After several months of reading, evaluating, and deliberating, the judging panel for the 2020 Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest has announced a winner: Dead Bear by John Gavey.
The script - a dreamlike film noir mystery - emerged victorious over four other finalists in an unusually close competition. "We had some difficult choices to make," says Post Productions Managing Director Michael K. Potter. "We entered the final round of deliberation divided, but not by much: all of the judges had the same scripts in their top slots, just in a different order. There was just something unique and exciting about Gavey's submission."
Guest judge Simon du Toit, who also served as a guest judge in 2019, agrees: "What really grabbed my attention about Dead Bear was the writer's use of poetry. It's not that the central character is a great poet. He's not. But the poems don't only reveal his inner world. They also advance the action of the play, and that is fresh and unexpected. The script is a moody homage to film noir with a detective who's haunted by this one case above all others. It works as a murder mystery with a twisty ending, but the journey to that place is original."
Gavey's was not a name known to Post Productions, as this year marked the first time he'd submitted to the contest, and he hasn't had any other scripts produced or published. The playwright describes himself as someone who's always dreamed of being a writer. "Ideas continually come to me like bugs on a windshield," he says. "The pandemic has given me the time to sit for hours and bang my head on the keyboard and finally write something". Although he's admired theatre since grade 13, thanks to his teacher Mrs. Courtland, and has always been encouraged by his wife, Joanne, Dear Bear is the first script he's ever completed.
John Gavey's Dead Bear will kick off Post Productions' fifth season in February 2021. Stay alert for more news about the show - including audition dates!
As its four-year anniversary approaches, Post Productions is pleased to announce that Nikolas Prsa has accepted an invitation to join the theatre company as a full partner. Prsa’s relationship with Post Productions reaches back to 2017, when he auditioned for a role in True West. Since then, he has appeared as Alan Strang in Equus, Teensy Tim in Another F#@$ing Christmas Play (both 2018),and is slated to appear in Negatunity (August 2020) and Fatboy (October 2020). Prsa has also worked with Post Productions many times as a front-of-house volunteer.
As he is gradually mentored into producing and directing responsibilities, Prsa will serve as Post Productions’ Outreach Director, focusing on building, maintaining, and strengthening relationships between Post Productions and other organizations and artists in Windsor-Essex. “Over the years we’ve grown steadily, finally reaching the point where we needed another person to help us fully realize one of the core tenets of our mission: relationship-building and collaboration. Nik Prsa is the perfect person for the job: driven, intelligent, creative, friendly, curious, and reliable. We couldn’t be happier that he accepted our invitation.”
Beyond his work with Post Productions, Nikolas Prsa is a familiar face to theatre audiences in Windsor-Essex from the seven years he spent in community theatre – including six productions with Windsor Light Music Theatre, and one with Korda Artistic Productions. He is slated to return to Korda for Something Rotten in 2021. Outside of the theatrical world, Prsa is a budding scholar who is completing a Master of Arts in Political Science at the University of Windsor.
According to Prsa, he’s still processing his new opportunities, and he’s excited to find out where they lead: “Who would have thought that a chance meeting with the Michaels at a wildcat basement production of True West in 2017 would have led me here? Not that I'm complaining, of course. I vividly remember seeing Post Productions’ Oleanna at Shō in 2017. You could feel that it was the beginning of something special and the years since have proven just that. Having been both an audience and cast member with Post, I know there's a genuine sense of community at the forefront of the company's mission. They've sculpted out a distinctive vision of theatre in a city that already had an eclectic variety of stagecraft woven into its cultural fabric. Creative risks aren't just taken at Post; they're embraced. It's addictive. Jordan Tannahill's book, Theatre of the Unimpressed, really encapsulates my philosophy: risk aversion in theatre makes it seem like outdated tedium stifled by stuffy standards. Theatre's 'liveness' needs to be embraced because that’s what makes it an essential art form. I firmly believe the onus is on every theatre company to raise their audience's pulses and expectations. As Outreach Director, I want to find talented people who may have never had the opportunity to be involved in theatre, and I want to make sure The Shadowbox Theatre continues to be a space where projects are brought to life not just by Post Productions, but by other voices as well. The principle of free-agency that Post lives by is one that should encourage new and emerging artists to explore opportunities with us and fellow creators. And, long-term, I want Post Productions to grow with the city itself; I think the best of Windsor theatre is yet to come.”
