About the Play

By Howard Richardson & William Berney

This perennial favorite is based on the haunting folk ballad of "Barbara Allen," first produced in 1945. Set in the Appalachian Mountains and written in an Appalachian dialect, the play centers on the character of John, a witch boy who seeks to become human after falling in love with a human girl. The superstitious townspeople resent their happiness and their subsequent meddling ends in violence and tragedy.

Directed by Rosanna Saracino

Rosanna Saracino is an Italian Canadian director and educator. Her work is stylized and imagistic and focuses on themes of trauma, outsider and immigrant experience, using devised and adaptive practices. As an educator, she specializes in training directors, writers, actors, and educators in consent and boundary practices specifically related to emotional intelligence, and psychological and emotional safety. 

As a director she has worked in television, opera, musicals, dance, and theatre and has directed over 100 productions throughout her career. Theater directing credits include Luces Nocturnas (inspired by Pan's Labyrinth, and the impact of the Franco regime), Nasty (an investigation into the vilification of women in history), Alone (a devised exploration of the immigrant experience and impact of otherness), and Suitcases (a look into asylum conditions of the early 20th century). Some traditional credits include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard, No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre, killing game by Eugene Ionesco and Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht. in Canada, she has collaborated with companies such as the Canadian opera company, the PowerPlant gallery, one yellow rabbit, has held the position of director in residence at the Canadian stage, and has worked as the artistic director for two of her own production companies focusing on film and television, and theatre, respectively. She is currently working on a book which focuses on sharing her techniques in psychological and emotional consent and boundary practices. 


Performance Schedule

  • Tuesday, April 9, 2024 -- 7:30PM
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024 -- 7:30PM
  • Saturday, April 13, 2024 -- 7:30PM
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 -- 7:30PM
  • Friday, April 19, 2024 -- 7:30PM
  • Saturday, April 20, 2024 -- 1:30PM


Young Centre for the Performing Arts
50 Tank House Lane, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4

Running Time:

~ 120 minutes (including intermission)


Regular: $25
Senior (65+ - ID required): $20.00
Student (ID required): $10

Get your tickets


Sarah O'Brien*, Stage Manager

This is Sarah’s umpteenth outing with George Brown.  Past credits for the school include: Cymbeline, As You Like It (2017), Anatol, Fear & Misery In The Third Reich, Scott Shorts & Zelda, Anna Karenina, and Munsch On The Moon among others. Recent credits include The Tempest (Theatre Rusticle), Murder For Two (Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre/Neptune Theatre), The First Stone (New Harlem Productions/GCTC), and a great November with Canada’s National Ballet School. Upcoming projects include heading back to Nova Scotia for a summer in the beautiful Bauer Theatre, going back to Ottawa with old friends and a new play, and flying back to Slackers with New Canadian Curling Club. As always, especially with Shakespeare, for Dad and the team.   


Megan Cinel, Set Design

Megan is a set designer based in Toronto whose work has primarily been seen at Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover; Pack of Thieves, Meet My Sister, Sexy Laundry, and Educating Rita. Up next, she's designing the set for Murder at Ackerton Manor (Lighthouse Festival Theatre). Other work includes set design for Cabaret (Randolph College for the Performing Arts). This will be her debut design at George Brown Theatre School. See her portfolio at: www.mcineldesign.com. Thanks to my partner in crime, Josh, for his love and support.


Jareth Li, Lighting Design

Jareth is a stage designer based in Toronto, and is thrilled to play in this new online world with the George Brown team. Many thanks to the students in bringing a playful nature, and willingness to explore with him! Select lighting designs include: The Wolves (Crows Theatre and The Howland Company), Punk Rock (Howland); Iphigenia and The Furies (Saga Collectif); Yellow Rabbit (Silk Bath/Soulpepper); Chautauqua (Pearle Harbour); Black Boys (Saga & Buddies In Bad Times); Prairie Nurse (Factory & TIP); Risky Phil (YPT).

Jareth is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada, and an instructor at York University. He is also a member of The Howland Company. 

