GENDER? I HARDLY KNOW THEM A Queer Sketch Show Produced by Tiny Bear Jaws with support from Rapid Fire Theatre Premiered August 2019 at the Edmonton Fringe Festival
"Nanette" meets "Baroness Von Sketch" in this queer comedy show, created by award-winning playwright and performer Elena Eli Belyea and Rapid Fire/Dang Dumb director and performer Sydney Campbell. Dad jokes, first dates and catcalls collide in this joyfully provocative premiere that will leave you breathless, whatever your pronouns.
CO-CREATED + PERFORMED BY Elena Eli Belyea and Sydney Campbell
”☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - Producing a show crafted with care, Elena Eli Belyea and Sydney Campbell offer side-splitting last rites to societal norms, love languages, truck-window pickup lines, Pride-pandering banks, gender prison, the adventures of Greg and Stan, and deliver a must-see-material zodiac guide — including a Sagittarius takedown that’s been a long time coming. … If every funeral was this laugh-out-loud funny we’d dig up the dead three times a week just to bury the bastards again. See this show.” - Edmonton Journal
“☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ - The sketches in Gender? I Hardly Know Them are fast-paced and quick-witted. Belyea and Campbell switch characters at a moment’s notice and are so on at all times that it’s a little exhausting just watching them. In the sequences between sketches, the two slow down and offer something different—vulnerability, emotional authenticity, and something to think about regardless of your (current) sexuality or gender identity.” - Daze Magazine
“The duo are practiced comedians and present a barrage of sketches that are frequently funny, often hilarious, and edged with an incisive cleverness.” - Mel Priestley
”The most relatable sketch comedy I have ever seen.”
“Got to see this open last night— it’s important, sharp, and fucking hilarious. If you see one thing, make it Gender? I Hardly Know Them.”
“Funny. Poignant. Perfect.”
“Trans and non-binary people rejoice! This is the representation we need and deserve!”
100 minutes, 2 /3 actors.
The World Premiere of Smoke was produced by Downstage Theatreand ran from February 13-23, 2019.
ARTISTIC TEAM Elena Eli Belyea - Playwright Christine Brubaker – Director Alexandra Dawkins - Performer (Jordan, F) Chantelle Han - Performer (Aiden) Joel David Taylor - Performer (Jordan, M) Graham Frampton – Lighting Designer Thomas Geddes – Sound Designer Anton deGroot - Set Designer Jordan Wieben - Costume Designer Aldona Barutowicz - Publicist Andrea Donaldson - Script Dramaturg Ivanna Ihekwoaba – University of Calgary Theatre Intern Jessie Paynter – Production Manager Katherine Penhale - Production Assistant Jenna Rodgers – Production Dramaturg Carissa Sams - Stage Manager Meags Fitzgerald - Poster Design
Jordan, Aiden's ex, shows up at Aiden's apartment to confront her about the allegation that Jordan sexually assaulted her two years ago. The smoke is thick and the town is burning. What will it take to put it out?
Split Casting Half of the evening performances featured the characters of Aiden (played by Chantelle Han) and Jordan (played by Alex Dawkins) as two women. The other half featured the character of Aiden as a woman (played by Chantelle Han) and the character of Jordan (played by Joel David Taylor) as a man. Downstage celebrates the wide range of gender identities across the gender spectrum, that exist beyond the binary of “men” and “women".
Development History Smoke was developed as part of Nightwood Theatre's Write From The Hip script development program as well as Caravan Farm Theatre's National Playwrights Retreat. The actors who appeared in the 2017 WFTH workshop reading were Diana Luong and Jesse LaVercombe.
The workshop production was produced as part of the National Theatre School’s New Words Festival and ran from April 28 to May 2, 2015.
