Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre-Media Centre

Click on the images to download the digital program and study guide:

Ovation3Cover.jpg calpurnia-guide.jpg

“Provocative and bold” – Winnipeg Free Press

Julie, a Jamaican-Canadian screenwriter, is battling writer’s block and a myriad distractions as her family prepares for an important dinner. More accurately, Precy, their beloved housekeeper is preparing; they’re mostly getting in the way and arguing about Julie’s movie. Julie is taking aim at To Kill A Mockingbird for its treatment of Calpurnia, the Finch family maid. The project has its detractors – including her brother Mark. When he wonders aloud whether Julie can even write this story from a place of privilege, she goes to dramatic lengths to prove him wrong.

Warnings: 
Mature themes, strong language, theatrical haze


Running time: 
Approximately 2 hours, including 20-minute intermission


Generously sponsored by:
The Asper FoundationGail Asper Family Foundation  
Return to the Stage sponsor:

Opening night sponsor:
  


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BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEO

Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre Company 2018 co-production

Interested in learning more about Calpurnia? Check out these behind-the-scenes interviews with the creative team from the Nightwood and Sulong 2018 co-production.

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Trailer

Cast & Crew

Production
Audrey Dwyer photo
Audrey Dwyer

Playwright

Playwright Audrey Dwyer
Audrey Dwyer photo

Audrey Dwyer

ROYAL MTC Director: The Mountaintop, Women of the Fur Trade. Intimacy Director: Orlando, Fun Home. Consulting Director: Bang Bang (with Belfry). Actor: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (with Mirvish), Good People, Medea (with Mirvish), The Crucible. Dramaturg: Tiny Plays, Big Ideas.

OTHER THEATRE Director: Blink (U of W); Prairie Nurse (Lighthouse Theatre); Calpurnia (Nightwood Theatre/Sulong Theatre); The Apology (Rabiayshna Productions).

TRAINING National Theatre School of Canada.

ET CETERA Audrey is Royal MTC’s Associate Artistic Director. She has won three Dora Mavor Moore Awards and the Cayle Chernin Award for Theatre. She was nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award for Direction twice. She wrote the libretto for Backstage at Carnegie Hall (Bradyworks), which will open in Montreal in 2022. She was commissioned to write The Legend of Daddy Hall for the Tarragon Theatre. It was part of their Acoustic Season (2020/2021). She has been commissioned by Nightswimming Theatre to write The Generations. She was a recipient of CBC’s Creative Relief Fund for The Gordons.

Sarah Garton Stanley photo
Sarah Garton Stanley

Director / Dramaturg

Director / Dramaturg Sarah Garton Stanley
Sarah Garton Stanley photo

Sarah Garton Stanley

ROYAL MTC Fun Home, Kill Me Now (With NAC). 2021/22 National Mentorship Program.

OTHER THEATRE Director: Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down (Artistic Fraud); carried away on the crest of a wave (Arts Club); Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Tarragon); The Big House (Toronto Fringe); We Keep Coming Back (WJT, English Theatre Berlin, Factory Theatre); Unsafe (Canadian Stage); Out The Window (Luminato/Theatre Centre); Bunny (Stratford/Tarragon).

ET CETERA Former Associate Artistic Director, English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre where she created The Cycles. Founder Emeritus SpiderWebShow Performance and FOLDA. PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. Sarah Co-Stewards Birchdale – an off grid historic hunting and fishing lodge – with her partner Tracey Erin Smith and their dog, Matzo.

Rachel Forbes photo
Rachel Forbes

Set Designer

Set Designer Rachel Forbes
Rachel Forbes photo

Rachel Forbes

ROYAL MTC Costume Designer: The Mountaintop.

OTHER THEATRE Set and Costume Design: Serving Elizabeth (WCT); A Million Billion Pieces, Risky Phil (YPT); Victory, 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (Shaw); The Bridge (Neptune/2b Theatre); Choir Boy (Centaur); Iterate (Mile Zero Dance). Costume Design: A Streetcar Named Desire, The Brothers Size (Soulpepper); Fences (Grand). Set Design: School Girls (Obsidian Theatre); In The Abyss (Political Movement).

FILM Shorts: 21 Black Futures (Obsidian/CBC); A Revolution of Love (THM/Awakenings); Body So Fluorescent (Madonnanera/lnside Out).

