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October 14 – December 3
Cabaret

VIRTUAL SELECTIONS FROM FREEDOM

Curated and Directed by Beau Dixon


SPIRIT AND LEGACY OF BLACK MUSIC

From the moment Black people landed on North American soil, their music took root and became the basis or much of the popular music we hear today. There is an endless list of exceptional Black musicians who have been lost to history while their white counterparts gained fame. From church hymnals to the blues, from jazz to rock ’n’ roll, R&B and rap, we owe much of our musical history to Black culture, and it’s time to give credit where it is due.

Virtual: Selections from Freedom - Songs & Reading List

House Program: Freedom

Virtual Runtime: tba

Study Guide: Freedom 


Production support is generously provided by Mary Ann & Robert Gorlin and by Sylvia Soyka.


Production Co-Sponsor
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CAST & CREATIVE

    Robert Ball
    Singer

    2021: Singer in Freedom. Second season. Stage/Theatre: A Little Black Lie - Tarragon Theatre; Songs for a New World - Chestnut Street Playhouse; various review shows - Royal Caribbean Productions; Funkentine Rapture (vocal director) - CUNY College; Dream Girls - Brooklyn Parks Department. Film/TV: Lead, Cuckoo (short); lead, A Little White Lie (short); principal, Fatal Attraction (TVOne). Concerts: Up Close and Musical - Stratford Festival, Blockorama - Toronto Pride, Friday Night Live - ROM, Soul in the City - Casa Loma, Beaches Jazz Festival, Capital Pride, Brooklyn Pride, Jamaica Pride, 12.12.12 and Reflections (cabarets) - Triad Theatre, NYC. Opened for: Mary Mary, CeCe Winans, Shawn Desman, Maestro, Keshia Chante, Mya, Big Freda, Nikki Yanofsky. Recordings: Clark Sisters - Lifetime movie; "Running Back to You" and "Encore" featuring Robert Ball - Gfuzion; Need - EP; "Mon Amour" and "Love's All" featuring Robert Ball - Terry Jahz Lewis.

    Alana Bridgewater
    Singer

    2021: Singer in Freedom. Stratford debut. Soulpepper: Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Wild Woman in Rose. Elsewhere: Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray (Charlottetown Festival); various in Spoon River (Signature Centre, NYC). Film/TV: Mysticons, Total Dramarama, Hannibal, Wayne. Radio/Recordings: Narrator in The Journey to Jazz and Human Rights (Jazz FM Radio); Mr. King Dice in Cuphead. Training: University of Windsor Music Theatre Program. Awards: NYF Radio Awards Gold Award for Journey to Jazz and Human Rights and Rose (2020). Online:  AlanaBridgewater.ca. Et cetera: Love to NLM, Tanisha and Mom.

    Beau Dixon
    Singer, Keyboard

    2021: Curator, director and music director of and Ensemble, Keyboard in Freedom. Second season. Stratford: Guys and Dolls, HMS Pinafore. Elsewhere: Ghost Quartet (Crow's Theatre); Marjorie Prime, The Father (Coal Mine Theatre); The Colour Purple (Neptune Theatre); Hamlet, Harlem Duet (Tarragon Theatre); Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 27 Club, Secret Chord (Soulpepper Theatre); Motherf@#!er with the Hat (Alberta Theatre Projects); As You Like It/Titus Andronicus (Canadian Stage/Shakespeare in High Park). Film/TV: Untouchable: Power Corrupts (Discovery), Save Me (CBC), The Expanse (Amazon/Alcon), Station 11 (Paramount/HBO). Radio/Recordings: Music director/composer for Pippin 'Reimagined' (Sheridan); composer for The Big Sleep (Vertigo Theatre); sound design/composer for Poison (Coal Mine), Detroit Folk (solo album/independent), From Here to East City (solo album/independent), available on iTunes. Training: Self-taught. Awards: Two Dora Awards, two Toronto Critics Awards, Calgary Critics Award. Online: beaudixon.com. Et cetera: Beau dedicates this season to his family.

    Camille Eanga-Selenge
    Singer

    2021: Singer in Freedom. Third season. Broadway: The Book of Mormon. Stratford: Slightly in Wendy & Peter Pan, Ensemble in Monty Python's Spamalot, Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors, Ensemble in Billy Elliot the Musical. Regional: Radio in Caroline, or Change (Musical Stage/Obsidian/Winter Garden); Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Ross Petty Panto/Elgin); Home For the Holidays (Big HQ); The Book of Mormon (Chicago, Melbourne); Grease (Irregular Entertainment/Winter Garden); Ghost: The Musical (Drayton Entertainment); Felicia in Queen for a Day: The Musical (April 30th Entertainment); Little Inez in Hairspray (Capitol Theatre). Film/TV: Sleeping Together (FREEFORM), The Boys (Amazon/Sony Pictures TV). Training: Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance from Sheridan Institute. Online: @camilove90. Et cetera: Camille is delighted to be returning to Stratford! She sends love to her mom, family and friends, and the Talent House for their incredible support.

