Theatre Erindale’s BECK FESTIVAL for 2013: Take a Break from December!


It’s almost time for Theatre Erindale’s annual celebration of one-act Independent Student Productions: the Beck Festival. We promise that not a single one of these adventurous plays is about a kid or a dog or Santa Claus, so you can take a break from the relentless holiday cheer to enjoy an entertaining and wildly varied evening of theatre that has nothing to do with the season! The Beck Festival runs at 7pm Thursday, 9pm Friday, and 8pm Saturday, December 12-14 at the MiST Theatre in the CCT Building on the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, so you can even park in the same building!

These productions are driven by the student actors of the Sheridan-UTM Theatre and Drama Studies Program (though they have company support and a little faculty advice), so expect the unexpected. Even the start times are unconventional, to make room for students’ exams (yes, they even write exams on Friday and Saturday evenings!). Five short plays vary from ten minutes to forty in length and range from fresh takes on classic farces to wild, woolly, and totally original.

First on the bill is an original take on Anton Checkhov’s classic farce The Bear. A broke landowner has come to collect from one of his debtors and finds a widow still in mourning for her late husband. He barges in despite her refusal, and from there things build until the fur flies! Victor Pokinko and Eliza Martin star, with Brian Postalian directing.

In Picking Up the Pieces, an original drama by third-year student Courtney Keir, a Canadian soldier returns from a year of fighting in Afghanistan and tries to return to his normal life. But what is normal? ”Each character,” says director Kate Cattell-Daniels, “lives and breathes and struggles both with themselves and those in the ever-shifting relationships around them.” The cast includes Brittany Miranda, Samuel Turner, Hannah Vanden Boomen, Roberto Esteves, and Natasha Ramondino.

Romeo Revised, by Wade Bradford, begins the way we all think Romeo and Juliet is supposed to end. But what would happen if Romeo’s poison were more of a sleeping draught and Juliet’s dagger missed her vital organs? This brief and wacky action farce makes some not-so-minor adjustments to one of Shakespeare’s most familiar plays! Mark Palinski directs, with Shawn Doyle and Hannah Leigh Ehman as the legendary lovers.

Stewart Lemoine’s popular farce Neck-Breaking Car-Hop is an outrageously absurd Canadian coming of age story. Based in a 1985 Regina trailer home, the Styx family encounters a reckless teenage car-hop who transforms both their sense of identity and their relationship to the world. The dynamic cast features Alex Spyropoulos, Christian Tribuzio, Angelica Appelman, Cornelia Audrey and Adrian Beattie, with Chiamaka G. Ugwu directing.

Catatonia is a surreal new horror musical, with music and lyrics by fourth-year student Nicholas Potter. When Eve moves her deeply depressed sister Liss into her cramped basement apartment, Eve’s teenage daughter Mauve begins to suffer from nightmares so terrible that they begin to take over her life. Is there a connection? And what might put an end to the suffering? Directed by Jaime Hernandez Lujan and starring Marissa Otto, Megan O’Kelly, Eilish Waller, Bailey Green, and Paige Falardeau, Catatonia is a musical like you’ve never seen before!

Tickets for the Beck Festival are available only at the door of the MiST Theatre, and the price is Pay-What-You-Can (suggested minimum $5.00). Theatre Erindale Members get in FREE! And indoor parking is available right downstairs in the CCT Garage.


The Bear by Anton Chekhov
Picking Up the Pieces by Courtney Keir
Romeo Revised by Wade Bradford
Neck-Breaking Car Hop by Stewart Lemoine
Catatonia by Nicholas Potter
December 12-14 2013
Thurs 7:00, Fri 9:00, Sat 8:00
(CCT Building, University of Toronto Mississauga)
Tickets at the door PWYC (suggested minimum $5.00) or 905-569-4369

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