The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir
SkirtsAfire Festival MainStage Production
February 27-March 8, 2020
Westbury Theatre, Fringe Theatre Adventures
ATB Financial Arts Barns, 10310 83 Ave NW
Tickets on sale in December. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know!
Adults $27, Students/Seniors $21 (plus applicable fees)
*Pay What You Can performance on Tuesday, March 3
The Blue Hour by Michele Vance Hehir is a timely, funny, complicated and ultimately heartbreaking story that takes place in the fictional small town of Roseglen, Alberta, circa 1947/48. The story centres around a young boy fighting for his own survival, that of his overworked single mother and of his older sister who’s aching to escape her confined world. The Blue Hour explores the desire for love, its betrayal and the enduring realization that hope matters.
“The Blue Hour” won the Alberta Playwriting competition in 2017 and was one of the chosen plays in SkirtsAfire’s play development series “Peep Show” in 2018.
Cast & Crew
MICHELE VANCE HEHIR
Michele won first place in the 2017 annual Alberta Playwrights’ Network competition for her full-length play, The Blue Hour. In 2012 she was invited to take part in The Citadel Theatre’s Playwrights Forum (2012/13) with playwright Colleen Murphy and director/actor Brian Dooley, where she developed and worked on The Blue Hour. Michele has written and directed several critically acclaimed Edmonton Fringe shows, Ruminations of Maud, Ruminations of Gayle, Sonofabitch, Ruination: 3 Short Stories and One Polaroid. Her monologue, The Pee Pee Boy was part of Encounters at the Citadel Theatre (2016) and her monologue, Talkin’ to Harry was in SkirtsAfire’s MainStage production of The Mommy Monologues (2017). Michele worked with SkirtsAfire in previous years, with two of her plays, Deena’s Playhouse and Little Hooks getting workshops and staged readings through Peep Show!
Michele Vance Hehir
Born in Quebec and raised in Northern Ontario, Colleen won the 2016 and the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for English Language Drama for her plays Pig Girl and The December Man / L’homme de décembre respectively. Both plays were also awarded a Carol Bolt Award. Other plays included The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, Bright Burning, Armstrong’s War, The Goodnight Bird, The Piper and Beating Heart Cadaver, which was short-listed for a Governor General’s Award. She is also a librettist (Oksana G., Fantasma) and an award-winning filmmaker (The Feeler, Shoemaker, Girl with Dog). She has been Writer-in-Residence in six Canadian universities and Playwright-in-Residence at two Canadian theatres as well as at Finborough Theatre in the UK.
Annette is the Artistic Director of SkirtsAfire Festival and one of its founding members. She is thrilled to be directing the premiere production of Michele Vance Hehir’s beautiful play, The Blue Hour, with such an incredible team of artists. Annette has been a producer and curator for the festival since 2013. She also wrote Bath Time for The Mommy Monologues in 2017 and performed in SkirtsAfire’s premiere of The Mothers in 2015. As an actor, some of her favorite shows include Fly Me to the Moon (Shadow Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre), The Passion of Mary (Writer & Performer, The Roxy) and Rabbit Hole (ATP, Calgary). Annette is also a co-founder of the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, with whom favorite roles include Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Sterling nomination), Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, Portia in Merchant of Venice, Hermione in A Winter’s Tale, Rosalind in As You Like It, and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III. She was recently named a Woman of Vision with Global Television and was one of three finalists for the Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award of Excellence in Shakespeare. Annette is a graduate of the U of A’s BFA acting program.
Helen Belay is an actor and storyteller that has been playing with words and obsessed with all things beautiful since she was a wee babe in Bedford, England. Thrilled to be working with the tour de force that is the SkirtsAFire Festival, she looks forward to exploring the town of Roseglen for all its richness and complexity. A recent graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program, her recent credits include: The Drowning Girls (Edmonton Fringe), Middletown, All For Love, Lenin’s Embalmers (Studio Theatre), Concord Floral (Edmonton Fringe), Off’d On Whyte (Found Festival), The Gooseberry (Nextfest), Beatnik Emporium, Romeo and Juliet, and The Miser (University of Alberta).
Isaac received his training at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. Upon his graduation he was invited to join the elite Company for a third year of conservatory performances, where he was tutored by Tony award winner & Oscar nominee Frank Langella, among others. Before moving stateside Isaac attended Victoria School of the Arts, was part of the Citadel Theatre Young Company and premiered the Sterling award winning work The Frequency of Water. Select credits include: Port Authority (Forces of Chaos – Fringe holdover), Edward III, Tales of Edgar Allen Poe (Hudson Shakespeare Co. – Tour), King John (Hamlet Isn’t Dead Co.), Bad Jews (Mannie Greenfield Theatre). Isaac is delighted to be involved in bringing an exceptional new work to life! He wishes to thank his wife & family for their unwavering support.
