The Donnellys: A Trilogy – Sticks and Stones: Part I
Geoffrey is absolutely chuffed to be returning to the Blyth Festival Theatre in this landmark production of James Reaney’s Donnelly Trilogy. He grew up in Goderich and was a part of the Blyth Festival Young Company for six summers in his youth, worked as a house manager for two seasons and later went on to direct the Young Company’s original creation ‘Hatchlings and Hayseeds’ in 2015. This will be his tenth summer in Blyth. Coming back home to act before his family, friends and the fine people of Huron County and beyond has always been his dream. See you all at the theatre. It’s going to be spectacular.
Masae Day is delighted to be performing with the Blyth Festival for the first time. Based in Vancouver BC, she has worked with theatre companies such as Axis Theatre (The Troll Grandfather), Western Canada Theatre/Thousand Islands Playhouse (Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story), Chemainus Theatre Festival (Once, Dracula, A Shayna Maidel/A Pretty Girl), and Carousel Theatre for Young People (The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe). This past year, she produced and starred in the world premier of Mozart and Her Brother (developed over the pandemic with Mark Weatherley and Geniusettes Theatre Society). Masae trained at in theatre at Studio 58 and in music at the University of Victoria (BMus in violin performance), and has appeared on TV in Supernatural, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, and the Hallmark movie Ms. Matched. She plays fiddle with the band LittleFox.
Paul is very happy to return to the Blyth Festival, after a memorable experience of performing in Mark Crawford’s Bed and Breakfast here in 2019. He recently appeared in Wildfire at Factory Theatre in Toronto (Dora Award – Outstanding Production). Previous to that he toured Bed and Breakfast, with stops at Vancouver’s Arts Club, Regina’s Globe, Victoria’s Belfry, Ottawa’s GCTC, Montreal’s Centaur and the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque (where it premiered). Over the past three decades, he has performed in theatres large and small across the country. Some highlights include The Gay Heritage Project (Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times and national tour), Tartuffe (National Arts Centre Newfoundland tour), Vigil (Theatre New Brunswick), East of Berlin (Tarragon) and TomorrowLove (Outside the March) in Toronto, HAIR (Grand Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood) and seven seasons at the Stratford Festival (including Peter Pan, Glenn, Elizabeth Rex, Merchant of Venice, Caesar and Cleopatra). Other credits include Murdoch Mysteries (season 3) and the recent radio recordings of Bed and Breakfast and Wildfire for CBC/PlayMe. He first encountered The Donnellys trilogy 26 years ago, and he’s thrilled to be a part of this adaptation. He lives in Stratford.
Blyth Credits: Angus (The Drawer Boy), Scrooge (A Huron County Christmas Carol), Stompin’ Tom (Stompin Tom). Many roles over seven season including directing Power and Gloria and Heat Wave.
13 seasons at the Stratford Festival. Randy has played leading roles across Canada. He has performed in Mexico and the United states including many shows at the Tarragon, Canadian Stage, Factory theatre, Soulpepper, Theatre Passe Muraille, Necessary Angel and Crows theatre in Toronto. He has been nominated for eight Dora awards, three Vancouver Jessie Awards, three Edmonton Sterling awards, one Calgary Betty Mitchell award, one Gemini and two Broadway World awards and was awarded one of each.
For Blyth: Joanna Donnelly, various in The Donnelly Trilogy; In the Wake of Wettlaufer; Cake-Walk. Elsewhere (selected): Hamlet and Death and the King’s Horseman (Stratford Festival); Admissions (Theatre Calgary); La Bête (Soulpepper); All’s Well that Ends Well and Hamlet (Canadian Stage); Antony and Cleopatra (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival), Cinderella (Globe Theatre), Christmas Carol (Grand Theatre). Film/TV: Late Night; Let’s Go Luna!; Glowbies; The Boneyard Man. Love and thanks always to Aidan and Bruce.
Cameron is thrilled to return home to Blyth for another season. His past Blyth credits include last season’s The Drawer Boy and 2016’s Our Beautiful Sons. Cameron is also a Founder and Artistic Leader of The Howland Company, where he has performed in a number of shows including Prodigal, Three Sisters, Punk Rock and Casimir & Caroline, for which he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Ensemble. Cameron wants to thank Gil and Rachael and the whole Blyth team.
