MAINSTAGE The Children's Hour

Main Content

About the Play

Written by Lillian Hellman 
Directed by James Simon*

Lifelong friends Karen and Martha are the headmistresses of a prestigious all-girls boarding school in a small New England town in the months preceding WWII. When a vengeful pupil whispers a rumour that the two women are having an affair, it triggers a devastating chain of consequences, entangling their entire school in this toxic story of deceit. At the peril of destroying their careers, their relationships, and their lives, Karen and Martha courageously risk public shame and fight for the truth to be heard.  It is later discovered the rumour was pure invention, a lie, but it is too late. Irreparable damage has been done: the accusation proceeds to destroy the women's careers, relationships, and lives.

Within the context of today’s politics, social media, and accusations of “fake news, “The Children’s Hour” remains a topical, timely play that sparks thought and discussion amongst a modern-day audience.

DIRECTED BY James Simon* 

James Simon is a director and acting instructor. He holds an M.A. from the University of Alberta, B.A. from McGill University, and has studied at the Banff Centre. He has recently returned to school, studying at the University of Toronto. As an instructor, Mr. Simon has taught at the University of Alberta - Department of Drama, MacEwan University (Edmonton), Theatre Ontario, and the Citadel Theatre. Directing credits include productions at the National Arts Centre; the Citadel Theatre; Tarragon Theatre; Young People's Theatre; Blyth Festival; Buddies in Bad Times (Dora nomination); Stage West; Theatre Network; Carousel Players; Theatre on the Move; University of Alberta - Department of Drama; Berkeley Street Theatre; and George Brown Theatre. Mr. Simon has been on the teaching staff of the Theatre School for twenty-eight years and was the Artistic Director & Program Coordinator from 2000 – 2017.

Performance Schedule


Tuesday, April 11, 2023 7:30PM,
Thursday, April 13, 2023 7:30PM,
Saturday, April 15, 2023 7:30PM,
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 7:30PM,
Friday, April 21, 2023 7:30PM,
Saturday, April 22, 2023 1:30PM


Young Centre for the Performing Arts


~ 120 minutes (with 1 intermission)


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

Get your tickets


Michael Panich
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

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.


Ina Kerklaan
Ina Kerklaan, Costume Design

Ina is delighted to be working alongside the talented class of 2023 and director James Simon, designing costumes for The Children’s Hour. Ina is educated in both Fashion Design through T.M.U. and Costume Cutting through Red Deer College in Alberta. Ina has worked primarily as a cutter and stitcher in theatre wardrobe since 1999. She has worked with The Banff Centre, The Citadel Theatre, Mirvish Productions, The National Ballet Company, the Canadian Opera Company, Soulpepper Theatre Company, The Canadian Stage Company and Young People’s Theatre Company. Ina joined the George Brown Theatre School in the Fall of 2013 as the Head of Wardrobe.


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.


Scott Banks
Scott Banks, Sound Design

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.



Tia Baum - Lois Fisher/Agatha

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 - Martha Dobie

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 - Evelyn Munn

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 Edelist - Karen Wright

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 Ireland - Mrs. Lily Mortar

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 Lim
Gibum D. Lim - Grocery Boy

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 Macfarlane - Catherine/Mrs. Amelia Tilford

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
Sydney Newediuk - Mary Tilford

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
Judah Parris - Dr. Joseph Cardin

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 Schmidt-McQuillan - Rosalie Wells

Sarah is an actor, singer, and artist from Guelph, Ontario. She got her start in performing by putting on one-woman versions of whatever Disney Jr. musical she was doing at school for soldout living room audiences, her parents, until they could no longer watch. She realised then that she had so much to learn in order to continue to captivate audiences and she knew she had to go bigger.

After high school Sarah debated pursuing classical singing, criminal psychology, or acting. Ultimately she decided to pursue acting despite being classically trained in voice and piano. Knowing that those are just things to add to her list of skills on her resume she is really excited by the prospect of merging these art forms in her future. During her time at George Brown Sarah gained a real interest in theatre history and how this art form has continued to grow and change throughout time. She is curious to see how it will continue to change and what she will contribute to today’s theatre and to the theatre history textbooks of the future.

Sarah’s time at George Brown has given her the privilege of learning from and working alongside many incredible artists and teachers, and most notably, she has had the honour of working with the ensemble that is her graduating class. Sarah is very excited about this upcoming season and the industry because she knows it will be a never-ending lesson, and she is excited to share what she finds out along the way.

Alex Vantour
Alex Vautour - Peggy Rogers

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

Production Staff​

  • Properties Master: David Hoekstra​
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Sarah Flanigan​
  • Set Carpenters: Andy DeVries, Bill Stahl
  • Set Painters: Paul Boddum, Chris Blanchenote
  • Wardrobe Assistant: Janelle Sookhai
  • Stitcher: Victoria Banjavcic ​​
  • Musical Director/Vocal Coach: Stephan Ermel​
  • Choreographer: Bob McCollum​
  • Movement Coach/Fight Director: Jack Rennie​​
  • Voice Coach: Alison Deon
  • Speech Coach: John Nelles
  • Alexander Technique Coach: Victoria Heart
  • Video Designer: Steafan Hannigan
  • 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, Lisa NIghswander and Soulpepper Theatre Company, Megan Woods, Lisa Nemish (GBC bookstore), Tom Tomassi (GBC Welding school), Joey Ma (GBC Culinary school), Jay Davis, George Moore, Westend Offset Plate, Kevin Wright (UTSC Theatre), Chris Warrilow (Fantastic Creations), Joe Zelney (1914 Rentals)

*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).​