NICOLE ST. MARTIN
Most recently, Nicole played Simone-Alice in L’UniThéâtre’s Simone et le whole shebang. Other stage credits include her Sterling Award nominated performance as Tracey in Sweat (Citadel Theatre and The Arts Club Vancouver), Genevieve in Do This In Memory of Me (Northern Light Theatre / L’UniThéâtre), Anxiety (Theatre Yes), Bello (Young People’s Theatre, UniTheatre, Concrete Theatre), Antigonick, Moderato Cantabile (Guilty By Association Summerworks), WASP (Le Fixe).
Some of her film & TV credits include Ursula McQueen in Murdoch Mysteries, Played, Sunday Punch. She can be seen as Sergeant Remy in the new Netflix series VWars (soon to be released). Nicole graduated from Drama Centre London (UK) in which she trained at both the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Moscow’s Vakhtangov Institute.
Nicole St. Martin
Ian Leung is excited to be part of SkirtsAfire this year. Recent credits include Daedalus in Slight of Mind (Theatre Yes), King Berenger in Exit the King (Studio Theatre), Wormold in Our Man in Havana (Bright Young Things), Professor Ogawa in Pugwash (Ship’s Company Theatre) and Trigorin in Stupid F**king Bird (Edmonton Actors Theatre).
Bonnie is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School and Grant MacEwan University. Bonnie’s love of theatre has taken her all the way to Indonesia to study Balinese shadow puppetry and dance. For the last four years she has been living and training in Toronto and she is so happy to be returning home to the land of wide skies and green onion cakes. When she’s not chasing her theater fix she can be found hanging out with her foster cat Dooley or listening to podcasts. Favourite credits include; Miss Julie (University of Alberta), Code Word: Time (NextFest Arts Co.), Polite Boys (Mischief Managed Productions/Edmonton Fringe), Ruminations of Maude and Other Short Stories (the other theatre/Edmonton Fringe), Don Carlos and Candide(George Brown Theatre).
Robert is grateful to be doing his first show with SkirtsAfire. He has worked with Freewill Shakespeare (6 seasons, most recently The Winter’s Tale & Two Gentlemen of Verona), Firefly Theatre & Circus (Inferno), Citadel (A Christmas Carol & Shakespeare in Love), Blarney (Tragedy: a tragedy & Scaramouche Jones), Edmonton Actors Theatre (Terry and the Dog & Stupid F**king Bird), Wild Side (10 Out Of 12, The Realistic Joneses & Passion Play), and Theatre Network (Where the Blood Mixes), as well as other companies over the years from Vancouver to Ottawa.
This is a Skirts debut for Elinor. Select credits elsewhere: PIG GIRL, Theatre Network, THE SOUL COLLECTOR, Catalyst Theatre, THE ECSTATICS, Northern Light Theatre, FLY ME TO THE MOON, Shadow Theatre, MATARA, Workshop West Theatre, SWEENEY TODD, Vertigo Theatre, TO THE LIGHT, Alberta Theatre Projects, THE HUMANS, Theatre Calgary, BOY GETS GIRL, Theatre Junction, THE PINK UNICORN, Lunch Box Theatre, DRINKING HABITS, Stage West Theatre, SHAKESPEARE’S WILL, Sage Theatre, URINE TOWN, Ground Zero/Hit&Myth, HELEN’S NECKLACE, Handsome Alice Theatre, THE PIPER, Downstage Theatre, LILIA!, Rosebud Theatre, BINGO LADIES, Hudson Village Theatre, BECKY’S NEW CAR, Theatre North West, OUR TOWN, Caravan Farm Theatre, ROMEO&JULIET, The Globe Theatre, SK. Elinor is a co-founder of Concrete Theatre, Evergreen Theatre and Dirty Laundry, The Improvised Soaps in Calgary, where she lives with her husband, children and pups.
SET & COSTUME DESIGN
Megan Koshka is a freelance Canadian theatre designer, based in Edmonton Alberta. She is a part of the Associated Designers of Canada and is a graduate from the University of Alberta with a degree in set, costume and lighting design (BFA).
Select credits include set design for 9 to 5 (MacEwan University), production design for Blood: A Scientific Romance (The Maggie Tree), and Workshop West’s premiere of Pretty Goblins, and costume design for the Ukrainian Shumka Dancer’s premiere of Ancestors and Elders.
