the red light district’s inquiry into sexual psychopathy presents:
LULU v.7 // aspects of a femme fatale
a co-production with buddies in bad times theatre
co-created by susanna fournier + ted witzel + helen yung
may 1-20 // opens may 3
tickets are available online at buddies’ website here
a young femme fatale fucks her way across europe and through a series of lovers who all wind up dead, until she meets her end at the hands of jack the ripper. this is LULU. based on german playwright frank wedekind’s 1894 play, this blood-soaked adaptation tears apart a classic text to create a viscerally sexy and energetic treatise on art, sex, and death in the 21st century.
this final version of in our LULU-series is the culmination of a 4-year residency at buddies in bad times theatre, sponsored by BMO financial group.
photo of susanna fournier + ted witzel by tanja tiziana.
cast + creative
lulu — rose tuong
dr. goll / casti-piani — valerie buhagiar
edward schwarz — chala hunter
dr. schöning — christopher morris
alwa schöning — craig pike
schigolch — sky gilbert
countess geschwitz — khadijah roberts-abdullah
rodrigo quast — richard lam
co-creators — susanna fournier + ted witzel + helen yung
director — ted witzel
scenographer — helen yung
lighting design — oz weaver
audiovisual design — wes mckenzie
stage manager — sandy plunkett
apprentice stage manager — alanna dunlop
dramaturge — mel hague
producer — kerry freek
associate designer — sarah doucet
set design assistant — lamis haggag
judie plaza — design intern
for buddies in bad times
artistic director — evalyn parry
general manager — shawn daudlin
director of marketing and development — mark aikman
production manager — charissa wilcox
technical director — adrien whan
house technician — suzie balogh
performer // dr. goll + casti-piani
valerie is an award-winning actor and filmmaker. some highlights include: jordan tannahill’s botticelli in the fire and sunday in sodom at canadian stage, peter and valerie created by buhagiar and peter reder at the national theatre (UK) and we are not afraid of the dark by tine van aerschot in mousonturm (frankfurt). TV episodics such as the expanse, murdoch mysteries, the girlfriend experience, bad blood and many indie films.
valerie’s written, directed and produced several internationally acclaimed films that have worldwide distribution. her recent feature, it’s hard to be human, just premiered at cinequest in san jose california. she is prepping for her third feature film and is developing two television shows. in the meantime valerie is thrilled to be working on LULU.
associate costume designer
after recently retiring from a contemporary dance career, sarah doucet turned her focus to costume and jewellery design and has since had the privilege of designing for some of canada’s leading dance and theatre companies: ‘animals of distinction’ & ’heart as arena’ (MTL); decidedly jazz (calgary) ’juliet&romeo’; 2boys.TV (MTL),’tightrope’; jenn goodwin (TO) ‘if i should stumble’, ‘still life with sand, wood, grass, and movement’; ‘stink’; zoja smutny (TO) ‘rosé porn’; amanda acorn (TO) ‘multiform(s)’ and the upcoming production from holla jazz ‘FLOOR’D’ (TO), due to open april 25, to name a few. she also continues to work in wardrobe for TV, commercials and music videos and is THRILLED to be a part of the design team for LULU.
apprentice stage manager
alanna dunlop is a stage manager, theatre creator, and dramaturge based in toronto, ontario. recent credits as performer/writer include hot kitchen/SECOND SHIFT (raw matter/filament incubator 2016). stage management credits include: assistant stage manager for lulu v.5 // and nothing could ever be the same (red light district), stage manager for trompe-la-mort, or goriot in the 21st century (live lobster theatre/summerworks 2016) and lulu v.4 // but you are not a dead woman (red light district/rhubarb 2016). alanna is currently working towards her MA in theatre & performance studies at york university.
