Actress 1Tanis Laatsch
Actress 2Cristi Dos Santos Wing
Actress 3Jenn MacLean
Actress 4Joanna Iles
Assistant DirectorKeith Kollee
Stage ManagerCharlie Lenz
Assistant Stage Manager & Running CrewSarah Andrechuk
Set DesignJennifer Merio, Keith Kollee, & Brad Laberge
Lighting DesignJames Ravenhill
Properties & Set DecBrad Laberge & Mikee Ames
Sound DesignAlixandra Cowman
Graphics DesignIan Pond, Jennifer Merio, & Valentin Zapien
Costume DesignMikee Ames
Costumes AssistantDarcie Howe
Box Office ManagerJennifer Lealand & Darren Moore
Lobby DisplayDaisy Pond
This show will be presented in two acts.
There will be one 15 minute intermission.
If you enjoyed our production, consider nominating us for a CAT Award at:
Artistic Director’s Notes – Keith Kollee
Scorpio is growing up fast. Our 18th season saw us reap more accolades than ever before. We divided audiences with our content, inspiring conversation. Isn’t that the mark of great art? Challenging the way we think? Forcing us to see another perspective? That season was programmed by Aaron Conrad, and captained by Matt Pickering. These are big shoes to fill. Both have done so much for our company, brought it so far. The ball has now been passed to me, and I intend to continue the same tradition of producing thought-provoking theatre.
As such, I am proud to launch our 19th season with Women Playing Hamlet, a show unlike any other Scorpio has ever produced, offering up a perspective we’ve never explored before. Telling this story required a deft and intelligent director, and though the choice was made before I came on as Artistic Director, I fully endorsed the selection of Jennifer Merio. Despite this being her directorial debut, her passion, vision, and talent were evident right from the beginning. When she asked me to assistant direct in a mentoring capacity, I jumped at the chance, though, between you and me, it became obvious very quickly that she needed no mentoring (don’t tell her I said that).
The cast and crew have worked tirelessly to bring Jessica’s world to life, uniting so many of Calgary’s talented women on one team. A few of us men were there too. I don’t want to minimize their contributions, but we really felt that this was a woman’s story, and needed to be told by women. It is a perspective not seen enough in theatre.
And that is my pledge for Scorpio Theatre. We have always occupied our own little niche within the community. We have created theatre unlike anyone else in the city. And we will continue to do so. Only, now we will do it with our eyes open, seeing the world around us, challenging its perceptions. I will continue the progress made by those who have come before me. I will show the world that they should be paying attention to Scorpio. I hope you’ll be there with me.
Where are the show programs?
Scorpio's Gone Green!
It is common practice in theatre to include a show program for each performance that includes information about the cast, production team, the company and our sponsors. The programs are usually two pages (folded in half and presented as a 4 page bi-fold) meaning that the average production, with middling ticket sales, will require 800 printed pages.
That's over 2400 printed pages per season and that's just not GREEN!
Information on this production and the company in general will be proudly presented in our lobby displays, which we hope will be more entertaining, visually appealing and add more to your theatre experience than some stuffy old program anyway.
If you have a thought or opinion on this new policy, or anything else you've seen at Scorpio, we encourage you to fill out one of our audience survey forms (available in the lobby and at the box office) or, by all means, email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to hear your feedback!
Thank you for your patronage, and enjoy the show!
Scorpio Theatre Society
William Missouri Downs (Playwright)
William Missouri Downs has had over 150 productions of his plays from the Kennedy Center to The San Diego Rep and won numerous national writing awards including two rolling premieres from the National New Play Network. He’s twice been a finalist at the Eugene O’Neill. His plays have also been produced in Spain, Canada, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, India, and South Korea. He’s published four books on the art of theatre and writing and 11 plays. He started writing at the Circle Rep in New York, then wrote for several sitcoms in Hollywood. He now lives in a log cabin 7,700 feet up in the Rockies of Northern Colorado.