dylan macdonald as jerry
Dylan is an actor and improv artist trained by The Second City (Toronto). His most recent theatre credits include True West (Lee) and Equus (The Young Horseman) with Post Productions. Recent film and TV credits include Chase in Seek (Splice Productions), Ray Chapman in Curious and Unusual Deaths (Discovery Channel), Blane in Nara (Splice Productions), and Gerry in Leaving Town (Mimetic Productions). His favourite theatrical credits include Vince in Tape, Bassanio in Merchant of Venice, Bobby in American Buffalo, Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew and Spike in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. In addition to acting with various companies, and performing sketch comedy and improv as the founder of Windsor Improv Theatre, Dylan teaches improv workshops and courses at The Shadowbox Theatre, among other venues.
fay lynn as emma
Creative Director at Post Productions and co-owner of The Shadowbox Theatre, Fay is never far from a stage. Her last theatrical endeavour was as director for Edele Winnie's Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands. As an actor, she was recently seen on the Shadowbox stage as Detective Ariel in The Pillowman, and Ines Serrano in No Exit. Prior to that, she had the tremendous honour of portraying the title character in Korda Artistic Productions' Macbeth at the Kordazone Theatre. Her next role with be as director for Matthew St. Amand's latest play, Negatunity, this upcoming June. Her next onstage role will be in John Clancy's Fatboy, presented by Post Productions in October 2020.
michael potter as robert
Michael is Managing Director of Post Productions and co-owner of The Shadowbox Theatre, where he also produces and directs plays (Equus, The Pillowman, Stop Kiss, True West). He still finds time to act occasionally – most recently as Cradeau in No Exit, Willie in Another Fucking Christmas Play: A Fucking Musical, Reinhart in Shelter in Place, Wesley in The Worst Thing I Ever Did, John in Oleanna, and The Enforcer in season 3 of Space/SyFy's Killjoys. Before co-founding Post Productions, he performed locally with Korda Artistic Productions, Cardinal Music Productions, and Windsor Light Musical Theatre. His next projects: starring in Matthew St. Amand’s Negatunity (June 2020) and directing John Clancy’s Fatboy (October 2020).
an interview with edele winnie - author of 'pry it from my cold dead hands' and winner of the 2019 windsor-essex playwriting contest
Edele Winnie is many things: enigmatic, visionary, hilarious, and utterly unique. Recently she agreed to an interview with Post Productions Managing Director Michael K. Potter and, well, here are the results . . .
POTTER: How would you summarize Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands? What's it about, what happens, and what makes it unique or interesting?
WINNIE: Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands is a wild ride through someone else’s mind. Giselle is a sweetheart, but she’s trapped in a glass cupboard of her own making. Everything has its place. Things are neatly put away. She’s even divided herself into different versions – her work persona, her subway persona, her home persona. All to protect her and help her to survive and succeed in this unfriendly world of ours. Then something happens – something funny and horrible – and all the glass shatters and Giselle must find out who she is all over again. It's a frog in a frying pan story. How much do you know about frogs? If you put one (I would never do this, I read about it) in a frying pan the frog adapts. They can hop, right, frying pan's have low sides and frogs can really jump. They could just hop out but they don't. When you turn the heat on, the frog keeps trying to adapt- altering its body temperature and respiration, because that's how it deals with things. It could hop out at any time. And then it gets too hot and the frog dies. Just like Giselle, like most of us. She would never jump out of the frying pan of her life. And then something happens that forces her to. It’s unique and interesting because, although everyone is different, no one is quite as weird as Giselle. (I don’t actually mean that of course. Giselle isn’t weird, she’s herself. I’m like Giselle in many ways. I’d prefer being called unusual to weird. Evolution makes lots of different versions of people for different reasons, or perhaps by just random shit luck. We glimpse one another on the street, passing by. You don’t know what’s in my head, my heart, my soul, my basement or my freezer. I always want people to be as interesting as I am, but I keep getting disappointed.
POTTER: What led you to write this script? Was it an idea that just popped into your head, an experience that made you reflect, something else entirely? And once you started, what was the writing process like for you?
WINNIE: It’s actually an adaptation of one of my stories. Short story writing is really my forte. I write dark speculative feminist fiction. That just means it’s about weird shit that happens to women. I spend a lot of time in Toronto and for some reason I’m a magnet for deranged people. Maybe that’s where this story came from. It’s like peeing, you know? In the morning you drink coffee, then tea, then apple sauce, then Diet Coke and when you pee what is it? Some of everything, filtered through you.
For me I write to entertain myself. I’m a tough audience. If it’s boring I have to throw it out. Also I’m addicted to truth. If it doesn’t sound true, I can’t write it. Sometimes I break keyboards by pounding on them because they won’t write the truth. Okay, so I only did that once. I know the problem is actually me, not the keyboard.
POTTER: You won the second annual Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest. Tell me about that experience and how it affected the approach you took to developing your script.
