About Love

How About Love works

 

8 short plays will be performed each night from November 5th to 10th 2019.

Audiences will be asked to vote for

  • Best Play

  • Notable performances

 

Closing show, November 10th, in addition to the audience vote, our panel of Judges will make the final decision on

  • Best Play (1 selection)

  • Notable Performance (2 selections)

  • Notable direction (1 selection)

Where did we get our plays?

 

An open call for submissions was announced and playwrights are asked to submit their plays between May  1st and July 28th, 2019.  For playwrights, please see here for more information.

About love – a message from our artistic director

The genre of the 10-minute play requires character development, convincing story lines and conflict resolution in the time it takes many of us to find our seats. Some writers specialize in 10-minute genre and many famous writers use this genre to explore characters and ideas. For directors, this genre tests the ability to tell stories without the luxury of time. They work to ensure that an audience sees a full story arc delivered in a compelling and entertaining way. A bit like speed dating; the actors have to get their character across to the audience in minutes and then convincingly follow through as sudden storyline changes occur.

 

If this is your first time exploring the world of ten-minute plays, don’t be afraid, it’ll be over soon, too soon in fact. Audience members will be invited to vote for their favourite play and notable performance by an actor. Judges will tally the votes, determine the winning play, select two actors for their performance, and recognize a notable director.  

 

Gerald WilliamsArtistic Director, Tomo Suru Players

Winners for 2019

Winning Play

THINGS UNSAID, written by Raegan Payne

Notable Direction

Gabriel Metcalfe, directed COUNTDOWN TO LOVE

Notable Performances

Hilary Fillier, Marge in FAMILY EMERGENCY

Mostafa Shaker, Man in COUNTDOWN TO LOVE

When

<Show Dates>
November
 5th to 10th.

  • Tuesday November 5th Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm

  • Wednesday November 6th, Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm

  • Thursday November 7nd, Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm

  • Friday November 8th, Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm

  • Saturday November 9th, Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm

  • Sunday November 10th, Doors 1:30pm, Show 2:00pm ***Judges show***

Where

Havana Theatre

1212 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC

V5L 3X4

 

 

About Love
8 Plays (in no particular order)

HOW THE DEED IS DONE

Written by Arianna Rose

Directed by Mark O’Neill

How the deed is done is a short drama/comedy revolving aro
und a couple who can't seem to get pregnant no matter what they do. One of them has now taken extreme measures to get them pregnant which involves mysterious spells, chants and rituals. Will they ever get pregnant? or is it the stress of getting pregnant that's causing them not to get pregnant? 

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Andre Rahal is Jeff

Andre Rahal began his performing at a very early age, starting with reenacting his favorite films in his parents backyard, until as a child he discovered the theater.  Once introduced, Andre began performing in theater from elementary to high school, as well as occasional community theater. After graduating he began working in film and tv; appearing with small roles in shows such as The CW's 'Riverdale' , Fox's 'Lucifer' and other various roles in independent projects around the country. In 2019/2020 he looks to balance his focus on both theater and film acting.

Amira is Susan

Amira is an Ontario-born actress who holds a Bachelor's degree in theatre performance. This is her first stage appearance here in Vancouver. Past stage credits include Christine Lambert in Lennox Robinson's Drama at Inish, Maria in Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost, Haley in Theresa Rebeck's Bad Dates and Betty in David Ives' Sure Thing. Amira is excited and grateful to be making her Vancouver theatre debut!

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FAMILY EMERGENCY

Written by Jane M. Lee

Directed by Erika Conway

A comedic story about The real and tumultuous relationship between two sisters with violent tendencies that arrive at the hospital to get care from the injuries they have inflicted on each other, and the doctor that is caught in the middle trying to mend their internal and external wounds.

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Hilary Fillier is Marge

Hilary Fillier, a graduate of the UBC BFA Acting Program, is a body positive performance artist using creativity and laughter to move closer toward her therapeutic goal of acceptance, compassion and love for her body. Her most recent credits include performing ‘Carly’ in, “The Most Massive Woman Wins” in the Vancouver Fringe Festival 2019.

