HER2

By Maja Ardal

Directed by Kim Blackwell

World premiere

January 13-February 1, 2015



 



HER2 featured an all-star cast in a probing, heart-wrenching examination of the uneasy relationship between medical science and the human spirit.

Seven women with one thing in common—a highly aggressive form of breast cancer—are recruited for a clinical trial of a new drug. While the researcher measures its progress in terms of blood counts and tumour sizes, the subjects of her experiment, struggle to deal with the renewed dread that paradoxically accompanies this sudden glimmer of hope in their lives. As the group under goes the treatment they bond together into a community characterized not by medical statistics but by their human qualities of courage, humour, and wisdom.

By Maja Ardal

Directed by Kim Blackwell

World premiere

January 13-February 1, 2015



 



HER2 featured an all-star cast in a probing, heart-wrenching examination of the uneasy relationship between medical science and the human spirit.

Seven women with one thing in common—a highly aggressive form of breast cancer—are recruited for a clinical trial of a new drug. While the researcher measures its progress in terms of blood counts and tumour sizes, the subjects of her experiment, struggle to deal with the renewed dread that paradoxically accompanies this sudden glimmer of hope in their lives. As the group under goes the treatment they bond together into a community characterized not by medical statistics but by their human qualities of courage, humour, and wisdom.

HER2

By Maja Ardal

Directed by Kim Blackwell

World premiere

January 13-February 1, 2015



 



HER2 featured an all-star cast in a probing, heart-wrenching examination of the uneasy relationship between medical science and the human spirit.

Seven women with one thing in common—a highly aggressive form of breast cancer—are recruited for a clinical trial of a new drug. While the researcher measures its progress in terms of blood counts and tumour sizes, the subjects of her experiment, struggle to deal with the renewed dread that paradoxically accompanies this sudden glimmer of hope in their lives. As the group under goes the treatment they bond together into a community characterized not by medical statistics but by their human qualities of courage, humour, and wisdom.

Featuring Olunike Adeliyi, Diane D’Aquila, Monica Dottor, Kyra Harper, Brenda Kamino, Nancy Palk, Ellora Patnaik, Chick Reid, Maria Vacratsis and Bahareh Yaraghi



Olunike Adeliyi // Anya Born in Toronto, Olunike has studied at The Pro Actors Lab, the Lonsdale-Smith Studios, and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Theatre credits include: The Shadow Box, Wedding Band, and Macbeth to name a few. Other television credits include: Flashpoint, The Listener, Being Human, Republic of Doyle, Remedy, Lost Girl, and Saving Hope. Film credits include: SAW 3D, Three Days in Havana and French Immersion, which garnered her a Best Actress nomination at The Canadian Comedy Awards. Olunike was recently awarded the 2014 Black Canadian Award for Best Actress and is the proud creator of the Toronto Monologue Slam. Up next, 30th Birthday and Christmas Horror Story






Diane D’Aquila // Daphne 2015 will mark Ms. D’Aquila’s 43rd year in the theatre. She has worked coast to coast in Canada and the United States including such venues as the American Repertory Theatre, the Stratford Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and Buddies in Bad Times. Last season she played Volumnia in Coriolanus at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. where she received the Emery Battis Award for her performance. She recently played Leonato (as a man) in the Globe’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. Following HER2, Ms. D’Aquila will be seen in Theatre Rhea’s production Oregano.







Monica Dottor // Charlene/Choreographer Monica is a 6 time Dora Mavor Moore* award nominated actor (3X) & choreographer (3X) and one time Dora winner with The Penelopiad ensemble (Nightwood). Acting Credits: The Penelopiad* (Nightwood), Petrichor (Kitchenband), The Red Queen Effect, SCRATCH*, Featuring Loretta (Factory), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Overcoat*, The Middle Place (CanadianStage), Chekhov’s Heartache, Chekhov’s Shorts (Smith-Gilmour), Orphan Black (BBC America), The Shape of Rex (Factoria Films), Picture Day (Snitch Pictures-TIFF), Murdoch Mysteries, Saving Hope, Rookie Blue (CTV), Lost Girl (Showcase). Choreography: Glenn (Soulpepper), A Tender Thing (Soulpepper), The Penelopiad* (Nightwood), Craigslist Cantata*(Acting UpStage/Factory/NAC), MALARIA LULLABY (CompanyBlonde), The Red Queen Effect (7th Stage), The Russian Play* (Factory) The Real McCoy, Queen Marie, Wounded Soldier (4th Line)  Upcoming: Acting in The Bad Luck Bank Robbers (4th Line).