WINNIE: I really wanted to impress the people at Post Productions. I’d seen a couple of their shows and I appreciate that they are working on darker, more hyper realistic pieces. So much of theatre and fiction is fairy stories where everyone gets a rainbow in the end. I like shows that challenge me, I like fairy stories about the police where everyone gets a rainbow in their end. I wanted to craft a show that was startling, interesting and rang completely true. It’s just a bonus that it’s funny too!
It was awesome winning the contest. They gave me a lot of feedback that I used to shape and sharpen the play. I couldn't have done it without them.
POTTER: You also, at our request, wrote a little "appetizer" play – First Cut – that audiences will enjoy before the main event. What can you tell us about that script and how it sets audiences up for Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands?
WINNIE: Oh First Cut was too much fun. I think it’s hilarious. It moves like a runaway train and there’s no way a person can guess where it’s going to stop. You just have to hold on. And then it’s done and you think was that dark, or funny, and the ending is complete but nothing that you would imagine. Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands also moves like that, but it’s deeper and more complicated. First Cut is like sampling the goat before you order the rest of it to be served. Though it’s not about goats. And I’m a vegan. A bad vegan.
Both of the protagonists – women of course – are safe in their frying pan when something very different changes everything and they have to jump on the tiger!
POTTER: Which stories and storytellers – in whatever genre, format, or medium – influence your writing? What inspired you – and continues to inspire you?
WINNIE: I like stories that make me squirm when I read them. Not squirm because it's yucky but because it's startling. I also like them to have satisfying endings. That’s really important. I grew up reading O Henry and Alfred Hitchcock collections, Shirley Jackson and some weirdo science fiction. I also read all of the James Herriot books. And Harry Potter. In Harry Potter everything seems nice but it ends up being wild and wonderful and that is cool. There are bad people hiding all around behind smiles.
I want stories that could be about me, but then really wild stuff happens and it goes to places I can’t even dream of and it’s really entertaining and I’m glad that it didn’t happen to me, but you know it could have if the right weird things had happened first.
POTTER: A lot of things appealed to the contest judges about the Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands script—it was unique, funny, endearing, somehow both dark and whimsical. But I'd say what most impressed us were the fully-realized character of Giselle, and your strong authorial voice. You don't "sound" like anyone else – and neither, as a result, does Giselle. What advice could you give to aspiring playwrights about developing their own voices and creating unique, fully-fleshed, characters?
WINNIE: I have a friend, Nandi Comer, who's a great poet (look her up!) She told me one day- better than I could put it – everyone says all her books seem to have a different voice. She said it's because they're all about different people and she tried to write in their voice. And succeeded!
When I started writing short stories they were all about a woman named Sheila. I realized I was writing about the same person, a version of me. Then I wrote about a woman with three arms who was definitely not me, who experienced a life completely different from mine and there was no turning back. If you're going to write about different people, be them. Be different people. Our worldview is so narrow and small. Step in someone else's heels. Fall down their stairs. Sleep outside in the dead leaves. Lick bugs. The world is so huge and we are tiny specks.
Stories are really just about what people do when stuff happens to them. Invent your people – pee out a person that's a collection of many things filtered through you – and then let and make things happen to them. If it doesn't seem real don't break your keyboard. The problem is you. Keep working. Time to go outside and sleep in the dead leaves. Look up. There's an awful lot of stars up there. Ignore the girl in the owl pajamas.
the playwright - edele winnie
EDELE EUGENIE WINNIE (playwright) hates all of her names and half of the people she meets. She sees things that other people don’t and she writes about them. She’s a house sitter, a dog walker, and was once hired as a chef in a fancy restaurant and then fired at sunset. Honestly, it wasn’t her fault. All the bodies are still hidden in the basement. Windsor Feminist Theatre produced her creepy play Nurdles and Waves in 2018. She’s written a large pile of short stories, some of which have been collected as books: Sometimes A Girl Just Has To Kill You, That Feeling In Your Stomach is My Knife, Sorry For Killing You So Many Times, and several more. Don’t ask about the Queen of Forks.She is not currently dating anyone.
REBECCA S. MICKLE is a singer, actress, and horror film enthusiast from Amherstburg, ON. She received her Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice from The University of Windsor and her Master of Music in Classical and Operatic Performance from Wayne State University. Her favourite roles include The Beggar Woman [Sweeney Todd] with Cardinal Music and Korda Artistic Productions, and Nancy [A Haunting in E Flat] with Post Productions. She is excited to be performing another fabulous new work with Post Productions. When she isn’t performing you can find her broadening minds at The Detroit Institute of Music Education, working on her debut album, and hanging out with her fluffy bunny, Mustache Sally.