Scorpio's 2018-2019 Season
DIRECTOR’S NOTES -- Jennifer Merio
Jessica gets offered the role of a lifetime… and her reaction is: I can’t do this. Everyone around her confirms: “YOU can’t play Hamlet!” Add in the constant nagging voice of social media, and the world around her seems to unite to convince her she is a fraud. Cue a struggle that so many of us creatives can relate to: imposter syndrome. That ugly little voice inside that says, despite all our accomplishments: you can’t do this… who gave YOU permission to do this… you don’t deserve this…
When I was approached to direct, I was both thrilled and terrified – my first reaction was “I am not qualified to do this job, and everyone is gonna know it...” I took it anyways, because the opportunity to create and shape this beautiful story was too tempting to allow my fear to stop me. As I became invested in Jessica’s journey on the page, I related more and more to her struggle: so many voices that echo fears, “you are not capable of this.”
Fast-forward to auditions…Women Playing Hamlet is a unique script that offers a wealth of female roles that are witty, reflective, funny, and the most rare and important differentiator: no love story. Some of Calgary’s finest female actors came out, many of whom I’ve shared the stage with, watched from the audience, loved their performances… cue that voice again: who am I to judge them? We made difficult choices to cast six brilliant women… and let me tell you, that first rehearsal, my imposter was having quite a field day.
Fortunately, unlike Jessica, not a single person involved in this show has told me: you can’t do this. No show goes up alone… how could I fail with this team? On the production side, I have been surrounded and supported by the Scorpio Family, a highly experienced and giving backstage team. I am grateful to every single artist who has contributed their talents to this show, some who have been with Scorpio for years, others who are joining us for the first time. I am especially thankful for those I worked closest with, throughout the rehearsal process: Daisy, Charlie, Sarah and Keith. Thank you for never allowing my imposter to get the best of me.
Jessica’s journey is wrought with humor and absurdity, mixed with fear and uncertainty. Shandy gave her a voice that is both hilarious and, at times, heartbreaking; Jenny embraced the character conflicts with a thunderous grace; Tanis, Joanna, Jenn and Christi masterfully took up the challenge of being all of the male and female roles that confront our heroine along the way. These women were all so giving, so talented, it humbles me that they allowed me to guide them. Thank you for helping to make my directing dream come true.
I hope everyone that comes to this show can see a bit of themselves in Jessica, and can relate to her struggle. I hope you see past your own fears, and seize the opportunities that come your way. We are all in different stages of conquering our own Hamlet.
To our audiences, thanks for coming tonight. I genuinely appreciate your support of our company, and the stories we tell. Enjoy the show, and thank you for bearing witness to all the roles we play.
Christi Dos Santos Wing (Actress 2)
|Christi Dos Santos-Wing’s selected acting works include: Short Films A Perception of Prudence, Memento Mori, and National. Theatre: The Conversation (TJG /ATP/ DIY Theatre), Finding Euphoria & Phobias (Urban Stories Theatre), Checking Out (UFV). Voice work includes: EVENT; Omen of Sorrow, and various roles in CJSW's Darkside Drive. Her upcoming projects include writing a play, Relative Value, through Alberta Playwrights' RBC Emerging Playwright's program. She thanks her amazing husband Michael for being the most incredible support! Instagram: @ChristiBisti @DIYTheatreYYC.|
Jenny Edwards (Gwen)
|Jenny is thrilled to make her Scorpio debut! Select credits include Mary Poppins, MisCast (upcoming) and Sister Act (upcoming) with Storybook Theatre, and Season 5 of Corner Gas (CTV). When not on stage, Jenny works at Lunchbox Theatre as the Box Office Manager, and she is also a trained opera singer. Jenny would like to thank her fabulous family for all of their love and support, especially her phenomenal husband, Keith, and her incredible daughter, Gracie.|
Joanna Iles (Actress 4)