Kyra Harper // Frances Kyra Harper is a two time Dora Award best actress nominee who has worked in theatre and film/tv across Canada over a 45 year career. Her recent stage work includes Pacamombo for Canadian Rep Co; Farther West for Soulpepper; Rez Sisters at Factory; Vincent River for Carthorse at Tarragon (Dora nomination); Medea and Calendar Girls both at The Royal Alex. She recently finished shooting her second season of Hard Rock Medical for TVO and is currently shooting eight episodes of Orphan Black. She has also worked successfully as a director (her most recent direction was of Afterplay as a site specific production at the Campbell House last winter, named one of the Top Ten Productions by NOW Magazine and the Slotkin Citron Awards). Kyra is also a Board Member for Canadian Rep.





Brenda Kamino // Melissa (Minnie) Theatre Credits: Ching Chong Chinaman (fu-Gen Theatre); Nisei Blue (Alberta Theatre Projects); suicide notes (Summerworks - NOW Magazine’s Outstanding Performance); Petra and A Secret Life (Theatre Direct); Rashomon and Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles (Shaw Festival), dreams of blonde and blue and Bachelor Man (Theatre Passe Muraille), Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl (Cahoots Theatre), Naomi’s Road (YPT), Song for a Nisei Fishman (Theasian Arts), M Butterfly (Theatre Aquarius), Enemy Graces (Prairie Theatre Exchange), Yellow Fever (Canasian Artists).  Film and Television Credits: Lost Girl, Degrassi the Next Generation, Befriend and Betray (Pilot), Train 48, Hotel Babylon, Forever Knight, Kung Fu, Loser, Zero Patience, Street Legal and Mr. Dressup.





Nancy Palk // Dr. Danielle Pearce Nancy is very happy to be working at Nightwood with all of these amazing women. She is a Founding Member of Soulpepper Theatre, having performed most recently in A Tender Thing, The Crucible, Angels in America, Ghosts, Death of a Salesman, Glass Menagerie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Her directing credits there include White Biting Dog, True West and The Gigli Concert. Nancy has performed at Canstage, Tarragon, Shaw, Stratford, across Canada, and in NYC with Theatre for A New Audience and The New York Shakespeare Festival. She will be in Buddies upcoming production of Tom at the Farm by Michel Marc Bouchard. Film and Television: Reign, H20, Mary Silliman’s War. Graduate of NTS. Teaches at Tarragon, Humber, NTS and Soulpepper Academy.






Ellora Patnaik // Nurse Gabby Ellora Patnaik was born into an artistic family. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and was selected for Company in her third year. She has had a long and varied acting career on both stage and screen, with highlights such as My Own Country (Showtime) and Tapish: The Burning Desire (NS Films International). She played the tyrannical yet loving mother in the YTV sitcom, How to Be Indie. Ellora is among the most talented Indian Classical dancers of her generation and continues to teach and perform. She is happy to rejoin Nightwood Theatre once again after appearing in last season’s production of Free Outgoing.






Chick Reid // Naomi Chick is a seasoned veteran of classical work, having played major roles for ten seasons at the Stratford Festival of Canada (most recently Puck in Midsummer’s Night Dream), four seasons at the Shaw Festival and four seasons at Theatre Plus Toronto. Her career includes performing in regional theatres nationwide and the U.S. as well as numerous television appearances. Ms. Reid also teaches Playing Shakespeare and Acting for the Camera for the Drama Department at Queen’s University. Chick lives in Warkworth with her husband, Tom McCamus, and breeds Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. She dedicates her performance in HER2 to the memory of the glorious Goldie Semple.






Maria Vacratsis // Gloria Maria last appeared for Nightwood as Belladonna in The Happy Woman. Other theatre credits include Home, You Can’t Take It With You, Endgame, The Crucible, The Way of The World, A Flea In Her Ear, Twelfth Night, A Streetcar Named Desire (Soulpepper); Through The Leaves (Company Theatre); Tainted (GromKat); Slavs, Counter Service (Tarragon); The Piper, Hysterica, King Lear, Beating Heart Cadaver, Tout Comme Elle (Necessary Angel); The Golden Thug (Buddies); Such Creatures (Passe Muraille) and seasons at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals. She has received three Dora nominations including two wins. Maria has also had a long career in television and film with three Gemini nominations. Upcoming: Cake and Dirt by Daniel MacIvor (Tarragon Theatre).