    Paul Antonio
    Drum Kit
    2021: Drum Kit for Freedom. Stratford debut. After attending Humber College for drums and percussion, Paul found himself busier than expected, playing for dozens of local artists/bands, and notably becoming the first-call drummer for artists in the South Asian and Middle Eastern communities. In the 90s, he was a founding member of the band Shade, which toured Canada, USA and Mexico, and boasted a music video in-rotation on MuchMusic for "Monday Morning." Paul has played for Juno Award winner Jesse Cook, Charlotte Church on The Jay Leno Show, Jully Black, Saukrates, Gord Depp, and Juno Award winners Mike Occhipinti and Paul Neufeld (NOJO). When not on the road, Paul would keep himself busy teaching drums and doing recording sessions. He eventually started his own band, Lady Kane, which mainly performed at corporate events, weddings, and enjoyed a three-month tenure at the Grand Hyatt in Muscat, Oman.
    Joe Bowden
    Percussion
    2021: Percussion for Freedom. Stratford debut. Joe Bowden performed in multiple episodes of the hit series Frankie Drake Mysteries and various commercials, including 2021 Pride, Destination Canada and Toronto Raptors. Canadian Stage's 2009 production of Ain't Misbehavin', 2011 Syncopation: Life in the Key of Black gala concert, a fundraiser for the Archie Alleyne Scholarship fund. Joe has performed for five seasons as a member of the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors' 6ix Stix Bucket Band. 2021 nominations for two ECMA awards for his fourth album, Roots - Tales of the Urban Yoda.
    Rohan Staton
    Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
    2021: Guitars for Freedom. Stratford debut. Based in Toronto, Canada, Rohan is known around town as a dynamic guitarist/performer. He's performed with popular artists such as Jully Black, Soular, Dione Taylor and One, to name a few. He's shared stages and studios with some of the world's top session players for award shows, film soundtracks, TV series and CD projects. Career highlights include live stage performances with funk guru George Clinton, The English Beat, Jevetta Steel , Ken Tobias and Sebastian Bach. When not performing on stage or in studio, he composes/produces scores for film and TV shows such as Mutant X, Style by Jury and Brides of Beverly Hills.
    Roger Williams
    Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass
    2021: Basses for Freedom. Stratford debut. Roger Williams is a Toronto-based, Jamaican-born musician who calls on the music of his forefathers. From jazz, soul, R&B and the blues to reggae and ska, it burns through the smoking bass lines of his upright and electric basses. A highly regarded, sought-after musician, he has toured extensively with many artists such as Jully Black, Divine Brown, Ernest Ranglin and Shakura S'Aida, nationally and internationally. He has shared stages and supported artists like Buddy Guy, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Lee Oskar, Ruthie Foster, Bijan Mortazavi, Siavash Ghomayshi and Tommy Castro, to name a few.
    Gavin Hope
    Standby
    2021: Standby in Freedom. Stratford debut (and thrilled about it!) Canadian Stage:The Tempest, As You Like It.Mirvish: Simba understudy, Ensemble, The Lion King; Collins/Benny understudy, Ensemble, RENT. Elsewhere: Peter, Living With Henry (NYMF); Ben, Smokey Joe's Café (Stage West Calgary); California Dreaming (Stage West Mississauga); Falstaff, Carousel, Manon Lescaut, Romeo & Juliet (Calgary Opera). Radio/Recordings: Two-time Juno-nominated member of Canadian acapella pop quartet The Nylons (six studio albums), Juno-nominated top 40 (Anything Like Mine) and vocal jazz (For All We Know) recording artist. Headlining vocalist for Jeans 'n Classics - symphonic pop concerts in USA and Canada (Earth, Wind & Fire, Motown, Stevie Wonder, Prince and more). Film/TV:The Natalie Cole Story, Blues Brothers 2000, Secret Path (with Della Reese), Queer As Folk, The Big Beat Heat, Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Allan Freed Story. Training: Music, University Of Calgary, multiple choral ensembles and self-taught.
    Beau Dixon
    Curator, Director and Music Director