Joanna Rannelli is Joanie

Joanna is thrilled to be playing Joaniein Family Emergency and to work with these talented group of artists. Most recently, she has performed inSplendiferous Theatre’s The Most Massive Woman Wins (Dramatic Work Series Vancouver Fringe2019), Midtwenties Theatre Societies’ Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Dramatic Work Series Vancouver Fringe 2018). Spec Theatre’s The Ultimate Hipster (Calgary Fringe 2018) and Dalliance Theatre’s production of Boy (XY Lounge). Joanna attended the BFA Acting program at UBC. She is an avid believer in art that suggests conversation, movement, self-reflection and change within the community. She is continually working on her craft and she really hopes you enjoy the show.

“Art is written on the wind”- Peter Brook.

David Johnston is The Doctor

A Vancouver-based actor/aerialist/writer, David is chuffed to make his Tomo Suru debut. Recent stage credits include La Bohème (Vancouver Opera) and his one-man-show Let’s Talk About Your Death (Allspice Theatre, Fringe Festival.) You can catch David on the supernatural mystery podcast Duggan Hill and later this fall in Metro Theatre’s Alice In Wonderland. David is a graduate of Studio 58. Enjoy the shows!

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THE ROOKIE

Written by Bob Zaslow

Directed by Gagun S. Chhina

A suicide help line. A rookie volunteer and an experienced caller. Who is actually helping who in this outreach for help?

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Tara Webster is Celia

A powerful presence on stage Tara deftly maneuvers from character to character. Some recent roles include Horatio in “Hamlet” ( Sandbox Theatre Productions),  Dr. Emma Brookner in “The Normal Heart” ( Raving Theatre), Ross in “Macbeth” ( Standing Room Only Theatre) and Lillian Wright in “ 7 Stories” (Spark Productions). She looks forward to bringing new and interesting theatre to Vancouver's independent scene. “The artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like the bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)”

Gilles Arnaud Nduwimana Is Michael

Coming from a little country called Burundi, Gilles had made a massive bet by following his dreams of being an actor here in Vancouver. Along side his peers he thrilled to be able bring out the best of what he has learned over the year. He has worked on the Shorties Summer "Welcome to the Moon",had worked on theatre project for The Artist Collective and Of Mice and Men.

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THINGS UNSAID

Written by Raegan Payne

Directed by Jettsun Leier

A romantic evening turned relationship warfare staring a beautiful couple and their inner selves, a juicy piece for the audience where we always get to know what this couple really thinks of each-other.

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Roman Anthony is Her

Roman Anthony is a 22 year old actor from Edmonton Alberta. He has been in Vancouver for the past four years and has worked with some amazingly people like Kevin McDonald, Eric Wareheim, and many more. He is very excited to get on stage once again and share his love for arts with everyone!

Rebecca Schmautz is Margret

Rebecca recently moved from Edmonton to Vancouver to enhance her passion and love for acting by continuing her professional training at Vancouver Film School. While her training there was focused on film and television Rebecca is thrilled to be able to once again take the theatre stage where her love for acting first began. She loves any opportunity to explore different art forms that challenge her as well as develop her skills as an actor. She is excited to expand her career into the film industry and meet like-minded outrageous individuals. Rebecca has just finished filming her lead role in a short film titled ‘disconnected’ which will begin it’s festival run early in the new year. Rebecca loves to challenge herself, push her limits and always be learning and growing as an actor as well as an individual. 

