Breaking the Curse
by Rachel Walliser, & co-produced by Ferre Play Theatre
In conjunction with the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre
Proudly presented by 25th Street Theatre and Ferre Play Theatre, Breaking the Curse by Rachel Walliser is an exploration of a topic that has remained in the shadows throughout modern times – menstruation. Through a collection of irreverent, sometimes humorous, sometimes touching, and sometimes cringey stories, Walliser unabashedly brings the real-life experiences of getting a period to the stage… or in this case, the screen!
Directors Johanna Arnott, Jennifer Dawn Bishop, Erin Brophy, and Marley Duckett will be working with a DOZEN actors to create the piece which will be rehearsed like a theatre production, but presented like a film. This production will not be theatre that was ever intended to have an in-person audience, but rather, this is theatre that you are meant to experience on the big screen.
At the 2020-2022 Saskatoon & Area Theatre Awards, Breaking the Curse was awarded The Trailblazer Award and The Innovation Award, as well as The Excellence in New Work Award for playwright Rachel Walliser. The production was additionally nominated for The Production Excellence Award.
Discussion to Destigmatize
Join Group D director, Marley Duckett, as she sits down with Breaking the Curse playwright Rachel Walliser, Moontime Sisters founder Nicole White, and OB-GYN Dr. Jenn Duda to discuss the play, the stigma around menstruation, and supports available.
Dr. Jenn Duda and Nicole White are part of Ferre Play Theatre’s Ambassador Program. You can read more about the program and the panelists here.
Cast & Crew
Lauren Allen (she/her) - Stage Manager & Script Supervisor
Lauren Allen (she/her) is a Saskatoon-born, Edmonton-trained, Toronto-based theatre artist and filmmaker. She is thrilled to be able to come back home and work on this exciting project! During the pandemic Lauren has begun working as a Script Supervisor for film and television. She has also taken time to focus on her mental health and the things she loves: musical theatre, jigsaw puzzles, Nintendo, and fostering cats. You can find her latest project, The Breakup Cabaret, on YouTube under Staple Productions. For more information visit lauren-allen.net or follow her on social media as @socialthelaway
Johanna Arnott (she/her) - Director (Group A)
Johanna (she/her) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist who works primarily as an actor, writer, and stage manager. Recently, she made her directorial debut with Antifa Supersoldier written by Caleigh Crow for the 2021 Short Cuts Festival. She had an absolute blast directing and is thankful to have the opportunity to do it again. Johanna loves technology. During the past year she explored creating specifically for the digital stage. Now, as we are leaving the Zoom call and entering the theatre again, she’s excited to see how these new skills and tools translate to in-person theatre. This project is an exciting next step in her quest. When she’s not working in theatre, Johanna can be found taking part in the thrilling sport of knitting.
Jenna Berenbaum - Actor (Group D)*
An award-winning actress, Jenna holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan. Recent credits include J. Caesar, Midsummer, Titus A.: puppet revenge, Merry Wives of Windsor, Comedy of Errors, As You Like It (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan), I and You (Globe Theatre), Jack and the Snow Queen (Dancing Sky Theatre), The Penelopiad (Ferre Play), The Wolves (Live Five/Little Big/EvilStick) and Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island (Persephone Theatre). She works as a playwright, poet, actor, and web developer.
Jennifer Dawn-Bishop (she/her) - Director (Group B)
Erin Brophy (she/they) - Director (Group C)
Erin Brophy (She/ They) holds a BFA Honours in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan and works as an emerging actor, playwright, theatre educator, stunt performer, actor combatant, and fledgling fight and intimacy director. Erin is working on a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at USask and welcomes the opportunity to combine course material and artistic endeavours in Breaking the Curse. Past acting credits include The Beaux’ Stratagem, Bronte, Spirit Wrestler (Greystone Theatre), Crowsworld: The First (Myriad Productions), The Unforgettables (Fight or Flight Theatre). Erin is grateful for a community that works to cultivate the arts, and for the opportunity to live and work on Treaty Six territory.