Written by Elena Eli Belyea Dramaturgy by Emma Tibaldo Workshop Directed by Andrea Donaldson as part of the National Theatre School’s 2015 New Words Festival Workshop production performed by Thomas Mitchell Barnet, Cynthia Hicks, Emma Laishram, Dustin Luck, Diana Luong and Erik Mrakovcic Premiere production performed by Jordan Fowlie, Dave Horak, Emma Houghton, Natasha Napoleao, Elena Porter, Luc Tellier, Poster by Meags Fitzgerald Photos by Maxime Côté
Developed as part of the 2015 MFA Playwrights’ Workshop presented by the National New Play Network and Kennedy Centre in Washington, DC. Winner of the 2015 Wildfire National Playwriting Competition. Semi-finalist for the 2015 NNPN New Play Showcase. Shortlisted for the 2016 APN 50th Anniversary Alberta Playwriting Competition.
For 17-year old intersex Aaron, the new school year means a new chance at life. For Pina, another shot at head cheerleader. For Mark, open season. A stranger intersects with a family in exile from itself. Parents Paul and Carol struggle to keep secrets from their children, desperate to know the truth. Like a surgeon’s knife before a first incision, the scalpel is poised and ready to slice.
MISS KATELYN'S GRADE THREES PREPARE FOR THE INEVITABLE
60 minutes, 1 actor.
CREATIVE TEAM FOR TINY BEAR JAWS' 2018 PRODUCTION Written and performed by Elena Eli Belyea Directed by Emma Tibaldo Stage Management and Sound Design by Tori Morrison Production Design by Alison Yanota Production History: Western Canadian tour in summer 2018 to Downstage Theatre (Calgary), Fringe Theatre’s Spotlight Series (Edmonton), and Sunset Theatre (Wells). Staged reading at Tarragon Theatre in fall 2018. Poster design: Meags Fitzgerald
CREATIVE TEAM FOR TINY BEAR JAWS' 2015/2016 PRODUCTION Written and performed by Elena Eli Belyea First Production Dramaturgy by Jon Lachlan Stewart and Iris Turcott Original Production Directed by Jon Lachlan Stewart Production History: Presented at the 2015 Montreal and Edmonton Fringe Festivals as well as the 2016 Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival and Workshop West’s Chinook Series. Poster design: Meags Fitzgerald
Miss Katelyn’s Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable was translated to french by Olivier Sylvestre, and has been touring Eastern Canada (including cities such as Quebec City, Ottawa, and Montreal) since 2018. It was also published by Dramaturges Éditeurs. Find out more here.
* “You see, boys and girls... bad things happen to good people all the time. So, it’s our job to make sure we’re as prepared as possible for the innumerable threats that can and will come our way. And not just prepared prepared. Miss Katelyn prepared."
Montreal, Columbine, Newtown, Orlando. Welcome to class 3B at Saint Joseph's Elementary School. Your teacher, Miss Katelyn, knows the world is a dangerous place and her life-saving lesson is about to begin.
Winner of Best Production and Best New English Text at the 2015 Montreal Fringe Festival and nominated for a 2016 Sterling Award for Best New Fringe Play, Miss Katelyn's Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable is a comedic drama about one woman's desperate attempt to keep her students out of harm's way. Not everything is as it seems in this breakneck investigation of panic, prevention, and paranoia in a post-truth world.
Selected Press " ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ -- On the last day of school, Miss Katelyn (Elena Belyea) decides to teach Class 3B (the audience) about safety. After attendance is called, our jittery, impassioned teacher launches into today’s lesson: how to survive a school shooting. ... Unlike so many other dark comedies at the Fringe, this show earns its transformation from laughs to tears as it sinks its teeth into weighty subject matter. ... An A+ show!" - Vue Weekly (Full article here).
"Finally, there’s Miss Katelyn’s Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable, an initially amusing, finally genuinely disturbing take on the phenomenon of school shootings. The first two rows of the audience are assigned class name tags and solicitously advised by teacher Miss Katelyn (played by the show’s creator, Elena Belyea) on the best ways to outwit a rampaging gunman. Not surprisingly, Miss Katelyn turns out to be a powder keg of neuroses herself, and we, her little charges, gradually realize where the real danger lies ... There’s no denying this show’s sincerity or gut-wrenching power.” - Montreal Gazette (Full article here).
