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Cast (in order of appearance)

DonDuane R. K. Jones

ValerieEmma Gallaher



ProducerDaisy Pond

DirectorNathan Iles

Assistant DirectorCarl Bishop

Stage ManagerMelissa Venderkuil

Set DesignDarren Moore

Lighting DesignJames Ravenhill

Properties & Set DecBrad Laberge

Sound DesignLuke Moar

Music CompositionSteve Ford

CostumesMyah Van Horn

MakeupJoanna Iles

Intimacy DirectorAnastasia St. Amand

Box Office ManagerJoey Sayer

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:

A word from our new Artistic Director…

First, a few thanks: To Aaron Conrad, our previous Artistic Director, without whom we wouldn’t have a season.  His last act as Artistic Director was to program this beautiful, haunting season, and he passed the reins to me to see it through.  I’m honoured to bring his season to the stage. Next, to Daisy Pond, our Executive Producer, who keeps me from going insane, and keeps us all from marching off a cliff.  Thanks to our board, executive, and giant, crazy hoard of volunteers who make the world go round. Finally, our audience deserves most of our thanks. Performers are nothing with our loyal patrons, and our hard work and sacrifice is all for you. Season 18.  A season to captivate.  The term here has a dual meaning: first, our goal at Scorpio Theatre is to draw in, fascinate, enchant, and enthral our audiences with powerful, beautiful and cutting edge theatre.  For eighteen seasons, Scorpio Theatre has brought new dynamic works to Calgary, and we have done so with a passion for great stories that we are proud to bring to life on the stage. The root of captivate – captive, holds this season’s second meaning.  Each show this season revolves around a central theme of captivity or confinement – whether that is physical captivity or confinement within the construct of our realities. In their own unique way, each play is a balancing act between being physically restrained (by a scientist, or a totalitarian government, or a burned out country music star) and being confined by what motivates us to respond to our own distinct subject reality (desperation, manipulation, and fear of our mortality). The 2017/2018 season will take you through a journey of the dynamics of power, of fear, anxiety, and the struggle we all face when we are left with no more options.  I can barely contain my excitement for you to share in our 18th season; a season I hope will captivate and thrill you. Welcome To Scorpio Theatre. Matt Pickering, Artistic Director

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  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Thank you for your patronage, and enjoy the show!

Scorpio Theatre Society

PLAYWRIGHT’S BIO– Stephen Cedars

Stephen Cedars is a writer, director and teacher originally from south Louisiana.  His plays have been produced or developed both in New York City and throughout the country, and published by Original Works and IndieTheatreNow.  

As a producer and director in NYC, he has created work for stages in three boroughs, including several years of community programming.  Amongst his awards are the Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award and Commission, a Fellowship with the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, a Residency with America-in-Play, and the John Golden Playwriting Prize.  

He earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU, which he attended as a Rita and Burton Goldberg Fellow.


Let me ask you a question: what makes a person "authentic?" The easy answer, the one echoed both by our withered and forgotten country outlaw Don and our fiery young woman Valerie, is a single word: "Honesty." Sounds easy enough, right? 

But what about when being honest carries the price of empty audience seats, a stack of unpaid bills and irrelevance? What about when being honest comes at the expense of your well being, your sanity, your dignity? What if being honest does you no damn good at all? 

Simple questions with no easy answers is exactly what I want to leave you with when you leave the theatre tonight. The charming and terrifying and beautiful and ugly relationship of Don and Valerie holds no easy answers, shades of grey instead of blacks and whites. Theatre is beautiful in that it holds a mirror up to us, as a society, and asks us to regard the reflection. In today's day and age, with the ugly power dynamics between men and women finally being brought to the light and the idea of "selling out" affecting how we regard the artists we enjoy, I think this story - and the questions it inspires - needs to be talked about. 

So what makes a person authentic? Neither I, nor Don, nor Val can fully answer that for you. But whatever you leave the theatre feeling or thinking tonight, that is "True Authentic". I hope you embrace that fully, embrace yourself fully, and in the words of Townes Van Zandt, "wear your skin like iron".


Emma Gallaher – Valerie

This is Emma Gallaher’s third show with Scorpio Theatre and she couldn't be more excited to be a part of it. Previously, she played Katie in Conventional Lunacy, and Julia in Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline. Emma studied theatre in Los Angeles, California at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She would like to thank her family and friends for coming to see this show and is certain you won't be disappointed!

Duane R. K. Jones – Don

This is Duane’s fifth time on stage with Scorpio, having previously appeared in Grandad Was A Soldier, Pastoral Paranoia, Blood of the Red Queen, and Zastrozzi. Other favourite roles include John Barrymore’s Ghost in I Hate Hamlet, Julius Cochrane in Cocktails At Pam’s, and Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, all with Morpheus Theatre. Duane wants to thank everyone in the cast for their continued support and patience in allowing him to fully explore his proce…. What? Oh, right. We have been reminded that a) Duane doesn’t have a “process” per se and 2) the only other cast member is Emma… Awkward….Well, Duane thanks Emma for being there with him on stage each night. Duane hopes you enjoy this little Rom Com and the ensuing hilarity! (Note: at the time of this writing, it is unclear whether or not Duane has read the script yet.)

