Theatre – Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge Wraps

I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far on our journey into the Toronto theatre scene. We’ve come a long way in just a few short months and I think I’m comfortable saying we not only reached our goal, but did it well.

Desserts by Chi's Cakes
Desserts by Chi’s Cakes

What started out as just an idea to do a small, local theatre production, quickly escalated into a double bill show with a debut party. Not quite sure how it became so complex, but we have no small ideas, so I apologise for none of it.

Jeremy Panda
Jeremy Panda

Featuring Jeremy Panda, who performed live acoustic guitar music for us, and delicious catered (and Bony Fiddle themed!) desserts by Chi’s Cakes, it was a fantastic kick-off to the first night of the show at the Tranzac Theatre.  Thanks Chi and Jeremy!

Sean George, Eleanor MacVeigh, Eden Kontrimas
Make-up/SFX: Sean George, Eleanor MacVeigh, Eden Kontrimas

A big, Bony Fiddle skull nod to our amazing FX make-up team of Sean George, Eleanor MacVeigh, and Eden Kontrimas (right). The energy and attention they threw into creating the zombies for Lost Refuge added a whole other layer of awesome.

Zombies walking through the crowd and up onto the stage went over really well with the audience during each show and were a big hit. Not to mention, the team pulled off some undead miracles and created us some of the nicest looking zombies I’ve ever seen. And I can’t believe they did it for us. You guys rock!

Back Stage Operations - Samantha Willison, Marina Pratt, and Jasmine Nichols
Samantha Willison, Marina Pratt, and Jasmine Nichols

Samantha Willison, Marina Pratt, and Jasmine Nichols not only helped keep us on track, but more importantly kept us co-ordinated with their adept handling of all our back stage operations and our stage crew. Couldn’t have done it without you!

Original music and sound effects were created by Ryan Bower who kept the sound board along with Samantha during all performances. Ryan was with us from the start and working on the music months ahead of auditions when planning was still preliminary. Props for hanging in there, Ryan, even through the computer problems. Oh, and in case you forgot? No one cares about your golf, Ryan!

Although we didn’t fill the house every night, which would have been too good to be true for our first show, I consider this a huge success for Bony Fiddle and our live performance crew. Feedback from theatre goers was quite positive all around and everyone who worked on the show should feel very proud of themselves.

We even had the pleasure of being reviewed by Daniel Rostas at Mooney on Theatre and the review he gave us couldn’t have been better, especially on our first time out. It tells me we’re on the right path and doing the right thing. The cast and crew know how I feel – they’ve already requested a cast party 3.0!

It’s been a very enjoyable summer, one of the best, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We’ve also met some amazing people that we’ll be working with again and feel like some true friendships were made not only between myself and everyone involved, but within the cast and crew, as well. It’s no easy feat to put on a show in just six months, and with everyone’s help, we did a wonderful thing here.

We brought people together and we made art.

Until next time.


Theatre – Opening Night of A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge

It was a warm reception for opening night of the the Bony Fiddle double bill theatre production A Man for Two Minds/Lost Refuge at the Tranzac Club. We couldn’t be happier.

Our first attempt at pulling off a theatre production, there were definitely some opening night jitters, but the energy of the cast and crew was high. The pre-show was a blast where the very talented Jeremy Panda provided musical entertainment that began when the doors opened at 6:30pm at the Tranzac Club. Catered desserts by Chi’s Cakes added a touch of elegance and macabre with themed desserts, hand-crafted to reflect our love of horror while also delicious.

The pre-show launch party ended with some speech-making by Blair where he made a point to thank every, single person involved… except Ryan Bower (who later cried up in the sound booth). And then it was on with the first of our double bill show, A Man of Two Minds.

A Man of Two Minds
A Man of Two Minds

Being a comedy, you always hope the audience will get the jokes and we were relieved when the audience responded. Didn’t take long for them to catch onto the silliness and they spent most of the next 45 minutes laughing. Fantastic. Couldn’t have asked for a better audience reaction.