Bahareh Yaraghi // Kate Bahareh is so proud to be working alongside all these incredible women. She was most recently seen performing in ARC’s Irish family drama, Moment. Last year, Bahareh was honoured with two Dora Award nominations and was featured as the top “10 Artists to Watch” in NOW for Summerworks ‘13. Selected theatre: Minotaur (YPT) (Dora nominated); The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre); Bea (ARC); Les Zinspirés (Théâtre Français de Toronto); Hallaj (Modern Times/ Buddies); Prisoner of Tehran (TPM/ Contrary Company); Homeland (Vancouver Fringe); R&J, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (SIA). Bahareh is an ARC Resident Artist, a graduate of Humber Theatre, and holds a BA from McGill. Upcoming: Blood Wedding (Modern Times/Aluna Theatre).  .




       


















HER2

By Maja Ardal

Directed by Kim Blackwell

World premiere

January 13-February 1, 2015



 



HER2 featured an all-star cast in a probing, heart-wrenching examination of the uneasy relationship between medical science and the human spirit.

Seven women with one thing in common—a highly aggressive form of breast cancer—are recruited for a clinical trial of a new drug. While the researcher measures its progress in terms of blood counts and tumour sizes, the subjects of her experiment, struggle to deal with the renewed dread that paradoxically accompanies this sudden glimmer of hope in their lives. As the group under goes the treatment they bond together into a community characterized not by medical statistics but by their human qualities of courage, humour, and wisdom.

Playwright Maja Ardal
Director Kim Blackwell
Set & Costume Design Julia Tribe
Lighting Design Kim Purtell
Sound Design Jennifer Gillmor
Projection Design Denyse Karn
Stage Manager Melissa Rood
Assistant Director Sascha Cole
Apprentice Stage Manager Melissa Convery
Production Manager Charissa Wilcox




Maja Ardal // Playwright Maja wrote and performs the hit show You Fancy Yourself; Edinburgh Fringe, UK Tour, GCTC Ottawa 2013 (*Dora Award). She also wrote and performs The Cure for Everything (*Dora nomination); Theatre Passe Muraille 2010, Los Angeles in September 2011. Playwrights Canada Press publishes both plays. Maja is Playwright in Residence at 4th Line Theatre writing The Hero of Hunter Street for the 2016 season. She adapted and co-directed Prisoner of Tehran, produced in 2012 by Contrary Company/Theatre Passe Muraille. Playwright of Midnight Sun in 2001; Tarragon Theatre and The National Arts Centre. The play has since been translated and produced in Iceland. Maja was the Artistic Director of Young People’s Theatre 1990-98, interim Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre 2007-8, and for 7 seasons appeared in The Road to Avonlea, as Mrs. Potts. She is the Resident Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille.




Kim Blackwell // Director Kim Blackwell is Managing Artistic Director at 4th Line Theatre – 2015 marks her 21st season. She has directed 13 productions including five world premieres. Selected 4th Line credits include: directing: The Real McCoy, Queen Marie, St. Francis of Millbrook, The Berlin Blues, The Right Road to Pontypool, Schoolhouse, The Art of Silent Killing, That Summer, Crow Hill and The Cavan Blazers. Other directing credits: The Ugly Man, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Poor Super Man, Unidentified Human Remains… She also directed a sold-out run of Freedom 85! in the 2008 Fringe Festival and at the 2009 New York City Frigid Festival where it received the Audience Choice Award and See It Twice Award. Kim has twice been nominated for John Hirsch Award for Directing Excellence. Upcoming she will be directing Alex Poch-Goldin’s The Bad Luck Bank Robbers and Robert Winslow’s Gimme That Primetime Religion.