Stina Duval is Him

“Enjoying a reprieve from wearing corsets and murdering people on stage, Stina Duval tries her hand at comedy in About Love Festival. A multidisciplinary artist, Stina is the writer of the column, East Meets West, for The Racket (theracketonline.com). There she shares her experience of Canada coast to coast, as she’s habituated on both shorelines and a few places between. Past performing credits include Clytemnestra in Agamemnon (Stone’s Throw Productions) Regan in KingLear (Shakespeare by the Sea) , Hair, The Woman Who Liked to Make Vagina’s Happy in The Vagina Monologues (The University of Waterloo). Stina is an avid yogi whose practice has taken her to the Sunshine coast as well as Nicaragua and Indonesia. Through a deepening curiosity of universal and personal mythology, she continues to forge ahead in a more vivid, honest and expressive way. Where she’ll end up next, your guess is as good as hers. “ 

Elle Reimer is Billie

A recent graduate of the Capilano Musical Theatre Program, Elle is excited to be a part of this project. She spent the summer in Toronto assistant directing a workshop of a new musical and has a passion for both performing and directing. Select credits include: Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 (CapU Theatre), It's a Wonderful Life & Grand Hotel (Arbutus Studios), Little Shop of Horrors (Kaleidoscope Theatre). You can follow her journey on Instagram @ellereimer! Huge thanks to Tomo Suru and the whole team for this opportunity. 

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THE WAY UP

Written by Heidi Kraay

Directed by Mariel Kathryn Hunter

The Way Up follows three teens on their graduation night as they scale the beginnings of a new high rise in Boise, Idaho. Their mission: to say goodbye to a dearly departed friend who leapt from its heights to their fate below as they struggle themselves with their own secrets to discover who they each truly are.

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Skye Mandin is Callie

Skye Mandin is a VFS graduate and a self-prescribed film connoisseur. She enjoys long walks on the beach, vegan pizza, and the environment. If she’s not eating pizza or watching Netflix, she’s attending your local climate march. You can catch her next as Jovie in Secondary Characters production of Elf! That is all. Like and subscribe.

Bhavika Mant is Sam

Bhavika Mant is an Indian-Canadian actor/film producer.  Originally from Mumbai, India, she moved to North America in the year 2016. A graduate of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Los Angeles and Vancouver Film School, Vancouver. She has worked in small theatre and film projects in her hometown Mumbai, India and is currently focusing on her film and theatre career in Vancouver, Canada. She is also producing a feature film and documentary series due to release next year. She believes acting gives her the power to affect change in the world through storytelling.

Rodrigo Mazzoni is Randy

Rodrigo Mazzoni is an actor from Brazil. He has acting graduations in Performing Arts and Comedy (Brazil) -  and in August 2019, he graduated from Vancouver Film School in the program Acting for Film and Television. He has worked and studied with amazing people in the industry and has more than 30 productions in his resume.

Alisha Tashan Davidson is Dan

Alisha is a graduate of Studio 58 and has a deep love for clown and physical theatre. Recent theatre credits include: Mx (2019) Fringe New Play Prize Winner PTC, The Nomadic Tempest (2018) Caravan Stage Company and Hacked: The Treasure of the Empire (2015) Caravan Stage Company.

Lane Oliver is Alex/Company

A recent graduate of Vancouver Film School, Lane has been busy producing short films and acting in short passion projects. His camera has been his best friend since graduating, he loves capturing both raw & scripted moments, editing them into a piece that tells an enticing story.

Burak Atsan is Alex/Company

Burak Atsan has been working in theatre, TV, and film since 2011. Theatres include Midsummer Night’s, Moliere, Toyer and All in the Timing. His film credits include The Painter, The Colors of Us, Tissues and Lotion, Harold and Spicy.

Mikaela Cynthia Beldin is Alex/Company

Mikaela Beldin is excited to be playing Alex in the way up. Since before she can remember she's wanted to be on stage, she loves theatre and has learned so much about herself and acting through every production that she's done. Another play she had the opportunity to work in was “A Midsummer Nights Dream” where she played a modern version of Hermia.

Taylor Mae Carlson, Assistant Director/Stage Manager

Taylor Mae Carlson is thrilled to be putting on her directorial and managerial hats for The Way Up! A native Bostonian, she is just starting her third year in this wonderful city. After graduating from VFS, she has continued to hone her craft in various film, theatre, and voiceover productions. Currently in the works for her are a media journalism series on YouTube, a podcast discussing one of her favorite TV series, and various audio dramas. She is very grateful to Mariel for asking her to come on board this project, and to the whole cast and crew of The Way Up for being such a joy to work with.