TEACHING She has designed, mentored and taught at Ryerson University and is currently serving on the board of directors of the Associated Designers of Canada.

ET CETERA Rachel received a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her costume design on The Brothers Size (Soulpepper 2019) and a Merritt Award for her set design on The Bridge (2b/Neptune 2019).

Joseph Abetria photo
Joseph Abetria

Costume Designer

Costume Designer Joseph Abetria
Joseph Abetria photo

Joseph Abetria

ROYAL MTC Costume Designer: Tiny Plays, Big Ideas, Bang Bang (with Belfry), Last Train to Nibroc (tour). Apprentice Costume Designer: Billy Elliot the Musical. 2020/21 National Mentorship Program.

OTHER THEATRE (selected) Costume Designer: Voice (PTE), Plé (Plé Collective presented by MTYP); Spelling 2-5-5 (MTYP); Women of the Fur Trade (Vault Projects); Mary’s Wedding, Iceland (TPM); Concord Floral, Vinegar Tom, The Laramie Project (U of W). Set Designer: Richard III (SIR). Production Designer: The Game, Two Indians, The Seduction Theory (Sarasvàti). Assistant Costume Designer: Othello, The Neverending Story, The Rocky Horror Show, Romeo and Juliet (Stratford).

TRAINING University of Winnipeg.

Hugh Conacher photo
Hugh Conacher

Lighting Designer

Lighting Designer Hugh Conacher
Hugh Conacher photo

Hugh Conacher

ROYAL MTC (select credits) Lighting & Video Designer: The Mountaintop, Vietgone, Venus in Fur. Lighting Designer: Orlando, All is Bright, Women of the Fur Trade, Fun Home, The Color Purple (with Citadel), Kill Me Now (with NAC), Seminar (with Mirvish), Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing and many other productions since the ‘80s. 

OTHER THEATRE Hugh has collaborated with choreographers, visual artists and dance and theatre companies worldwide. 

ET CETERA Hugh enjoys working beyond the constraints of traditional lighting design using various forms of interactive media, video and photography. His photographic work resides in private collections and has been published worldwide. Hugh is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada and L’Association des professionnels des arts de la scène du Québec. www.pellucid.me.

Chris Coyne photo
Chris Coyne

Sound Designer

Sound Designer Chris Coyne
Chris Coyne photo

Chris Coyne

ROYAL MTC The (Post) Mistress, The Mountaintop, Fun Home, Kill Me Now (with NAC), The Hound of the Baskervilles 2016 (Tour).

OTHER THEATRE Chris has had the pleasure of working with many local and international theatre groups. Credits include Routes 2016/17 Tour (MTYP); The Hound of the Baskervilles Mar. 2015, Little Thing Big Thing Sept. 2015 (PTE); EDEN 2013 (Sarasvàti); Bashir Lazhar Mar. 2013 (TPM); Angels in America 2012, Perestroika 2014 (WJT); Three Sisters 2011 (zone41).

TRAINING Chris is a graduate of the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology.

ET CETERA Chris has been involved in the theatre industry in Winnipeg for many years. Currently working as Royal MTC’s Technical Director at the John Hirsch Mainstage.

Hazel Venzon photo
Hazel Venzon

Cultural Consultant

Cultural Consultant Hazel Venzon
Hazel Venzon photo

Hazel Venzon

ROYAL MTC Director: Where.Are.You.From. (Tiny Plays, Big Ideas). Assistant Director: The Mountaintop. 2020/21 National Mentorship Program.

OTHER THEATRE Directing: I Think We Are Alone (U of W); Places We Go, EMBRACE, BELTFEST ’N CHILL (UNIT); Stories Houses Tell (PTE); EMBRACE (Nakai); Haircuts By Children, Children’s Choice Awards, Eat The Street, These Are The People In Your Neighbourhood (Mammalian); On Going: Everything Has Disappeared (UNIT, Mammalian). Associate Directing: Bad Parent (vAct PTE). Assistant Directing: By Grand Central Station (PTE). 

FILM/TV Director: Ma-Buhay a musical journey (Bluewater Buffalo/UNIT). 1st AD: I Knew My Murderer (Frantic Films). 2nd AD: Gone (Buffalo Gal); Perfect Match (Farpoint). 

TRAINING Applied Theatre and Philippine Theatre, Directing Digital Theatre (vAct); Director’s Process, Suzuki and Viewpoints (PTE); Improv (Second City); Studio 58 (Langara); Black Hole Theatre Program, School of Fine Arts (U of M).