writer // co-creator
susanna fournier is an award-winning canadian theatre-maker and artistic producer of PARADIGM productions. she works in various performance mediums, primarily constructing new texts for theatre. her work is feminist, expressionist, anti-imperial, and sometimes impossible. her writing interrogates socio-economic-gender power relations and their perversions. in 2018/19, PARADIGM will produce susanna’s trilogy of performance texts, the empire, in toronto as a complete season of theatre, as radio-drama podcasts, as an online world, and in other secret ways. the empire abstracts over 500 years of modern history, crashing a mytho-poetic world into the here and now. PARADIGM launched in 2014 with susanna’s debut play, stencilboy and other portraits. since then it has produced her other works; with individual desire (in partnership with ladyparts/nightwood), ALL THE WAYS YOU SCARE ME, and many workshops including susanna’s take rimbaud, a post-dramatic adaptation of arthur rimbaud’s iconic poem, a season in hell. susanna is a part of generator’s artistic producer training program. she’s also the inaugural north american playwright invited to participate in residenztheatre’s “welt/bühne” festival of new dramatic texts. her latest work, antigone lives* will premiere there in july 2018. when she isn’t writing she’s dancing, ordering a cocktail, and asking ted witzel where they’re going next. www.susannafournier.com / www.empiretrilogy.com
kerry freek has a formal education in cultural management and in past years has worked for not-for-profit arts organizations and arts-focused consulting firms.
by day, kerry edits magazines and writes in toronto. she is not an actor, but has a tendency to be melodramatic.
performer // schigolch
sky gilbert is a poet, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, theatre director, and drag queen extraordinaire. he was co-founder and artistic director of toronto’s buddies in bad times theatre — one of the world’s largest gay and lesbian theatres — from 1979 to 1997. he has had more than 40 plays produced, and written 7 critically acclaimed novels and three award winning poetry collections. he has received three dora mavor moore awards as well as the pauline mcgibbon award, and the silver ticket award. there is a street in toronto named after him: ‘sky gilbert lane.’ he’s latest novel sad old faggot (ECW Press) was critically acclaimed. he is presently working on a book of essays entitled small things to be published by guernica press in 2018, and a musical cheri, which will be performed at the fringe this summer with music by dustin peters, starring theresa tova.
set design assistant
lamis haggag is a toronto-based visual artist. she received an MFA from the university of calgary in 2013 and a BFA from helwan university (egypt) in 2008. her practice involves a variety of investigations of the psychological effect of habitual confinement on a human being. her work is a critique of social restraints. she works with a variety of mediums such as painting, installation, interactive installation, performance and public intervention. since 2006 haggag has participated in exhibitions and events in cairo, calgary, beijing, dakar, berlin and lagos. upcoming: railway city arts crawl (st. thomas), and residencies with softWEAR: wearable art and technology supported by interaccess at gibraltar point (toronto), and incheon art platform in south korea.
mel hague is a toronto based curator and dramaturge. mel is the rhubarb festival director and company dramaturge at buddies in bad times theatre, and the artist development coordinator and company dramaturge at obsidian theatre company. previously, mel has worked with factory theatre, banff centre playwrights colony, bcurrent performing arts, fu-gen asian canadian theatre, eastern front theatre, queer acts festival, the paprika festival, and mulgrave road theatre. other theatre credits include litmus theatre’s birth of frankenstein (dora nomination – outstanding new play independent category). dramaturgy work includes venus’ daughter by meghan swaby (obsidian theatre company, february 2016) and up the garden path by lisa codrington (obsidian theatre company, april 2016), black boys by saga collectif with buddies in bad times theatre (november 2016).
performer // edward schwarz
chala hunter is an actor, creator and director, originally from saskatoon, SK. she is a graduate of the national theatre school of canada. selected theatre credits include assistant director for jerusalem (outside the march), her solo piece amy and irma (buddies/rhubarb), noises off (segal centre, jacob tierney), beaver (storefront), wormwood, (tarragon, richard rose), travesties, (segal centre, jacob tierney), canadian stage’s as you like it and titus andronicus, (celia, lavinia) and necessary angel’s tout comme elle (luminato). she will be directing the short film moon dog by alice snaden (toronto actra women’s committee 2018 toolkit production) and is co-producing a web series with amy keating. she is honoured to be part of LULU.
