Stageworthy is a podcast about people in Canadian theatre. On the podcast, host Phil Rickaby talks to people who have pursued various theatre careers, from actors to directors to playwrights to stage managers and everything in between and beyond. Each episode explores the draw of the theatre for each individual, together with an examination of the personalities, opinions, and passions unique to theatre practitioners.


  • #392 – Katie Kerr & Matthew Stodolak

    05/12/2023 Duración: 53min

    Get ready for a holiday treat! This week, host Phil Rickaby chats with Katie Kerr and Matthew Stodolak, as they share the behind-the-scenes details of their new holiday musical, "Chris, Mrs.", a delightful fusion of elements from The Santa Clause and The Sound of Music. We also discuss their unique musical backgrounds and how their differences complement each other perfectly in creating a heartwarming musical experience. Venture with us as we examine the journey of creating a new Christmas musical in the era of COVID. We highlight the importance of human connection and family traditions during the holiday season and how the pandemic inspired the focus of our musical. Discover how the limited number of original Christmas musicals opened up an opportunity for us to contribute to new holiday traditions. We also share our personal experiences with theatre and Christmas, including our sources of inspiration for the songs in the musical. The final part of our conversation provides insights into the busine

  • #391 – Alicia Richardson & Amaka Umeh

    28/11/2023 Duración: 01h07min

    Join host Phil Rickaby as he talks with the playwright of Sweeter, Alicia Richardson and Assistant Director Amaka Umeh who enlighten us on the creative process behind the play. Set in 1887 Florida, this magical and surreal tale of a talking mango tree and a 7-year-old black girl tackles themes of black womanhood and growing up black. The origins of Sweeter trace back to an ambitious exercise where Alicia penned seven plays in seven days, with many forming the foundation for her other work, Articulation. We also talk about Amaka's journey to joining the production as assistant director, and the thrill and challenge of bringing a theatre production to life. From a short piece to a full-scale production, the evolution of a play is indeed a labor of love. The value of versatility and embracing multiple passions in the theatre world are also discussed. Our conversation takes an intriguing turn as we explore the art of creating distinct character voices in a new play, and the significance of representation and dive

  • #390 – Emily Hughes

    21/11/2023 Duración: 59min

    From an early encounter with a circus camp as a child, Emily Hughes delved into the world of theatre and circus, fusing both worlds in her performances and creations. As an introverted artist with an electrifying presence on stage, Emily tells us about her upcoming solo performance, Goodbye Esther, a production that brilliantly captures complex emotions associated with mortality. We get close and personal, exploring the roots of this enchanting play and how Emily has navigated the exhilarating yet daunting world of solo performance. Emily's story is not just about her. It's about the compelling fusion of circus and theatre, and how this marriage of disciplines has culminated in her solo show. This episode is an exciting journey through the world of multidisciplinary art, where reality seems to merge with magic, embracing the weird and the unique. We also discuss the liberating world of clowning and its transformative impact, offering an escape into a realm filled with laughter and freedom. As we move deeper i

  • #389 – Tara Travis & Christine Lesiak

    14/11/2023 Duración: 46min

    Join us as we journey into the realm of theatre with our guests, Christine and Tara, known for their captivating portrayal of Cinderella's Stepsisters. Listen as they share the fascinating inception of their theatre piece, from a casual suggestion by Christine's partner, Ian, to the full-fledged, unique production it is today. Get a sneak peek into the process of creating their otherworldly costumes, described as a "mobile set in and of itself", and discover the backstory of the Stepsisters that breathes life into their performance. Immerse yourself in the challenges and triumphs of transitioning from fringe to large-scale theatre productions. Christine and Tara share their experiences of developing their characters and the evolving dynamics of their roles. Discover the crucial role of imagery in theatre, particularly how it captures audience attention, and the differences they've experienced working with larger teams and funding. Lastly, we talk about their mentoring experiences in the French thea

  • #388 – Stephen Near & Aaron Joel Craig

    07/11/2023 Duración: 53min

    Ever wondered about the journey of a play from its birth to the stage? Join us as we chat with Stephen Near and Aaron Joel Craig from Same Boat Theatre about their play, Whale Fall. Listen to their insights on the evolution of Whale Fall, from its inception to performances at Hamilton Fringe and then Vancouver Fringe. Discover the story behind their Critics Pick Award and the successful Kickstarter campaign that propelled their show to Vancouver. Get a glimpse into the emotional response Whale Fall elicited from audiences and the team's thoughts on its future. Fasten your seat belts as we journey with Stephen and Aaron to their Vancouver Fringe Festival experience. Hear firsthand about their adventures as a performing duo on a fringe that's not home and how it exposed them to new ideas and performers. Tag along as they explore Vancouver and the thrill they felt in discovering they've nailed the city's details in their play. As we wrap up, prepare for an enlightening discussion on the insights they've gathered