Online @ Jareth.L


Sim Suzer, Costume Designer

Recent Design Work: Set Design for Sweeter (Cahoots Theatre), Costume Designer for Munsch (George Brown), Set Designer for Bad Roads (Crow's Theatre), Costume Design for Love’s Labour’s Lost (Stratford Festival), Set and Costume Design of The Game of Love and Chance and A Grand Night for Signing (Shaw Festival), Set Designer of Anahita’s Republic (Bustle and Beast), Costume Design of Low Pay? Don’t Pay! (George Brown), Costume designer and Associate Set Designer of Everybody (Shaw Festival), Set and Costume Design of Our Place (Cahoots Theatre). 

Sim Suzer was recently nominated for 2023 Pauline McGibbon Award - Emerging Designer and Dora Mavor Moore Award - Outstanding Scenic Design.  

Online: https://simgesuzer.journoportfolio.com/



Scott Banks
Scott Banks, Sound Designer

Scott is a freelance production manager, technical director, and sound designer in the GTA. Scott attended the University of Waterloo, earning a Bachelor’s degree in technical theatre. Since those days, he has been around the world and back, working on cruise ships for 7 years in the production department. He has worked in the corporate and music sectors with companies such as PSAV, Freeman AV, Snap Hoek and PRG. His real love is theatre, though, and he has been involved with various theatres around the country, from Watermark Theatre in PEI (Production Manager, Canada 300 national tour), to Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg, MB (Interim Production Manager, 2013-2014 season) to 4TH Line Theatre in Millbrook, ON (Production Manager).  This is Scott’s 7TH season with George Brown Theatre School, and he is happy to be back to help these young theatre artists as they grow and learn.

Sarah Flanigan, Assistant Stage Manager

Sarah is a Toronto based Stage Manager/Assistant Stage Manager. She is a graduate of Queen’s University with a BA Honours degree in Drama, and is thrilled to be back at work as an ASM for George Brown. In addition to Stage Managing, Sarah is also a trained percussionist, and enjoys playing in pit bands for musicals. Favourite credits include: Concord Floral (Theatre Kingston/Queen's University); Crow Hill: The Telephone Play, and Carmel (4th Line Theatre); Cabaret (Anne Shirley Theatre Company);  The Corsican Complaint, The Witch of Edmonton, Low Pay? Don’t Pay!, The Children’s Hour, Jane Eyre, and Harvey (George Brown Theatre School). 



Danny Brozovich
Danny Brozovich - Floyd Allen

Danny (they/them) is an actor and artist from the Durham Region in Ontario. Danny is finishing their third and final year of George Brown Theatre School, and is looking forward to discovering more queer and femme theatre after graduation. They’re excited for the upcoming George Brown Theatre School season. Previous credits for George Brown Theatre School include: The Rover (Don Pedro/Sancho), The Basset Table (Ensign Lovely), Problem Child (Helen), Munsch Garden (Elena/Various), and A View from the Bridge (Beatrice). 


Bella Du Toit
Bella Du Toit - Dark Witch & Mrs. Bergen

Bella (she/her) is an emerging artist currently in her final year at the George Brown Theatre School. Growing up in Calgary, Bella found the beginning of a passion for the arts in music and dance classes, before moving to London and falling in love with theatre on the West End. Since then, she has cultivated her passion for acting through theatre workshops, school plays, singing and music training. Moving to Toronto to pursue acting has been a pivotal step in her journey, where she has had the privilege of training under several inspiring directors and mentors in the conservatory theatre training program, and made lifelong friends. Through acting, Bella has found a home, and is incredibly excited to share it with you. Thank you for all your continuous support; enjoy the show! 


Gabrielle Forsey
Gabrielle Forsey - Barbara Allen

Gabrielle (she/her) was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Science in Pure Mathematics and a Bachelor of Education (Intermediate/Secondary). Some of her past stage appearances include: La Cage aux Folles as Colette/MC, Rent, We Will Rock You, Jesus Christ Superstar (TaDa! Ent.), 1984 as O’Brien (AOR Presents), Dracula (AOR Presents), The Vagina Monologues (V-Day: St. John's), Scrooge the Musical (Peter MacDonald Prod.), Shrek: The Musical, Godspell (Etcetera Prod.), Fame! The Musical (Theatre St. John’s), and The Curious Case in the Colony as Anne (Shakespeare by the Sea). Some of her favorite scene study roles at George Brown have included Berinthia in The Relapse (dir. Jeannette Lambermont-Morey) and Rosalind in As You Like It (dir. Jordan Pettle). Gabrielle also recently appeared in the feature film Massacre at Femur Creek as Jamie. 