performer // rodrigo quast
richard lam is an actor, musician, and sound designer. acting credits include: hello again (the artillery collective), spoon river (charlottetown festival, off-broadway, toronto), of human bondage (off-broadway, toronto), incident at vichy, blood wedding, marat/sade, the crucible, the dybbuk, idiot’s delight, the dead, the thirst of hearts (soulpepper theatre); peter pan (bad hats/soulpepper); heart of steel (next stage); paper song, are we there yet? (concrete theatre). sound design credits include: the dead, the thirst of hearts, a tender thing (soulpepper theatre); creditors (coal mine theatre); that syncing feeling (outside the march). music direction credits include: spoon river (assistant), heart of steel, the dead, the thirst of hearts. composition credits include: from here (awkward stage productions, music/book/lyrics), work plays (alberta workers’ health centre, music), the ghost sonata (studio theatre, music). richard is also the creator, music director, and arranger of the original cabarets the new toronto and the times they are a-changin’. he has shared two dora awards for best ensemble: with the cast of of human bondage in 2014, and with the cast of incident at vichy in 2016. richard holds a BFA in acting from the university of alberta, and is a graduate of the soulpepper academy and the inaugural canadian musical theatre writers’ collective’s writers workshop.
wesley mckenzie is a lighting, sound and video designer. other credits with the red light district include LULU v.5, LULU v.4, the marquise of O— and LULU v.2. Other collaborations with director ted witzel include mr. truth and intangible trappings (lester trips), trompe-la-mort (live lobster), take rimbaud (howland company). other designs include tenderland and tales of hoffmann (opera laurier); orpheus in the underworld and the fatal gaze (UofT opera); the italian girl in algiers and the rape of lucretia (MYOpera); a line in the sand (factory); slip (circlesnake) an ode to nativity, elijah, and l’enfance du christi (pax christi). outside of designing, wesley is also the production manager for the classic theatre festival in perth, ontario. he teaches theatre production as a professor in the department of dance at york university. see wesleymckenzie.ca for more about wesley.
performer // dr. schöning
christopher is an actor, director, playwright and is the artistic director of human cargo. selected acting credits include a doll’s house and noises off (soulpepper), botticelli in the fire/sunday in sodom (canadian stage), hedda gabler (necessary angel/canadian stage), oedipus rex and the diary of anne frank (stratford festival), the importance of being earnest, alice through the looking glass, stuff happens (national arts centre – member of the 2014/15 NAC english theatre acting ensemble), after miss julie (red one theatre), hamlet and andromache (necessary angel). as a playwright, his play the runner will premiere this november as part of theatre passe muraille’s 2018/19 season. he’s currently developing other plays in china (with chinese playwright zhuang yi), in central african republic (with doctors without borders) and in nunavut/ottawa with tiffany ayalik and miali buscemi about inuk artist annie pootoogook.
performer // alwa schöning
craig just started watching rupauls drag race and is so thrilled to be a part of ted and susie’s theatre extravaganza! he’s acted in a bunch of plays you probably haven’t seen, but he really liked being a part of them nonetheless. some were by dead playwrights and some were by living playwrights. some were in toronto and some were in newfoundland and some were in niagara on the lake. one was in kamloops. craig bakes cookies sometimes at craig’s cookies and is in his 10th season as founding conductor of that choir. to quote ru: if you can’t love yourself how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? can i get an amen up in here?
judie is in the midst of completing her undergraduate studies at york university in theatre production and design. previous credits include student cutter and stitcher for shakespeare in high park, wardrobe intern for charlotte: a tri-coloured play with music, wardrobe assistant for oksana g., and costume coordinator for tapestry briefs 2017.
a champion of site specific theatre sandy often finds himself surrendering to various locales.
sandy is the great-grandson of morley plunkett of the almost forgotten WW1 canadian vaudeville troupe, the dumbells.
selected credits: the trouble with mr adams, the circle (tarragon theatre) the fish eyes trilogy and boys with cars , (nightswimming) the berlin blues and ipperwash (blyth festival) flood thereafter, this (canadian stage ) julius caesar, the comedy of errors, as you like it, titus andronicus, macbeth, a midsummer night’s dream, the winter’s tale, romeo and juliet (shakespeare in high park) public servant,tails from the city, the dog and the angel, weather the weather, (theatre columbus/common boots),) la communion, madre (aluna) the test, through the leaves, festen (company theatre) gladstone variations, yichud (seclusion) (convergance) the silicone diaries, beauty salon (buddies in bad times) the turn of the screw (DVxT).