|Joanna is thrilled to be making her Scorpio Theatre acting debut in Woman Playing Hamlet. Working with a team of strong, hilarious woman has been a dream come true. Some of Joanna’s past performances include the Swallow a Bicycle Site Specific Tours, Like Hell (Swallow Your Soul Theatre) and Shake it Up (Mount Royal University). Joanna would like to thank Scorpio Theatre as well as her friends, family and husband Nathan for their continued support.|
Tanis Laatsch (Actress 1)
|This Tanis’s second show with Scorpio, and what a different cast it is! Working on this show was a cast full of BA women has been an absolutely pleasure. Previous credits include 1984 (Scorpio), Pajama Game, Reefer Madness, Jekyll and Hyde (FRC), Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, She Kills Monsters (Simply Theatre) and Move Over Mrs. Markham (Morpheus). Enjoy the show dontcha know!|
Jenn MacLean (Actress 3)
|Jennifer MacLean was last seen as a troubled Southern Belle in Crimes of the Heart by Simply Theatre. She’s the Panda in “Dropbear & Panda” and does short films and podcasts. She has won an acting award from the NYC International Film Festival, and has received numerous CAT Award Nominations. Jennifer hates writing bios so she’s typing whatever she wants until she gets to the allotted 75 words and luckily, maybe she’ll run out of|
Shandra McQueen (Jessica)
|Shandra is excited to be returning for her second show with Scorpio! You may remember her from last time as grown-up, drunk Dorothy in Scorpio's fairy tale/noir, Blood of the Red Queen. Or maybe you've seen her around Calgary stages in roles such as bi-polar mother, sassy guidance counselor or cow that jumped over the moon, to name a few? She is delighted to be working with so many talented women and hopes you enjoy the show. Thank you for supporting live theatre in Calgary!|
Next Show Auditions
Coming up next for Scorpio Theatre:
February 22 to March 2, 2019
Years ago, an infamous murder in Los Angeles brought two far-away countries close to war. Today, they’re meeting for a peace summit. But when a young queen goes missing, it is once again on one man to unravel the truth before the drums of war start beating, and standing in the way is a former pirate turned underworld kingpin. Private detective Jim Hawkins must juggle witches, queens, bureaucrats, and estranged family to solve the mystery before another queen dies on his watch. Playwright Dan Gibbins and director Chelsea Millard reunite for Blood of the Red Queen: Citizen Smee.
- Argent Hawkins (female, age 35-45): Sister of Jim Hawkins, diplomat. Tough, loyal woman who has had fought hard for her position but keeps bumping against the glass ceiling. (Fight experience an asset.)
- Glinda the Good Witch (female, age 30-50): regent of Oz. Strong, regal, and reserved, yet soft. Determined to protect her homeland against all enemies.
- White Queen (female, age 30-50): newly crowned ruler of Wonderland. Hard, sharp, will not allow her countrymen to be blamed for Oz's woes nor dismissed as simply "mad."
- Smee (male, age 35-55): Former first mate of the Jolly Roger, now LA crime boss. Slick, confident, and has his hand in everything. (fight experience an asset)
- Mad Hatter (male, no age range): visiting eccentric, speaks in riddles. Knows nothing and everything.
- Starkey (male, age 20-45): Smee's primary henchman. The muscle, not the smartest man but has moments where he's clever. (fight experience an asset)
Auditions will be held Monday, October 22 and Tuesday, October 23 - 7:00-10:00 pm.
Callbacks, if needed, will be the afternoon of Saturday, October 27.
For more information, go to www.scorpio.ca.
Mikee Ames (Costume Design)
|Mikee is pleased to be back with Scorpio Theatre. She has costumed and propped many shows with FRC, StoryBook, Cappuccino, Scorpio, ACT, Simply Theatre, and Morpheus, and recently joined Stage West as Head of Props. Mikee sends her love to Brad. Thanks to DS, JPP and the Laberge family. Thanks to Darcie for her assistance.|
Sarah Andrechuk (Running Crew)
Sarah is excited to be doing another show with Scorpio theatre! In recent years she has worked backstage on Zastrozzi, the Master of Discipline (Scorpio) and A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody (Morpheus). In her spare time Sarah enjoys trying new baking recipes, playing video games and generally being a hermit at home (other than rehearsals of course!).