"Playwright and performer Elena Belyea manages to poke fun at the darkest of subjects, providing a general meditation on surviving the inevitable, whether it’s a shooting or whatever life brings you.” - Cult Montreal (Full article here).
“Miss Katelyn’s Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable is one of the most engaging plays I’ve seen. ... You can’t help but buy into this world that Elena has created and active engagement of the audience is one of the most interesting parts of the show.” - After The Houselights (Full article here).
EVERYONE WE KNOW WILL BE THERE: A HOUSE PARTY IN ONE ACT
70 minutes, 5 actors. Site-specific.
The World Premiere (Part 1) of Everyone We Know Will Be There: A House Party in One Act took place in Edmonton, produced by Tiny Bear Jaws and presented as part of NextFest 2017 in June 1-10, 2017.
WRITTEN + PRODUCED BY Elena Eli Belyea DIRECTED BY Andrew Ritchie PRODUCTION MANAGER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, STAGE MANAGER + SOUND DESIGN: Tori Morrison ASSISTANT DIRECTED BY Sarah Emslie CORE ACTING COMPANY: Eva Foote, Ashleigh Hicks, Roland Piers, Gabriel Richardson, Diego A. Stredel ACTING ENSEMBLE: Mohamed Ahmed, Andrew Cormier, Sarah Culkin, Todd Houseman, Kloee Huberdeau, Candace Job, Hillary Warden, Malcolm Vick ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGERS: Sydney Campbell, Matt Dejanovic, Bradley Doré, Christina Nguyen
DRAMATURGY: Dean Patrick Fleming, Sarah Elkashef, and Emma Tibaldo
The World Premiere (Part Two) of Everyone We Know Will Be There: A House Party in One Act took place in Calgary, produced by Tiny Bear Jaws and presented by Swallow-A-Bicycle in June 14-17, 2019.
WRITTEN + PRODUCED BY Elena Eli Belyea DIRECTED BY Andrew Ritchie PRODUCTION MANAGER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, STAGE MANAGER + SOUND DESIGN: Tori Morrison ASSISTANT DIRECTED BY Sarah Emslie CORE ACTING COMPANY Eva Foote, Ashleigh Hicks, Roland Piers, Gabriel Richardson, Diego A. Stredel ACTING ENSEMBLE: Jaymie Marie Brennan, Michael Cheim, Andrew Cormier, Kloee Huberdeau, Alvan Le, Ezra Warnock, Mac Wood, Jordyn Wood
PHOTO CREDIT: Mat Simpson
Developed with support from Playwrights Workshop Montreal.
Keg stands, Sour Puss, Snapchat and Yukaflux. Brad’s parents are out of town for the weekend, which means only one thing — the most orgiastic, booze-filled rager this school has ever seen. Everyone we know will be there, plus a few nobodies. A deafening investigation of teenage sex, identity, consent, and the warm, wet lessons we can only learn in the dark.
“You can only imagine how complicated this kind of spontaneous chaos, at the intersection of the individual and the group, is to synchronize. The natural rhythms of start and stop, and the scrambly, bruising escalation of tension fuelled by booze, happen at Brad’s place: stories within stories. Kudos to Belyea, Ritchie and stage/production manager Tori Morrison, all founders of Edmonton’s Found Festival, for figuring out the smaller personal arcs within a larger arc of a “play.”” – Liz Nicholls (Full article here).
"For the Children: Everyone We Know Will Be There is a truly immersive play that takes place in a suburban house. The youth-oriented piece was inspired by playwright Elena Belyea’s time at the National Theatre School. “I was feeling a bit challenged because I feel like a lot of theatre written for young people can be preachy or very lesson-based,” she says. “I started trying to write the play that I wished I could have given myself when I was young.”" - Josiah Hughes, Swerve (Full article here).