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STARBUDS

Written by Letha Dawson

Directed by Pegah Taale

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Alexandra Andrews is Flower

After starting dance and piano lessons as a kid, Alex fell in love with performing. Her first audition for her school’s production of Big Bad Musical sparked a passion for acting that she holds to this day. After graduating high school, she made a couple of wrong turns before ending up in Vancouver Film School. Since graduating in 2018, Alex has been training at ACT 2 and spending as much time as possible following that passion.

Luka Poljak is Frank Johnson

Luka is a young actor who grew up loving to perform and be on stage. So at the ripe old age of five, he decided he wanted to be an actor. Ever since then, he's been acting in plays as well as films. However, he says that theater is what taught him to love and respect the craft and he couldn't think of doing anything else.

Rhona Lichtenwald is Cranky customer

Rhona is a family lawyer/mediator and late bloomer to the stage, appearing in 13 productions in the past 8 years. Select favs - The Lawyer Show: Josephine (“Urinetown”), Mrs. Tottendale (“Drowsy Chaperone”), Miss Lynch (“Grease”), Gym Teacher/Matron (“Hairspray”), Judge/Store Manager (“Legally Blonde”), Historian (“Spamalot!”), Big Jule (“Guys & Dolls”); Metro Theatre: Marie (“Calendar Girls”); and the Broadway Chorus.  Rhona is thrilled to be part of “About Love” – Afterall,that’s what the world needs now.

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COUNTDOWN TO LOVE

Written by Ron Asher

Directed by Gabriel Metcalfe

A man has lost his way and faith. He is faced with a mysterious woman who presents a malicious threat. Another woman approaches him and through their interaction he gets hope and faith renewed. But is it in time to save the future of their existence?

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Mostafa Shaker is Man

Mostafa Shaker in an Egyptian-Canadian actor who has appeared in several independent films and theatre productions across Canada. You may have seen him at the Comedy of Tenors at the Metro Theatre, or if you were on the other ocean, the Atlantic, in productions like Beauty and the Beast and Cats with Theatre New Brunswick. Mostafa studied at the Vancouver Film School, graduating with a degree in Acting for Film & Television. He now lives in Vancouver and is represented by The Characters Talent Agency.

Michelle Cyr is Woman

Michelle Cyr is a Conservatory trained Actor.  Her adventures in Theatre include; “A Game of You: an Immersive Theatre Experience”, “The Laramie Project”, “Macbeth”, “A Piece of My Heart”, and “Taming of the Shrew.”  Her professional acting career began in 2017, and after spending some time focusing on film, she is over the moon to be back in a theatre; treading the boards with this production.

Michelle is thankful for this wonderful festival of plays with such a delightful group of imaginations.  Enjoy the show!

Halia Hirniak is Suspicious

Over the past decade, Halia has been a dancing unicorn, secret agent, bombing baker, septuagenarian Scottish homechild, Yorkshire housewife, German housekeeper, Mother Superior, Army surgeon, and many other diverse characters. The magic of the theatre has made all this possible as a teenager's dream to move from dancing to acting onstage has become a reality. With so much still to learn, Halia is thankful for this opportunity to learn all "About love" and acting with such a talented and committed team! Much gratitude goes out to our talented prop-maker Grant!

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NUMBER 57

Written by Marsha Roberts

Directed by Brianna Sacry

Number 57 is about a woman on a mission: Find "the one" in 65 dates (there might be a standard deviation of 7 or 8 each way). On her way through culling the losers, she meets Malcolm-date number 57. Hardly a high-powered, corporate type, he doesn't meet any of her standards. But is what she wants really what she needs?

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Kassidee Cambell is Fiona

Kassidee is an Alberta Born Actress who moved to Vancouver after completing her Acting Degree. Kassidee is excited to be making her Vancouver Theatre Debut in #57. Past stage credits include Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Isobel Yearsley/ Alice in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Most recently Kassidee has stepped into the role of a producer and her short "My Victims of True Crime" which she also starred in was selected as a finalist in the 2019 Blood and Guts Film Festival.