Zombie Contest Winner Phalyna, opening night A Man of Two MInds/Lost Refuge
Zombie Contest Winner Phalyna

The major hitch of the evening (there’s always one, right?) came when the start of the second show was delayed. Luckily, we had some time to play with as we ran our “Best Zombie Impression” contest during intermission to an initially shy crowd. After a bit of coaxing, they warmed up to the idea and we had some brave participants willing to be goofy along with us and shuffle around like zombies on stage

All the participants were great and we chose two winners who won tickets to Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland and Screemers, Toronto Canada’s #1 Indoor Haunted Screem Park. The fifteen minute intermission was extended with some further speech-making by Blair as we transitioned from comedy to drama. At the conclusion of the lengthened break, the curtain opened on our second one-act play, Lost Refuge.

Our amazing Stage Manager Samantha Willison and Sound Tech Ryan Bower, who also wrote the epic dubstep track Jurassic for the final scene in Lost Refuge
Sound Tech Ryan Bower, Stage Manager Samantha Willison

After opening with the comedy, the second performance was quite a change that appeared to catch the audience off-guard. That story dark and brooding and emotional, it was more complex and included technical FX and a full set; a contrast to the sparse lightness of the first show

Toward its conclusion when our zombie horde swarmed through the audience on its way to the stage, it appeared everyone’s attention was caught right up to the jarring conclusion. Again, we couldn’t have asked for a better audience reaction. How else should one react to a horde of zombies streaming through the crowd?

Cast of Lost Refuge
Cast of Lost Refuge
Reece Presley as Richard in Lost Refuge
Reece Presley

Both plays written and directed by Blair Mueller, the divergent subject matter of the two one-act plays in juxtaposition was intended to make for an impactful and interesting evening for everyone.

Based on the reaction of the crowd opening night? I’d say, mission accomplished. Fingers crossed for the rest of the run!



A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge is currently running at the Tranzac Club located at 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y2 from Sept 11-13, 2014. Tickets available at the door.

Additional Information

Opening night: 11 September 2014
Running through until: 13 September 2014

A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge contains partial nudity, mature themes and horror special FX make-up

A Man of Two Minds - Comedy
Lost Refuge - Drama

Run time:
One hour and 45 minutes total; each one act play runs 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission between

Theatre – Spotlight on SHOBHA HATTE, “Casey’s mother”

Playing Casey’s overprotective Mother in A Man of Two Minds is Shobha Hatte.

Shobha Hatte plays the over-protective mother in Bony Fiddle's theatre production A Man of Two Minds
Shobha Hatte

Never disappointing us with her energy and drive, Shobha brings the right mixture of crazy and concerned together into Casey’s mother. She seems just as happy to be jumping around on stage waving her cane above her head as she is to sit and have a heart-to-heart with Casey.

Shobha’s introduction to theatre began when a friend requested that she be part of a theatre production that she had written and directed. She found the experience so enthralling, that she decided to pursue it full-time.

“In my spare time, I enjoy reading and spending time with my family, but I am very excited to be part of A Man of Two Minds.”

Shobha has performed in various multi-lingual community theatre productions, the Summer Works Festival, the Fringe Festival and the Inspirato festival. She has also been a part of the Wild Sound staged readings at the National Film Board of Canada.

Theatre – Spotlight on NESSYA DAYAN, “Waitress/Vivian”

Nessya Dayan plays the Waitress in Bony Fiddle’s first theatre production A Man of Two Minds, and comes back from the dead as Vivian in Lost Refuge.

Nessya Dayan
Nessya Dayan

Nessya has a professional approach to her acting, but isn’t afraid to laugh at herself, either. We love that she took the initiative to be in both shows, and has continued to show us how much she enjoys being part of both casts.

Nessya trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and studied drama at the William Esper Studio in New York. Since returning to Canada, she’s had roles in several short films such as “Blindfold” and “Saints City”.

“I am looking forward to being a part of Bony Fiddle’s first production of A Man of Two Minds as well as Lost Refuge.”