performer // countess geschwitz
khadijah roberts-abdullah is a dora nominated and my entertainment award winning actor as well as a writer and producer. notable credits include; lila in kat sandler’s bang bang, jessica in scapegoat collective’s cloud, laertes in ravi jain’s the prince hamlet, claudette in how black mothers say i love you, queen elizabeth i in the queen’s conjuror, black woman in we are proud to present…, st. monica in the last days of judas iscariot, and othello in go play producing’s othello. khadijah is thrilled to be working with red light district theatre.
performer // lulu
top notch performer / insecure autobiographer who spent a few formative nights volunteering during rhubarb to score free theatre tickets (her friend’s idea at the time – rose had a crush on said friend and was down for anything). ultimately she’d emerge from that first buddies offering variously stupefied, excited, and enticed by what was seen and felt. that hasn’t stopped happening here. she is stoked to be working in fine company on this provocative thing.
past theatre includes: rose (soulpepper), all’s well that ends well, hamlet (canadian stage), the RESISTIBLE rise of arturo ui (the red light district).
oz is a toronto based lighting designer, production manager and producer; select upcoming credits include: selfie (YPT); IF/THEN (theatre sheridan); dr. silver (PM for musical stage company).
select past credits include: le grand continental, until the lions & bearing (producer for LUMINATO); BANG BANG (Factory Theatre); chasing the path (human body expression); key change (globe theatre); shannon 10:40 (time share); freedom singer (PM & LD for project humanity); maggie & pierre, the importance of being earnest, don’t dress for dinner & blythe spirit (thousand island playhouse); hamlet & all’s well that ends well (canadian stage), mamma mia! (drayton entertainment); LULU v.6, its all tru & rhubarb festival 2016 (buddies in bad times); kitly bender, sous un projecteur, passage & idiom (kemi contemporary dance projects); glenn gould prize jury gala (the sony centre for the performing arts).
oz is also currently the executive director and co-producer of the dietrich group. www.ozweaver.ca
director // co-creator
(taedon witztl doesn’t live here anymore). ######## ted witzel is a queer theatre-maker based between berlin and toronto. he has worked in theatres in vancouver, montreal, stratford, ottawa, london, milan, stuttgart, ingolstadt, baden-baden and bad hersfeld, which is a small town with a lot of sheep in it. well, near it. ######## he has been an artist-in-residence at buddies in bad times working on LULU since 2014. ######## ted was in the inaugural cohort of the york university/canadian stage MFA in directing, has been an artist-in-residence at harbourfront centre (toronto) and institut für alles mögliche (berlin), and won the kevin spacey foundation’s 2016 artist of choice award (which was a much less dubious honour back then). ######## is currently working at the stratford festival apprenticing in artistic direction with antoni cimolino, supported by the metcalf foundation, theatre ontario, the chalmers family foundation, and the ontario arts council. ######## ted used to include a cute joke about his spider plant in his bio, but it recently died of neglect. thisisnttaedon.com
set design assistant
meredith’s greatest artistic inspiration is glitter, however the past few years painting in theatres has taught her to control her urge to throw it everywhere. she studied devised theatre at york university with a focus in set and costume design, and now works as a scenic artist for performances and installations around the GTA. meredith sometimes gets off the ladder to do smaller scale paintings and designs, to perform on the stage she painted, and to teach drama classes and costume design to children. a huge disney fan, meredith most recently performed as unicorn gargoyle in “the hunchback of notre dame” with alexander showcase theatre, and was the scenic artist for wavestage theatre company’s “beauty and the beast”. she’s been painting a lot of stone lately.
scenographer // co-creator
helen makes installations, interactions & interventions. she designs environments and practices marginalia which is a research-y, responsive, expanded way of doing art she made up about 6 years ago. she has been presented / programmed / invited to research and create in montreal, nyc, brooklyn, syros, buenos aires, banff, charleville-mezières, marnay-sur-seine, sydney and in the bush of new south wales, australia. she also does a fair amount of consulting work that is confidential so i guess that sentence doesn’t go anywhere. she’s been named a salzburg global seminar fellow. she doesn’t run much anymore. the tumblr things are still a secret. she threw away her spider plant after she read somewhere they breed spiders. helenyung.com