ET CETERA Hazel is the Artistic Director and Producer of U N I Together (UNIT) Productions.

Nikki Shaffeeullah  photo
Nikki Shaffeeullah

Assistant Director

Assistant Director Nikki Shaffeeullah
Nikki Shaffeeullah  photo

Nikki Shaffeeullah

ROYAL MTC First engagement.

OTHER THEATRE (select) Director: The Shell (UTSC); Lion Womxn, Almeida (The Glorious) (The AMY Project/SummerWorks); Escape Velocity, un(earthed) (Undercurrent Theatre). Associate Director: Lilies, or, the Revival of a Romantic Drama (lemonTree creations/Buddies in Bad Times Theatre/Why Not Theatre).

FILM Actor: The Lower Plateau (Depanneaur Films). Director: Fly Away With Me (Maude Matton); Lemons (Undercurrent Creations). 

TRAINING/TEACHING Training: University of Alberta, McGill University. Teaching: University of Alberta, University of Toronto Scarborough.

ET CETERA Nikki is a director, writer, performer and facilitator. Her current work includes a residency with Why Not Theatre developing her new play A Poem for Rabia, curating an artistic research project with the National Arts Centre – English Theatre, leading multiple sector change projects through Undercurrent Creations and facilitating community-engaged projects with Confluence Arts Collective. Past roles include serving as Artistic Director for Toronto’s The AMY Project and Editor-in-Chief for alt.theatre magazine. For more: nikkishaffeeullah.com

Shauna Jones photo
Shauna Jones

Assistant Set Designer

Assistant Set Designer Shauna Jones
Shauna Jones photo

Shauna Jones

ROYAL MTC The (Post) Mistress, Women of the Fur Trade, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.

OTHER THEATRE Frozen River (MTYP); The Winter’s Tale / Le conte d’hiver (SIR/TCM); Lawrence and Holloman, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Guild Hall – Whitehorse, YT).

TRAINING Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Practicum program (2019) in Scenic Art.

ET CETERA Shauna would like to extend a sincere thanks for the additional and thoughtful support of the Kingfisher Foundation, and to Royal MTC for giving her this opportunity.

Michael Duggan photo
Michael Duggan

Stage Manager

Stage Manager Michael Duggan
Michael Duggan photo

Michael Duggan

ROYAL MTC Stage Manager: Vietgone (with fu-GEN/Hope and Hell), Hand to God. Assistant Stage Manager: The Mountaintop, The Color Purple (with Citadel), A Christmas Carol, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (with Citadel), Chimerica, Clever Little Lies, The Glass Menagerie, Other People’s Money. Apprentice Stage Manager: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, The Shunning, Brief Encounter, The Seafarer, Steel Magnolias. Props: Gone With the Wind.

OTHER THEATRE Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables (Rainbow); The War Being Waged, Ghost Light (PTE); The Winter’s Tale / Le conte d’hiver (SIR/TCM); Hamlet (SIR); MTYP’s Midwinter Mosey, A Year with Frog and Toad (MTYP); Meet Me at Dawn (TBTR).

TRAINING B.A. (Hons) in Theatre Production and Stage Management at the University of Winnipeg.

ET CETERA This is Michael’s first show as the stage manager for the Mainstage and he would like to thank his wife, Katelynn first and foremost. Thank you also to his parents and to the many teachers, mentors, friends, co-workers and theatres who helped along the way.

Zahra Larche photo
Zahra Larche

Assistant Stage Manager

Assistant Stage Manager Zahra Larche
Zahra Larche photo

Zahra Larche

ROYAL MTC Assistant Stage Manager: Bang Bang (with Belfry). Apprentice Stage Manager: Buying the Farm (tour), Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, Vietgone (with fu-GEN/Hope and Hell), The Humans. Assistant Production Manager (2017/18, 2020/21, 2021/22 seasons).

OTHER THEATRE Stage Manager: The Drawer Boy (Hudson Village Theatre); Ed & Ed – Trapped!, Outside Mullingar, Neddy Norris Night, Fly Me to the Moon, Newfoundland Vinyl, The Out Vigil (Gros Morne Theatre Festival); Shape of a Girl (Cart Before the Horse). Assistant Stage Manager: Seven Sopranos of Winnipeg (Manitoba Opera). Apprentice Stage Manager: Barber of Seville (Manitoba Opera); The Halloween Tree (Geordie Productions); The Amazing Adventures of Pericles, Prince of Tyre (A Company of Fools).

