Even the busiest artists need a break! Take Five with some of the hardest working and celebrated individuals in the performing arts scene today. We ask them a series of five questions to learn what inspires them and how their careers have been influenced by fellow community members.
Craig Lauzon is an Anishnaabe actor, writer, and comedian. Most recently he played Angus in The Drawer Boy. Other theatre credits include: Man Watching (Tarragon), Comedy of Errors (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Stupid Fucking Bird (The Bird Collective), Taking Care of Baby (Storefront),Where the Blood Mixes (Theatre Aquarius), Thunderstick (Theatre Network), King Lear (National Arts Centre), and Trudeau & The FLQ and Trudeau and Levesque (VideoCabaret).
Nicole Underhay was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has worked in theatres all across the country, including eight seasons at The Shaw Festival in Major Barbara, The Millionairess, His Girl Friday and Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Other theatre highlights include: Fire (Canadian Stage) for which she won a Dora Award; The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs (Tarragon Theatre) for which she received a Dora nomination; and The Constant Wife (Arts Club Theatre) for which she received a Jessie nomination. Her most recent television work includes playing Margaret Haile on Murdoch Mysteries (CBC) and a stint on CTV’s Saving Hope.
Alia Rasul a comedian, writer and performer, who is passionate about works that explore the narrative of the Filipino diaspora. She is currently a part of Bad Dog Theatre’s Emerging Creator’s Unit (funded by the Pat & Tony Freedom Fund) and was recently a part of the theatre’s Featured Players program. She continues to perform regularly at Bad Dog in shows such as Yas Kween, Humans of Improv, and Theatresports. Alia recently made her directorial debut with Kwento, an improvised bedtime story which brought together improvised comedy, illustration, Filipino folk music. She is also currently Inclusion director at Bad Dog.
Via Montreal, London UK (to attend The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts), and NYC, Kaitlyn now calls Toronto home. When not acting, Kaitlyn is the Artistic Director of critically-acclaimed Shakespeare in the Ruff (Ruff) and a burgeoning playwright as well. Recent acting credits: Noises Off! (The Segal Centre); Romeo & Juliet (Ruff); Something Fishy (Lighthouse Theatre); Mockingbird (Next Stage Festival-Dora nomination); Macbeth: Walking Shadows (Ruff); Look, no Hans!(Drayton); The Merchant of Venice & Blithe Spirit (Stratford Festival); The Apology(Next Stage Festival-Dora nomination). TV: Murdoch Mysteries; Reign. Upcoming: TV – 12 Monkeys; Film – Nightshooters and A Fistful of Lead.
In this special Take Five Dora Edition we revisit Diane Flacks – writer for the 2018 Dora Awards Ceremony. Most recently she wrote and starred in Unholy, her critically acclaimed play about women and religion for Nightwood Theatre, which was nominated for a Dora for outstanding new play. Other plays include Bear With me, Random Acts, Myth Me, Waiting Room, By a Thread, SIBS and Care with Richard Greenblatt, Gravity Calling and Theory of Relatives. Diane writes for TV (including Global/NBC’s Working the Engels, Working Moms (CBC), Baroness Von Sketch Show, Young Drunk Punk, Good Behaviour, PR, The Broad Side, Behind the Scenes, Listen Missy, and Kids in the Hall, for which she was nominated for an Emmy). She has been a long time national parenting columnist for CBC radio, and has been a contributor to DNTO and Tapestry. She was a feature columnist for the Toronto Star among others. She played the lead in the independent film Portrait of A Serial Monogamist, and in Body Politic, for which she was nominated for a Dora.
Mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy hails from Oshawa, Ontario and is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio. Her repertoire is finely balanced between opera and concert performance, and she has appeared with the Paris Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Chicago Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Glyndebourne Festival, and the San Francisco Opera, among others.
Darcy Gerhart is an actor and creator from Toronto, ON. She grew up dancing in Parkdale and attended the National Theatre School of Canada. Darcy is thrilled to be joining the Selfie company! Recent credits include: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, The Lady From the Sea, The Charity That Began at Home, The Philadelphia Story (Shaw Festival); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia… (Theatre Centre/Why Not Theatre); Raging Dreams (Theatre Gargantua); A Splinter in the Heart (Festival Players of Prince Edward County); Twelfth Night (Hart House).
Marie Beath Badian is a Toronto-based theatre maker. As a playwright, her works include Prairie Nurse, The Making of St. Jerome (nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards), Mind Over Matter, and Novena . She was Playwright-in-Residence for fu-Gen Asian-Canadian Theatre Company and Project: Humanity. She was a member of the 2010 Hot House Playwright Unit at Cahoots Theatre Company, Tarragon Playwright Unit, Soulpepper Playwrights’ Circle. She is currently Creator-in-Residence with The Blyth Festival where she is developing a sequel to Prairie Nurse.
Lauren Gillis is a performer and creator. Her major interests include ambiguity, unrecognizable dancing, an uncomfortable sense of tragi-comic teetering, and the spacetime two degrees away from explicitly erotic. As the Co-Artistic Director of Lester Trips (Theatre), her next work Mr. Truth is premiering at The Theatre Centre as part of the RISER Project, a collaborative producing model by Why Not Theatre. It’s about ridiculous erotic secrecy in people who think they’re really open about that stuff
Vanessa Trenton is an actor who has trained in Toronto, Halifax, and New York City. She also coordinates FEM Script Lab, a script development workshop for female screenwriters.