Michael Berube is Malcolm

This is Michael's first appearance with Tomo Suru Players and he's is thrilled. An Edmonton native, he graduated from Vancouver Film School and has made appearances in The Rocky Horror Show (FCP) and Almost an Evening (Too Fly Productions), as well as on screen in Diagnose Me and the Storyhive short film I'm Not Next which recently played at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Currently unrepresented, Michael is focusing on returning to the stage and screen more frequently in 2020.

Nazanin Shoja is Wait Person

Nazanin is excited to be taking part in the About Love festival again this year. Last year she participated in the festival directing Temptress Standing by an Open Window and also played Detective Spinner in Tomo Suru's production of The Dance Teacher. She is a graduate of the Performing Arts program at the Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France, and the Randolph College for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

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About Love Directors

Brianna Sacry

Brianna hails from West Richland, Washington and was very involved in the community theater program there. She’s been acting from a young age in church and school plays and, more recently, is a graduate of the 1 Year Acting for Film and TV program at Vancouver Film School. She’s been in various productions since graduating, and is excited to be directing her second short production! She would like to thank Gerald, the other talented directors for their collaboration, her parents for their endless love and support, and you lovely folks who came out to support the show!

Erika Conway

Erika Conway has been an actor, writer, producer and director, on both stage and film for the past 25 years. She most recently produced and directed the breakout hit of the 2019 Fringe Festival Circuit, Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life. The show toured the US, Canada and England, earning five star reviews, and it sold out its runs in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver. The show was selected top Three Pick of the Edmonton Fringe (North America’s Largest Fringe) by Global News.

Gabriel Metcalfe

Gabriel Metcalfe grew up all over Canada growing up- in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan- before making his way to B.C. after High School. He’s been acting for several years here in Vancouver, and directing theatre for the second time. Gabriel is excited it be part of the About Love festival.

Gagun S. Chhina

Born and raised in Vancouver, Gagun left his home for a decade to pursue higher education abroad. Returning with a PhD from the UK, he now works as a lecturer in sociology at Langara College. Gagun’s attraction to performing media is informed through his interest in the utility of art as an ideological apparatus. It’s also fun.

Jettsun Leir

Jett is an Actor, Writer, Director and on occasion a Producer, I love all aspects of performance whether it be thirty seconds of Instagram content or a two-and-a-half-hour play. I got into acting at eighteen, but I’ve been performing as a dancer since I was eleven and I truly feel there is nothing more amazing than a great live performance, except maybe a riveting performance by Leonardo DiCaprio but thank you all for putting your Titanic box set away for an evening of laughter, loitering and probably something About Love.

Mariel Kathryn Hunter

All the way from Saint John, New Brunswick this East Coast transplant now calls Vancouver home. Having left everything she knew behind Mariel moved here in 2012 to pursue an education & career in the arts- she spent arguably too little time before hopping on a plane across the country asking herself what the hell she was doing. She now looks back on that bold choice, allows a small smile & gently sighs “Thaaaank fuuuuck” before looking back at the debit machine declining her attempt to purchase yet another energy drink.

Mark O’Neill

Mark Anthony O'Neill is a British actor from London, England. He has trained in various schools in London and Vancouver, and currently studies at AMAW (Anthony Meindl actors workshop). He is best known for his role in a British indie drama called "Bruises" which can be watched on amazon prime, he has filmed a handful of commercials, student and short projects. This year he was the lead in a TV pilot called "Lucid" and continues to learn, study and progress in his career as an actor.

Pegah Taale

Pegah Taale was born in Shiraz, Iran where she grew up speaking Farsi, Arabic, Turkish and English. Pegah always had a passion for acting and singing and started acting in her hometown theatre center when she was 15. When she was 17 she left Iran and travelled to Dubai to pursue her singing career. When she was 20 she released her first music video on PMC and other established underground Iranian Websites.