Amanda Brown (she/her) - Set/Prop Designer
Amanda Brown (she/her) is a sustainable textile artist and professional makeup artist from Saskatoon, SK. These two disparate professions are wonderfully suited to theatre and film, where Amanda has worked since 2013 on numerous projects within the makeup, wardrobe, and art departments. When she isn’t scurrying behind the scenes, she can be found behind the loom weaving sustainable zero-waste items for body and home, which she sells through her brand Scarlett Dahlia. Being a part of the community and giving back through volunteerism is important to Amanda. She currently volunteers as Inventory Coordinator with the Library of Things YXE – a local community group that lends household items such as small kitchen appliances or tools instead of books. She is also an active member of the Saskatoon Spinners and Weavers Guild, and a member of the Guild of Canadian Weavers.
Yulissa Campos (she/her) - Actor (Group B)
Yulissa is an Ecuadorian theatre artist and founding artistic director of Ay, Caramba! Theatre, the first Latin American theatre in Saskatchewan. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan and works with the Newcomer and Indigenous community when she is not writing, acting, or producing. Yulissa has been invited to national broadcast programs such as CBC’s Q with Tom Power to talk about diversity in the prairies. She celebrates her Latin American heritage in her plays and her work has been presented internationally such as at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival and across Canada. Yulissa is now preparing to debut in the biggest role in her life: motherhood. You can find more about her work at aycarambatheatre.com
Angela Christie (she/her) - Actor (Group C)
For the last 20+ years, Angela has been involved with theatre across Western Canada as an actor, stage manager, and producer. As the co-founder of Theatre Ecstasis, Live Five, and Ferre Play Theatre, Angela has been a part of producing close to 30 productions. Angela has been a member of Canadian Actor’s Equity Association since 2003 and holds a BFA degree in drama and a BEd from the U of S. She currently sits on the board of the Children’s Festival of Saskatchewan and is the creator and coordinator for Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan’s #ShakespearesaskLive school program. This year, Angela is teaching Arts Education at Princess Alexandra Community School.
Laura Crossman (she/her) - Costume Designer
Laura Crossman (she/her) is a Saskatoon-based artist working primarily in theatre and film. Laura co-designed and built puppets for Ppl r Ppl’s productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Avenue Q. Laura also designed costumes for The Rocky Horror Picture Show and for other local theatre companies such as the Saskatoon Opera (Die Fledermaus), Saskatoon Summer Players (Annie, Grease, & You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) and La Troupe du Jour (Shadows of a Dancing Moon). Laura also works in the areas of wardrobe and set decorating for short films, music videos and commercial projects.
Marley Duckett (she/her) - Director (Group D)
Marley Duckett is a Saskatchewan-based anthropologist, actor, writer, music maker, and educator. Her most recent work includes a production of her first play, Stone Picker, at the ShortCuts Ten-Minute Play Festival. She also recently co-directed Mary Poppins and is currently directing Cabaret: A Musical Theatre Spectacular! Marley Duckett sits on the board for the Saskatchewan Choral Federation, is currently a writer on staff, and teaches anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan. She is passionate about arts in the prairies and strives to support Saskatchewan theatre in all the ways that she can!
Gabrielle Dufresne (elle/she/her) - Actor (Group B)
Gabrielle Dufresne (elle/she/her) is a Fransaskois actor and theatre artist from Regina, and now calls Saskatoon home. When not on stage, you can find her writing, drawing, or working as Co-AD of the Tic Toc TEN Festival, and teaching theatre workshops in schools across the province for La Troupe du Jour. She is incredibly happy and thankful to be part of this brand new production, working alongside such a brilliant team. Gabrielle truly believes in the importance of talking candidly, openly, and fearlessly, about periods, and she thanks you for watching!
Andrei Feheregyhazi (he/him) - Green Screen Designer
Since early 2018 Andrei has been experimenting and pushing boundaries by combining augmented reality with various forms of art. What he loves most about it is the ability to explore space and narratives in new and interesting ways. Whether it is a picture book that comes to life and animates itself in someone’s hands or allowing the narrative to take place in the world around them, forcing/allowing for exploration of that space. The style consists of paper, cardboard, and fabric merged to create a handmade style that comes to life digitally.
Ezra Forest (they/them) - Actor (Group A)
Ezra Forest is a they/them two-spirit/non-binary Cree Artist from Samson Cree Nation in Treaty Six territory. They are a U of S Wicitohwin Theatre program 2019 graduate, with the 2015-2016 Circle of Voices program under their belt as well. They are an artist of all mediums, now, with this opportunity! They write poetry, sing, dance and paint, sketch. Ezra has always dreamed of making their television debut so this is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone for your support. Hiy hiy.
Paige Francoeur (she/they) - Actor (Group B)
Paige Francoeur (she/they) is an emerging actor, dramaturg, and playwright who is proud to call Saskatchewan home. A recent graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, they are very excited to jump back into artistic pursuits after a nearly two-year hiatus from acting, and incredibly grateful to Ferre Play and 25th Street Theatre for the chance to spread her wings in the professional world! You can also catch her this summer aboard the Wheatland Express, and next spring in the upcoming Live Five season. For more info, check out www.paigefrancoeur.com.
Lauren Griffin (she/her) - Actor (Group C)
Lauren Griffin (she/her) is a settler artist from Treaty Six territory. Lauren is an award-winning actor who is currently training at the University of Saskatchewan in the BFA program. You may have seen Lauren recently in the Greystone productions of Concord Floral, Unity 1918, and Under Milk Wood, or at the Fringe Festival in The Unforgettables. Lauren also performed in the Greystone production A Secret in the Wings and the plays Dust and The Hotel which both ranked best overall at SDA provincial festivals. To learn more about Lauren, check out her website at https://griffinlauren66.wixsite.com/lauren-griffin.
Kristel Harder (she/they) - Actor (Group A)*
Kristel Harder (she/they) is an award-winning queer neurodivergent actor, singer, cabaret writer, and musician who holds a Master of Arts in Musical Theatre Performance. Kristel is a settler on Treaty 6 Territory and is incredibly grateful to live and perform here. Recent credits include: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Persephone Theatre), Through the Window (Sum Theatre), I Lost my Husband (Persephone Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Persephone Theatre), The Penelopiad (Ferre Play Theatre), As You Like It and Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan), and her devised, one-woman shows: EmotionLoss: I’m pretty sure, if I still had feelings, I would be alarmed and Bi Bye Bye: a Gay Cabaret.
Bobbi-Lee Jones (she/her) - Actor (Group A)
Bobbi-Lee Jones (she/her) is an emerging queer artist and recent grad from the BFA theatre program at the University of Saskatchewan. A lover of many trades, she most strongly identifies with the roles of singing actor, writer, painter, and devoted cat mother. Bobbi is the founder of Little Libertine Playhouse and writer/composer of her original musical “Typecastress”, which dissects existing gender inequities in the theatre world. Bobbi is very excited to play the lead role of Nora at Typecastress‘ live production debut this spring! She also can’t wait to join the cast of Breaking the Curse shortly after, reinforcing her ambition to combine art and feminism. Other selected credits include her role as Mrs. Betterton in Greystone Theatre’s Playhouse Creatures (2019), production assistant for Sum Theatre’s Theatre in the Neighbourhood (2020), and her short play “The Spurs and The Bees” as featured in the Shortcuts Festival (2021).
Rachel McLaughlin (she/her) - Actor (Group D)
Rachel McLaughlin (She/Her) is an actor, mover, and musician based in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Although primarily based in Treaty 6 territory, she still enjoys the thrill of spreading her roots throughout Canada as much as she can, especially to explore and showcase unique stories from around her community. Currently in her fourth year at the University of Saskatchewan, Rachel is looking forward to completing her BFAH in Acting while continuing to make more lasting connections with fellow theatre artists and creatives along the way.