Maya Granic
Maya Granic - Fair Witch & Ella Bergen

Maya (she/her) is an actor born and raised in the west end of Toronto. She found her passion for acting through her love of dance. She trained in classical ballet for most her life and soon realized what she loved most about dance was telling a story. After attending both an arts middle school and high school, where she focused on acting, she decided to continue her theatre education at George Brown Theatre School. She is grateful for the personal and professional growth this program has provided and can't wait to take the next steps in her career. Thank you for coming to see the George Brown Theatre Company crush it on stage.  


Dieter Lische-Parkes - Marvin Hudgens & Background Witch

Dieter (he/him) is super excited for this year's season at George Brown, some select credits include YES/STC production of Romeo and Juliet where he had the pleasure of playing Paris and others this past summer, YES/STC production of Hockey Dreams, YES/STC’s The Wizard of Oz, The Rover (Belvile), Alice in Wonderland (The White Rabbit), The Theory of relativity (Mike) and various other YES Cabarets and more. Dieter has also had the opportunity to venture into film in 2022 where he completed two movies, Mistletoe Time Machine (Crave), I’m Glad it’s Christmas (CTV). Alongside Acting Dieter dances having choreographed over 30 pieces! When he’s not on stage you can catch him crocheting and running his small business. He cannot wait to perform and hopes you all enjoy the show. 


Michael Manning - Conjure Man & Burt Dinwitty

Michael (he/him) is a Toronto based actor, director, choreographer, and writer who is incredibly excited to present this season of plays with his fellow actors in the third year George Brown ensemble. Prior to George Brown, Michael attended the University of Toronto, contributed to multiple award-winning student productions, and was a recipient of the 2017/2018 Dr. David E. Gardener Apprentice Director Program.  Select Credits Include, Acting Stage:A Line in the Sand (Mercer, George Brown Theatre School), Venice Preserv'd (Jaffier, George Brown Theatre School), Statistics (Dr. Wilkins, Toronto Fringe) and Sweeney Todd (Beadle Bamford, Ember Island Players). Production Stage:The Last Piece (Director, MD Productions), Of a Blank Canvas... (Writer, Toronto Fringe), Us Against Everyone (Assistant Director, Toronto Fringe) and Beauty and The Beast (Choreographer, St. Michael's College Troubadours) 


Julia Mitin
Julia Mitin - Mrs. Allen & Background Witch

Julia (she/her) is an Edmonton and Toronto based artist and actor. This being her final year of theatre school at George Brown she is so excited for the opportunity to share this season. She is hopes to create and participate in work for and about women once her time at George Brown has commenced. Her selected credits include: Amanda in The Relapse (George Brown Theatre School), Lisa in The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Faith in Columbinus, (Citadel Theatre), and Hermia in A Midsummers Night Dream (Thou Art Here theatre co.)  


Micaela Morey - Uncle Smelicue

Micaela (she/her) was born and raised in Toronto, ON. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, and is currently studying Theatre Performance at George Brown Theatre School. She is a professional actor, singer, musician, and theatre creator, and is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Pirate Life Theatre Toronto and Hamilton. She is thrilled to be diving into this exciting season of plays! Notable credits include: Acting Stage: Character 2 in Of A Blank Canvas…(Toronto Fringe), Belvidera in Venice Preserved, Lory in The Relapse, Mayor Troubleweather in Munsch Garden (George Brown Theatre School), Helen in Bye Bye Birdie (O’Neill CVI Performing Arts Program), Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker (Athabasca Theatre Troupe), Robin/Fairy in The Merry Wives of Windsor (DareDen Theatre Inc). Film/TV: Alice in Catastrophe (Short Film, Blue Shift). Other: Magpie (Director, The Music Gallery), Pygmalion (Musical Director, The Guild Festival Theatre). 


Sophie Oldford
Sophie Oldford - Conjure Woman & Hank Gudger

Sophie (she/her) is a Toronto based artist who focuses her energy on Acting, Dancing, Photography and Music. She has called Toronto home for the last couple of years since attending George Brown Theatre School, but before then she spent her formative years in Houston, Texas. Sophie is thrilled to be a part of the show and working beside her talented ensemble of peers, whom she admires and looks forward to this season with!  