STEPHANIE CRAGG is making her Post Productions debut. She has been acting in community theatre productions for the past 20 years. Favourite past roles include Ariel in The Tempest (Theatre Intrigue), Bilbo Baggins in the ‘Obbit (Korda Artistic Productions), Moth in Loves Labour’s Lost (Ghost Light Players), Lisa Simpson in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Korda Artistic Productions), and the Owl in the Birds (Korda Artistic Productions). She also plays the Lady in White for the Spirits of Windsor bus tours (Encore Productions). Stephanie would like to say thank you to all the amazing cast and crew involved in this production; it has been an amazing experience! She would also like to thank all her family and friends for their unwavering support and encouragement.
CINDY PASTORIUS is thrilled to be back for her 4th show with Post Productions. Previous roles include: Flauvia/Belinda (Noises Off, The Bank Theatre), Mom (True West, Post Productions), Ms. Winsley (Stop Kiss, Post Productions), Witch 2 & Lady MacDuff (Macbeth, Korda Artistic Productions) Frances (Jenny's House of Joy, Theatre Ensemble), as well as playing chorus in many productions, including Les Miserables (Theatre Alive) and Aida. She has been active both on stage & behind the scenes in community theatre for nearly 20 years. She is a proud wife, mother, grandmother and high school teacher when she is not performing on stage.
COLIN ZORZIT is making his first appearance at the Shadowbox Theatre! Colin, a recent Master of Education graduate, has used theatre over the last seven years as a way to forget about his crippling student debt. Colin usually prefers to work behind the scenes, but has recently taken bringing silly roles to life more seriously. He most recently appeared as Robin Hood in Korda Artistic Production’s Robin Hood: The Panto. Other credits include Horatio/Romeo in Cheer Up, Hamlet!, Ensemble in Mother Courage and her Children, Seyton in Macbeth, and the Spartan Ambassador in Lysistrata, all with Korda Artistic Productions. He has also served as music and/or vocal director for Extension-Korda, Windsor Light Music Theatre, Holy Names Players, Villanova Players, and A Shot in the Dark Productions. If he’s not in a theatre, you can usually find Colin working at Zehrs. He would like to thank the wonderful folks at Post Productions for the opportunity to work with them and for adding even more silly characters to his resume before he moves away to Vancouver in July. Cheers!
GREGORY GIRTY is best known for playing villains: Bamatabois in Les Miserables (TheatreAlive), Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd *Cardinal Music Productions), Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors (Cardinal Music Productions), and Wolf in Into The Woods (Cardinal Music Productions), and Lawrence in Girl In The Goldfish Bow l(Korda Artistic Productions). His most recent appearance,was as Elliot in A Haunting in E Flat (Post Productions).
LUKE BOUGHNER is 257 months old. Here are a list of things he can do: He can eat food all by himself He can use the stove. He can get all dressed up by himself. He can count to ten without using his fingers. He can run so fast. This is his first play. He has always been passionate about film and the performing arts. As long as he can remember he’s loved entertaining people through every type of performance he discovered. Come watch this play or he’ll tell his mom on you.
MATTHEW BURGESS (Set Designer) has been involved in the local theatre scene for six years, trying his hand at nearly every element involved in bringing imaginary locations to life, though he specializes in scenic painting and design. He has been a crucial part of the Post Productions team since its third show, True West, and has since been the visual master behind ten Post Productions projects –most notably Equus, Stop Kiss, American Buffalo, and Another Fucking Christmas Play. In 2017, he was asked to design the masks and props for Walkerville’s WCCA production, Trojan Women, which was built in Stratford as part of their Off the Wall program. Some of Matt's work includes creating the Moose puppet from Korda Artistic Productions’ Evil Dead, and the scenic painting for both Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike and Company. He also does figurative sculpture of pop culture icons and did all of the chalkboard artwork found at Rogues Gallery Comics, located downtown. Matthew is now a Props Apprentice at the Stratford Festival Theatre.
CARTER DERSCH (Lighting Designer) is an active member of the Windsor theatre community who has worked on several Post Productions shows, most notably The Pillowman, Equus, Autopsy & A Haunting in E Flat, and Another Fucking Christmas Play: A Fucking Musical. You may have seen his work as lighting designer for Footloose (Arts Collective Theatre), Cabaret (Korda Artistic Productions), and MacBeth (Korda Artistic Productions). When he is not lighting up the stage, he can also be found doing various production work at venues such as the St. Clair Centre for the Arts, Foglar Furlan, Ciociaro Club, and Caesar’s Windsor. Carter is also the sound technician and overall roadie for the award-winning Detroit based band The Sun Messengers.
