About the Play
Written By Dario Fo, translated by Joseph Farrell
Directed by Anand Rajaram*
In a fantastic example of life imitating art, Dario Fo, playwright of Can’t Pay! Won’t Pay! was taken to court after a number of Italian citizens, as in his fictional play, refused to pay what stores were charging for goods as inflation soared out of control, opting to pay what they decided was appropriate, or just stealing. The outraged masses took the basic necessities they needed and Fo was accused of inspiring this act of revolt because of the premise of this play. He was eventually cleared of the charge, but what greater testament to the power of art than being accused by the state that your work has provoked a societal shift, the dream of every provocative writer?
As I write this note, a law firm has just advertised that anyone caught shoplifting food will be represented by them for free, because no one should have to suffer the deeply damaging consequences of a criminal record when all they were trying to do is feed themselves.
With the shocking rise of post-Covid inflation rates, the stock market teetering on the brink of collapse following reckless gambling by hedge funds, retail traders engaging in Occupy 2.0, where protesters have “entered" the casino of the market itself and potentially figured out how to beat the system, we appear to be on the verge of a significant economic reckoning. While some leaders speak of the Great Reset coming, others rally behind blockchain technology disrupting and reinventing financial systems, and still others fear a new New World Order where austerity will lead to revolt which will lead to a global rise in "strongman” leaders and neo-Fascism, can a play be held accountable for consumers fed up with rising food costs rioting and taking what they need? As in the case of Fo, decades ago, this play isn’t seeking to incite anything except your imagination towards recognizing your power as The People. Any mass shoplifting that ensues after this production is not our responsibility, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me happy to be considered part of the movement for People before Profit. Maybe find that law firm’s number and keep it handy, just in case.
DIRECTED BY Anand Rajaram*
Anand is an improviser, actor, voiceover artist, playwright, director, musician, teacher & puppeteer. Most recently, he was in The Extinction Therapist by Clem Martini at Theatre Aquarius, Uncle Vanya at Crow’s Theatre, Buffoon by Anosh Irani and Mustard by Kat Sandler, both at Tarragon Theatre (Dora award for best performance in each), adapted/performed in Rohinton Mistry’s The Scream, at SummerWorks (Winner Best Production), and has performed at Second City, Stratford, Canadian Stage, VideoCabaret, and others. He is an accomplished film and tv performer as well as voiceover artist for video games and cartoons. You may sometimes hear him as a panelist on CBC Radio’s Because News.
He recently directed As You Like It for Canadian Stage's Dream in High Park & 3 audiobooks with Penguin Audio (Swimming in the Monsoons and Mansions on the Moon by Shyam Selvadurai, and Tell Me Pleasant Things About Immortality by Lindsay Wong), as well as narrating novels for Penguin Audio, including Kill The Mall by Pasha Malla and Tell It To The Trees by Anita Rau Badami. He is artistic director of @N@f@N@, currently creating AR digital content for live streams under the banner of his company, Cardboard Dreams. He is on all social media as HRH Anand Rajaram.
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 7:30PM,
Friday, April 14, 2023 7:30PM,
Saturday, April 15, 2023 1:30PM,
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 7:30PM,
Thursday, April 20, 2023 7:30PM,
Saturday, April 22, 2023 7:30PM
Young Centre for the Performing Arts
~ 90 min (no intermission)
Senior (65+ - ID required): $20.00
Student (ID required): $10
Michael Panich*, Stage Manager
George Brown Theatre School: Munsch Garden, Engaged, Per Gint, Blood Wedding, The Corsican Complaint, Love & Information, The Witch of Edmonton, Three Sisters & Co, Metamorphoses, Planet Munsch, You Never Can Tell, It’s Munsch Time, Munsch Goes to School, Munsch-o-Mania, Munsch All Over, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Elsewhere: John Ware Reimagined, Cottagers and Indians (Blyth Festival). Suddenly Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in Action), The Rainbow Fish, Stella-Queen of the Snow (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia), Stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Theatre Smith-Gilmour), The Hound of the Baskervilles (Lighthouse Festival Theatre), Canada in Love, Remember that Song, The Legend of Dan McGrew (Smile Theatre). Michael graduated from Concordia University’s theatre program in 2008. In addition to stage managing, Michael is also a production manager, actor and set/light designer.