Steven McCarthy is an award-winning actor, director, and musician. He was awarded a Canadian Screen Award (CSA) for Best Guest Performance in a dramatic series for his portrayal of a dying rock singer in Mary Kills People. Acting credits include recurring roles in The Expanse (Amazon), the Stephen King adaptation Chapelwaite (Epix), V/H/S 94 and the FX limited series Under the Banner of Heaven. McCarthy holds diplomas for acting and directing from the National Theatre School of Canada. He is the lead singer and manager of the 10 piece funk band The ElastoCitizens.
Hallie is thrilled to be making her Blyth Festival debut. A Toronto-based actor, who grew up in the Eastern Townships countryside of Québec, Hallie has acted in many critically-acclaimed shows in Toronto, throughout Ontario, and in the Townships. Selected Theatre Credits: Prodigal, Three Sisters, Casimir and Caroline, The Wolves, Punk Rock, 52 Pick-Up (The Howland Company); Prairie Nurse (Lighthouse Festival/Showboat Theatre); Stag and Doe, Jonas and Barry in the Home (Bluewater Summer Playhouse); As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare BASH’d); Oliver! (Capitol Theatre Port Hope). Selected TV Credits: Fellow Travelers (Showtime), Mayday (Discovery). Hallie is one of the Founding Artistic Leaders of The Howland Company, hailed by NOW Magazine as “one of Toronto’s most exciting independent theatre companies”. She has won a Dora Mavor Moore Award and a Toronto Theatre Critics Association Award.
James Dallas Smith
James has Six Nations Mohawk (Turtle Clan) & Scottish heritage. Raised in Port Elgin, he’s ecstatic to be returning to Blyth to be part of the Donnelly Trilogy.
Selected credits: Where the Blood Mixes, Almighty Voice & His Wife (Dora Nomination for Outstanding Performance) (Soulpepper), The Secret to Good Tea (MTC), This is How We Got Here (NEPA), Cottagers & Indians, The Berlin Blues, Ipperwash (Blyth), The Drawer Boy, Proof (Centaur), MacBeth (GSSC).
Mark is thrilled to be creating with such an incredible company at Blyth. Most recently Mark created and performed Seeds of Self for the Grand Theatre. Other selected theatre: Enjorlras in Les Miserables (Broadway); Elmer Woods in Paradise Square (Berkeley Rep); Indecent (Segal Centre); Parade (Studio 180); 3 Seasons at the Stratford Festival; 7 seasons at the Shaw Festival. Also a visual artist Marks work can be found on instagram @markuhre.
(Adaptation and Direction) for The Donnelly’s: A Trilogy
Actor, director, playwright, collaborator, Gil has been with the Blyth Festival in some capacity or other since 1999. Outstanding shows over the years have included: Death of the Hired Man, the Drawer Boy, the Outdoor Donnellys, World Without Shadows, Pearl Gidley, the Nutalls, A Killing Snow, the Last Donnelly Standing, the Pigeon King, In the Wake of Wettlaufer. Gil has been artistic director since 2014, and lives on a little farm in Central Huron with his wife and four beautiful children.
The Stratford Festival (includes): Spamalot, Henry VIII, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, The Music Man, Pericles, Fiddler on the Roof, As You Like It, Julius Caesar. Elsewhere: Public Enemy (Canadian Stage), A Whistle in the Dark, (Company Theatre); The Laramie Project (Studio 180); King Lear (Soulpepper); Arcadia (Theatre Junction). Directing: The Crucible (Stratford Festival); John by Annie Baker (Company Theatre). Film/TV: Reign, Alias Grace, Republic of Doyle, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries. Training: NTS, Birmingham Conservatory, Banff Centre. Teaching: NTS, Fanshawe College. Jonathan is thrilled to return to the brilliant Blyth Festival. His work is dedicated to the memory of Jerry Franken.
Beth is an award-winning lighting, set, projection, and projection/mixed reality/VR designer whose work has been seen on stages around the world for over 30 years. Blyth highlights: Seeds, Cottagers & Indians, 1837: a Farmers Revolt and Mr. New Years Eve. A leader in new forms of performance, Beth co-created Bury The Wren, a VR/Live performance, inspired by her collaboration with Gil Garratt and Paul Thompson on The Last Donnelly Standing. Her favorite production is her son, Aaron.
