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WORKING FRINGE IMAGE monster supporting

MONSTER

An original musical written by Jill Raymond and Florence Reiher.

Music Composition/Arrangement: Florence Reiher

Director/Choreographer: Jill Raymond

Musical Director: Florence Reiher


CAST:
Medusa: Shriya Chamarty

Athene: Martha Ansfield-Scrase

Poseidon: Matt Loop

Perseus: Kenneth Tynan*

Peggy, a Muse: Jess McLeod*^

Eurie, a Muse: Alexis Hope

Ceto, a Muse: Robegiene Farinas

Chrissy, a Muse: Annie Liang

Stheno, a Muse: Jill Raymond

Bard Muse: Florence Reiher

*Appearing with permission from CAEA

^Dance Captain

Stage Manager/Lighting Designer: Andy Sandberg

Assistant Stage Manager:

Heather Webster

Projections and Graphic Design (including MONSTER logo image):

Jill Raymond

With special thanks to:

Isa Sanchez and Jenna Grubaugh (Assistant Producer)

Rafaella Rabinovich (Costume Designer)

Chrysta Webster (Props Assistant)

Tara Travis (Shadow Projections Consultant)

Yulien Levchyk (Choreography Consultant 'Gorgon Girl')

John Prowse/Kaylin Schenk (Photography)

Keith Brown/Louisa Phung (Videography)

And all our incredible supporters

A Note from the Creators

Jill and Florence

Snake

The Story of MONSTER

After Direct Theatre Collective was picked for Vancouver Fringe, Jill Raymond (Artistic Director) had one mission - get Florence Reiher on board. Jill knew she wanted to do a show about the infamous monster Medusa, and the team at DTC had been discussing a breakaway from their usual tech-heavy, dystopian features of previous years (2022's verisimilitude and 2018/19's Hysteria). A musical? Joy? Laughter? Well yes, expect both of those during our 'Greek Tragedy' - Monster, an original musical.


Once Florence was on board, a decision was made to loosely structure around the traditional format of a tragedy, including prologue, episodes followed by commentary/storytelling by a chorus, and an exodus. This blending of a very traditional format with a modern musical style is something inherently unique to our production. What followed was many hours of discussion and research, picking apart and really delving into the story of Medusa - not just a vengeful man-hating killer, there are in fact countless retellings of her story (including some where she in fact killed noone...), but through all the ebbs and flows of narrative about her life - it seems we rarely get to hear a voice that is from Medusa herself. So that became our focus for the musical - let's give Medusa a voice in her own narrative.

 

From many afternoons sitting together riffing on lyrics and offering melodies, and independant writing stints, Florence the musical virtuoso composed and scored the entire production on keys, providing the backbone for adding more instruments and further developing the score. Whilst Jill moved onto creating the script, and rolling out the production side to getting MONSTER on it's feet.

 

What we are ultimately left with is an hour packed with fifteen original songs in a tour-de-force new retelling of our MONSTER, the incredible Medusa.

Once again let us remind you of who she is, forever the Gorgon Girl.

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CAST BIOGRAPHIES (In alphabetical order)

 

MARTHA ANSFIELD-SCRASE (Athene)

After years of being a staunch supporter of Direct Theatre Company from the sidelines, Martha is honoured to be in this year’s tremendous production. Playing a Goddess is definitely a career highlight! 
Next up, catch her in ‘The Other Chekhov’ at Jericho Arts Centre in October, and the dazzling ‘Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular’ on Vancouver Island in December.

SHRIYA CHAMARTY (Medusa)

Shriya Chamarty, a 5th year plant biology student at the University of British Columbia, is driven by a passion for plant biodiversity, but her heart lies in the realm of performing arts. From being a traditional kathak dancer to being a jazz vocalist, Shriya has always been drawn to the stage one way or the other. You can find her most recently in the ConnectHER Film Festival short film, "Wash Your Hands of My Blood.” Shriya is grateful to the tight circle she calls family, as they forcefully listen to her impressions of Lin Manuel Miranda, but more importantly, push her onto the stage despite life’s detours.

ROBEGIENE FARINAS (Ceto, A Muse)

Robegiene was born and raised in the Philippines where she learnt how to sing and perform on stage. She moved to Calgary at age 9 and through high school, landed the lead in the production of Sound of Music. She has also worked as ensemble on a local production of Shrek the Musical as well. She continued to perform on and off camera in various short films and commercials. Robegiene now lives in Vancouver studying and working as an actor. She enjoys expressing herself through the performing arts and hopes to be in it for the long run.