JACKIE CHAU, SET DESIGN
Jackie has worked as a set and costume designer and her work has toured internationally. In addition, she is a production designer and art director for film and television. Selected theatre design credits include: Sexy Laundry (Theatre Aquarius) Annie Mae’s Movement, Almighty Voice and His Wife, Tombs of the Vanishing Indian, From Thine Eyes, HUFF (NEPA), Antigone Insurgency, Talking Masks, Charge of the Expormidable Moose, Ubu Mayor, S/W (One Little Goat), Gas Girls (New Harlem Productions), Romeo and Juliet (TD Dream in High Park/Can Stage), Zadie's Shoes, Lady Sunrise (Factory Theatre), Brown Balls (Fu-Gen), The Swearing Jar (Prairie Theatre Exchange), Fish Eyes Trilogy (GCTC), Canada 300 (Watermark Theatre), Cannibal the Musical (Starvox Entertainment),Twist Your Dickens (Second City Chicago/Toronto), Mini Me Makeover – Designer and Co-host (CBC Kids/Expect Theatre), Moment, Dissidents, Oil (ARC Theatre), Cowboy Versus Samurai, 39 Steps, Oraltorio (Soulpepper) and The Komagata Maru Incident (Stratford Festival). Jackie was named in NOW magazine's Top 10 Theatre Artists of 2009, nominated for the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design, nominated for a Saskatoon Area Theatre (SAT) award, 2 Broadway World awards and has received 8 Dora nominations for outstanding set and costume design. This is Jackie's 14th year designing for the George Brown Theatre.
Sim Suzer, Costume Design
Recent Design Work: Costume Design and Associate Set Design for Everybody (Shaw Festival), Associate Costume Design for Three Women from Swatow (Tarragon Theatre), Set and Costume Design for Untamed (XU) Stratford Festival 2021: Assistant Set and Costume Design for Romeo and Juliet. Shaw Festival 2020: Assistant Costume Design for Gypsy, Assistant Set Design for Devil’s Disciple. Shaw Festival 2019: Assistant Set and Costume Design for Horse and His Boy, The Ladykillers, Victory, Holiday Inn. Design Work 2019: Costume Designer for Water Wonder (Carousel Players), Set and Costume Designer for Play House (Shaw Festival), Set and Costume Designer for The Subjection of Kezia and Poof! (Shaw Festival), Set and Costume Designer for Journey to the Greatest Gift (L’Arche Daybreak), Costume Designer for Good Morning, Viet Mom (Cahoots Theatre). Online: https://simgesuzer.journoportfolio.com/
Kirsten Watt, Lighting Designer
Kirsten’s past collaborations with George Brown Theatre School include Fear & Misery of the Third Reich and The Provok’d Wife. She has designed elsewhere for: the Shaw Festival, Drayton Entertainment, the Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Théâtre du Rideau Vert, Neptune Theatre, Gros Morne Theatre Festival, Watermark Theatre, Theatre Baddeck, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Magnus Theatre, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Carousel Players, Green Light Arts, Lost&Found Theatre, Hart House Theatre, Theatre Sheridan, the University of Waterloo, the University of Windsor, and Concordia University. Kirsten studied theatre at the University of Alberta, and lighting design at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Tia Baum -
Tia is a German-born theatre artist raised in Mississauga. She grew up going to the Shaw Festival with her mom, where her love for live performance first sprouted.
When she moved to Toronto a few years ago to attend George Brown, she was immediately struck by the innovative shows being developed in the city. Throughout her time here, she’s developed a passion for movement-based theatre and dialect work. She seeks to continue exploring and developing the unconventional work of other emerging artists.
You can often find Tia in a coffee shop, pretending to read a book (her cover for people watching). In her free time, she tests bizarre vegan recipes in her tiny kitchen and strives to start every day with a sun salutation.