MADAME CATHERINE PRÉPARE SA CLASSE DE TROISIÈME À L’IRRÉMÉDIABLE
D'Elena Eli Belyea Traduction: Olivier Sylvestre Mise en scéne: Jon Lachlan Stewart Avec Alice Pascual Scénographie: Cédric Lord Éclairages: Audrey-Anne Bouchard De Surreal Soreal + Théâtre Prospero
Production History May 2018 at Théâtre Prospero (Montreal) May 31 + June 1, 2019 at Carrefour International de Théâtre (Quebec City)
UPCOMING Remount at Théâtre Prospero (Montreal) from September 24 to October 12, 2019 Run at l’Unitheatre (Edmonton) from November 20 to 23, 2019 Run at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins + le Théâtre la Catapulte (Ottawa) April 16-18, 2020
Bienvenue dans la classe de madame Catherine. Votre professeure de troisième année sait que le monde dans lequel vivent ses élèves est irrémédiablement violent et dangereux. C’est pourquoi, en cette dernière journée d’école, elle vous a préparé une leçon d’une importance capitale. Votre survie en dépend… mais les choses ne se passent pas tout à fait comme prévu.
Dans cette nouvelle mise en scène de Jon Lachlan Stewart (Big Shot, Salle intime, Prospero 2017), madame Catherine vous plonge dans sa propre paranoïa, passant du profilage racial à l’obsession sécuritaire, avec en arrière-plan, la crainte viscérale d’une tuerie de masse, et le besoin de s’en prémunir par tous les moyens. Mais derrière toute paranoïa se cache une indicible vérité.
Madame Catherine prépare sa classe de troisième à l’irrémédiable est une comédie noire d’une inquiétante étrangeté sur un monde en dérive, un monologue abordant notre rapport aux armes à feu, où le tragique nous guette et plane au-dessus de la tête de tous les petits adultes en devenir.
DANS LES MÉDIAS
Une comédie noire, grinçante à souhait, un solo qui cristallise ingénieusement le régime de terreur qui prend chaque jour un peu plus d’emprise sur nos vies. — Christian St Pierre, Le Devoir
La performance d’Alice Pascual est magistrale dans le rôle de cette professeure tellement aimante et préoccupée par la sécurité de ses élèves qu’elle en vient à alimenter le climat de peur envahissant plutôt qu’à le prévenir. — Sarah Thibault, Montheatre
ECHOLALIA – The unsolicited repetition of vocalizations made by another person. One of the echophenomena.
Palilalia is lonely. So are all her friends: Wolf, Happy, and Guts. A non-linear children's play for adults.
30 minutes, 1 actor.
Written and performed by Elena Eli Belyea Dramaturgy by Brian Drader Produced by Tiny Bear Jaws as part of the 2014 Common Ground Arts Society's Found Festival Directed by Lianna Makuch Photos by Michael Kuby
Tonight's the night and Cutie desperately needs your help getting ready for her big date. There's a lonesome man on the loose: pining, pitiful, and searching for love. Cutie knows once he finds her, his hunt will be over. An acidic, site-specific exploration of the "Well-BehavedVictim".
60 minutes, 4 actors.
Written by Elena Eli Belyea Dramaturgy by Iris Turcott
Developed as part of the ‘14 Banff Playwrights Lab.
Fetch: (vb.) To go after and bring back. (n) A living person’s spectral double, appearing to friends or relatives, usually as an omen for the figure’s impending death. For Alice, raising her 11-year-old granddaughter Tegan is no easy task. Tegan has been having the most wonderful dreams, inhabited by an unknown presence. Now, she must go on a journey back to the beginning, to a lie Alice told years ago, to discover the truth about her origins and the whereabouts of her not-so-dead father, Will, who has been having strange dreams of his own. A collision of longing, loss and love.