  • #387 – Tatum Lee

    31/10/2023 Duración: 49min

    This week, we're talking to actor and director, Tatum Lee. Brace yourself as we plunge into the making of The Drowning Girls, her spine-chilling production at Toronto's Red Sandcastle Theatre. A tale of horror, a timeless exploration of societal issues, and a love letter to the stage, this episode unravels the layers of creativity, challenge, and passion that went into the staging of this eerie play. Tatum's childhood fascination with Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West and how it fuels her love for the horror genre make for an intriguing discussion you won't want to miss. But the drama doesn't stop there. Join us as we contrast her experience directing The Drowning Girls with The Elephant Man, two riveting productions with starkly different challenges. Discover the importance of dialogue, the dynamics of actor-director relationships, and the delicate art of handling heavy themes from a director's point of view. Tatum's insight into theatre as a mirror to society, and a tool to evoke emotion and addr

  • #386 – Meghan Greeley

    24/10/2023 Duración: 57min

    Have you ever wondered how a novel can transform into a theatrical masterpiece? Queer writer, performer, and director, Megan Greeley, joins us to share her fascinating journey of adapting her novel, Jawbone, into a play. We uncover the layers of a young girl navigating platonic and romantic feelings in the absence of queer representation, and challenge the societal taboos around male bonding and physical affection. We then move on to examine the exhaustion and solitude that comes with writing a solo show and the celebration of rediscovering the supportive theatre community. Megan draws upon her theatre background to breathe life into her narratives, reminding us of the power of storytelling and performance. We also delve into her experiences with the TNL Youth theatre program and how it revealed a creative dimension within her that she hadn't previously explored. In the final segment, we explore the realities of pursuing a career in the performing arts, looking at the highs, the lows, and everything in betwe

  • #385 – S. E. Grummett

    17/10/2023 Duración: 52min

    Step into the spotlight with Grumms, a queer, transgender artist, as we traverse the stages of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and navigate the world of theatre and performance. Join us on a journey that's as captivating as it is insightful. Grums pulls back the curtain on their award-winning season at the festival and shares the emotional roller coaster that is the month-long experience. They illuminate the mental toll and the comparative nature of the festival, offering a glimpse into a performer's psyche during what's considered the most competitive of the Fringe Circuits. We then pivot our spotlight to the importance of queer stories and how comedy can be an influential tool for expressing significant themes and messages. Grums expounds on their play, 'Scum & Manifesto', and how it strives to challenge the gender binary and empower its audience. As we delve deeper into the conversation, we also touch on the rise of anti-trans and anti-queer rhetoric, emphasizing the crucial need for representation and u

  • #384 – liza paul

    10/10/2023 Duración: 48min

    Ever wondered about the hidden journey a joke takes before it lands with roaring laughter? Join us, as we, together with our exceptional guest liza paul, peel back the curtain on the world of Canadian comedy - an art form celebrated as a societal equalizer yet struggling against underfunding. We delve into the grit and dedication it takes for a comedian to craft a joke, ensuring it not only elicits a laugh but resonates with audiences far and wide. Thriving in the world of performing arts is no easy feat, a truth we uncover as we draw intriguing parallels between the theatre and stand-up comedy. Liza enlightens us about the ephemeral nature of these arts, and the fascinating process comedians undertake – rehearsing, refining, and reworking a joke until it achieves its full comedic potential. This process mirrors the artistry in theatre, where resources are meticulously combined to create something truly captivating. We also discuss Liza's inspiring journey from Associate Producer at Soulpepper, to the Curator

  • #383 – Joshua Chong

    03/10/2023 Duración: 59min

    Join us on this rich and provocative journey as we unravel the intricacies of the Toronto theatre scene with Joshua Chong, a seasoned reporter and performing arts critic from the Toronto Star. Our dialogue takes us into the heart of Toronto’s performing arts world, uncovering how initiatives like ticket deals and special offers are opening doors for diverse audiences. We look at the struggles and triumphs of prominent companies like the Canadian Stage, Soulpepper, National Ballet, and Mirvish in their quest to broaden their appeal and make theatre more accessible. In this episode we talk about the challenges theatres faced during the pandemic, the decline in subscription audiences, and the pressing need to attract diverse viewers. With the rise in streaming services, we also discuss how to keep theatre relevant and make it a habit for people. We explore the risks and rewards of programming daring works and the need for the stage to reflect the diversity of the audience. Listen in for an enriching discussion