Blyth Credits: The Drawer Boy (Assistant Stage Manager) The Berlin Blues and Ipperwash
Selected Credits: Orphan Song, Bunny, (Tarragon Theatre), The Fish Eyes Trilogy, Boys with Cars (Nightswimming), This, Flood Thereafter, (Canadian Stage Company), Dividing Lines, Madre, (Aluna Theatre), Public Servant, Weather the Weather, (Theatre Columbus / Common Boots), Gladstone Variations, Yichud (seclusion) (Convergence), The Silicone Diaries (Buddies in Bad Times), and 7 summers with Dream in High Park. Sandy is the great-grandson of Morley Plunkett of the almost forgotten WW1 Canadian Vaudeville Troupe, The Dumbells.
Cheryl studied classical percussion at McGill University in Montreal, where she is from.
She toured Canada, U.S. Europe and Russia for many years with The Yiddish Theatre of Montreal. She spent 25 years in NY City and then Philadelphia while accompanying many touring artists. She is a founding member of the Celtic Roots group RUNA.
Cheryl now lives in Huron County and is the Artistic Director for the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival where she first attended as an artist in 2011
Blyth has a special place in Kelsey’s life- it’s where she worked her first professional theatre job right out of university. She is so thrilled to be spending the summer outdoors exploring a great story with an amazing company! Kelsey has stage managed all over Canada with shows such as Wizard of Oz Panto (Drayton) Bentboy (YPT), King Henry Five, Rosalynde, A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre), Paper Bag Princess, Selfie, Little Witch, The In-Between – 2Play Tour (Geordie Productions), Echoes of the Homesick Heart (Western Canada Theatre), Waiting for Godot (Stratford Festival). Enjoy the show!
James Reaney, Canadian poet and playwright, was born on a farm near Stratford, Ontario, on September 1, 1926.
He grew up to become one of Canada’s best-known poets and dramatists, enjoying literary success over a period of seven decades. He was also a professor of English at the University of Manitoba (1949 – 1956) and the University of Western Ontario (1960 – 1989).
As the daughter of a Stage Manager and Production Manager, Alicia grew up around the theatre. After a brief foray in Real Estate, Alicia realized that her heart has always been in theatre. She is excited to be starting her apprenticeship with Blyth Festival.
With over 30 years in the entertainment industry Crystal has been blessed to work across Canada and Internationally. Mostly you can find her Touring with Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes. Crystal’s Stage Managing career started in Blyth with the Blyth Festival’s production of Mail Order Bride in 1988. Other work experiences include working with Soulpepper Theatre Co. Necessary Angel, WYRD Productions, Marquis Entertainment, Calgary Stampede, and BaAM Productions to mention a few.
Select credits: 5 seasons as the sound designer for Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in the Park as well as designing the productions Venus in Fur, Liv Stein and Game of Love and Chance, creator and composer for the Last Donnelly Standing at Blyth in addition to designing productions of Mary’s Wedding,In the Wake of Wettlaufer, Truth be Told and The Drawer Boy. Lyon designed sound for clown duo Moro and Jasp with 9 to 5 and Stupefaction, Venus’ Daughter for Obsidian theatre, and Prairie Nurse, the Waltz and You Can’t Get There From Here, Vol. 3 for Factory Theatre and the Gig at theatre Aquarius.
Blyth Credits: Drawer Boy, Jewel, Huron County Christmas Carol, Wing Night at the Boot, Kitchen Radio, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Innocence Lost, Against the Grain, The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, Queen Milli of Galt, Schoolhouse, The Thirteenth One, Test Drive, Overboard!, Barndance Live!
As a free-lance costume designer Jennifer has created costumes for over 175 theatre, dance and opera productions across Ontario. She has spent 13 seasons at the Blyth Festival as a costume designer. She is known for her attention to detail and for collaborating on new works.
Jennifer holds a BFA in Theatre Production and Design from York University and an MA Fashion from Ryerson University. She has worked as part-time faculty for various university departments including the Toronto Metropolitan School of Fashion and School of Performance, and York University Theatre and Dance Departments. She has developed curriculum and taught courses in costume design, fashion design, pattern making, draping, construction, millinery, corsetry, accessories, specialty building, painting and dyeing.
Jennifer has enjoyed working with several museums in the province including the Oakville Museum at Erchless Estate and the Huron County Museum. She has presented at ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Costume, Fashion and Textiles.