Shelayna Christante -
Shelayna Christante is an actor, singer, and artist born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta. She moved to Toronto to embark on pursuing her passion for Theatre Performance and is now in her third and final year at George Brown Theatre School. She has enjoyed the rigour and discipline of training in her time at theatre school and is looking forward to hitting the ground running and plunging into the industry post-graduation, delving into the worlds of theatre and film and television.
Ari Crooks -
Ari Crooks is an actor, dancer, singer, writer, and artist born and raised in Toronto. It’s important to Ari that she gives an authentic and compelling story to the audience, whether on film or on the stage. Ari wants the audience to feel that, while she is performing, it is safe to feel throughout the performance and embrace the catharsis. She wants to tell the truth of the story in her performance and make sure the audience understands every beat.
During her time at George Brown, Ari has worked with many talented theatre practitioners, guiding her on this journey. Jimmy Simon directed her as Joan in Saint Joan, and Ali Momen directed her as Janine in Scorched.
Ari is eager to embark on the journey that is acting. Ari always finds new things to love about theatre and acting as a whole and is excited to challenge herself more as her career progresses. “Isn’t it fascinating what the human mind and body can do with words on a page and a stage? Let me show you”.
Keren Edelist -
Keren is an actor, creator and artist who is pumped to be here, and glad you are too. She grew up in the Toronto suburbs and is now enjoying finding her own way in the city! She is so thankful for the endurance, skills and community she has built at George Brown, thanks to the hard work and collaboration that the program demands of the students. Out of graduation, she looks forward to delving headfirst into the theatre and tv/film scene, and creating her own work as well. If you see her in the streets, say hi! You can catch her frequenting thrift stores and pretending to be all sorts of different people.
Hannah Ireland -
Hannah is an actor, singer and dancer who grew up in Newfoundland listening to her parents’ favourite music as a baby, thanks to her dad, who decided it wasn’t his kid if she couldn’t fall asleep to Led Zeppelin, Green Day or Electric Light Orchestra blaring at the highest volume. This kind of music has consumed her so much that she truly believes it is a personality trait at this point.
Hannah has been entertaining since the ripe age of two when she became the hired act for all the family parties. As she grew up, her passion for performing grew more and more. When she was 16, she went to NYC to perform on the Broadway Stage at The New Amsterdam Theatre and promised herself that one day she would be back.
Hannah has always said that if she weren’t an actor, she would be a therapist, so her goal is to incorporate that into her journey as an artist and find creative ways to help people to feel heard and seen through her art, and hopefully find peace and healing in it too.
Gibum D. Lim -
Gibum D. Lim is a Korean-Canadian actor born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Toronto, Canada. One half here and the other half there. He loves telling stories on stage with fellow creators. He enjoys mask work and movement theatre, along with all the drama of humanity that theatre delivers. He wants to make a home in the theatre. Will he? We shall see! You will find him on the street talking to people, at a park playing chess or walking on a slackline, or on stage like we have here for New World. Feel free to say ‘Hi’ when you find him.
Aly Macfarlane -
Aly is so excited to be back performing amidst her colleagues here at George Brown Theatre School. Past credits include It’s Munsch Time!; George Brown Theatre School, Fiddler on the Roof; Etobicoke School of the Arts, Christmas Carol; Soulpepper (2010), and Time of our Lives; Soulpepper (2010). Aly wants to thank her parents for inspiring and supporting her unconditionally in this journey and hopes that you all enjoy the performance! Follow her on Instagram! @aly.macfarlane
Sydney Newediuk -
My time here at GBTS has given me the opportunity to learn, grow, and play as an actor.
It has challenged my understanding of what it means to be an artist today; to make us feel less alone. Paul Aikins was the first drama teacher I ever had and was the one who inspired me to attend GBTS. Since then and over the past three years, I have been so lucky to have worked with the teachers and guest artists that have all come through the Yonge Centre doors. You all have fostered a deep desire to keep learning and exploring as an actor and a human, so I want to thank all of you, teachers. You do not go unnoticed.
