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THE HIT COMEDY BY CELEBRATED CANADIAN PLAYWRIGHT - NORM FOSTER

A National Stage Company of Canada Premiere Presentation
Directed & Produced By: Tony James

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SELF
HELP

STARRING 

Canadian Performing Artists, COREY MCEWEN as Hal Savage and DANIELLE GRESCHNER as Cindy Savage

FEATURING

SAIDI MADER as Bernice, JEN WILDE as Ruby Delvecchio,  RON CAISSIE as Detective Snow & JIM GOODMAN as Jeremy Cash

ABOUT

Self-Help by Norm Foster is a farce like no other.  The Savages, second rate actors give their mistress, the Theatre, the cold shoulder to become millionaire self-help gurus. Sadly their love life is the first thing to go, but they aren’t going to let a dead body give the game away. 

 

They, and their hard-nosed agent, will do all they can to hide the body from the prying investigative reporter, nosy police detective, and anxious housemaid. Laughs come fast and in billows and hoots in this hilarious play. 

The National Stage Company of Canada welcomes you to join them on the red carpet this March at Victoria's Roxy Theatre for the premiere of this madcap comedic romp that will have rolling in the aisles in laughter.  

'A ROLLER COASTER RIDE OF FAST-PACED WITTY ASIDES OF BAWDY HUMOR'
St. Albert Gazette

CREATIVE TEAM

Executive Producer | Stage Director: ​Tony James

Executive Scenic Desig: Mirella Standbridge

Scenic Construction:: Luis Bolivar

Executive Wardrobe/Props Design: Tony James

COMING SUMMER 2022!
VENUE, DATES, TIMES & TICKETS ANNOUNCED SOON

THE ARTISTS | THE BIOS 

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COREY MCEWEN

Corey McEwen is a Victoria born actor who has bene part of the theatre community for several years. He has enjoyed a wide array of roles ranging from Bob Cratchit in 'A Christmas Carol' (Four Season's Musical Theatre), Not yet Dead Fred in 'Spamalot' (Victoria Operatic Society), to name just a few.

 

Corey has been lucky enough to also work backstage on the recent presentation of 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' (Four Season's Musical Theatre), where he gained an even bigger appreciation for what goes on behind the curtain. 

After being away from theatre for almost 2 years, Corey is excited to be making his return to the stage in this premiere production. To be part of such a hardworking and talented cast and crew is an honor for Corey and he sincerely hopes you enjoy 'Self Help'. 

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SAIDI MADER

Saidi Mader is a grade 11 student at Victoria High whose passion for the performing arts started when she was six years old. Since her first starring role in 'Prince' in CINDERELLA, Saidi has been in over 15 productions.

 

Some of Saidi's favorite roles have included 'Big Kid' in the sold-out Vancouver Island premiere of the award-winning musical MATILDA, 'Jack Scott' in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, 'AJ' in RUNAWAYS, 'Jo March' in an adapted film version of LITTLE WOMEN, and as 'Little Sally' in Victoria High's production in URINETOWN. 

 

In her free time, Saidi enjoys music, dance, and shopping. This production will mark Saidi's professional debut with the National Stage Company of Canada. .

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JEN WILDE

An avid singer from her very first memories, Jen has spent a lifetime dedicated to singing and performing. From marimba to live theatre, to fronting rock and roll bands, she has toured coast to coast on all kinds of stages and venues. Performing on TV and in Fringe festivals, music festivals, and busking the streets of Halifax, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.

 

Her return to live theatre in 2005 was inspired by the Rock Opera 'The Who's Tommy' where she played 'Mrs. Walker'. This production being a favorite of the family growing up. She has since been seen as the juice box queen, 'Mitch Mahoney' in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the horribly fantastic 'Mrs. Wormwood' in Matilda. 

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DANIELLE GRESCHNER

Danielle Greschner is a versatile performer and teacher with more years of experience than she cares to admit. Her passion for the performing arts began in her youth when she took piano, voice, and dance lessons. She was introduced to musical theater when her high school performed “Fame.” Shortly after, she attended the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music and played the role of Mrs. Paroo in “The Music Man.”

