March 8, 2017

PlayME Past

School Performances – Schedule
All shows at 11:00 AM

April 19 – Ms. Desjardins | Norman Yeung –BOOKED
April 20 – Ms. Desjardins | Norman Yeung – BOOKED
April 21 – Pow Pow PianoGriffin McInnes –BOOKED
April 26 – Pow Pow Piano | Griffin McInnes – BOOKED
April 27 – Back to the Bridge | Andrea Scott BOOKED
April 28 – Back to the Bridge | Andrea Scott –**NOW OPEN**

Public Performances

April 22 – Pow Pow Piano Griffin McInnes (2pm) and Ms. Desjardins | Norman Yeung  (7pm)
April 29 – Back to the Bridge | Andrea Scott (2pm)

The Historic Zion Schoolhouse in North York was built in 1869 by the citizens of the farming community of L’Amaroux. It is the last unaltered one-room schoolhouse in the Borough of North York, and represents an important stage in Upper Canada’s educational history. The school was closed as an active education facility in 1955, and after a period of abandonment the building was restored and reopened as a heritage site in 1986. Zion Schoolhouse has been owned by the City of Toronto since the amalgamation of the City’s heritage museums in 2000, and is now managed and operated by the Toronto’s Cultural Services.

Ms. Desjardins

After school one day in 1899, Genevieve is confronted by her new student Deng in their rural schoolhouse. The city boy feels humiliated by something the teacher did in class, but she insists she was being helpful. Their tête-à-tête reveals that the Chinese-Canadian boy and Québecoise woman share struggles although they are from worlds apart.  On the cusp of a new century, the characters look ahead to a new world where marginalised women and immigrants forge a stronger voice to shape a new Toronto.


Back to the Bridge
Martina hates her teacher, skips school and talks to the birds. What’s a single parent to do in 1870? Kids these days.
Pow Pow Piano 
Rural Toronto, 1917. A German POW and a young woman sneak out to a schoolhouse in the middle of the night. She’s there to teach him piano. He doesn’t speak English. Neither of them is really there for a piano lesson.

Andrea Scott – Playwright | Back to the Bridge
Andrea Scott is a professional actor, playwright & producer who, after completing a year in the Obsidian Theatre Playwright Unit, saw her play Eating Pomegranates Naked accepted into the SummerWorks Performance Festival where it won the RBC Arts Professional award, named Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Production. She was commissioned by Mixed Company Theatre to write Frenemies, a TYA play which toured in 2014 shortly thereafter. Better Angels: A Parable won the SummerWorks award for Production in August 2015 and was recognized as Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Direction (Nigel Shawn Williams) and Outstanding Production by NOW Magazine. Better Angels: A Parable had its US debut at the Athena Festival in Chicago in December 2015 and was then produced by Rumble Theatre in their Tremors Festival in August 2016. Her second TYA play, Princesses Don’t Grow on Trees, debuted in April 2016 at Solar Stage Children’s Theatre under the direction of Jajube Mandiela. Her play about Mata Hari, Don’t Talk to Me Like I’m Your Wife, won the Cayle Chernin Award for theatre in May 2016 followed by a successful run in SummerWorks (Outstanding Performance – NOW Magazine). Andrea is a CAEA, ACTRA, PGC, DGA member who recently graduated from the inaugural Artist Producer Training Program run by Generator/Theatre Ontario. She completed three weeks in the Stratford Playwright Retreat in September followed by a reading of her newest play, All Most Be Longing in the Tarragon Workspace Program directed by Dora Award winning director, Nina Lee Aquino.


Rachel Blair – Actor | Back to the Bridge

Rachel Blair is a playwright and performer. Her most recent play, A Man Walks Into a Bar (Dora nomination for Outstanding New Play), was a sell out hit at the Toronto Fringe Festival, The Next Stage Theatre Festival, and Ottawa’s Undercurrents Festival. She holds a Masters in Performance from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England and is a graduate of York University’s Theatre Program. While in London she performed work at the Shunt Vaults and the Old Vic Tunnels. Rachel’s playwriting credits include Wake (Toronto Fringe New Play Contest Winner in 2008) and This is About the Push, a one-act developed into The Comfort Women (shortlisted for the RBC Emerging Playwright Competition in 2012 and selected for the Banff Playwrights Colony in 2014). She has been a member of writing units at Tarragon and Factory Theatre, and is currently a guest instructor/director in the joint UTM/Sheridan acting program, with a focus on devised theatre. As an actor, Rachel’s television credits include The Firm (NBC) and Lost Girl (Showcase/SyFy).