Judah Parris -
Let me tell you about a promising young man. His name? Judah Parris, better remember it. He’s a Trini-Canadian actor extraordinaire. He's a talented actor, yes, but did you realize that he’s a singer and gifted dancer too? He aspires to be a prominent actor in theatre and film, as well as have a successful voice-over career. He has trained for over ten years in the art of Karate, earning himself a blackbelt and has taken well to stage combat during his classical training at George Brown. To push himself is his real test; to train him is their cause: Deborah Joy, Diana Reis, Jeannette Lambermont-Morey, Stephan Ermel, Suzanne Liska, Simon Fon, and many more have all had a hand in his magnificent rise! He believes art and theatre hold the potential to bring the best out of people and aspires to become an artist who can both touch people's hearts and challenge their minds. Understanding and unity are things he strives to sow within himself through his work and others through his performances. Keep walking forward, never look back, keep your heart and ears open, and lead by example. With these principles and disciplines in his heart, he hopes to wow you in the future. But don’t take it from me; see for yourself.
Sarah Schmidt-McQuillan -
Sarah is an actor, singer, and artist from Guelph, Ontario. Despite deciding to pursue acting, she is classically trained in voice and piano and is really excited to see how she can merge these art forms in her future. She is excited by how theatre has continued to grow and change throughout history and by what she can add to today's theatre in order to tell stories as authentically and honestly as she can.
During her time at George Brown, Sarah has had the opportunity to play roles such as Masha in Three Sisters, Isolda in Leo, and Ch’ien Nu in The Soul of Ch’ien Nu Leaves Her Body. Sarah has also had the privilege of learning from and working alongside many incredible artists and teachers, but most notably, she has had the honour of working with the ensemble that is her graduating class.
The thing that excites Sarah most about this upcoming season and the industry that she is about to enter is there will always be something to learn. Sarah feels that embarking on this ever-changing and challenging career path will be a never-ending lesson, and she is excited to share what she finds out along the way.
Alex Vautour -
Alex is from Fredericton, New Brunswick and has been a performer and storyteller for as long as she can remember. Her career started at the age of 3 when she sang “Tomorrow” on her Fisher-Price microphone to her parents. Growing up, Alex was a competitive gymnast. She eventually quit gymnastics and traded it for dance and singing lessons. Plot twist! Alex’s passion for storytelling outweighed her passion for performing and led her to pursue journalism. First at King’s College in Halifax and eventually at St. Thomas University, where she graduated with honours. Alex enjoyed a successful career as a freelancer and wrote for many companies and national publications, including Maclean’s and BuzzFeed. Despite her growing journalism career, something was missing. That 3-year-old girl who sang “Tomorrow” was dying to be heard. Storytelling was her passion, but she wanted to do it through a different medium. When she discovered acting after moving to Toronto in 2017, everything clicked. Alex's goal is to be the best storyteller/performer she can be and to create work that will inspire, entertain, and incite meaningful change. On a less serious note, her favourite dessert is New York-style cheesecake, with Tiramisu coming in at a close second.
Credits & Acknowledgements
- Properties Master: David Hoekstra
- Assistant Stage Manager: Sarah Flanigan
- Set Carpenter: Andy DeVries
- Set Painter: Paul Boddum
- Wardrobe Assistant: Janelle Sookhai
- Stitcher: Victoria Banjavcic
- Musical Director/Vocal Coach: Stephan Ermel
- Choreographer: Bob McCollum
- Fight/Intimacy Director: Jack Rennie
- Voice Coach: Alison Deon
- Speech Coach: John Nelles
- Social Media Coordinator: Shelayna Christante
Staff for George Brown Theatre
- Chair: Trent Scherer
- Program Coordinator: Sue Miner
- Support Coordinator: Michael Longstaff
- Production Manager: Scott Banks
- Assistant Technical Director: Andrei Mamal
- Head of Wardrobe: Ina Kerklaan
Special thanks to our generous donors
- 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
- Corey MacVicar, and Soulpepper Theatre Company, Megan Woods
*The participation of these Artists is arranged by permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance.Opera.Theatre Policy (DOT).