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About Love Writers

COUNTDOWN TO LOVE

Ron Asher is an artist and playwright living in Seattle, Washington. A young actor in Hollywood in the 1980s, Ron still collects teeny-tiny residual checks from appearances in Murder She Wrote, Tales from the Darkside, and several ABC Afterschool Specials. His short plays have been performed in Los Angeles; North Hollywood; State College, PA; Lansing, MI; and London. Ron earned a BA in Studio Art from UCLA and has a MFA from University of California, Irvine. He currently works for a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting early childhood literacy.

NUMBER 57

Marsha Roberts lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her short plays have been produced in various US, Canada and Australia venues. She has had staged readings of two full-length plays. Several e-zines and anthologies have featured Marsha’s fiction and her skits have been produced by an SF comedy troupe.“The Agent,” her novel about an elegant con game, is scheduled to be published in 2019. Marsha is on the Board of Playwrights’ Center SF, an alumna of PlayGround SF’s Writers’ Company and a member of The Dramatists Guild and Left Coast Writers. Easyriter.wordpress.com

THE ROOKIE

Bob Zaslow is a retired teacher and a former advertising creative supervisor from New York City who now lives near Bellingham, WA. He’s written a half-dozen short plays that were performed Off-Off-Broadway, and the book to an Off-Broadway musical. He’s also written the book and produced the music for Rap-Notes: Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits and won an American  Film Festival Bronze for a documentary film.

STARBUDS

Letha Dawson is a playwright living in the greater Sacramento Area, California.  She’s a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Playwrights Collaborative of Sacramento, and All Tuned Up, a group of thirty-five seniors who make music.  A retired Economic Developer, Letha holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, and a B.S. in Business from the University of Kentucky.  She has written more than a dozen plays and three musicals.  Email:  letha.dawson@gmail.com.

THE WAY UP

Heidi Kraay examines the connection between brain and body, seeking empathy with fractured characters. Plays include see in the dark, How To Hide Your Monster, New Eden and Kilgore, as well as co-devised plays, one-acts, plays for young audiences and short plays. Her work has been presented where she lives in Boise, Idaho, as well as regionally and in NYC, most recently through the Thingamajig Theatre Company (Pagosa Springs, CO), the Alternative Theater Company (NYC) and Boise Contemporary Theater. Heidi holds an MFA from California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.  www.heidikraay.com

FAMILY EMERGENCY

Jane M. Lee lives and writes in New York.  Her short play Life or Death was produced by Panglossian Productions in Williamsburg, Virginia, and by GB Productions at North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe in San Diego, California.  Her play Good Neighbors was a Semifinalist in the B Street Theatre Second Annual New Comedies Festival in Sacramento, California, and reached the Finalist Round of the Wordsmyth Theater Company New Play Reading Series in Houston, Texas.

HOW THE DEED IS DONE

Arianna Rose (Playwright, Musical Theatre Writer) is thrilled to be making both her Tomo Suru Players and her Canadian writing debut with HOW THE DEED IS DONE. Many thanks to Gerald Williams, Mark O’Neill and the fabulous cast.    Arianna won the 2012 New York City MAC Award Song of the Year for “He’s On His Way” with composer Robby Stamper. Her one-act play FAMILY BY NUMBERS has been awarded Best Play in two different one-act play festivals. She is a recipient of NYC’s York Theatre NEO (New Emerging Outstanding Writer).  Her plays, songs and musicals have been presented in fourteen states and four countries. She is the founder and moderator of two playwright/musical writers groups in South Florida, USA, and is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Miami New Musicals/Plays on Purpose (www.ariannarose.net).