KRIS SIMIC (Poster & Program Designer) is a graphic designer with 10 years of experience in graphic/web design and print and social media marketing. She studied Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto before returning to her hometown of Windsor to earn her Graphic Design diploma at St. Clair College. Kris has been involved in Windsor-Essex theatre on stage as an actress and behind the scenes as a stage hand, set builder/decorator and marketing/graphic design since 2013. She’s enjoyed working with the Post Production team since their first production, Oleanna, designing their posters and programs. If you are interested in viewing samples of her work, all of her past posters with Post Productions are featured in the hallway of The Shadownox Theatre.
eric branget as katurian
Eric is an actor and educator. He has appeared in commercials for companies such as Visa, Oxford Notebooks, and Schick. In the television world, he has appeared in programs such as See No Evil, Scariest Night Of My Life and Evil Encounters. In the local theatre community, he has been most recently seen as Fr. Flynn in Doubt (Post Productions) Morris the gargoyle in Raise The Stakes (Larry Silverburg), and Jimmy McCrea in For The Love Of Late Night (Tall Tale Theatre Co). He is also a co-founding member and acting Artistic Director of Tall Tale Theatre Company. In his spare time Eric co-produces the horror/thriller style original radio play podcast, Night Terrors.
simon du toit as tupolski
Simon started out playing bad men and policemen years ago, so it’s fun to return to that territory! Sometimes there’s not much difference between the two. Simon’s theatre career has included stints as actor, director, designer, professor, dramaturg, historian, published theorist, adjudicator, light and sound operator, floor sweeper, van driver, etc. – a typical life in the theatre! Simon is delighted to be working for the first time with the talented Post Productions team. “Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his blood.” FWN.
joey wright as michal
Joey is thrilled to be back on the Shadowbox stage after an already exciting 2019 season starting with Korda’s Reefer Madness and the spooktacular Autopsy with Post Productions. Reuniting with Eric after 10 years has been a rewarding and exciting experience. Michal has been a difficult but rewarding character to bring to the stage, and he hopes you’ll find the entire show compelling and entertaining. Sit back and enjoy the dark comedy that is, The Pillowman.
fay lynn as ariel
Creative Director at Post Productions and co-owner of The Shadowbox Theatre, Fay has spent the better part of the last 20 years acting, directing, producing, stage managing, and filling in just about every other role she can in the Windsor-Essex theatrical community. Recent performance credits include Scattered Ecstasies 2019 – Vocalises at SHO Art, Spirit & Performance; Devil's Night (Trish) with Uncanny Visions; No Exit (Ines Serrano) with Post Productions; and Macbeth (Macbeth) with Korda Artistic Productions. Her next onstage endeavour will be as Emma in Harold Pinter's Betrayal at The Shadowbox Theatre in April 2020.
matthew burgess - set & Prop design, special effects & more
Matthew has been involved in the local theatre scene for six years, trying his hand at nearly every element involved in bringing imaginary locations to life, though he specializes in scenic painting and design. He has been a crucial part of the Post Productions team since its third show, True West, and has since been the visual master behind ten Post Productions projects –most notably Equus, Stop Kiss, American Buffalo, and Another Fucking Christmas Play. In 2017, he was asked to design the masks and props for Walkerville’s WCCA production, Trojan Women, which was built in Stratford as part of their Off the Wall program. Some of Matt's work includes creating the Moose puppet from Korda Artistic Productions’ Evil Dead, and the scenic painting for both Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike and Company. He also does figurative sculpture of pop culture icons and did all of the chalkboard artwork found at Rogues Gallery Comics, located downtown.
dave nisbet - composer / graphic designer
Dave has always been a creative person. Visually and musically he’s paved a path all his own over the past 10-ish years creating professionally -- from his years as the bombastic “Dave The Bassist” in a locally loved/hated band called Falling With Glory, to his current status as the freakshow they call DTB and “Junior: The Muscle” in the bank-robbing band called Case The Joint. You could say music is ingrained in him deeply. When it comes to graphic design he started with “Narrow Gate Designs” in 2010, designing t shirts and album covers. It has evolved into Narrow Gate Media, the one stop shop for graphic design, music production, music distribution, and more.
kieran potter a.k.a RAMENSPLOOSH - co-director & animator, animated shorts
Kieran is an up-and-coming artist extraordinaire. At 21 years young he has been creating art longer than he's been able to read. Currently a Visual Arts, and Communication, Media and Film double-major at the University of Windsor, this handsome lad has had a long history with Post Productions: having created the ShadowBox Theatre logo, many online ads, and contributing to a few posters. Kieran's artistic endeavors can all be seen through his slowly growing social-media empire under the pseudonym “RamenSploosh”, where he creates animations, drawings, sculptures, paintings, comics and even music. For comments, concerns, and business inquiries Kieran can be easily contacted through a Twitter direct message to @RamenSploosh, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.