    2021: Curator, director and music director of and Ensemble, Keyboard in Freedom. Second season. Stratford: Guys and Dolls, HMS Pinafore. Elsewhere: Ghost Quartet (Crow's Theatre); Marjorie Prime, The Father (Coal Mine Theatre); The Colour Purple (Neptune Theatre); Hamlet, Harlem Duet (Tarragon Theatre); Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 27 Club, Secret Chord (Soulpepper Theatre); Motherf@#!er with the Hat (Alberta Theatre Projects); As You Like It/Titus Andronicus (Canadian Stage/Shakespeare in High Park). Film/TV: Untouchable: Power Corrupts (Discovery), Save Me (CBC), The Expanse (Amazon/Alcon), Station 11 (Paramount/HBO). Radio/Recordings: Music director/composer for Pippin 'Reimagined' (Sheridan); composer for The Big Sleep (Vertigo Theatre); sound design/composer for Poison (Coal Mine), Detroit Folk (solo album/independent), From Here to East City (solo album/independent), available on iTunes. Training: Self-taught. Awards: Two Dora Awards, two Toronto Critics Awards, Calgary Critics Award. Online: beaudixon.com. Et cetera: Beau dedicates this season to his family.

    Kaileigh Krysztofiak
    Lighting Designer

    2021: Lighting designer of Why We Tell the Story, You Can't Stop the Beat, Play On!, Freedom and Finally There's Sun. Ninth season. Stratford: Lighting designer, Othello, The Comedy of Errors. Assistant lighting designer, six seasons (2011-2016). Selected credits: A Chorus Line, Tommy, A Word or Two, Jesus Christ Superstar. Studio Theatre technical director, 2013. Elsewhere: Honour Beat (Grand), After the Fire, The Particulars (Punctuate, The Theatre Centre); Kinky Boots, Newsies (Drayton Entertainment); Salt-Water Moon (Mirvish, Factory, Why Not); Wildfire (RARE, Soulpepper); The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely, The Breath in Between (Crow's); Superior Donuts (Coal Mine); Laurier (Charlottetown Festival, TNB); Beaver (Storefront); Noises Off (Soulpepper); A Line in the Sand, The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre); Hana Hashimoto (Carousel Players). Training: National Theatre School of Canada. Et cetera: Course Lecturer at Ryerson University, Instructor at the NTSC, General Manager of Lights On Stratford, a two-time Dora nominee and a 2020 Pauline McGibbon Award nominee.

    Peter McBoyle
    Sound Designer
    2021: Sound designer of Why We Tell the Story, You Can't Stop the Beat, Play On!, Freedom and Finally There's Sun. 26th season. Stratford (selected): Over 60 productions including Billy Elliot, Little Shop of Horrors, The Music Man, The Rocky Horror Show, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Shakespeare in Love, Crazy for You, A Word or Two. Elsewhere: Peter has worked at most major Canadian theatres and in US cities such as New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas and Atlanta. Broadway credits: Come Fly Away and Barrymore. Tours include Sister Act, Catch Me If You Can, Come Fly Away, Legally Blonde and West Side Story. Recent projects include Little Canada (Toronto), Immersive Van Gogh (Canada/US), Battle of the Blades (CBC). Training: Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music (McGill). Awards: Suzi (Atlanta), Come Fly Away; Dora nomination, Caroline, Or Change, Fire. Et cetera: Thanks to Meghan, Ella and Beatrice for their unending support.
    Melissa Rood
    Stage Manager
    2021: Stage manager of Freedom. 21st season. Stratford: Favourites include Coriolanus, Shakespeare in Love, The Last Wife, Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Henry V, and Christopher Plummer's A Word or Two. Elsewhere: Rood stage-manages for theatre, dance and opera; on new translations and world premières; with one-woman shows to casts of thousands; in Inuktitut and Ummonian; from the Middle East to the Arctic Circle. Training: Sheridan College (Technical Production); University of Waterloo (Social Work). Awards: Proud recipient of the KP Hay Award. Et cetera: As an arts educator and youth advocate, Melissa is engaged in research with Dr. Trish Van Katwyk and Dr. Yukari Seto, investigating dance as a therapeutic tool, and community development through the arts. Love to those who kept her heart safe in these long months, and gratitude to those inviting her to help tell a different story.
    Cynthia Toushan
    Production Stage Manager

    2021: Production stage manager of the Festival Theatre Canopy and Studio Theatre. 25th season. Stratford: Shows include Chicago (interrupted by COVID), Billy Elliot, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha, Hello, Dolly!, The King and I and others. Elsewhere: Over 40 years as a stage manager in live entertainment including gala events, music concerts, opening ceremonies and fundraising events including A Christmas Carol for the Stratford Hospice. Over 25 years with the Canadian Opera Company as a stage manager; production stage manager and resident director of Jersey Boys, Toronto; 25 years as a singer/dancer and choreographer in Canadian theatre; associate director/choreographer to her mentor, Alan Lund. Et cetera: Love to Paul, daughters Stephanie and Jennifer, son-in-law Andrew, and her grandchildren, Kennedy, Koston and Connor. I am so grateful to be back at work.

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