LULU v.1 // pandora’s box: a monster-tragedy
she is bedroom eyes and short skirts in every kind of weather. she is the long-legged high-heeled daughter of eastern europe, some fantasy born to drive an industry of sex-import and mail-order pussy. she will ruin you, and you will thank her for it.
a staged presentation of our preliminary investigation into lulu and her lovers, the results of a week of debate and exploration, a crash-course staging about frank wedekind and his frankenstein-monster fembot, with a cast of characters that also includes a lesbian countess, a circus acrobat, and jack the ripper.
presented november 2, 2014, at buddies in bad times.
directed by ted witzel. collaborating artists: salvatore antonio, keith barker, sedina fiati, susanna fournier, sky gilbert, billy merasty, daniela pagliarello, aurora stewart de peña, & david yee.
salvatore antonio is an actor, playwright, director and educator based in toronto, canada. he graduated from the acting program at the national theatre school of canada––– where he now teaches as a guest artist.
as an actor salvatore has played on most of canada’s professional stages from vancouver to halifax. select performances include; originating the title-role in the critically-acclaimed ‘leo’ (tarragon theatre), playing the title-role in hosanna (young centre), refugee hotel (theatre passe-muraille),melancholy play (factory theatre), and most recently france: or the niqab (theatre passe-muraille).
on television he can be seen playing the series-regular or recurring roles on single ladies (bet), reign (mtv), remedy (global), and saving hope (ctv). feature film work includes a supporting role in brandon cronenberg’s : antiviral, and featured roles in verona; cursing hanley; looking for angelina; gospel of john; and sam’s lake .
salvatore is a published playwright, who has been produced internationally in centers like toronto, florence, san francisco, and new york. he was named a finalist for the governor general’s award for drama for his first play in gabriel’s kitchen in 2007. he was playwright-in-residence at buddies in bad times theatre, and an invited member of the playwrights units at tarragon theatre, buddies in bad times, and factory theatre. in april 2012, salvatore wrote and directed an original piece entitled, the sheets, the… which was presented at harbourfront centre as part of the HATCH artist residency program.
salvatore is the artistic director and advanced-level acting instructor of toronto’s armstrong acting studios.
keith barker is a métis artist from northwestern ontario. he is a graduate of the george brown theatre school, and a former writer in residence and artistic associate at native earth performing arts. he was the 2013 recipient of the SATaward for excellence in playwriting for his play, the hours that remain, which is available through playwrights canada press. hours also won the yukon audience award for best art for social change in 2014. keith recently collaborated with unspun theatre to create the speedy, which saw its north american premiere at world stage at the harbourfront centre in may 2014. it will now be taught at the university of toronto. other theatre credits include: a soldiers tale (signal theatre), king lear (national arts centre), tombs of a vanishing indian (red diva/native earth), jesus chrysler (praxis / rhubarb) homegrown (aluna / summerworks), the making of st. jerome (next stage festival), job’s wife (new harlem productions/summerworks), death of a chief, (national arts centre / native earth), autoshow (convergence theatre).
sedina fiati is a black, queer, femme butterfly. she is a multidisciplinary theatre/media artist and producer, who believes we should leave the world better than we found it. most recent projects: 30 people watching (subtle vigilance, producer), the blind eye (mysterious entity, performer), chicken grease is nasty business (summerworks, performer), the odyssey (driftwood theatre, performer), last dance (self produced one person show). sedina also loves cabarets and has appeared in the following (unapologetic burlesque, les femme fatales, and queer futures). sedina was named as one of toronto fierce femme organizers, which was the 2014 dyke march honoured group. upcoming: a break where she will do her nails and eat cookies.
susanna is a toronto based theatre maker. her company, paradigm productions, launched the world premiere of her award-winning play, stencilboy and other portraits at the toronto next stage festival. she is currently developing her bold, multi-disciplinary adaptation of medea in collaboration with christopher stanton, as the inaugural project for their new artistic partnership, the MAKE. most recently susanna has returned from the banff centre for the arts where she was an invited writer in the 2014 playwrights colony, working on her trilogy of modern epics, the empire. susanna’s writing is supported by nightwood theatre, the shaw festival, canadian stage, and the toronto and ontario arts councils. her play, the philosopher’s wife, was an honourable mention in the 2013 herman voaden national playwriting competition and garnered susanna the cayle chernin award for emerging female talent. www.susannafournier.com
sky gilbert is a writer, director, and drag queen extraordinaire. he was co- founder and artistic director of buddies in bad times theatre (north america’s largest gay and lesbian theatre) for 18 years. his novels GUILTY (1998), BROTHER DUMB (2007) and COME BACK (2012) were critically acclaimed. he has received three dora mavor moore awards (including recently for THE SITUATIONISTS) and the pauline mcgibbon award for theatre directing, and he was the recipient of the margo bindhardt award (from the toronto arts foundation), the silver ticket award (from the toronto alliance for the performing arts), and the ReLit Award (for his fourth novel AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN, 2004). his play ST. FRANCIS OF MILLBROOK was recently published by playwrights canada press, and his new autobiographical novel SAD OLD FAGGOT will be published by ECW press next year. dr. gilbert holds a university research chair in creative writing and theatre studies at the school of english and theatre studies at the university of guelph. in november of 2014 the city of toronto named a street after sky: sky gilbert lane.
billy merasty was born in a cree speaking family, in the remote northern community of brochet, manitoba. he has been based in toronto for four decades now, and celebrating 31 years in the performing arts – having worked in theatre, film, radio and television, and having worked across canada and in the u.s.a. he is also openly gay, and is enriched by this reality, and is looking forward to continuing my involvement in the arts of north america for 31 more years. thank you to ted witzel for inviting me to take part in your fabulous lulu project—it was an awesome experience!
aurora stewart de peña
aurora stewart de peña is a writer, director and the co-founder of birdtown and swanville. she mostly writes plays and films, which include dumbo squid (produced summerworks 2012 and november 2011 at the know theatre in binghamton NY, currently under further development) lily-rose (produced at the dean clough theatre in yorkshire, england) 36 little plays about hopeless girls (which enjoyed favourable reviews and an eye magazine cover story at the 2009 toronto fringe festival) and family story, which won the national theatre school award for design at the 2013 summerworks festival, and triptychtriptychtriptych, (currently in post-production).
with nika mistruzzi, aurora wrote and directed dead wrestlers and the physical ramifications of attempted global domination, which garnered positive recognition in now magazine, but disgust in the national post.
(taedon witztl doesn’t live here anymore).
ted makes plays. usually they’re by dead people. not always. right now he does that in toronto. he has also done it in vancouver, montreal, berlin, paris, 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 a company where he makes plays with friends, called the red light district. ted has a so-called spider-plant on his desk that is taking an awfully long time to make spiders.
david yee was born and raised in toronto. he is currently the artistic director of fu-gen theatre company. a dora mavor moore award nominated actor and playwright, his work has been produced internationally and at home. his play, lady in the red dress, was nominated for the 2010 governor general’s literary award and is published by playwrights canada press.