mitchell branget - co-director & editor, live-action shorts
Mitchell is a graduate of the University Of Windsor’s Communications Media and Film program, and is currently studying for his masters degree in film production. Mitchell has eight years of experience in the fields of writing, directing, and editing multimedia for film – primarily in the horror genre; his most recent film, Dreamer’s Journey, won Best Horror Film in the 40-minute category in its international debut at the Horror Of The Damned Film Festival in Milan, Italy. Mitchell has also won awards for his work in sound mixing and special-makeup effects.
sadie alejandria - stage manager
Sadie has been involved in theatre since the age of 6 when she joined the chorus in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. She also played one of the royal children in Windsor Light’s The King And I which was the first time she worked with Michael Potter and Michael O’Reilly, two of the founders of Post Productions. Sadie got her first stage-managing role during Annie Of Green Gables Get Your Gun - a holiday panto at the Kordazone Theatre in 2017. Next came Post Productions’ Stop Kiss where she shared those duties for this well-received thought-provoking drama. That was followed by three more shows in the same behind-the-scenes role at the ShadowBox Theatre working with Fay Lynn and friends old and new. Her next project will be Shrek The Musical, opening in February 2020. It is a show dear to her heart because she played Young Shrek during its run 5 years ago and will be its stage-manager this time around. Sadie is grateful to be given the opportunity and experience at age 16 by the Post Productions creative team and she hopes you enjoy their offering of The Pillowman.
carter dersch - lighting designer & operator
Carter is an active member of the Windsor theatre community and is excited to be back at Shadowbox Theatre after designing and operating for the sold-out performances of Autopsy & Haunting in E Flat in October. He was thrilled to be a part of the production team for Shadowbox’s -----------, Equus, Another F** Christmas Play. You may have seen his work recently as lighting designer for Footloose (ACT), Cabaret (Korda Artistic Productions), MacBeth (Korda), ----------. When he is not lighting up the stage, he can also be found doing various production work at venues such as the St. Clair Centre for the Arts, Foglar Furlan, Ciociaro Club, and Caesar’s Windsor. Carter is also the sound technician and overall roadie for the award-winning Detroit based band The Sun Messengers. would like to dedicate his life’s work and this bio to his mother.]
kris simic - poster & program designer
Kris is a Graphic Designer with 10 years of experience in graphic/web design and print and social media marketing. She studied Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto before returning to her hometown of Windsor to earn her Graphic Design diploma at St. Clair College. Kris has been involved in Windsor-Essex theatre on stage as an actress and behind the scenes as a stage hand, set builder/decorator and marketing/graphic design since 2013. She’s enjoyed working with the Post Production team since their first production, Oleanna, designing their posters and programs. If you are interested in viewing samples of her work, all of her past posters with PP are featured in their hall. She hopes you enjoy The Pillowman!
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE PLAYWRIGHTS BEHIND AUTOPSY AND A HAUNTING IN E FLAT: ALEX MONK AND JOEY OUELLETTE
Interview by Michael K. Potter
POTTER: How would you summarize your play? What's it about, what happens, and what makes it unique and/or interesting?
ALEX MONK: Autopsy is very much about how toxic our surroundings can be on our emotional and physical well-being. Our life choices and career choices, although they may seem like the safe options, can have effects on us – especially if we're not honest with ourselves. In this play we follow Gary, who's lost himself along the path of life, and now it's far too late. When you start talking to dead bodies and seeing yourself in them, the similarities can be quite horrific.
JOEY OUELLETTE: Thomas Nett is a paranormal investigator. When his niece Charmaine assists on a pair of investigations they uncover more than they had expected in a terrifying way. Why do people get
haunted? Why do other people investigate these things? A Haunting in E Flat answers these questions
but mixes the boos with laughs so it's both spooky and fun.
POTTER: What led you started writing this script? Was it an idea that just popped into your head, an
experience that made you reflect, something else entirely? And once you started, what was the
writing process like for you?
MONK: At the time I was working at an animal hospital where we experienced pet death every day. And
it was the safe choice for me, full time with benefits. But it was really wearing on me, and I really drew
parallels between my life and the play. When I started writing it almost flowed from my fingers, but
after re-reading I found it needed a lot of editing. The most important part was getting it all down, then
polishing it to the finished product that it is.