Vica Pelivan
Vica Pelivan - Preacher Haggler

Vica (she/her) is a Toronto based actor from Croatia. She has been training and working as an actor for last ten years. Some of her mentors include the pioneers of Croatian theatre, actresses Kostadinka Velkovska and Ksenija Prohaska. Vica wanted to be an actress since small age ever since she stepped on the stage, first as a ballet dancer. Her most recent work includes the role of Lord Foppington in The Relapse by John Vanbrugh and the role of Bearnice in The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble by Beth Graham. In her spare time, she works as a specialty coffee manager, she makes an amazing cup of coffee when she is not busy walking and petting her two dogs Frida and Shadow. 


Tessa Danielle Rusgnak - John

Tessa (they/them) is a non-binary musician and actor from Sudbury Ontario, currently based in Toronto. Tessa is finishing up their third year at George Brown Theatre School and is excited to share the work that they and their class have been putting together as their last two shows as an ensemble. You can look forward to seeing their upcoming music releasing this spring and can find their current music with their band, Shuffle Puppy on all streaming platforms.  
Selected credits include: 
Theatre: Mrs. Reed in Jane Eyre, Judeg Olive Gaffney in Harvey, Ned Blunt in The Rover, Buckle/Captain Firebrand in The Basset Table, Lavinia Penniman in The Heiress (George Brown Theatre School), Alice in Alice in Wonderland (Sudbury Secondary). 
Vocal Directing: The Last Piece (Musical Direct Productions).  
Stage Managing: [In-] (One Night Only Festival, Space Space Revolution). 
Follow Tessa on Instagram @iamtexxa 


Misha Sharivker
Misha Sharivker - Mr. Jenkins & Background Witch

Misha (he/him) is a queer Toronto-based artist and producer with a passion for creating theatre that drives a change in the heart. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Guelph, where he was published for his research on drug addiction. In the future, Misha is looking to explore the art of directing and playwriting. Misha would like to thank his friends, family, and the entire Third Year ensemble for their continued love and support.
Notable credits,
Stage: Character Three in Of A Blank Canvas… (TO Fringe 2023), David in The Beloved (Highland Arts Theatre), Willmore in The Rover, Sir James in The Basset Table, and Dr. Sprout in Munsch Garden (George Brown Theatre School).
Musicals: William Barfée in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Curtain Call Productions) and David XLII/Duke Enoch in The Forgotten Baroness (Workshop Reading).
Instagram: @msharivk 


Aisha Shennawy
Aisha Shennawy - Mrs. Summey & Background Witch

Aisha (she/her) is an Egyptian-Canadian actor and visual artist trained at George Brown Theatre School. She is originally from Ottawa, where she was raised amongst the Muslim community. She holds a Bachelor of Architectural studies from the Azrieli School of Architecture, where she also discovered a passion for acting. Aisha is committed to exploring untold stories and the deeply human truths they reveal. She was recently nominated for the 2023 Hnatyshyn Emerging Artist Award.  

Notable theatre credits include: Venice Preserved as Pierre (dir. Jordan Pettle), The Relapse (dir. Jeannette-Lambermont Morey), Munsch Garden (dir. Christopher Stanton), and Anjou as Margaret of Anjou in the Ottawa Fringe Festival  

Notable film credits include: I Need A Christmas Vacation as Patty (prod. Songwind Studios), The Gift (prod. Moonrise Productions), and We Are The Missing (dir. Andrew JD Robinson). 


Ganesh Thava
Ganesh Thava - Mr. Allen

Ganesh (he/him) is a Toronto-based actor, writer, director and producer from Sri Lanka. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from Ryerson University and is studying Theatre Performance at George Brown Theatre School. He directed the award-winning Toronto Fringe show My Korean Canadian Friend. His debut short, The Orchid & The Tree, screened in Canada, the US, India, Indonesia and South Korea. Ganesh is proud to launch into the industry with an exciting season alongside an incredible ensemble.
Notable credits include:
Acting Stage: Robert in The Beloved (Highland Arts Theatre), Loveless in The Relapse, Priuli in Venice Preserv’d, Dr. Austin Sloper in The Heiress, Narrator in Munsch Garden (George Brown Theatre School), Russ in The Bad Play (Artist in Residence), Detective Lawson in The Incident (Oakham Theatre Company). 
Film/TV: AJ in Bark (Panoptic Pictures), Luke in The Most Dangerous Game (CBS Studios), Cook in Spin (Disney Studios). 