Julia Tribe // Set & Costume Design Julia Tribe is a freelance set & costume designer based in Toronto, Canada, with over twenty-five years’ experience designing for Theatre, Opera and Dance. She has received recognition in major companies across Canada and some of her most innovative work has been showcased in the following productions: Obeah Opera (B Current) Opera to Go (Tapestry New Opera Works); Tono (Red Sky Productions, Banff Centre/ Luminato/ Beijing & Vancouver Olympics); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage Company); da Kink in my Hair (Mirvish Productions, Princess of Wales Theatre/ Hackney Empire in London); In the Freedom of Dreams & Whale (Young Peoples Theatre); Belle (Factory Theatre & National Arts Centre); The School for Wives (Soulpepper); and Ariadne auf Naxos (Canadian Opera Company). Julia has received seven Dora nominations, shared two Dora Awards for Outstanding Production. Presently Part-time faculty, Theatre Program, York University and pursuing her Master in Expressive Art Therapy, EGS European Graduate School, Switzerland. http://www.juliatribe.com



Kim Purtell// Lighting Designer Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance.  Previously with Nightwood Kimberly designed the lights for The Carousel, The Penelopiad, The Happy Woman, The List, That Face, Wild Dogs, Crave and the workshop of Obeah Opera. Elsewhere, most recent credits include Alice Through The Looking Glass (NAC & Stratford Festival), Concord Floral (Suburban Beast), Man of La Mancha, Christina The Girl King (Stratford Festival), What Makes A Man (Necessary Angel), NSFW (Studio 180), Sextet (Tarragon Theatre), A Craigslist Cantata (NAC/CItadel/ATP), Twelve Angry Men (Soulpepper). She is a recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award and three Dora Mavor Moore Awards.






Jennifer Gillmor // Sound Design Jennifer’s musical exploration has covered rich and varied territory. She is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed and recorded in projects ranging from funk to folk, rock to reggae, music influenced by traditions of African and Celtic cultures as well as experimental projects that can draw few comparisons. Jen has composed and recorded for film, video, dance, theatre and multimedia projects. This is her second position as sound designer/composer for a Nightwood production, having worked on Wild Dogs directed by Kelly Thornton in 2008. Jen recently released her first solo album High Road Haven. Her duo Jennis released The Current in May 2014 and is currently performing throughout Southern Ontario. http://www.jengillmormusic.ca







Denyse Karn // Projection Design Denyse has been working as a set/costume/projection designer in Canadian theatre for over 30 years. She is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School and has her BFA from NSCAD University. She has been nominated for seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards and received a Dora for her design of Phoenix Cabaret (Cahoots Theatre). She has received five Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards for various Outstanding Designs. Recent Credits include: NSFW (Studio180), The Carousel, The List, The Penelopiad, Happy Woman (Nightwood Theatre); Stop Heart (Factory Theatre); Winter’s Tale (Canadian Stage Company); Top Girls (Manitoba Theatre Centre). Upcoming: Twisted (Factory Theatre); Watershed (Crow’s Theatre).





Melissa Rood // Stage Manager Last year, Melissa worked on the American premiere of Christopher Plummer’s one-man show A Word or Two (Center Theater Group); the English Premieres of The Carousel (Nightwood Theatre) and Christina, the Girl King (Stratford Festival); and the World Premiere of Stickboy (Vancouver Opera). HER2 marks Rood’s fifth collaboration with Nightwood, including The Danish Play and The Penelopiad. Her theatre travels span from the Middle East to Arctic, from English to Inuktitut, from opera to horror clown. Upcoming: The Diary of Anne Frank, and Kate Hennig’s new play The Last Wife in Melissa’s 15th season with the Stratford Festival. A graduate of Sheridan College (Technical Production) and University of Waterloo (Social Work), Melissa is also a high-performance paddler and Festival City Rollergirl. This production is dedicated to the memory of fellow late-bloomer, Aunt Trudie.





Sascha Cole // Assistant Director Sascha is so grateful to Kim and Nightwood for inviting her to be part of this process. She is a Dora-nominated actress based in Toronto whose favourite credits include: Anne Carson’s Antigonick (SummerWorks), New Jerusalem (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company), Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet (GCTC), In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play (Same Day Theatre-Ottawa), Shakespeare’s Nigga (Obsidian Theatre), Post Eden (Suburban Beast-Next Stage Festival), Dutchman (lemonTree Creations), Bethune Imagined (Factory Theatre), Rock N Roll (Canadian Stage/Citadel), and Whale Music (Seventh Stage). For film/TV: Killjoys, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries, The Family, The Great War, and Clarissa. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.