OUELLETTE: I've been haunted. It really freaked me out. Once you open that door, once you know that
door is there, many things are possible, most of them scary. I began to study the paranormal, and how
people – between hunters – confront it and deal with it. I'd written a series of Thomas Nett plays that
were produced years ago and the ideas and themes were still haunting me, so I opened the door again .
POTTER: You both won the first annual Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest. Tell me about that
experience and how it affected the approach you took to developing your script.
MONK: It was nice writing it within the time constraints that the contest held because I really need a kick in the pants when it comes to writing. I have about 4 unfinished scripts at home that I get halfway
through then have an idea for another that I begin to pursue under the idea that I've got lots of time to
finish the first script.
OUELLETTE: I was very happy to win. Not so that I can brag, but because I love to tell stories and work
in theatre. There's nothing greater than that. The act of creating something – gathering random
meaningless strings of experience and ideas and weaving them into a moving story – is the most
powerful personal experience I've ever felt. Sharing the script— having it produced – is the ultimate
giving and sharing. It's an incredible feeling.
POTTER: Which stories and storytellers – in whatever genre, format, or medium – influence your
writing? What inspired you – and continues to inspire you?
MONK: I couldn't really narrow it down to one medium. I take it many different genres and formats, but
I think my favorite is when, whatever the show or production is, they incorporate improv into the
scripts. Allowing room for flow and new ideas coming in and out of what's written is so much fun for
creators and for audiences.
OUELLETTE: Oh my. I read a lot. I like the work of KJ Parker most of the time. There's really too many
influences to list. I think theatre, for an audience, is to experience things that make them feel. When I
walk down the street I am bombarded by intense experiences. I try to hold onto a few of them and
share them. They're like ghosts that only I can see. Hopefully an audience at one of my plays can
somehow see them too.
POTTER: You're an actor (and/or director, producer ...) as well as a writer. How do the different
positions you've filled over the years in the worlds of theatre and comedy intersect? How do they
inform - or even interfere - with each other?
MONK: Being involved in all those different parts helps a show that I work on in the way that I can see it
from many perspectives. I may think a certain joke is hilarious on paper, but on the stage it isn't very
practical to do. Or when I'm acting, something in the script might bother me, and I'll be able to come up
with effective solutions or see the reason for the trouble spot. When you're only an actor you may have
a hard time seeing the full picture. Just as in comedy if you produce the show, it changes your view on
the overall success of the show and you're more capable of critically evaluating the show, and your own
performance. The diverse roles I've filed have helped me develop into a better comedian/actor/writer.
OUELLETTE: Life is a strange journey. I'm intensely private and shy. In school I'd take a mark of zero
rather than speak in front of a class. From there I became an actor. That's a bit of a jump, I know. As an
actor I was hungry for experience but found many scripts were either not of interest or too expensive.
So I began to write. Not well. It's essential to take ego out of the equation. I began to direct so that
others could interpret what I wrote. Hopefully, over time, I've become better at all three. Theatre is a
team event. For me, writing, acting and directing can all help influence the journey in the best direction.
ALEX MONK (Playwright, Autopsy) is a new writer. Autopsy was one of the first two plays he wrote simultaneously. Usually an improviser, over the past few years he has become more involved in the theatre scene through acting, and now playwriting. The idea for this particular work came to him while he worked at a job surrounded by death - but he'll leave you to guess what that was. Alex is excited to see his vision come to (un)life and hear the thoughts of family and friends about his play. He is a pisces and enjoys tennis.
DAVID DUCHENE (Gary) has been involved in theatre for over fifty years. He was last seen on a Windsor stage in the title role of Korda Artistic Production’s Doctor Faustus. Other Korda credits include Pisthetairos in The Birds, Dottie Primrose in Devil Boys From Beyond and Father in Eurydice. He has performed extensively on several Michigan stages, done theatrical tours of both the US and Canada and has been seen or heard in commercials for television and radio. He has also voiced numerous titles for the Blue Diamond Audio Books series. He is delighted and honored to be performing for the first time with Post Productions!
JOEY WRIGHT (John Doe) is thriller to be making his Shadowbox debut with the cast and crew of Autopsy. Fresh off directing Reefer Madness at Kordazone, Joey has been a member of the theatre community for eight years performing in over 20 productions. Previous roles include Austin in True West, Ed in Evil Dead the Musical and The Man in Hard Hearts. He didn’t earn his nickname as Korda’s favourite corpse for nothing and he looks forward to expanding that monicker to Post.
DREW BEAUDOIN (Michael) has been an actor for his entire time in Windsor, joining the theatre scene relatively late in life. Since moving here from Toronto, he's performed with Korda Artistic Productions and Cardinal Music Productions, and is thrilled to be making his debut with Post Productions. Past credits include Paul in Company, Clopin in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Gabe in Next to Normal. Aside from theatre, Drew spends most of his time surrounded by his three cats.