Alixandra Cowman (Sound Design)
|Alixandra Cowman is a sound designer, actor, and musician. Previous sound design credits include Helen (IGNITE!), and Still Stands The House (Wick Productions). Coming up, she will be sound designing for Bright Lights (Theatre BSMT), Kodachrome (Fire Exit Theatre), and will be mentored by Allison Lynch for sound design in Theatre Calgary's The Scarlet Letter as a part of the new TC Mentors program. Alixandra is also one half of acclaimed folk duo The Dearhearts, who recently released their second album, "Enough To Go Around". Many thanks to Conrad and her family for all their love and support.|
Darcie Howe (Costume Assistant)
|Darcie is very excited to be involved in her first production for Scorpio. She has designed costumes for several productions including Into the Woods, Ty Rex King of Third Grade, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, West Side Story, Seussical the Musical, and Grease (StoryBook Theatre) and been on stage in Pirates of Penzance and The Gondoliers (Morpheus Theatre). Outside of theatre, Darcie enjoys knitting and playing bass or keyboards on the music team at her church.|
Keith Kollee (Assistant Director)
|Keith has been bleeding red and black for several years now. He started with the company on Cry Havoc 2, and, since that time, he has acted in shows, served on the board, run the bar, and directed both Reservoir Dogs and Zastrozzi. Recently, Keith has had the honor of being chosen as Scorpio Theatre's new Artistic Director. All attempts to staunch the bleeding have failed....|
Brad Laberge (Properties and Set Dec)
|This is Brad's sixth show mastering props for Scorpio. He is thrilled to be part of the crew, both technically and socially. Shout out to Alex to helping with props. Outside of theatre, Brad is an off-road enthusiast and owns a ranch for neglected and wayward Jeeps. Love to Mikee.|
Jennifer Lealand (Co-Producer)
|Women Playing Hamlet is Jennifer's second Scorpio show. She's very honoured to be part of the family, but she's not sure why she keeps getting invited back to events. She's like that crazy aunt who's always covered in cat hair....you know the one. When Jenn's not seeing a play or helping out with theatre events she can be found at her downtown condo with her fiance and sizeable petting zoo.|
Charlie Lenz (Stage Manager)
|Charlie is so excited to be a part of her seventh show with the amazing Scorpio Theatre as Stage Manager. Her previous credits include 1984, Jaan, Laws of Thermodynamics, Zastrozzi, It Came from Mars, and Love Song. In her time between shows and rehearsals she enjoys the love of her two cats and her schooling where she is studying to become a Funeral Director/Embalmer.|
Jennifer Merio (Director)
|After spending exactly enough time socializing at the Scorpio space, Jenn is excited to share that she has officially been inducted as a member of the Scorpio Family! Last year, Jenn portrayed Matilda in Zastrozzi: Master of Discipline. She has recently been named Artistic Associate of Scorpio, and looks forward to helping to grow the company’s reputation, brand and upcoming seasons! Looks like they’re stuck with her now ;)… Jennifer has performed roles both on and off stage with various theatre companies, including StoryBook Theatre, ACT, Cowtown Opera, Morpheus Theatre, Cappuccino, Simply Theatre and Smoking Gun Entertainment. From her incredibly supportive team, to the amazing artists onstage, Jenn is infinitely grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to make this show happen. Love to her actual family for being tolerant of her crazy theatre habits…|
Daisy Pond (Producer and Stage Manager)
|Daisy is proud to be a part of another great Scorpio show. From working as a lighting op, an ASM, a Stage Manager to the company’s Executive Producer, she’s been involved in many aspects of many wonderful shows with this merry band of misfits. Thank you to a great cast and crew for all your hard work!|
Ian Pond (Graphics)
|Don’t let the bags under his eyes and the short(er) temper fool you, Ian is ACTUALLY happy to work on Women Playing Hamlet. This is Ian’s… uh… 17th? 18th show? … Ian has worked for Scorpio Theatre for a lot of shows over the last 10 years as actor, fight choreographer, prop maker, stage hand, and as its Graphics and Media Director most recently on the CAT Award winning stagecraft team for 1984.|
James Ravenhill (Lighting Design)
|James is glad to be a part of the Scorpio Theatre family. Previous credits include Next To Normal (Cappuccino Musical Theatre), Zastrozzi, 1984 (Scorpio Theatre), The Field, The Weir (Liffey Players Drama Society), Sarah and the Dinosaur, Shadowlands (Fire Exit Theatre), Jekyll and Hyde, Little Shop of Horrors (Front Row Centre Players).|
1943: The world was at war with Germany. Canadian co-pilots, Adams and Davis, are at war with each other.
Half the Battle tells the story of Adams and Davis, the pilot and flight engineer of a Canadian Avro Lancaster in WWII.
The two men are forced by fate to recount their stories of what brought them to war, why they fight, and most importantly what they left behind. The outspoken Newfoundlander and the by-the-book Albertan, hardly friends in during the war, now find themselves at odds with this new partnership.
Secrets are revealed, and a seemingly impossible friendship discovered.
Written and performed by Owen Bishop. Directed by Shelby Nicole Reinitz. Co-produced through Sage Theatre's Stepping Stone program.
Reserve your tickets by October 13th with the promo code "Scorpio" for a 15% discount.
For their continued support, Scorpio Theatre would like to thank: