If you have a two person cast it’s very easy to get sick of them. But with three it becomes a nice dynamic.

Matt: You have the dynamic of each individual. Then you have the relationship between two and the relationship between the other two, and finally all three together. So then there are a lot of different microcosms, and all of that you can kind of rest on.

Charlotte: What has been your favourite thing to rehearse for this show?

Victor: I don’t want to give too much away, but we have a spectacular pineapple war. And that is my favourite part.

Matt: We go to war with a tin of pineapple. Umm…

Scott: It’s…It’s intense.

Victor: Possibly the most intense thing I’ve ever done.

Matt: Uh, yeah actually, I think that would have to be my favourite bit too.

Scott: Yeah, it’s unanimous. I love that sequence so much.

Charlotte: Kind of a silly question, what would you say, for each of you, is your character’s favourite and least favourite trait about your two counter parts?

Victor: Oh God!

Scott: There’s so many!

Mark: All they do is complain about each other.

Victor: I think Jay (Matt Pilipiak) takes things too personally and I think Harris (Scott Garland) drinks too much. What I like about Harris is that he always makes me laugh, always, always, always. And, what I like about Jay is that he is so poised and so elegant. He’s so idealistic. The beautiful things in the world, he just wants to grab them and put them into his philosophical brain and muse and muse.

Matt: I like that George (Victor Pokinko) has all these facts. He’s a very factual man, regardless of whether or not they are correct facts. I go to him for the facts. He’s like Wikipedia before it existed. But I don’t like when he tries to steal my spotlight. That hurts my feelings. I like what a wild card Harris is, that I never know what he’s going to do. I find that very entertaining. And I don’t like that he drinks.

Scott: I like that George is very willing to be my partner in crime for anything. Let’s go swimming! Okay! I like that Jay clearly holds us as part of his team. He’s very selfless in that way, very loyal and I appreciate that. What I don’t like about George is that he thinks he can play the banjolele. You cannot play the banjolele. And what I don’t like about Jay is he’s less willing to do something stupid with me.

Charlotte: Any final thoughts?

Sue: I’m really excited to share it with an audience because I sit here and I am grinning from ear to ear watching it. It’s so much fun and it’s going to be great to see it in that space because the Annex has that wood. In fact we’ve incorporated the wood of the theatre into the play. And our little set such as it is matches the theatre so it’s just going to be really wonderful to be there. And the thing that always blows me away is watching them, and I know how it goes, but to see them travel so far and always wherever they are I’m there. If they’re sitting out on a grassy bank looking up at the stars, I’m there. If they’re in the middle of a busy walk, if they’re in a thunder storm, I’m there. I think that’s really special.


I for one cannot wait to be charmed by this cast and its production team once again during the Fringe. Bon voyage, see you on the waters!


Three Men in a Boat

Presented by Pea Green Theatre Group as part of The Toronto Fringe

Three Men in a Boat Cast from left to right: Victor Pokinko, Matt Pilipiak, Scott Garland

Three Men in a Boat Cast from left to right: Victor Pokinko, Matt Pilipiak, Scott Garland

Directed by: Sue Miner

Original Story by: Jerome K. Jerome

Adapted by: Mark Brownell

Musical Arrangement by: Rigzin Tute

Period Costumes by: Nina Okens

Stage Managed by: Hilary Unger

Starring: Victor Pokinko, Matt Pilipiak, and Scott Garland

Where?  The Annex Theatre (730 Bathurst Street)

When?  July 2-13
July 02 at 6:30pm

July 04 at 1:15pm

July 06 at 4:00pm

July 09 at 9:15pm

July 10 at 11:00pm

July 12 at 7:30pm

July 13 at 12:00pm

Tickets: Can be purchased via or by calling 416-966-1062

And for further information on the Pea Green Theatre Group you can visit their website at: