A forum for new plays, theatre texts and performance pieces

From the Daily Bulletin (Feb 4, 2004):

"UpStart 2004 -- a unique festival to be launched today by the department of drama and speech communication -- will feature eight short theatre pieces ranging from a punk rock opera to a play based on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
"Designed to give up-and-coming artists the opportunity to produce work in a non-juried arena ... to showcase dramatic creations by students and staff across campus, as well as high school students and theatre artists from Waterloo Region."

Plays Performed

A Room of One's Own by Lindsay Alston

A dramatic reinterpretation of Virginia Woolf’s lectures on women and fiction given at Gerton College in the 1920s.


Almost Sisters by Robyn Gmeindl and Tara Velanoff

Almost Sisters is a journey of life, love and friendship through the eyes of two young women.


Carte Blanche by James Barr and Sean Collins

Carte Blanche is a punk rock opera, a musical expose of life, love and cynicism. Inspired by the work of Tennessee Williams, it is a story relevant to anyone with a high-stakes relationship.


Savage/Love by Tom Leslie

Savage/Love is a sequence of elliptical poems and speech culled from improvisation exercises on abstract themes of ‘lovers and love’ -moments, and climbing into those moments- real or imagined.


Deus ex Machina by Nathan Bender

Based on Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Deus ex Machina creates a society where there are no families and Ford is God. As the play unfolds, the characters realize that there is a hope in this hopeless world that even Soma cannot simulate.


He by Nick Cumming 

Ophelia has survived, barely. He is a literary fantasia; a post-Hamlytic monologue between Ophelia and the Prince.


Chronic Deficiency by Luc Kedzior

The disease that overthrew a generation of youngsters (but why should we care?).


The Queen of Bingo by Jill Smith & Co.

The Queen of Bingo is a look at the lives of two people whose support for each other and love of bingo help them to deal with their insecurities and desires for purpose.

A Room of One's Own

Produced, edited, designed by and featuring Lindsey Alston

Stage Manager - KathrynAnn Pierroz

Sound operator - Jennifer Scullion

Technical Assistance - Lesley Tumber

Almost Sisters


SARA - Robyn Gmeindl

ELLIE - Tara Velanoff

Written and directed by Robyn Gmeindl and Tara Velanoff

Stage Manager - Andrea Ferguson

Sound operator - Jeff deSchiffert

Crew - Elizabeth Barry, Jeff deSchiffert, Andrea Ferguson, Robyn Gmeindl, Kara Harun, Natalie Mathieson, Steven Schaming

Carte Blanche

Cast - Mike Bagshaw, James Barr, Sean Collins, Jeff deSchiffert, Jen Giesbrecht, Kara Harun, Jessica Isard, Justin Mullet

Stage manager - Leigh McClymont

Sound operator - Andrea Ferguson


Cast - Roberto Machado, Katharine Mills, Nick Storring – cellist

Director – Tom Leslie

Producer – Coral Andrews-Leslie

Lighting board operator – Elizabeth Goldsworthy

Deus ex Machina


PETE - Steve Watts

MONA - Tamara Mauer

FISH - Mike Burkholder

JABIR - Ariel Bourbonnais

Written and directed by Nathan Bender

Stage managed by Elizabeth Barry

Special thanks to Marlon who suggested I read Brave New World in the first place.



Kristin Wallace - Ophelia

Darryl Gardner - Leth

Nicholas Cumming - Playwright/Director

Jennifer Cook - Stage Manager

Sound Operator – Elizabeth Goldsworthy

Special Thanks to - Miranda Warner, Jonathan Orton for his Bed, Our Almost Sisters, Brave Boys and Burger King

Chronic Deficiency


N - Tony Huynh

TBR – Jesse R. Ariss

Mark – Kevin Centeno

Brian – Jon Davoodi

Shelley – Lindsay Weber

S1 – Steve Ferraro

S2 – Tom Rojek

Pizza Promoter – Jeff deShiffert

Director and Writer – Lucas Kedzior

Stage Managers – Jeff deShiffert, Jennifer Cook

Lighting Operator – James Peltzer

Thanks – God

The Queen of Bingo

Cast - Jill Smith, Brett Haynes, Jeremy Taylor

Directed by Jeremy Taylor

Stage manager/bingo winners - Leigh McClymont

Lighting board operator - Aaron Cowan

For UW Drama

Technical Director, UW Drama - Scott Spidell

Resident Costumier - Jocelyne Sobeski

Admin Assistant - Robin Atchison

For UpStart 2004

Producer - Bill Chesney

Technical Director/Sound God - Fraser Smith

Assistant TD, Studio 180 - Travis Hatt, Heather Bedard

Lighting Design - Scott Banks, Jennifer Cook, Darryl Gardner, Travis Hatt

Publicity - Ariel Bourbonnais

House Manager - Jennifer Cook

Technical Liaison - Lori Anderson, Laura Thomas

Assistant to the Producer - Christina Romasz

Technical support by members of the DRAMA 244 class