Rick Jones, Writer
Toronto native Rick Jones has had a long and varied career in the performing arts. Originally a musical theatre performer, he has worked across the country in shows such as A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Oklahoma, and Kiss Me Kate. In the world of dramatic theatre, he has performed in shows such as The Real Inspector Hound, Wit, The Odd Couple, and Of Mice and Men, and a variety of plays at the Toronto Fringe and New Ideas Festivals, festivals he also contributed to as a playwright. His 1999 Toronto Fringe play Millennium Madness Sale received 4 Ns from Now Magazine, where he was described as “Kurt Weill comes to Toronto”, and his 2012 Fringe show, Life in the Raw, co-written with wife Barbara Larose, received glowing reviews. He works regularly as a sound designer, composer, and choreographer at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto, recently composed an original design for Aromas for Junes Productions, and has also composed and performed for several short films. His background as a musician comes from many years as a French Horn player performing with several musical theatre groups, as well as the Etobicoke Philharmonic and North York Symphony Orchestras. His performances on film have found a home in Canadian Filmmakers, World Comedy, After Dark, Ion, and Cannes Film Festivals. He recently appeared in the Discovery Channel series Mayday, where he had the opportunity to crash an Airbus, and can be seen delivering a baby in the National Geographic special From Cradle to Grave. Jones holds a degree in Dance from York University as well as a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, which he makes use of on a part time basis to support his unfortunate addiction to eating. Rick is a member of CAEA and ACTRA.
Barbara Larose, Director
Robert Graham, Music Director
Barbara Larose studied theatre at Concordia University in her home town of Montreal and has worked as an actor, director, dramaturge, and acting coach for many years. Barbara has directed the critically acclaimed Toronto Fringe productions of Edward Albee's The American Dream for Fireplay Productions, and Rick Jones' Millennium Madness Sale! for Thick and Thin Theatre, and was co-writer and director of Life in the Raw for Thick and Thin. Also at Fringe she directed the box office hit Franca Miraglia's Life on a Diet for By the Word Productions and the wildly funny Guests Who Harangue: Two Plays by Durang for Svengali Productions.
Some of Barbara's other directing credits include Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; the critical hit, Michel Tremblay's The Real World?, Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson, Margaret Edison's Wit, and most recently Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound and After Magritte, all at the Alumnae Theatre. She recently directed Ramona Baillie’s A Better Place for Lilyrose Productions, and Mr Pimm Passes By at the Village Playhouse
She has also indulged her interest in the development of new works and has directed Really Great Hats, The Poet's Wife, Time and Longings, and The Meeting in successive New Ideas Festivals; Cathy McKim's Being Cecil Graham for NIF and the 'Slaw Festival, and Yael Sirlin-Rush's Nice to Meet You at No Sweethearts Required Festival.
Robert Graham has had a varied career as a professional pianist, accompanist, vocalist, music director, choir director, and vocal/repertoire coach, and has played with many multi-genre ensembles on two continents – including two UK tours with Canadian roots supergroup “Tanglefoot”. He is an award winning songwriter – with awards from the Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest and the Billboard Word Song Contest – among others. His band The Fairest and Best (www.thefairestandbest.com) has garnered significant licensing interest, including 3 all-network licensing contracts from The Discovery Channel, FOX Sports, and NASCAR, as well as 15 other notable TV programs – none of which he has ever watched! www.robertgraham.com
Ellen Green, Assistant Director
Ellen Green studied English and Drama and Film at York University and U of T. It was at York that she spent most of her undergrad years as a member of the York University Players taking on five lead roles such as Mama Ubu in Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, and Lady Hurf in Jean Anouihl's Thieves Carnival. While teaching at Bathurst Heights, Unionville High School for the Arts, and Vaughn Secondary School, she took acting classes at Leah Poslin's Theatre School. Also during her teaching career she directed many productions including The Mikado, Lovers and Other Strangers, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Rothschild's Twelfth Night, Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods, Alice in Wonderland, Anything Goes, Noises Off, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Harvey, and 7 Stories. Finding a home at the Alumnae Theatre, Ellen has worked happily with Barbara Larose as ASM, AD, co-Director, and Producer. This original play is our third Fringe project together.
Melissa Joakim, Lighting Design
Melissa Joakim is a lighting and projection designer, technician and stage manager in Toronto, Canada. She holds a BFA Spec.Hon.s from York University. She has been nominated for a Dora Award in Outstanding Lighting Design (Dance Division) and a Pauline McGibbon Award. Recent credits include: Lighting and Projection Design: A Side of Dreams (Paper Canoe Projects); This is the Point (Ahuri Theatre with Theatre Centre) Lighting Design: The Whole Shebang: Taken by Night (Dreamwalker Dance Co.); La Chasse Galerie (Red One Theatre Collective). Projection Design: Alien Creature (Theatre Passe Muraille);Snowblink ( Concert); Ninja Funk Orchestra (Concert); Processor (Concert). Stage Management: Sea Sick (Theatre Centre); Hardcore Logo Live (BFL Theatre).
Jennifer Johnson, Choreographer
Jen has created, performed and taught across Canada and internationally for many years. Artistically, she is known for creating original pieces that seamlessly meld elements of theatre with movement. As well as presenting her own work, she has collaborated with many wonderful companies including Motus O Dance Theatre, Alumnae Theatre, Parahumans Dance Theatre, Upstart Crow Theatre and Handmade Performance. In recent years, Jen has turned her focus to teaching youth in her position as a drama teacher at Crescent School in Toronto. Her ability to engage and motivate the students at this all-boys school is clearly evident as the students approach her program with excitement and interest. She has directed numerous children’s productions, creating fantastical worlds and rich acting experiences for all involved. Jen’s experience directing and choreographing youth is also evident through her extensive teaching with the Canadian Opera Company’s Outreach Programs, Humber College’s School of Comedy, and the Royal Conservatory’s Learning Through the Arts Program. Jen was a founding Co-Artistic Director, and is now on the Board of Kick Start Arts Society, a not-for-profit organization that uses the arts to empower students, youth and adults to express themselves through the creative process. Kick Start Arts Society has a particular interest in engaging inner city youth, building their capacity to use a variety of artistic tools and approaches to tell their stories, and to use the arts for positive social change. Jen has choreographed several past productions with Thick and Thin Theatre Productions and is honoured to once again be working with this thought-provoking company.
Ryan Armstrong, Fight Coordinator
Margot Devlin, Stage Manager