  • #382 – Taylor Marie Graham

    26/09/2023 Duración: 54min

    This week, host Phil Rickaby chats with award-winning playwright, Taylor Marie Graham. We take a thrilling deep dive into the heart of her play, "Corporate Finch," dissecting the complexities of its characters' relationship, the chilling plot within the confines of an abandoned factory, and how a 22-hour writing competition was instrumental in overcoming the writer's block that initially haunted her creation process. Taylor gives us her unique perspective on horror on stage, bringing to light the innovative ways she employed the physical space of the theatre to heighten suspense and tension. Our discussion takes a fascinating turn as we explore the potential of horror in theatre, drawing from the traditional presentations of horror in the theatre before film took the reins. Taylor shares her insights on how live audience, coupled with light and sound manipulation, can escalate the thrill of the genre. We also delve into the interesting challenge of staying one step ahead of the genre, and the excite

  • #381 – Patrick Blenkarn & Milton Lim

    19/09/2023 Duración: 01h05min

    This week Phil Rickaby chats with Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim about asses.masses, a unique theatrical experience that sits at the intersection of video game and theatre. This episode promises to uncover the layers of this innovative game-meets-stage play and will leave you questioning your perceptions of traditional theatrical conventions. Expect to be drawn into a world where the audience becomes the performers, engaging in a live, interactive video game that requires the negotiation of power within the story, all while remaining enjoyable to watch for the non-participants. As we navigate through the mechanics and origin of asses.masses, you will also find yourselves questioning prevalent stereotypes about the humble donkey. Commonly misconceived as stubborn and unsmart, our fascinating exploration of the donkey as a symbol of labor initiates insightful discussions about digital labor and its implications today. Coupled with the intriguing concept of game show mediation and audience involvement, this epi

  • #380 – Ryan M. Sero

    12/09/2023 Duración: 01h04min

    This week on the podcast, host Phil Rickaby talks to writer, actor, and friend of the podcast, Ryan M. Sero. We're taking an in-depth look into his upcoming production, Best Bard Bits, and peeling back the curtain on his one-man show. Listen in as we navigate the challenges of writing for theatre, from staging combat scenes to making a silent character intriguing, and the pressure of creating an unforgettable experience for the audience. Immerse yourself in the artistry of live theatre as we explore the relationship between the performer and the audience, and how breaking the fourth wall transforms the viewer's journey. Ryan reveals his knack for creating scenes of chaos through the smallest of moments and how Best Bard Bits is the embodiment of this talent. We'll also dive into the importance of supporting independent creators, and the crucial role experts play when firearms are used onstage. In this enlightening episode, we’ll also address the creative and logistical challenges Ryan faced when producing his

  • #379 – Deborah Shaw and David Agro

    05/09/2023 Duración: 51min

    Deborah Shaw Since graduating from Theatre Humber, Deborah has been involved in many productions in Toronto as an actor, stage manager and costumier. Creating and performing in her own work has been a particular joy. She was a founding member of Carpe Dinero (commedia dell’arte), as co-director, co-writer and performer. Deborah has also been the Entertainment Director for the Pirate Festival, and she debuted the role of Susan in the world premiere of the Samuel French Inc. Canadian Play Contest winner, A Year In The Death Of Eddie Jester, by T. Gregory Argall. Always expanding her performing interests, Deborah launched into bellydancing with Arabesque Academy, where she regularly performed as one of the Arabesque Earthshakers. She was also the costumier and backstage manager for Arabesque Canada under Artistic Director Yasmina Ramzy. Deborah recently created her own unique style of dance fusion in her show Raqs Macabre, for which she is the producer, writer, choreographer, costumier and dance artist. Th