Set & Costume Design
T. ERIN GRUBER
T. Erin Gruber is an award-winning theatre designer with experience in set, lighting, costume and projected media design. A graduate with distinction of the University of Alberta and a member of the board of directors of the Associated Designers of Canada. Her theatre projects have toured locally and internationally and in June 2019 her design work was featured at the Prague Quadrennial International Design Exhibition. Currently touring projects: Café Daughter (Production Design, Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre) and BEARS (Production Design, Punctuate Theatre and Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts). Recent award winning projects: Métis Mutt (Projected Media Design, Theatre Network/One Little Indian Productions, Sterling Award for Outstanding Production of a Play), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Set, Lighting and Costume Design, Citadel Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Sterling Award for Lighting Design), Category E (Production Design, Maggie Tree Collective, Sterling Awards for Lighting and Projected Media Design). For more information visit her online: www.eringruber.com, www.showstages.com.
T. Erin Gruber
COMPOSER & MUSIC DIRECTOR
Binaifer is a Canadian Musician who holds extensive credits for composition in theatre, radio, and film.
A graduate from the University of Alberta Bachelor of Music program, Ms Kapadia has resided in Edmonton for many years, where she has enjoyed a prolific career as a Composer, Musical director, Performer, and Educator.
She has worked in various capacities in numerous Edmonton and area theatres, including the Citadel Theatre, Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Theatre Network, Northern Light Theatre, Workshop West Theatre, Free Will Shakespeare Festival, and Keyano Theatre. She has collaborated alongside other artists to co-produce and/or compose music for several new works. Selected favourite credits include: The Passion of Mary, written by Annette Loiselle (Roxy Theatre), The Little Mermaid (Harry Ainlay School), The Busy World is Hushed (Northern Light Theatre), A Giraffe in Paris (Citadel Theatre), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Free Will Shakespeare Festival).
Ms Kapadia has also composed music for a number of short films as well as drama for CBC radio, which have aired nationally. Favourite credits among these include: A Fine Balance (CBC radio, 2004), Passion and Cold Soup (CBC radio, 1997), With Frogs and Fishes (Underwater Productions, 1992, AMPIA Nomination). She is one of the original founding members of Azimuth Theatre (1989 – 1995), where she co-wrote and co-produced several new plays.
She has been an instructor for Artstrek, and guest artist in a number of Edmonton Schools, where she continues her work as a music director, composer, and artist in residence. She also currently teaches at the Foote Theatre School at the Citadel, where she has worked for over 20 years.
Binaifer has received a number of Sterling Award Nominations, is the recipient of three Sterling Awards, and a co-recipient for a Solicitor General of Canada Crime Prevention Special Recognition Award.
Composer & Music Director
Aaron Macri is an award-winning composer, and sound designer.
Aaron has been nominated & awarded for his music & sound design in theatre, television & film. Most recently awarded best sound design in 2018 for the short film Handmade Film at both the Hollywood North Film Awards, and Redline International Film Festival.
Aaron composed songs and music for the Dora Award-winning Musical Comedy BoyGroove and won a GLAAD media award for Bash’d! a gay rap opera in 2007. He was nominated for an AMPIA award for music for seasons one and three of the sketch TV show CAUTION: May Contain Nuts, broadcast nationally on APTN. He has also received AMPIA nominations for his music on the feature length film Truck Stop Bloodsuckers on Bite TV, the first season of the series Tiny Plastic Men on Super Channel & both the pilot of & first season of Delmer & Marta on APTN.
Sang-Sang is excited to be working on her first production with SkirtsAfire. Select credits include Disgraced-ATP; Tempest, Redpatch, Hadestown, Mamma Mia!, Sense and Sensibility, Million Dollar Quartet, West Side Story, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Avenue Q, One Man, Two Guvnors, Spamalot, Private Lives, The Sound of Music, and Rocky Horror- Citadel; Honour Beat-Theatre Calgary; Salt Baby-Globe Theatre, Songs My Mother Never Sung Me, Antessy-Concrete Theatre; Hamlet, Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear-Freewill Shakespeare; Don Giovanni-COSI; Hunchback-Catalyst Theatre.
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
Kaylie is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta Stage Management Program. Based out of Edmonton; Kaylie loves having the opportunity to try her hand at any and all technical theatre roles, and is excited to have the opportunity to work with the SkirtsAfire team on this production.
Kaylie is currently the Resident Sound Designer of Kerosene Theatre, she has also been extremely fortunate to gain experience working in a number of different roles with companies such as Good Women Dance Collective, Theatre Network, Firefly: Dance & Circus, Magpie Theatre Company. Haven Theatre Society, Opera NUOVA, Edmonton Opera, The Citadel Theatre, Regina Globe Theatre and more!