Norman Yeung – Playwright | Ms. Desjardins
Norman works in theatre, film, and visual arts. His play “Theory” won First Place in the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition in 2015. “Deirdre Dear” premiered at the Neil LaBute New Theater Festival in St. Louis. “Pu-Erh” premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto and was nominated for four Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding New Play. “Pu-Erh” was a Herman Voaden finalist in 2009. He was a member of Canadian Stage’s BASH! artist development program, fu-GEN’s Kitchen Playwrights Unit, and Tapestry New Opera’s Composer-Librettist Laboratory. He is featured in the book “Voices Rising: Asian Canadian Cultural Activism” by Xiaoping Li. As an actor, Norman’s film and television credits include a supporting role in “Resident Evil: Afterlife” (Sony/Screen Gems), a series regular role in “Todd and the Book of Pure Evil” (SPACE/CTV), and roles in “Rookie Blue” (ABC/Global), “Murdoch Mysteries” (CBC), and “King” (Showcase). He recently performed in the Canadian Premiere of “Chimerica” at Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Canadian Stage. He holds a BFA in Acting/Theatre from the University of British Columbia and a BFA (Honours) in Film from Ryerson University. Norman grew up in East Vancouver and lives in Toronto and Los Angeles.

Kaitlyn Riordan – Actor | Ms. Desjardins

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 normination), Macbeth: Walking Shadows (Ruff), Look, no Hans! (Drayton), The Merchant of Venice & Blithe Spirit (Stratford Festival), The Apology (Next Stage Festival-Dora nomination). Up-Coming: Linda Griffith’s one woman show Maggie & Pierre; a look at the relationship between the Trudeaus aka Justin’s parents.




Michael Man – Actor | Ms. Desjardins

Michael Man is a Toronto-based actor and musician. Theatre credits include: The Other Shore 彼岸(Gateway Theatre), The Jungle Book (Magnus Theatre), Julius Caesar, Much Ado About Nothing (St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival), Titus Andronicus, As You Like It(Canadian Stage), Casimir and Caroline (Howland Theatre), The Snow Queen (Sudbury Theatre Centre), Potluck Festival (fu-GEN Theatre). Selected music: Les Miserable (Pianist, Sudbury Symphony Orchestra), Goblin Market (Pianist, Theatre Kingston). Michael is a graduate of Queen’s University and George Brown Theatre School. Upcoming: King Lear, Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage).




Griffin McInnes – Playwright | Pow Pow Piano

Griffin McInnes is a director and playwright in Toronto. His work often explores the relationships between science, art and publics, and has won several writing awards including the Atlantic Writing Competition and the Norma Epstein National Writing Award. Recent projects include TomorrowLove (Associate Director, Outside the March) and Wordplay (Director, Theatre Topikos). Formerly Halifax-based, he is the co-founder and artistic director of Wit’s End Theatre and served as emerging artist-in-residence with Nova Scotia’s 2b theatre company. Griffin holds a graduate degree from the School of Experimentation in Arts and Politics at SciencesPo in Paris, France, where he studied under anthropologist Bruno Latour, collaborating with interdisciplinary artists from around the world. Read more about his work at



Tony Nappo – Actor | Pow Pow Piano

Tony was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. He attended the University of Toronto for two years before transferring to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City where he graduated in 1991. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows and many independent Canadian films.



Barbara Johnston – Actor/Musician | Pow Pow Piano

Barbara Johnston is Toronto based performer and a Dora nominated writer and director. Writing credits include – with Anika Johnson: Blood Ties (Next Stage Festival//Edinburgh Fringe/Summerworks and featured on BBC America’s Orphan Black), and Elly’s Emotions (2015 Dora nominee, Outstanding TYA Production, Outstanding Direction); with Anika Johnson and Suzy Wilde:  Summerland (Toronto Fringe 2015) and The Fence (Toronto Fringe 2016). Performing credits include ‘Vera’ (and choreography) in Doctor Silver (Outside the March/The Musical Stage Company), The Fence and Daughters of Feminists (Toronto Fringe, 2015), and principal roles on TV’s Orphan Black and Private Eyes.  Barbara has been seen on stages across North America as ‘Ginger Spice’ in Wannabe: The Spice Girls Tribute and recently as ‘Gwen Stefani’ in Spiderwebs: The No Doubt Tribute Band. She has choreographed for Outside the March and musical directed for Expect Theatre’s Beats and Intentions project. Barbara is currently directing the Wexford School for the Arts production of West Side Story and works regularly with the award winning Wexford Gleeks (Wexford School for the Arts).  She also runs a private music studio.