Her recent theatre credits include “The Vagina Monologues”, “Salome” and “Kate and I”. She was also part of the 2014 Inspirato festival in “Day Care”.

Theatre – Spotlight on SAMANTHA LEVINE, “Rebecca”

Samantha Levine stars in Lost Refuge as the supporting character, Rebecca, opposite the powerful Reece Preseley.

Samantha Levine plays Rebecca in Bony Fiddle's theatre production Lost Refuge
Samantha Levine

She blew us away with her audition. Samantha brings a level of confidence to her character that is needed to stand up against the strong lead in this theatre production. And she does an awesome job where she much more than holds her own.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at Concordia University in Montreal one year ago, Samantha moved to Toronto to begin her acting career.

Since her arrival in Toronto, she has participated in several independent film projects around the city, but nothing quite like our show.

“These zombies aren’t kidding around…you better watch your back!”

Theatre – Spotlight on NATHALIE BABIS, “Veronica”

The female lead Veronica in the Bony Fiddle theatre production of A Man of Two Minds is played by Nathalie Babis.

Nathalie Babis plays Veronica in Bony Fiddle's theatre production of A Man of Two Minds
Nathalie Babis

Adding an Italian accent into the mix, Nathalie caught our attention as the perfect “girl next door” for Casey. She brings the right attitude to Veronica–a mix of flirty and irritable–and her knowledge of yoga makes her character that much more impressive.

She was born in Lugano, Switzerland and has been involved in the arts since the age of 6, where she started studying and performing in the local theatre in Lugano, Pulci & Cicale, after school.

“I’m honored to be part of such a talented cast and crew! I love playing Veronica because she is quirky, funny and bubbly, but isn’t afraid to tell people what she wants and she’s willing to fight for it!”

At the age of 19, Nathalie moved to New York City to further her theatre studies where she attended The Barrow Group Acting School. After her year in the States, she attended the Vancouver Acting School for Film and TV Intensive Program here in Canada. Nathalie is a dual citizen of Switzerland and Germany and speaks fluent Italian, German and English. Nathalie currently lives in Toronto where she is successfully pursuing her acting career.

Theatre – Spotlight on ANDREW BURKE, “Jared”

Andrew stars opposite Ben and Nathalie as Jared in Bony Fiddle’s theatre production of A Man of Two Minds.

He was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario, and has always been attracted to the performing arts. His laid-back personality compliments his role as Jared, and he seems to fit right in with the rest of cast. Easy to work with and quick to make us laugh, Andrew is a great addition to our theatre show.

Andrew Burke plays Jared in Bony Fiddle's theatre production A Man of Two Minds

“I am so proud to be a part of A Man of Two Minds. This cast and crew have been a delight to work with. Jared is a laid-back, no worries kind of guy and it is this mixed with a little desperation that leads to hilarity. Can’t wait.”

Andrew is a Graduate of the Humber Theatre Performance Program, and it is through his training that he has found a hidden passion for playwriting.

His acting highlights at Humber College include Jacques Bossuet (And the King Dances), Dudakov (Summerfolk), Sir Toby (Twelfth Night), Samuel (Tulip), and Gregor Samsa (Metamorphosis). His recent professional credits include, Alex (One Shade Less of Happiness), Frankie (Broken Earth), and Glasscock (Film School).

Theatre – Spotlight on REECE PRESLEY, “Richard”

Playing the lead role of Richard in the Bony Fiddle theatre production of Lost Refuge, we have Reece Presley.

About two minutes into his audition we knew we had found our Richard. And it was no contest. Reece brings an intensity to the character that is needed to carry this story. All the emotion, all the drama, all the internal struggle plays out from this single character and it’s easy to see Reece digging deep and making it believable, even during rehearsals.

Reece Presley plays Richard in Bony Fiddle's theatre production Lost Refuge
Reece Presley

“It’s been said many times, but great story-telling is the foundation on which great theatre can be achieved. Blair has created two very different, but no less compelling stories, and his team of talented professionals have addressed every detail in brining them to life. That makes my job as an actor, so simple and so thrilling. I am very excited to be working with Bony Fiddle on their debut show.”

