The Dinner – Toronto Fringe 2012 Press Release

Sponsored by TD Canada Trust under Toronto Fringe’s inaugural Culturally Diverse Artists Project

Written by Jason Murray, Directed by Jordan Merkur
Production Mentorship by Sky Gilbert, Dramaturgy by Edward Roy
Produced by Upstage Productions, Executive Produced by Derrick Chua
Starring: Rick Jon Egan, Kirstin Hinton, Jason Jazrawy, Jeff Madden,
Farah Merani, Scott Stephenson, Lisa Waines, Dale Yim

Toronto, Ontario… Upstage Productions is thrilled to announce its production of The Dinner at the Toronto Fringe Festival, opening Wednesday, July 4 at 8:15 pm at Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto (full schedule below). The Fringe runs July 4 to July 15, 2012.

Lance and Grace host their annual Thanksgiving dinner party for old friends. New guests to this year’s occasion change the entire affair. Deep-rooted tensions among old friends, tensions unspoken for well over a decade, are unearthed. With eight friends feuding, or not allowing the next person to speak, this once tight-knit group lose their respective appetites for each other… and in some cases, for themselves.

Before the feuding commences, the host of the dinner party pops the question to his girlfriend. Does she say yes?

The Dinner’s cast is led by Dora-award winner JEFF MADDEN (Dancap’s Jersey Boys, Shaw Festival’s Wonderful Town, Tristan, Mack & Mabel, Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Lady Be Good) as Greg, JASON JAZRAWY (Mirvish’s Orpheus Descending, Shaw Festival’s Peter Pan, Red Barn Theatre’s The Melville Boys, The Dishwashers) as Ronny, and LISA WAINES (Shaw Festival’s Major Barbara, Joy, Playboy of the Western World, Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Crimes of the Heart, Grand Theatre’s The Importance of Being Earnest) as Grace. Other cast members include KIRSTIN HINTON (Blue Murder, Sue Thomas F.B.I., This Is Wonderland) as Denise, DALE YIM (Dora nomination for performance in Fu-Gen’s Banana Boys, Fu-Gen’s Love and Relationships, YPT’s Hana’s Suitcase) as Tim, RICK JON EGAN (Summerworks’ Hero and Leander, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Hayden, Canadian-British actress FARAH MERANI (Lifeguard Productions’ Londonee, Unclaimed Creatures’ The Gilded Rail) as Fiona, and SCOTT STEPHENSON (2b Theatre’s The Russian Play, Dream North’s Twelfth Night, Classical Theatre Project’s Romeo and Juliet) as Lance.

The Dinner is written by JASON MURRAY (writing credits include Like, Omigawd!, and Looney Bin at Toronto Fringe, Indoor Voices at SummerWorks, Twisted Elegance; performance credits include Mirvish’s Mamma Mia). It is directed by Dora-award winner JORDAN MERKUR (Former Artistic Director of Red Barn Theatre; directorial credits include Next Stage Festival’s Just East of Broadway, Eclectic Theatre’s Assassins, Red Barn Theatre’s The Glass Menagerie starring Fiona Reid; assistant director credits from Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, and Soulpepper), with dramaturgy by Dora-award winner and Chalmers-award winner EDWARD ROY (Beyond a Cuckoo’s Nest, The Other Side of the Closet, Agokwe, A Secret Life, White Trash Blue Eyes), production mentorship by Dora-award winner SKY GILBERT (co-founder of Buddies and Bad Times Theatre; Dancing Queen, Suzie Goo: Private Secretary, The Situationists), design by interior-design guru CHAD STAUBER (ProPRIDE, Sheraton Centre), lighting by Dora-nominated ANDRE DU TOIT (TheatreRUN’s The Double), costumes by ALEX AND CARMEN AMINI (Acting Up Stage’s Caroline, or Change; Capitol Theatre Port Hope’s Hairspray), stage managed by LAINE NEWMAN (Twisted Elegance, A Crack in the Ceiling) and executive produced by DERRICK CHUA (The Normal Heart, Clybourne Park, Woody Harrelson’s Bullet for Adolf).

Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto

Wed, July 4 at 8:15 pm; Sat, July 7 at 5:15 pm; Mon, July 9 at 2:45 pm; Tues, July 10 at 6:30 pm;
Wed, July 11 at 5:15 pm, Fri, July 13 at 12 pm; Sun, July 15 at 7 pm

Tickets: $10.00, call the Fringe Box Office at 416.966.1062 for more info or
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