“There are lots of young vital playwrights who are experimenting, and these are the plays that people who are interested in the theatre should see. They should go off Broadway. They should go to the cafe theatres and see the experiments that are being made.”

-Edward Albee, WNBC TV interview, Jan. 9, 1966

UpStart '12 posterPerformances: February 2-4, & 9-11, 2012 

Matinees: February 4 & 11, 2012

Venue: Hagey Hall 180

UW Drama invited you to experience the wise advice of Edward Albee and explore the performances of very talented artists through the 5th installment of the UpStart: Festival of Innovative Canadian Theatre.  This one-act play festival featured the unique works of several young playwrights, all of whom were also directing and, for some, acting in these original plays.

The style of each show differed amongst the playwrights, giving a wide range of genres throughout the festival.  Some shows made us think while others had us grinning from ear to ear, and no night was the same as another!  

Commedia de Burros (by Anthony Fick) revealed the world of Pedro Angel, a bumbling but incredibly good-in-the-sack hero.  Despite his prowess, he hasn't figured out omen.  Audiences will re-evaluate the importance they place on youth, beauty, orgasms, and donkeys. ** Strong language & sexual content

As Our Ghosts Will Say (by Connor Hughes) was the story of James and Olivia, two friends who are divided by death. It is also the story of: Steven, a young boy who never got to have a first communion; of Clem, a father who got a second chance; of Ali, who wasted away in a hospital bed dreaming of the soccer field; and of Savina, a grandmother who always put everyone else first.  It was a ghost story in the truest sense of the phrase.  ** Strong language

Anomaly (by Michelle Kestle) was a one-woman show that delves into the concept of happy.  “I think it is brave to try to be happy. You’ve gotten so comfortable being unhappy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up in the morning and choose to be happy?” ** Strong language & mature content

Through spoken word, movement and song, Life as a River (by Rebecca Steiner & Kimberlee Walker) told the story of two young women who set off on a global journey with idealistic notions about what helping others looks like. The people they met and the questions they asked led them to a stronger yet more difficult, richer and yet more complex love than they ever imagined.

These are My Words (by Leeanna Caligagan and the cast) was a collective creation that explored some of the less discussed elements that rule our lives. Inspired by a desire for understanding and connection, they delved into the stories that unite us all. ** Strong language

Box Play (by Shaw Forgeron) was a play that has nothing to do with math. ** Strong language & sexual content

Everyone knows the story of Superman, but what about through the eyes of his best friend and room-mate?  Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s Asshole best friend (by Alex Hopf) detailed the adventures of Superman from his often over-shadowed friend, Jimmy Olsen.  This one man show took the stance that the reason that Jimmy Olsen has been forgotten is because he is a notorious asshole. **Strong language & mature content.

What do you get when four friends get together and put on a show about love? You get long hours of rehearsals, lots of laughs, a few tears and no clue what’s going to happen on opening night.  Kiss and Make it Up (by Andreea Hluscu & Zach Parsons) was an improv show created around the idea of Valentine’s Day - a day where the single people slow dance with plants, and people in love become more hated than politicians. The four improvisers used the audience's suggestions to create hilarious scenes of love, lust, awkward firsts and the crazy world of relationships.  **Strong language & mature content.

Creative team

Producer - Janelle Rainville

Production Stage Manager - Lauren Charette

Technical Director - Anthony Fick

Lighting Designer - Katie Honek

Publicist - Jess Singh

Technical Crew - Ali Watson, Elizabeth Munz, Gen Stalker, Lisette Compton, Rachel Wyatt, Rebecca Steiner

As Our Ghosts Will Say


Clem - Ryan Bassett 

James - Abram Chan 

Ali - Keethan Krishnamoorthy 

Olivia - Jackie Mahoney

Steven - Laura Reitzel 

Savina - Megan Rucurean


Director – Connor Hughes

Stage Manager – Kelly Conlan

Sound Designer – Ryan Bassett

Writer – Connor Hughes, Olivia Paquette

Life as a River

Co-Conspirators - Kimberlee Walker, Rebecca Steiner

Stage Manager - Katie Cowie Redekopp

Comedia De Burros


Pedro Angel - Adam Lemieux 

Dorito Burrito, Farmer - Derek McGill 

Maria la Senorita de los Muertos - Jana Zacharias 

El Burro del Diablo, Woman 3, Passerby 2 - Aviva Dreksler 

Apothecary, Woman - Jenn Gooderham 

Francisco Diablo, Restauranteur - Will Innes 

Bastard Lovechild, Woman 2, Passerby 2 - Katie Smith 

Veronica, Woman 1, Dead Body - Bob Stan 


Director - Anthony Fick 

Stage Manager - Ali Reid 

Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Asshole of a Best Friend

Cast and Crew

Jimmy Olsen - Alex Hopf

Sally - Bob Stan

Music - Alex Rassem

Stage Manager - Lauren Charette

Box Play

Alan A. Mann - James Miniou 

Inspector Hynde - Derek McGill 

Landlord  - Ryan Bassett 

Barista - Leeanna Caligagan 

Boss - Patrick Pinnell 

Writer/Director - Shaw Forgeron 

These Are My Words

Director - Leeanna Caligagan

Cast and Creative Team - Hilary Pitman (Stage Manager and Right Hand Woman), Adam Lemieux, Megan Rucuream, Eric Kim, Jackie Mahoney, Katie Smith, Laura Reitzel, Jane Honek

Kiss and Make it Up: An Improv Show

Cast - Andreea Hluscu, Greg Johnson, Michelle Kestle, Zach Parsons


Writer/performer - Michelle Kestle

Makeup Designer - Andreea Hluscu

Program Art - Brianna Kestle

Special thanks

Tallen Kay, Arun Srinivasan, Gill Lesperance, Peter Carette