Reece graduated from Queen’s University with a major in Economics, and recently made the move to Toronto to pursue a career in acting. He has listings on IMDB and CastCaller. He is currently working on a film entitled Holy Hell which is scheduled for completion in early 2015.

Reece’s previous theatre credits include: Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, Ben in “Night of the Living Dead”, Benedick in “Much Ado about Nothing”, and Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet”.

Theatre – Spotlight on BEN CLIFFORD “Casey”

Ben Clifford plays Casey in the one act comedy A Man of Two Minds, and brings his own crazy energy to the character. His audition blew us away and it was an easy decision to have him fill the roll of Casey. Working with him has been nothing but a pleasure, as he is always on time and enjoys making us laugh.

Ben Clifford plays Casey Bony Fiddle's theatre production Man of Two Minds
Ben Clifford

He has been involved in theatre in some form or another since he was twelve. What started as a way to “avoid doing real school work” evolved firmly into the passion that drives his life. He secretly wanted to be an accountant, but his parents told him “there’s no money in business, get a stable job in the arts”.

“Really looking forward to playing Casey in A Man of Two Minds. Casey, for me, combines the haphazard traits of youth and a natural inclination to story-tell.”

In 2007, he studied Drama and Theatre in Trinity College Dublin. After graduating, he continued on to write and perform sketch comedy around Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe. While in Toronto, Canada, Ben has acted both in theatre and in film, building experience as the lead of two features and numerous plays. He also maintains his Irish connection by working in the Irish theatre scene in Canada. Ben plans to return to his residence in Dublin, Ireland once the Bony Fiddle theatre production of Man of Two Minds has closed.

Theatre – Auditions for A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge

Of the three days of auditions for A Man of Two Minds/Lost Refuge, the very first thrill was reaching the building. Seriously, no kidding.

Sam, Blair, Ryan (right)
Sam, Blair, Ryan (right)

Film, yeah, okay we’ve done that before, but auditions for a theatrical production? Nope, first time, so this was a whole other experience.

The location was empty and it was a nice venue for a casting call besides, so the initial impression was along the lines of “Oooh, it’s all ours? Cool!”. Okay, and the room was called the “bad ass” studio. I mean, come on!

What can we say? The little things along the path of creation still excite us.

Ben Clifford audition
Ben Clifford

Our trusty staff photographer, Monte Shen, was on hand documenting auditionees, so we didn’t have to try to remember to snap pics with phones. Always appreciated. Readings were played against Sam and Blair with help supplied by Keith Beegan and Ryan Bower (who wrote the music and sound effects for the show).

Marina Pratt, who would become our Assistant Stage Manager, came to audition for a role. Due to her enthusiasm for stage management, we didn’t cast her. Okay, and maybe we, ah, convinced her otherwise, because it suited our nefarious purposes.

Marina Pratt
Marina Pratt

Instead of having her in the show, we put her obvious talents to our best advantage as ASM alongside Sam. Anyone who can keep pace next to Samantha’s considerable organisational skills, I give full props to. Can I say I’m glad Sam’s not my boss? You go, Marina!

Over the three days of auditions, multiple people who had confirmed ahead of time didn’t make an appearance which was a bit of a disappointment. On the plus side, despite a poor turnout on the third day, of those who came, that was when we found our “Rebecca” in Samantha Levine, ending the day on a positive note.

The highlight of the auditions? Hands down, that was zombie audition day. There’s nothing quite like making a bunch of grown-ups shuffle around a room moaning and growling. Fantastic! We ended up with eight highly talented individuals who have now become our zombie horde for “Lost Refuge”. Couldn’t see it happen to a nicer group. They’re a great bunch and I think we may see them make a reappearance once the performance wraps. Can’t let a good zombie horde go to waste. That would just be wrong.

With auditions now complete, we dive right into our first days of rehearsal. See you on the other side of those on September 11th for opening night of A Man of Two Minds and Lost Refuge at the Tranzac Club here in Toronto.