REBECCA S. MICKLE (Marie-Louise) is a singer, actress, and Oxford comma enthusiast from Amherstburg, ON. She received her Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice from The University of Windsor and her Master of Music in Classical and Operatic Performance from Wayne State University. Her favourite roles include The Beggar Woman [Sweeney Todd] and Rapunzel [Into The Woods] with Cardinal Music Productions and Korda Artistic Productions. She is excited to be making her Post Productions debut with these fabulous shows! When she isn’t performing you can find her throwing hammer and caber, and hanging out with her two fluffy bunnies.
JOEY OUELLETTE (Playwright, A Haunting in E Flat) is super excited to release some ghosts at the Shadowbox with the premiere of his play A Haunting In E Flat! He researched this show by interviewing and accompanying different ghost hunters and groups, as well as including some of his own paranormal experiences. With over 200 produced plays to his credit, Joey’s words have been spoken all over North America. Boo!
JAMES STONE (Thomas Nett) is extremely proud to be performing with the remarkable cast of The Haunting in E-Flat. James, who also teaches high school drama, has been performing in various community theatre productions for over 25 years, including Cabaret, Noises Off, Jitters, and The Teahouse of the August Moon.
CARLA GYEMI (Charmaine) is thrilled to be back at the Shadowbox Theatre in this spooktacular show and channel some spirits! Carla made her Post Productions debut as Sister James in Doubt, and also had the pleasure of being part of their wild Christmas show last December. Joining the theatre community at an early age, Carla has enjoyed playing with, and learning from, many casts and companies. Past roles include Kathy in Company, Roz in 9 to 5, The Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Demeter in Cats, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan(to), and Agnes in The Divine Sister.
REBECCA S. MICKLE (Nancy) is a singer, actress, and Oxford comma enthusiast from Amherstburg, ON. She received her Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice from The University of Windsor and her Master of Music in Classical and Operatic Performance from Wayne State University. Her favourite roles include The Beggar Woman [Sweeney Todd] and Rapunzel [Into The Woods] with Cardinal Music Productions and Korda Artistic Productions. She is excited to be making her Post Productions debut with these fabulous shows! When she isn’t performing you can find her throwing hammer and caber, and hanging out with her two fluffy bunnies.
GREGORY GIRTY (Elliot) is best known for playing villains: Bamatabois in Les Miserables, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors, and Wolf in Into The Woods. His most recent appearance, as Lawrence in Girl In The Goldfish Bowl, was his first departure from musical theatre. He joins Post Productions for his second non-musical role.
Photo Credit Michael K. Potter
JOEY OUELLETTE (Donny Dubrow) has participated in more than 500 different productions as an actor, director and playwright -- most recently Spirals and Best For You with The Purple Theatre Company, Big Green Sky and Riveter with Windsor Feminist Theatre, Yellow Vines and The Man Who Married A Chicken with Paperknife Theatre and Post Production’s Equus and Nothing But The Truth. He’s toured extensively with children’s shows and was part of the Canadian touring production of Cannibal Cheerleaders On Crack. Why isn’t there a regular improv company in Windsor? It’s time there was one. Upcoming he will be directing his ancient Greek style play Doves at War at the Pelee Quarry amphitheatre and performing in Marjorie Prime with Bloomsbury House at Sho. A winner of the 2018 Windsor-Essex Playwriting Contest, Joey’s plays have been produced all over North America; this October you can see his latest play, A Haunting in E Flat, at The Shadowbox Theatre.
MARK LEFEBVRE (Teach) graduated from the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Art, and over the last 30 years has been performing in and producing professional theatre, film, dance, music and visual art works. He toured internationally with Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises, sings with Ian Smith’s Spectrum Chorus and co-founded the award winning troupe Stilt Guys. Mark taught at St. Clair College, and was a therapeutic clown doctor (Dr. Dan D. Lion). Married to the lovely and talented Susan Doucet, he is the proud father of sons Jacques, Sylvan and Cavelle. His middle name is Art.
SEAMUS TOKOL (Bobby) recently graduated from Walkerville Centre for the Creative Arts as a student in drama, vocal and media. Theatre credits include Ariste in The Learned Ladies, Caractacus in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and most recently Jean in Rhinoceros. He also directed Walkerville's entry in the NTS Drama Festival, The Tell-Tale Heart, for which he won an award of excellence for direction. He would like to thank all of his friends and family for their support in his artistic endeavours. He would also like to apologize to Donny.
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