TRAINING Graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada – Production Program (2017).

ET CETERA A very special thanks to my Royal MTC family, my parents, my family and friends from Gatineau to Tasmania, Ilana Modulevsky, Patrick Michalishyn, my graduating class at NTS, and all the wonderful folks who made this show possible!

Ridge Romanishen photo
Ridge Romanishen

Apprentice Stage Manager

Apprentice Stage Manager Ridge Romanishen
Ridge Romanishen photo

Ridge Romanishen

ROYAL MTC First engagement.

OTHER THEATRE In Time (TPM); Trigger Warning: Cassandra (Sick + Twisted); Shakespeare’s Will (SIR); Narrow Bridge (WJT); The Golem’s Mighty Swing (WJT/OTM); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Dry Cold); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Arcadia (U of W).

TEACHING Graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Theatre and Film Program with Honours in Stage Management.

ET CETERA Ridge is thrilled to be working on LIVE, in person, productions again and would like to thank all the fabulous folks at Royal MTC for this amazing opportunity!

Cast
Kwaku Adu-Poku photo
Kwaku Adu-Poku

Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon Kwaku Adu-Poku
Kwaku Adu-Poku photo

Kwaku Adu-Poku

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

OTHER THEATRE Here are the Fragments (Theatre Centre); Les Frères (UC Follies); Canis Familiaris, My Friend’s Best Friend’s Boyfriend (Alumnae Theatre).

FILM/TV Murdoch Mysteries, Ruby and the Well, Meet Me in New York, The Hot Zone: Anthrax, Jump Darling, Mayday! Air Crash Investigation, Rock and Roll Christmas, It’s Nothing, Frankie Drake Mysteries.

ET CETERA Upcoming: Death and the King’s Horseman (Stratford). Huge thanks to my family, friends, team, Royal MTC and NAC.

Ellie Ellwand photo
Ellie Ellwand

Christine Charter

Christine Charter Ellie Ellwand
Ellie Ellwand photo

Ellie Ellwand

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

OTHER THEATRE Edward II (Soulpepper – workshop production); What I Call Her (Crow’s Theatre); King Lear @ the Baseball Diamond (Shakespeare in the Ruff); The Nails (SummerWorks); The Queen’s Eulogy (Toronto Fringe); These Peaceable Kingdoms, Exit the King, King Lear (NTS).

FILM/TV Homeschooled (CBC Gem); Slo Pitch (OUTtv/Prime); First Person, Band Ladies (web series); The Comey Rule (CBS); Busytown Mysteries (CBC); Repo Men (Universal Pictures).

TRAINING Acting at the National Theatre School of Canada.

ET CETERA Many thanks to Royal MTC and NAC for bringing me on to this production. Love to my family and the theatre community. Sarah and Audrey, thank you.

Rochelle Kives photo
Rochelle Kives

Precy Cabigting

Precy Cabigting Rochelle Kives
Rochelle Kives photo

Rochelle Kives

ROYAL MTC Where.Are.You.From. (Tiny Plays, Big Ideas). 2021/22 National Mentorship Program.

OTHER THEATRE Most recent: 25 Questions For A Jewish Mother, Precipice (WJT); Ma-Buhay Workshop, Miss Saigon, South Pacific, Little Shop of Horrors (Rainbow); Elizabeth Rex (Bunbury Productions); A Year with Frog and Toad (MTYP); South Pacific (WSO); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Dry Cold); South Pacific (Regina Symphony Orchestra); The Who’s Tommy (Platinum Theatre).

FILM/TV A Kiss Before Christmas (Hallmark); Larry Saves The Canadian Health Care System (Tripwire Media Group); Not Funny (Imaginary Productions).

TRAINING Graduate of Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Performance Program.

ET CETERA Rochelle spent 12 years performing as the lead singer in the production casts onboard NCL, Azamara and Celebrity Cruises. She is co-founder and producer of the vocal group Unique3. Huge thank you to Royal MTC and NAC for this opportunity. Rochelle would like to dedicate this performance to her mom and grandma, her inspiration for Precy.