Jennifer owns and manages two different social enterprises in Blyth Ontario. Pick a Posie Vintage is a second-hand costume, vintage and eclectic fashion shop that offers one of a kind pieces as well as custom design services. The Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS) is innovative and educational fibre and textile arts hub that offers classes and workshops at both the community and professional level. Jennifer grows a dye garden on her property that she uses to dye clothing, accessories and yarn with. Visit Pick a Posie Vintage and the dye gardens at 345 Queen Street in Blyth, at the corner of Queen and Wellington.
Book Tickets From
2 hours and 30 minutes
June 22 to September 1, 2023
The Donnellys: A Trilogy
Written by James Reaney, Adapted, Abridged and Directed by Gil Garratt.
Sponsored by Carlyle Peterson LLP and the Good Foundation.
The Harvest Stage
No other story from Huron County’s history burns as boldly, and this season audiences can see all three plays in three consecutive nights.
It’s been twenty years since the fairgrounds in Blyth resounded with horse hooves, and were lit up with fateful fire in the night. And in 2023, the local legend continues in three landmark productions in an unparalleled setting.
- Sticks and Stones (June 22 – Sept. 1)
- The St Nicholas Hotel (July 13 – Sept. 2)
- Handcuffs (Aug. 1 – Sept. 3)
The epic tale of the Donnelly clan is ignited by the killing of Patrick Farrell, and follows Johannah Donnelly on her march to Goderich to save her husband from the gallows.
As the Stagecoach wars rage, the action moves through Blyth landmarks from the Queen’s Hotel to the Vigilance Society in the Cedar Swamp Schoolhouse.
All events lead to a fiery February night when justice, revenge, and murder are left indistinguishable in the ashes.
“2023 is the perfect time to re-ignite the telling of the Donnelly story in Blyth. At its heart, this is a story about grit, family, betrayal, the erosion of community, the rise of secret societies, the shadow of conspiracy, and the limits of faith. The show will be filled to the brim with folk music, stagecoaches, and fire in the night.“
Artistic Director Gil Garratt has adapted these three plays for the unique open-air setting of the Harvest Stage. This will be the first time in decades that all three of these touchstone plays have been performed in repertory with each other, affording audiences the chance to take in the whole cycle over three nights.
All three parts will be performed by one single company of ten actors. If a performance is rained out at the Harvest Stage, the performance will be moved indoors to Memorial Hall.
Bonanza Weekend tickets
Book for the ultimate weekend of Canadian theatre at Blyth, August 4-6, 2023. The ever-popular Bonanza will feature:
- The three parts of The Donnellys: A Trilogy presented in order over three nights
- The world premiere of Chronicles of Sarnia
- Other special events announced closer to the weekend
Bonanza Passes are available until April 30, 2023.
Sticks and Stones: Part I
Sticks and Stones: Part I
|Sticks and Stones - Preview||Thursday||June 22, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones - Preview||Friday||June 23, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones - Opening||Saturday||June 24, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Wednesday||June 28, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Thursday||June 29, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||June 30, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Wednesday||July 5, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Thursday||July 6, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||July 7, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Wednesday||July 19, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||July 21, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Wednesday||July 26, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||August 4, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Tuesday||August 8, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||August 11, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Tuesday||August 15, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||August 18, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Tuesday||August 22, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Friday||August 25, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones||Tuesday||August 29, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Sticks and Stones - Closing||Friday||September 1, 2023||8:00 PM|
St. Nicholas Hotel: Part II
St. Nicholas Hotel: Part II
|St Nicholas Hotel - Preview||Thursday||July 13, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel - Preview||Friday||July 14, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel - Opening||Saturday||July 15, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Thursday||July 20, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Saturday||July 22, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Thursday||July 27, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Saturday||August 5, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Wednesday||August 9, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Saturday||August 12, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Wednesday||August 16, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Saturday||August 19, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Wednesday||August 23, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Saturday||August 26, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel||Wednesday||August 30, 2023||8:00 PM|
|St Nicholas Hotel - Closing||Saturday||September 2, 2023||8:00 PM|
Handcuffs: Part III
|Handcuffs - preview||Tuesday||August 1, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs - preview||Wednesday||August 2, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs - Opening||Thursday||August 3, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Sunday||August 6, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Thursday||August 10, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Sunday||August 13, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Thursday||August 17, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Sunday||August 20, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Thursday||August 24, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Sunday||August 27, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs||Thursday||August 31, 2023||8:00 PM|
|Handcuffs - Closing||Sunday||September 3, 2023||8:00 PM|