If you enjoyed our production, consider nominating us for a CAT Award at:



Next Show Auditions

Coming up next for Scorpio Theatre:

May 18-26, 2018

“Who are you?”
“You are the roles you play”
*Hamlet’s a challenge for any actor, but when Jessica is cast as the titular character in a New York production, it sends her into an existential tailspin. It doesn’t help that her acting coach is borderline abusive, or that every Starbucks barista with an MFA tells her she’s too young for the role. Or that she’s somehow managed to make Sir Patrick Stewart her nemesis. Not to mention the fact that she’s a woman. How can Jessica figure out “to be or not to be,” when she can’t even figure out herself? 
Featuring an all-female cast performing multiple roles, Scorpio presents “Women Playing Hamlet”, by William Missouri Downs, and directed by Jennifer Merio.

Roles Available:

  • Jessica, female (late 20s): Actress, quirky, smart.
  • Gwen, female (45+): An acting coach.
  • Ensemble characters for 2 to 4 actors, to portray other speaking roles at various ages, female (18+).

Please go to for more information on audition requirements.

Auditions will be held Monday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 13 - 7:00-10:00 pm.

Callbacks will be the afternoon of Saturday, June 17 – 1:00-5:00 pm.

Book your audition time by emailing


Carl Bishop (Assistant Director)

For Scorpio, Carl has directed, It Came from Mars. Other directing highlights include: The Hobbit, Guys and Dolls, Legally Blonde, Heathers, The Odd Couple, and The Sound of Music. He can also be found on stage every now and then and has previously performed in such shows as Sweeney Todd, Grease, The Wizard of Oz, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Dr. Suess' Hamilton. (That last one was just to see if you are still reading). He would like to send hugs and kisses to his beautiful wife Colleen and his munchkins Lily and Scarlet. This is officially the most serious bio he has ever written.

Steve Ford (Music Composition)

'Lord, I've been lonesome,
both broke and broken,
I have lost all I can bear.
Now I've nothing left
but the range and regret,
and this here
Prairie Prayer'

Steve has plenty more to say about leavin' or dyin' and hopes to continue his creative partnership with the Scorpio family.

Nathan Iles (Director)

Nathan Iles is an independent writer, director, actor and musician based in Calgary. Recent projects for Nathan include assistant directing Love Song for Scorpio Theatre, debuting his first script Like Hell at the One Act Play Fest, and performing in a music video for the song "Frankenstyle" with his band, DETRACTIONS. Nathan would like to thank his wife Joanna, the entire production team, Stephen Cedars, Emma Gallaher and Duane Jones for taking this journey!

Joanna Iles (Makeup)

Joanna is so excited to be helping with the makeup for Scorpio Theatre's production of "Old Sad Songs". A few years ago Joanna took up Makeup / Special Effects Makeup as a hobby and it soon turned into a passion. Besides makeup Joanna is an actor in the local Calgary theatre scene and is so excited to be a part of a show in a brand new way. Follow her makeup adventures on Instagram @frankenstyle.fx.

Brad Laberge (Properties & Set Decoration)

This is Brad fifth show mastering props for Scorpio. He is thrilled to be part of the crew, both technically and socially. Outside of theatre, Brad is an off-road enthusiast and owns a ranch for neglected and wayward Jeeps. Love to Mikee.

Luke Moar (Sound Design)

Luke has been involved in community theatre as a sound designer since 2001. The Old Sad Songs is a bit of a different tune, partnering with Steve and working off his music to help bring the show to life. Luke most recently was the recipient for Outstanding Soundscape in a Play 2017 for Scorpio Theatre’s It Came From Mars.

Darren Moore (Set Design)

In just over a decade with Scorpio Theatre, Darren has been a stage manager, a lighting/sound op, and a props master... just to name a few. For this show, he had the opportunity to delve into the world of set design. Being able to utilize the old brick and wood of the performance space made the design that much easier.  Enjoy the show, and hopefully the set brings you to where you need to be.

Daisy Pond (Producer)

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!

James Ravenhill (Lighting Design)

James is glad to be working with Scorpio Theatre again. Previous credits include Next To Normal (Cappuccino Musical Theatre), Conventional LunacyZastrozzi (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)

Anastasia St. Amand (Intimacy Director)

Anastasia is delighted to be Intimacy/Fight Director for Old Sad Songs her seventh production with Scorpio. A graduate from MRU's Theatre Arts Program, Anastasia is an actor, writer and Stage Combatant. She works as a Fight Director, Intimacy Director, Residency Artist and an Artistic Associate for Full Circle Theatre. Special Thanks to Fight Directors Canada & Intimacy Directors International for developing such safe and comprehensive set of standards that have guided her through the adventures of staged intimacy and combat.

Melissa Venderkuil (Stage Manager)

Melissa is very excited to be joining the Old, Sad Songs team for her first show with Scorpio Theatre! When not she is not wrangling children as a full time Nanny, Melissa been Assistant Stage Manager of Scarlet Women and Oh! Christmas Tree (Lunchbox Theatre) as well as stage managing several shows for the One Act Play Festival.

Myah Van Horn (Costume Design)

Myah Van Horn received her undergrad degree from University of Calgary this year with a focus on costume for dance, theatre and working on collaborative performance. She has recently designed the costumes for Trafford Tanzi, a wrestling show and dance piece titled Requiem for a Dream, and did prop design for Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens. Myah has been looking forward to working on Old, Sad Songs since the beginning of the year, and hopes you enjoy the work.

Special Thanks

For their continued support, Scorpio Theatre would like to thank:

Citrus by TN

Scorpio Theatre would also like to thank;
Tim MacRae, James Noonan, The Plaza Theatre, Jerry Keogh (Heritage Posters and Music Inc), all our volunteers, friends, family, and fans.