Arne MacPherson photo
Arne MacPherson

James Thompson

James Thompson Arne MacPherson
Arne MacPherson photo

Arne MacPherson

ROYAL MTC Selected: A Christmas Carol, Black Coffee, 23.5 Hours, Unnecessary Farce, The Hound of the Baskervilles (tour), Alice Through the Looking-Glass, A Few Good Men (with Citadel), August: Osage County, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Shakespeare’s Dog (with NAC), The Crucible, King Lear.

OTHER THEATRE Mamma Mia! (Rainbow); Hamlet, Richard III, Othello and others (SIR); I Dream of Diesel (One Trunk Theatre/TPM); Encore (TPM); Tribes, Ivanov, Way to Heaven, Lenin’s Embalmers (WJT). Arne also works as a director, with credits at Royal MTC Tom Hendry Warehouse, TPM, SIR, PTE, MTYP and with many independent producers.

FILM/TV Arne has appeared in over 25 shot-in-Winnipeg film and television productions.

TRAINING Graduate of the BFA (Acting) program at the University of Alberta.

ET CETERA Arne’s family, Deb, Gislina and Solmund, are all artists.

Emerjade Simms photo
Emerjade Simms

Julie Gordon

Julie Gordon Emerjade Simms
Emerjade Simms photo

Emerjade Simms

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

OTHER THEATRE Selected: The Mountaintop (Persephone); 1851: Spirit & Voice (Soulpepper/Myseum); 21 Black Futures (Obsidian/CBC); Peter Pan (Bad Hats/Soulpepper); School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (2019 Dora Award Winner for Outstanding Production – Obsidian/Nightwood); Wounded Soldiers (4th Line); The Bird Killer (Let Me In). 

TV Forbidden, Fear Thy Neighbor, See No Evil, Paranormal 911.

TRAINING Graduated from the University of Windsor – BFA Acting 2016; Factory Theatre Mechanicals graduate – 2016/17.

ET CETERA Emerjade thanks everyone on this fantastic team for their support and guidance. Always take a leap of Faith.

Ray Strachan photo
Ray Strachan

Lawrence Gordon

Lawrence Gordon Ray Strachan
Ray Strachan photo

Ray Strachan

ROYAL MTC The Mountaintop, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, Shakespeare in Love (with Citadel), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Romeo and Juliet, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (with TC).

OTHER THEATRE The Tempest (Citadel); Deserter, Remember the Night (Moving Target); Hedda Noir (Theatre NorthWest); The Whipping Man (WJT); Romeo and Juliet (SIR); Dutchman (PlayOn Theatre); Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Black Hole Theatre Company).

TRAINING Black Hole Theatre Company; Banff Centre for The Arts.

ET CETERA Look for Ray on The Porter, a new CBC series focusing on the lives of Black Train Porters in Canada in the 1920s. Ray is also co-host of the Ray & Benny Talk Sports podcast. You can find it on YouTube and on your preferred podcast platforms. @raybennysports on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Production ID: 29590
Start Date: 3/23/2022 11:27:50 AM
End Date: 4/16/2022 11:27:56 AM
Title: Calpurnia
Playwright: By Audrey Dwyer
Billing: An NAC English Theatre/Royal MTC/Black Theatre Workshop Co-production
Warnings: Mature themes, strong language, theatrical haze
Synopsis:

Click on the images to download the digital program and study guide:

Ovation3Cover.jpg calpurnia-guide.jpg

“Provocative and bold” – Winnipeg Free Press

Julie, a Jamaican-Canadian screenwriter, is battling writer’s block and a myriad distractions as her family prepares for an important dinner. More accurately, Precy, their beloved housekeeper is preparing; they’re mostly getting in the way and arguing about Julie’s movie. Julie is taking aim at To Kill A Mockingbird for its treatment of Calpurnia, the Finch family maid. The project has its detractors – including her brother Mark. When he wonders aloud whether Julie can even write this story from a place of privilege, she goes to dramatic lengths to prove him wrong.

Facility: John Hirsch Mainstage
Alternate URL: https://royalmtc.ca/Current-Plays/Calpurnia.aspx
Play Image:
Word Mark: 07d64022-170c-4fa2-a0cf-727b13f1794b
Rotator Image: 4d7bf8d0-5e86-4196-8df0-a2bc792e5fce
Display Rotator From: 3/7/2022 3:06:20 PM
Display Rotator To: 4/16/2022 11:59:00 PM
 

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