Trinity Thibeault
Trinity Thibeault - Mr. Atkins, Background Witch & musician

Trinity (she/her) is an artist from Sudbury Ontario and is super excited to be working alongside her beautiful class of 3rd years! Some selected credits outside of theatre school include Ride The Cyclone (Ocean), Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio) at Yes theatre. Trinity enjoys anything musical theatre, cooking good meals and laughing very loud with her friends. She is so thankful for the people who are here to listen, support and watch us play. 


Emmanuela Van Allen
Emmanuela Van Allen - Edna Summey

Emmanuela (she-her) is a Sudbury-born and raised artist who found her passion for performing at a young age. She is passionate about theatre that moves people, Shakespeare, musical theatre, classical and contemporary works. Emmanuela still cannot believe she is in her final year of Theatre School! Select theatre credits include Romeo And Juliet (Lady Capulet), The Wizard of Oz at YES Theatre/Sudbury Theatre Centre, The Rover (Hellena), Munsch Garden (Millicent) at GBTS, Godspell (Gilmer), and Alice In Wonderland (Alice). When she’s not performing, you can find her roaming art galleries, listening to Elton John, reading, or talking about beluga whales to anyone who will listen. Emmanuela thanks anyone who has supported her in her theatre school journey. Much love to her class! Enjoy the show.


Nandhini Vijayakumar - Miss Metcalf

Nandhini (she/her) is an aspiring actor who has journeyed across the world to learn, practice, and showcase her love for the performing arts. Born and bred in Tamil Nadu, India, she immersed herself into the realm of music, literature, art, and dance, rich in her country’s cultural heritage at the age of five. She has trained classically in various Indian and western dance forms, is a self-taught soprano, writer, and pianist. She is a polyglot and at just fifteen years old had her stories, poems, and other written works published. Growing up, she worked with local theatre and film actors that helped inspire and sharpen her perception of the stage until she eventually landed in Toronto, Canada, at nineteen years of age seeking to refine the skill sets she possessed. She commenced her Conservatory Theatre training at George Brown Theatre School in 2021 and now has her focus set on conquering all the small and big stages around the world! 


Credits & Acknowledgements

Production Staff​

  • Properties Master: David Hoekstra
  • Set Carpenters: Andy DeVries, Bill Stahl
  • Production Intern/Assistant Carpenter
  • Set Painters: Paul Boddum
  • Associate Lighting Designer: Rian Tran
  • Wardrobe Assistant: Jodi Katz
  • Stitcher: Jennifer Jakob
  • Choreographer: Bob McCollum
  • Witch Choreography by Maya Granic
  • Movement Coach/Fight Director: Jack Rennie
  • Music Composed by Micaela Morey
  • Voice Coach: Alison Deon
  • Speech Coach: John Nelles
  • Alexander Technique Coach: Victoria Heart
  • Social Media Coordinator:​​ Emmanuela Van Allen

Staff for George Brown Theatre

  • Associate Dean: Trent Scherer​​​
  • Program Coordinator: Sue Miner​​​
  • Support Coordinator: Michael Longstaff​​​
  • Production Manager/Technical Director: Scott Banks​​
  • Assistant Technical Director: Andrei Mamal​
  • Head of Wardrobe: Ina Kerklaan

Special thanks to our generous donors​

  • The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation  ​
  • Sonja Koerner and the Women’s Art Association  ​
  • Loretta Bogert-O’Brien  ​
  • Esther Farlinger  ​
  • Larry LaForet  ​
  • Audrey J. Murdoch  ​
  • Ray Wares  ​
  • Lu-Ju Chou​
  • George Brown Seniors’ Association  ​
  • Cindy Larable​
  • Debbie Read ​

Thank you to our friends in the community​

  • Jasmine Knox and Soulpepper Theatre Company
  • Lisa Nighswander and SoulPepper Props Dept.
  • Steafan Hannigan
  • Chris Warrilow, Fantastic Creations.

*The participation of these Artists is arranged by permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance.Opera.Theatr Policy (DOT).​