Cast includes recognizable Canadian Actors from Schitt’s Creek, The Handmaid’s Tale, CBC, Over the Rainbow, Toronto’s Kinky Boots, Tweed & Co favourites, and Artistic Director Tim Porter in a lead role!
Tweed & Company Theatre has been upping the game season after season, and they obviously didn’t want their 11th year of production to be any exception! With a mid December announcement of 8 new shows playing over 11 months of the year, anticipation was already high for this award winning theatre company’s 2019 season, but a few months in, and the anticipation continues to build for this blockbuster program.
Now mid June, the company has already hosted four successful performances, bringing Toronto Sketchfest winners ‘Swordplay: A Play of Swords’ and a new event the Superhero Extravaganza to the Tweed Winter Carnival, acclaimed Canadian actor Shawn Wright’s sold out presentation of his one man show ‘Ghost Light’, and multi award winning singer songwriter Jessica Wilson to the Tweed Pavilion for a summer season kick off. ‘It’s already been an exciting and well received season and we’re less than half way through!’ Says Artistic Director Tim Porter. Rave reviews continue to pour in for this company of young creators, who were also the recent recipients of a Celebrate Ontario Grant for their new fall musical murder mystery dinner theatre production, and were named one of the top one hundred events in Ontario at a Gala Ceremony in London this year from Festivals & Events Ontario.
Last season’s record breaking attendance and exceptionally high tourism numbers inspired the company to program another huge calendar this year, with over 20 performances still on the docket for this group in 2019. Next up is one of the headline productions of the season, STAG & DOE: An Outrageous Comedy by Mark Crawford. Taking place at a local community hall while two couples try to simultaneously hold their Wedding and Stag & Doe, mayhem ensues and local comedy abounds. Mark Crawford’s shows have gained increasing recognition the past decade, with a slew of awards and accolades following his four hit plays that have been programmed across the country. This young author has been hailed as one of the funniest playwrights of our time, with Stag & Doe being called ‘An Absolute Riot’ and ‘Funnier than any sitcom of the past decade’.
And Tweed & Co didn’t shy away from approaching the best cast possible for this blockbuster production playing for six performances only this July. With a cast of six with resumes as long as their arms, and a celebrated young director at the helm, this group has already garnered great excitement locally and online. And leading the team with his first appearance on stage in Tweed in several years is Artistic Director Tim Porter. A popular Canadian actor who many will recognize from Toronto appearances in ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Cannibal: The Musical’ as well of course as the popular children’s production ‘The Doodlebops’, Porter has stayed almost entirely behind the scenes here in Tweed (where he was born and raised and lives half the year), directing countless productions with the company in between professional acting gigs at Canada’s largest theatre company, Drayton Entertainment. ‘I am thrilled to be returning to the stage here in Tweed in this hilarious production, with this incredible cast of Canadian talent,’ says Porter, ‘this show is an absolute riot, and I can’t wait to share it with our audience here in Tweed. Get ready to laugh!’
Joining Porter on stage in this production is one of the most impressive groups the company has assembled to date. Playing the Bride to Porter’s Groom will be returning favourite Danielle Leger, a local comedy legend who audiences have grown to love over seven seasons with Tweed & Co. Most recently, Danielle returned to her role in ALECK BELL for the 3rd time, as well as joining the touring production of HASTINGS! The Musical, playing the role of Susanna Moodie in Belleville, Bancroft and Perth. She is also a passionate singer-songwriter who spent a recent year in London on the music and comedy circuit, and competed in the prestigious Toronto music competition, THE BOUT.
Playing the Doe will be recent graduate of Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Program, Malindi Ayienga, a Toronto based artist and social activist. Audiences may recognize her from her turn on the CBC show OVER THE RAINBOW, as well as productions with Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre, and YES Theatre in Sudbury. Malindi is also the founder and director of the incredible charity Diva Day. Her Stag will be played by another up and comer, Sam Van Dusen. A recent graduate of the theatre program at Queen’s University, Sam has already made a name for himself in the Drayton Entertainment productions of ROCKY and MAN OF LA MANCHA, as well as bouts with Ottawa Little Theatre and St. Lawrence Shakespeare. No stranger to the area, Sam is an ‘almost’ local actor whose family hails from Stirling and Madoc, although Sam has spent most of his life in Ottawa.
Playing the maid of honour is popular Canadian film and television Actress Lili Connor, who will be easily recognizable to fans here in Tweed as a regular on Schitt’s Creek, and from her appearances on Handmaid’s Tale, Saving Hope, and Reign to name a few. Lili is also a celebrated Canadian musical theatre performer, having appeared in countless musical productions such as LEGALLY BLONDE, LES BELLES SOEUR, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Also originally from Ottawa, Lili is no stranger to the GTA (Greater Tweed Area). And finally, playing Jay the Caterer, is ‘that guy from those commercials’ Justin Bott. Moving deftly from Stage to Screen, Justin has appeared in countless major television campaigns, most recognizably for Casper mattress with John Tavares, Sonnet, and Westjet, and currently for Heinz Mayo. He is also a Dora Award, Sterling Award, and Toronto Theatre Critics award winning actor for his various musical theatre performances such as Avenue Q, the Wizard of Oz, and multiple seasons with Drayton Entertainment.
Directing this production will be Thomas Alderson, who since appearing with Tweed & Company almost ten years ago in the original production of TWEED! The Musical, has gone on to make a name for himself as a celebrated independent producer and director. Having assisted Broadway Directors at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre, Theatre Calgary, and the Citadel Theatre, Thomas also directed the Canadian professional premier of the musical CARRIE, and as a performer appeared in the hit Toronto production KINKY BOOTS, as well as MAMMA MIA, WHITE CHRISTMAS and CAMELOT across North America. Stage Managing this production will be Tweed & Co general manager Emily Mewett, a sought after Canadian Stage Manager whose work mostly keeps her in Toronto with Young People’s Theatre and the highly prestigious Soulpepper Theatre. Emily is originally from Stirling Ontario.
STAG & DOE is sure to be the sell out hit of the season, already reporting the highest advance sales in the company’s history. This popular Canadian Comedy has been hailed as ‘Snappy and Crisp as a well written sitcom’, and ‘A rousing rural wedding farce receiving an enthusiastic and deserved standing ovation’. This production is not to be missed, and will be running for six performances only at the Marble Arts Centre in Tweed, from July 10th to 14th. Attend on Friday the 12th to catch an intimate post show concert with this musically talented cast, or attend on Opening July 10th to join in a post show reception with treats and beverages and an opportunity to meet this incredible troupe. Tickets are $15.00 for Students and Youth, $20.00 for Seniors, and $25.00 for adults. There are also two bus trip options, one from Napanee and Belleville through Venture Bus Lines, and one from downtown Tweed through the Tweed & Area Arts Council. Tickets available online at www.tweedandcompany.com, or in person at the Tweed News. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message them on facebook, twitter, or instagram.
Don’t miss the most anticipated comedy of the season with STAG & DOE! Book your tickets today, and join Tweed & Company for an amazing evening of laughter. The Arts Centre is a fully accessible venue, and this performance will also host a cash bar in support of the Arts Council, a Silent Auction, 50/50 draw, raffle for Black River Trading Company, Stag & Doe games, refreshments and more! We’ll see you there!