Tara Oliver (she/her) - Production Manager
Tara Oliver (she/her) is a project manager and producer with areas of expertise in production management, communications, and community building. She has held roles as Operations Manager for Saskatoon Summer Players, Theatre Festival Manager for 25th Street Theatre, and Community Engagement and Outdoor Festival Manager for 25th Street Theatre. Her theatre production management credits include: Monty Python’s Spamalot; Little Women the Musical; Into the Woods; Annie; Footloose; and Sweeney Todd (Saskatoon Summer Players). Tara also is an active board member of Ferre Play, an independent theatre company that seeks to develop women through theatre. In the summer of 2021, Tara served as First Assistant Director and Producer for the independent short film “The Druid’s Hand”, which will be making the film festival circuit in 2022.
Tara is passionate about building community and connection through art and is motivated by the magic that happens when people from different backgrounds and disciplines work together towards a common goal.
Sammy Ramsay (she/her) - Actor (Group C)
Sammy Ramsay (she/her) is a Saskatoon-based theatre artist. Recent theatre credits include The Unforgettables (Fight or Flight Theatre) Survival of the Spookiest (Peach Pit Productions) and The Romeo Project (The Studio) Sammy is also co-Artistic Director of her theatre company, Wonder City Collective, which she runs with her partner, Drew. She is thrilled to be part of Breaking the Curse and working with such a talented group of artists. Sammy is grateful to live, work and create on Treaty 6 Territory.
respectfulchild (they/them) - Sound Designer
respectfulchild is an interdisciplinary artist born, raised, and living as an uninvited guest on Treaty 6 Territory. Rooted primarily in sound and composition with their violin, their practice openly engages with any medium that best serves their creative expression. Their work explores the quiet tensions and chaotic beauty of being a queer Chinese-Malaysian settler on the prairies, opening up space for intimate reflection and community dialogue.
The name respectfulchild is the literal translation of their Mandarin name 敬兒[jìng er]. This name was given to them by their grandmother when they were born, a name and a culture they’ve been estranged from having lived their whole life in the predominantly white world of the Canadian Prairies. respectfulchild is their space to seek meaning in 敬兒 again.
Danielle Roy (she/her) - Actor (Group D)
Danielle Roy is a performer, playwright, producer, voice-actor, dramaturge, and director. She is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan Bachelor of Fine Arts Theatre Program and the Globe Theatre Conservatory. Her artistic work has been seen across Canada, including her coming-of-age play Peach which received several 5-star reviews across the country, Much Ado About Nothing (Globe Theatre), The Wild Dog Waits on the Concrete Path (Embrace Theatre), and most recently Hazel Star, the palmist/fortune teller aboard the Wheatland Express Excursion Train.
Danielle is an active performer and writer for Saskatoons Sketch Comedy Group, The Sketchy Bandits, and Buttered Ghost’s, Dr. Frightful Presents: A Podcast. She is currently writing Luna, as a part of Persephone’s TYA Playwriting Unit. Danielle founded Gumshoe Productions in 2016 and works as a theatre educator using drama skills to help build community, personal awareness, and self-confidence through imaginative learning.
Rachel Walliser (she/her) - Playwright
Rachel Walliser (she/her) is a theatre artist, writer, and vintage seller originally from Swift Current, Saskatchewan. She recently finished her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance, with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, at the University of Regina. On top of acting and scriptwriting, Rachel is also currently training to become an Intimacy Director/Coordinator for theatre, film, and television under the direction of Janine Waddell through her Alberta-based Theatrical Intimacy Laboratory. This past summer, she was one of three winners of the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre ‘Write Like You Mean It!’ Program, receiving support to write Breaking the Curse. It is Rachel’s first produced work.
*The participation of this Artist is arranged by permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance•Opera•Theatre Policy.
This Production is Made Under the Jurisdiction of ACTRA
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