THINGS UNSAID

Raegan Payne is an award-winning published playwright.  Her plays have been produced from Los Angeles, CA to Lagos, Nigeria.  She studied Shakespeare at the British American Drama Academy and improv/sketch writing at The Groundlings. She is a member of Ammunition Theatre Company’s Writers Group, the Dramatist Guild, Actors’ Equity, and SAG-AFTRA. In her spare-time she fosters kittens and practices Aikido. She would like to thank Tomo Suru Players for this opportunity.  Learn more about Raegan at raeganpayne.com

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Judges

William “Bill” Hubbard

William (Bill) Grant Hubbard is the Executive Producer of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Productions Society. See website: www.motherhcproductions.com  In 2015, after enjoying three distinct careers, Bill decided, in a moment of clarity, to pursue his artistic interests exclusively and set a plan in motion that included forming a not-for-profit society and creating a play entitled: I Am Not a Girl. The story centers on the challenging and tortuous journey of a transgender male. In 2018 the Society produced the play at the Cultch and experienced very favorable responses from audience members. This feedback provided the impetus to explore the potential of securing a co-producer in Western Canada for a 2020 production.

Joanna Garfinkel

Joanna Garfinkel is the co-founder of collectively and socially-driven play development company Universal Limited. She is the co-creator, with Yoshié Bancroft, of JAPANESE PROBLEM, a site-responsive piece about the Japanese Canadian Incarceration. Previously, she co-created and directed the pedicab adventure Tour for HIVE 3, produced by the Electric Company, Universal Limited, and the Cultural Olympiad. That site-specific escapade was reinvented for Victoria (Theatre SKAM), and Toronto (SummerWorks). Joanna is struck by the racially motivated systemic inequities that keep repeating in Canada, and to troubling those patterns through performance. Recent credits include co-curating, dramaturging and directing the Northern Play Reading Series in Yellowknife, NWT (Akpik Theatre), dramaturgy for Gary Mok's i broke the ocean (VACT MSG lab), and for the multi-award-winning Poly Queer Love Ballad, which is touring to Theatre Passe Murailles in 2019. She has been nominated for three Jessie awards, winning one (Critics Choice for Innovation); was awarded the Pure Research grant from Nightswimming Theatre (Toronto), and has received the Sydney Risk award for directing. She moved to Vancouver to get her MFA in directing at UBC, and her focus since has been primarily in new play development, multidisciplinary, and site-specific work. She has trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company in New York. Upcoming: dramaturgy for a host of Queer work including Night Passing, Mx, and a new opera about Weimar cabaret.

Kelly Sheridan

A graduate of SFU Theatre Department and the Arts Club Actor’s Intensive, Kelly is an Associate Producer of Genus Theatre where she starred in 4H Club, The Physicists, and Tomb With A View. Recent credits include Welcome to Thebes (United Players), The Realistic Joneses (Mint Collective),  Laramie Project and String of Pearls (Tomo Suru). Kelly has over 25 years of professional experience in voice over for commercials and animation. Most notably, she has played the voice of Barbie in the majority of Mattel movies since 2001, and Starlight Glimmer in the juggernaut My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Larry Ghini

Born and raised in Vancouver, Larry Ghini is a retired former Federal Government property manager who now invests his time and energy in assisting his city's theatre community in a variety of roles.  He was a major financial contributor to the critically acclaimed movie Eadweard. For a time, he reviewed theatre for the Vancouverscape blog. Now he involves himself ushering at several local venues and a couple of festivals.  For 2018 he is also contributing to the Jessie Richardson Awards selection process. He estimates over his lifetime he has seen well over thousand staged presentations and he hopes to see another thousand before he is done.

Starlise Waschuck

Starlise Waschuk is an actress, voiceover artist and teacher at McIlroy and Associates. A prairie girl at heart, she has been in Vancouver living the dream of an artist constantly creating, learning and growing. Her most recent theatre production was the role of Matilda in Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline (which she also produced). She is advocate for writing your own work and getting on the stage so she is a huge fan of this About Love Festival. Have a fantastic run everyone.