Melissa Convery // Apprentice Stage Manager Theatre Credits: Billy Bishop Goes to War (Theatre Aquarius); The Addams Family, Calendar Girls (The Grand Theatre); Time Stands Still (Eclectic Theatre -Toronto Fringe Festival); Menopositive! The Musical (Theatre Orangeville); Here to Hear (Carousel Players); Educating Rita (Lyndesfarne Theatre Projects); Animal Farm, Our Town (Lyndesfarne Young Company); InspiraTO Festival (Alumnae Mainstage); Commotion (Gyllian Raby and Carousel Players). Melissa is a graduate of Brock University’s BA Theatre Program. She would like to thank her husband Rob, as well as family and friends for their on-going support.







Charissa Wilcox // Production Manager Charissa has worked at Buddies (BIBT) for the past seventeen years. She has been the Head of Production for this Queer Canadian Theatre since 2005 and currently holds the same position. Additional Production Management credits include; Studio 180, Native Earth of Performing Arts, Summerworks’ Theatre Festival, Outspoke Productions, Cartier Dance, Circus Orange, Criminal Theatre and Operation Snatch. This is Charissa’s third production with Nightwood Theatre.

       


















HER2

By Maja Ardal

Directed by Kim Blackwell

World premiere

January 13-February 1, 2015



 



HER2 featured an all-star cast in a probing, heart-wrenching examination of the uneasy relationship between medical science and the human spirit.

Seven women with one thing in common—a highly aggressive form of breast cancer—are recruited for a clinical trial of a new drug. While the researcher measures its progress in terms of blood counts and tumour sizes, the subjects of her experiment, struggle to deal with the renewed dread that paradoxically accompanies this sudden glimmer of hope in their lives. As the group under goes the treatment they bond together into a community characterized not by medical statistics but by their human qualities of courage, humour, and wisdom.

Our onstage post-show conversations were a huge success featuring an array of dynamic and inspiring women. The HER2 events included:

It Takes a Village: The Immeasurable Impact of Community on Immunity

HER2 playwright, Maja Ardal posits “During my cancer treatments I found that the chemotherapy rooms were full of isolated individuals. I wondered, what would happen if a group of women spent their treatment time together? I read about clinical trials with cancer patients in one room receiving the drug. This captured my imagination. The theme became clear. Can community well-being encourage immunity? Is scientific research willing to accept the idea?”

Dr. Mavis Himes, practicing psychoanalyst and former program director of Wellspring, probes this provocative and insightful question from the perspectives of both the counsellor and the patient/survivor.

Panelists
Dr. Mavis Himes (Moderator) – Psychoanalyst, Author, and Consultant to Wellsping
Claire Edmonds Ph.D. – Psychotherapist, program developer and leader at Wellspring
Naomi Campbell – Director of Artistic Development at Luminato, Cancer Patient and Survivor
Melanie Blair – Cancer Patient and Survivor


Sexuality, Self-image and Survival: Young Women and Breast Cancer

Jen Lagzdins, of Rethink Breast Cancer leads this provocative discussion surrounding body image and sexuality following breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. With statistic showing more women under 40 getting breast cancer, Shawna investigates the specific challenges and triumphs in the journey of young woman towards survival.

Panelists
Jen Lagzdins (Moderator) – Support + Education Programs Coordinator, Rethink Breast Cancer
Kimberley Cullen – Doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology, specializing in sexuality with respect to female cancers
Kim Sedgwick – Red Tent Sisters, Holistic Fertility and Sexuality
Additional panelist to be confirmed

*All Panels are generously sponsored by the J.P. Bickell Foundation



*Art Exhibit THE ORACLE an exhibition of Carol Mark’s photography during HER2

Feminist Art Conference (FAC) has partnered with Nightwood Theatre to present The Oracle – an exhibition of Carol Mark’s photography at Buddies in Bad Times during the run of HER2.
Carol Mark is an activist for women and children’s human rights. Carol believes Art can change the world with the voice of women. Carol was the founder of ACA Gallery, the first social enterprise art gallery to use profits to create change including women with breast cancer to building a girls library in Afghanistan partnered with FemAid, France.

Presently, Carol is partnering with Natures Palate to launch Primal Tea with a percentage of profits towards health and nutrition programs for women with breast cancer under Tea with Integrity. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

The FAC is a yearly multidisciplinary feminist art conference that inspires sharing networking and collaboration. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

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