  • #378 – Janine Marley

    29/08/2023 Duración: 01h30s

    Janine Marley is an independent theatre reviewer born in Kingsville, Ontario and has been a Torontonian since November 2020. She holds Honours BA and MA Degrees from the University of Windsor in English Language and Literature with her studies primarily focused on theatre. She began acting at a young age and continued acting in productions until 2018. After graduating, she became a theatre practitioner co-founding Paper-Knife Theatre Company in Windsor, Ontario, as well as working for The Edge Productions in Windsor and Groundling Theatre Company in Toronto. She started her blog, A View from the Box, as a personal project to share her passion for theatre. Now that she lives in Toronto, she is turning that passion into becoming a reliable resource for all things live performance including theatre, dance, opera, and music. Twitter: @AVuefromtheBox Instagram: @avuefromthebox Patreon: Support Stageworthy Donate:

  • #377 – Glenn Sumi

    22/08/2023 Duración: 59min

    Glenn Sumi is a Toronto-based freelance writer and editor who recently launched the theatre website So Sumi. Until December 2022, he was a writer and editor at NOW Magazine for 25 years, where he wrote about theatre, comedy and film. Twitter: @glennsumi Instagram: @sosumiig Support Stageworthy Donate:

  • #376 – Emma Bartolomucci

    15/08/2023 Duración: 52min

    A graduate of the Canadian Dance Company and the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, becoming an artist has been a lifelong journey. She has had the privilege of working with many international entertainment companies, performing in a variety of theatrical productions all across the globe. At the age of 32, she has been to 33 countries and through her travels has made an effort to better understand the world and its inequities. Alongside her artistic endeavours, her passion for climate justice and environmentalism has been ongoing. Over the past two years she was able to complete two courses: "Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities" from Lund University in Sweden and "Political and Moral Foundations" from Yale University. She has participated and volunteered for many climate change and social justice organizations with Friday's For Future, 350 Canada, Not Another Black Life, Stop Highway 413, Every Child Matters, Black Lives Matter, Juneteenth, Banking on a Better Future and Toront

  • #375 – Lindsey Middleton & Kathleen Welch

    08/08/2023 Duración: 59min

    Lindsey Middleton is a Canadian Screen Award nominee. Lindsey is best known for playing Vanessa and co-producing the internationally award-winning web series, Out With Dad, where she won two Indie Series Awards for Best Supporting Actress, and a IAWTV Award for Best Female Performance in a Drama. Lindsey has toured theatre across Canada and Europe and performed in over 50 productions.As a writer, Lindsey is one of the co-creators of the Roku Channel show Just Hysterics, a collective of female-forward comedy sketches, that has been recognized at both Stareable Fest and TO WebFest. Lindsey also co-wrote Unmute and I Love You and It Hurts with Theatre of the Beat; both pieces were commissioned by Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region and her first play Session which premiered at the Paprika Festival. Lindsey is currently writing a new TV show all about her days showing cows at local fairs as well as writing her first novel about her travels to over 30 countries before turning 30. Lindsey is a 2023 Halls Isl

  • #374 – Cassie Muise

    01/08/2023 Duración: 01h02min

    Cassie is an experienced artist with credits in theatre, voice over, film and television. She is currently writing her first musical, "God Catcher", which will premiere this summer at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. In addition to performing, Cassie has experience as a director, choreographer, and teacher. Select credits include: Nickie in "Sweet Charity", Tina Denmark in "Ruthless", Wednesday Addams in "The Addams Family", and the award winning short film, "T-Minus". Twitter: @cassiemuise God Catcher re-imagines the myth of Arachne. Arguably the most talented weaver of all time, Arachne was vengefully turned into the first spider for beating the goddess Athena at a weaving contest. Twitter: @godcatchermt Instagram: @godcatchermusical Support Stageworthy Donate:

  • #373 – Michael Caldwell & Morgan Norwich

    25/07/2023 Duración: 50min

    SummerWorks Performance Festival is a curated festival of theatre, dance, music, live art and interdisciplinary forms, widely recognized as one of the most important platforms for launching new work in Canada. Twitter: @SummerWorksTO Instagram: @summerworksto Michael Caldwell (he/him) is a choreographer, performer, curator, artistic director, producer, and arts advocate, based in Tkaronto, Canada. 
 Garnering critical acclaim, his choreography has been commissioned/presented throughout Canada at major festivals, in traditional venues and in site-responsive and community-engaged contexts. Michael’s most recent choreographic work responds to the 'site' in as many ways as can be conceived, and subverts traditional modes of viewing. He recently premiered ‘Two x 30’ - a large-scale performance/sound work as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art, and is currently working on two collaborative multidisciplinary performance projects. Caldwell is a two-time K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation Ar

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