Patricia Trinh

Patricia Trinh is a multidisciplinary, queer, asian canadian, artist, based in Vancouver B.C.; with a background in directing, writing, performing and producing. A graduate of the University of Victoria’s Phoenix Theatre Department. Trinh’s creative highlights include the premiere of her first One Act, “What Define Us” on The Arts Club stage in 2007 [LEAP Playwriting Program]. November of 2010 Trinh wrote & directed her second play, “The Ethical Sixsome” [UVic SATCo.]. November of 2012, “The Ethical Sixsome” went on to have its international premiere at South Oregon University. June of 2017 Trinh won Best Director for her work in "About Love Festival" [Tomo Suru Players]. June of 2018 Trinh directed & produced (launching Dusty Foot Productions) the world premiere of her play, “Probability” at rEvolver Theatre Festival. May of 2019 Trinh had the honour of sharing the playing field with the feminist collective, Killjoy Theatre; directing “Fireflies” by Kanon Hewitt, at rEvolver Theatre Festival. Trinh’s company Dusty Foot Productions took part in the resurgence of HIVE 2019 at Magnetic North Festival. Trinh’s most recent creative venture involved directing and producing her latest play “Red Glimmer,” at the 2019 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Trinh is ecstatic to be joining Frank Theatre as an Associate Producer for their 2019/2020 Season. This will be Trinh’s second year sitting on the judging panel for Tomo Suru Players “About Love Festival.” Instagram: @dustyfootproductions Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dustyfootproductions/

John Ennis Graham

John Ennis Graham, the artist formerly known as Ennis Graham John Hannah, is a Vancouver based actor and director. He is becoming a regular participant in the works of Tomo Suru and he wonders at the spark of joy he finds in himself at each venture. He'd like to thank himself, and the doctor who performed laparoscopy to remove his appendix last May. He didn't get a chance to previously thank him.

Rylan Oleksyn

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Staff

Gerald Williams, Artistic Director

Gerald is a writer director and producer. A former acting teacher and artistic director of a theatre in Kobe, Japan, he has been living in Canada for 5 years. He has directed numerous plays, and  since being in Vancouver his productions have been nominated for over 20 Ovation and CTC awards and himself has been nominated as best director three times.

Rylan Oleksyn, Mentor Director & Script Manager

Rylan began life in a tiny northern Saskatchewan town where he developed a heightened sense of fashion and sophistication. His most current work can be found on Youtube: The Destruction of a Soul Through the Pursuit of Solitary Sensual Pleasure: An Homage to Cheesemaking. He wants to thank the coffee shops of Vancouver for allowing him to sit for hours at a time working on his current screenplay; The story of a man on a journey to discover love and acceptance in a town filled with coffee shops. He would also like to point out that coffee production is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases in the Central American Appalachian Region and, much like beef consumption, causes more carbon emissions in a single day than all of Northern Saskatchewan in a four year period under normal weather conditions. And he’s happy to be part of this production and proud of his role in it.

David McCane, Script Manager

David is a gorgeously constructed man who knows the difference between works which are scuttling claws across floors of silent seas and those which reach out a hand and touch the face of God. If he dies and returns to earth he will be the reincarnation of Beethoven but with a better hair stylist. After his second Emmy he decided to stop performing as it leads to public accolades which are tiresome. He’s more enamored with his three Tony awards. And to those who’ve never won an award he’d like to offer his condolences and offer the advice that Brando gave to him early on in his career, “don’t give up losers as your mother will always love you.”

Amber Scott, Stage Manager

Amber has been stage managing with Tomo Suru Players for almost 3 years now. From "String Of Pearls", through "Cabaret" and multiple About Love festivals, to it's latest travelling Fringe show "How I Murdered My Mother", the latter of which she also had the joy of directing...but she is done with that part of her life now and will leave the directing to the semi-professionals we've gathered for you this year! 

Shigeru Matsubara, Producer

Shigeru has been involved in the entertainment business for more than 20 years. Working with the Osaka European Film Festival and then moving on to Universal Studios Japan has given Shigeru an international perspective on entertainment, the work of artists and the expectations of audiences. After moving to Canada he is delighted to be part of the team of Tomo Suru and hopes that friendships are made and good works created.

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Special Thanks

Bill Hacker

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Productions