ALEXIS HOPE (Eurie, A Muse)

Alexis Hope is a singer, writer, and graduate of the VanArts Acting for Film & Television program. Her recent theatre credits include playing Sally Jackson in The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (CTORA), Jennie in Thy Neighbour's Wife (United Players), and Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest (UBC Players Club). Originally from Calgary, she’s the co-founder of Girls That Giggle Productions, and an advocate for more representation of Black joy in media. She would like to thank her family and friends for all of their love and support, and is excited to continue creating art!

ANNIE LIANG (Chrissy, A Muse)

Annie Liang, a vibrant and versatile performer, is thrilled to make her Vancouver Fringe debut!  Her diverse experience spans from singing in musicals to doing improv on the local stage.  She is a passionate dancer, with her repertoire encompassing vernacular jazz, blues, hip hop, waacking, house, cheer, and roller dance. She was recently a featured dancer on Swing Wars and Harpdog Brown’s “One Step Forward.” On and off the stage, her presence reflects her boundless energy and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

MATT LOOP (Poseidon)

Greetings from the ocean! Matt welcomes you and thanks you for coming to this beautiful musical. While not the first time he has played a deplorable god, Matt was last seen striding the boards as Supt. Baxter in “Busybody”, with Deep Cove Stage, as well as many a character in Vital Spark Theatre’s “Under Milk Wood.” When not acting, Matt prunes hedges and tends gardens. He would like to thank Jill, Florence, and the entire Direct Theatre Collective for giving him the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful play. Matt hopes that ever may your seas be calm, and if not, may home port never be that far away. And of course, that you enjoy the show!

Matt recognizes that he is a white settler performing on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

JESS MCLEOD (Peggy, A Muse)

Jess McLeod has been acting for most of their natural life, on-stage and in television/film. TV/Film credits include The Unforgivable (Netflix), One of Us is Lying (NBCUniversal), and the upcoming feature It's A Wonderful Knife. Previous stage credits include Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical (Ridge Theatre) and The Vagina Monologues (UBC). They hope you enjoy the show & thank you for supporting local independent theatre!

JILL RAYMOND (Stheno, A Muse)

Known for delving into futuristic dystopias, the pursuit of an authentic retelling of the story of a most infamous historical MONSTER is quite a departure - as well as being the first musical she has co-written (alongside the formidable Florence Reiher). Not quite being able to pull herself away from the lights of the stage, whilst also wanting to maintain overall direction of the production - she finds herself dancing through many roles to help bring this beautiful, devastating story to life. Thank you for your support, now go tell your friends so we can get all the butts in these seats.

 

FLORENCE REIHER (Bard, Muse)

Florence is an actor, writer and composer. On screen, some of her credits include Bates Motel (A&E), A Million Little Things (ABC), and numerous commercials. On stage, she has performed in various musicals and plays such as the second iteration of Hysteria (Direct Theatre Collective) as well as her first penned musical, a one-woman show, Worth the Weight (Ben Bilodeau Productions). She is excited to be working with DTC again in her musical directorial debut with the new, original production of Monster, at this year's Vancouver Fringe Festival.

 

KENNETH TYNAN (Perseus)

Kenneth Tynan is an artist based in the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples or colloquially known as Vancouver. He has been working for the past decade in theatre, film and Tv having had the pleasure of working on shows from Jesus Christ Superstar (Fighting Chance Productions), all the way to appearing in a small role in Power Rangers (2019). More recently he was a recurring character in Netflix's Zero Chill, a figure skating youth TV program, and he was in Direct Theatre's Verisimillitude last Fringe so he is very excited to add Monster to his list of recent works and to be working with Jill, Isa and Florence on this new project. Kenneth is also discovering his voice as a writer and had his own play, Qi-Pao, appear at the Or Festival (2023) this past year. He has now begun the journey of pursuing creative writing at UBC and cannot wait to see where it takes him. He hopes you will take the time to see Monster and support the amazing artists that Fringe always brings together.

Please email us with your thoughts/comments/reviews hellodirecttheatre@gmail.com, or leave us a patron review at the link above.

If you enjoyed the show, please consider donating to Direct Theatre Collective - so that we can pay the incredible cast and crew of this production. You can also send a direct e-transfer to hellodirecttheatre@gmail.com

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