Danielle has since gone on to attain a Bachelor of Applied Music in classical voice from Vancouver Community College. While studying music, she had the opportunity to sing in several solo recitals and choral ensembles, play the role of Belinda in the opera “Dido and Aeneas,” and sing as a guest soloist with the West Coast Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the VCC Concerto and Aria Contest. While living in Vancouver, she was a member of the Pacifica Singers, who performed at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She also taught private voice and piano lessons.

Danielle moved back to Victoria in 2017 to complete her teaching degree. Since then, she has performed with UVic Vocal Jazz and multiple local bands.  She played the role of Mrs. Salt in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” and was part of the ensemble in “Matilda” with Four Seasons Musical Theatre.

Danielle currently works as a high school science teacher in Victoria. She lives with her partner, Peter, and their cat, Winston. She spends her free time walking her cat (yes, on a leash), playing soccer, and writing sci-fi novels. She vows to one day finish writing her werewolf musical.  

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RON CAISSIE

Ron has been singing solos, duets, and ensembles since the age of 7 with performances throughout the US, Canada and parts Europe. Although versed in a wide range of musical styles Ron first found his passion as a solo Gospel artist, along with being part of a Gospel quartet for more than 15 years. Over the early years of his career Ron record 4 albums, one of which was recorded in Nashville, and had the esteemed pleasure of performing at the iconic Grand Ole Opry.

While living and working in Peterborough, Ontario Mr. Caissie had the wonderful opportunity to perform in several musicals and plays. Some of his most notable credits include “The Mikado”, “State Fair”, “Honk”, “A Christmas Story”, “Le Cage”, “No Sex Please We’re British” and “Rumors”. Unfortunately, due to life and work, Ron found himself stepping away from the performing arts before he and his husband made the decision to move to the west coast. Upon arriving in 2017, Ron once again found his passion for the performing arts where his has gone on to part of several local productions including “Messiah” with the Vancouver Island Performers Guild, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Matilda” with Four Seasons Musical Theatre and “Rent” and “Shrek” with the Victoria Operatic Society. Most recently Ron was cast in the production of "Catch Me If You Can" with VOS however, the show was unfortunately postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Ron and his husband have found their forever home in Victoria and enjoy spending their time in tending to their dog Mason, cat Maude, Chickens (Lidia, Rachel, Ree, Phyllis, Edna, Pearl, Ginger, Motormouth Mabel, Eunice and Beatrice) and their back yard of gardens. or the Boys’.

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JIM GOODMAN

Jim is an award winning performer, writer, and director who has been involved in performance arts since a young age.  Jim has several performance credits to his name with a large number of them being larger than life comedic roles.  “Self Help” marks Jim’s second performance with the National Stage Company of Canada, and his return to the stage since the start of the pandemic. 

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NORM FOSTER - THE PLAYWRIGHT

Norm Foster has been the most produced playwright in Canada every year for the past twenty years. His plays receive an average of one hundred and fifty productions annually making him, by far, the most produced playwright in the history of his country.

Born in Newmarket, Ontario on St. Valentine’s Day and raised in Toronto, Norm attended West Hill Collegiate Institute and then went on to study Radio & Television Arts at Centennial College in Toronto and then Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Upon completion of his studies, he began a radio career that would span 25 years and which would take him from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg to Kingston and finally to Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was in Fredericton in 1980 that Norm was introduced to the world of theatre.

 

Foster fell in love with the theatre right then and there, and two years later he penned his first professionally produced play, Sinners. It was produced by Theatre New Brunswick and directed by Malcolm Black, who would also direct Foster’s next effort, the highly successful, The Melville Boys. The Melville Boys would go on to be produced across Canada and in the United States, including a well-received run off-Broadway in New York. It would become Foster’s signature play, and the one which would bring his name to the forefront of Canadian theatre. Since then, Norm Foster has produced an astonishing output of work. Over fifty-five plays in all, including The Affections of May, the most produced play in Canada in 1991.

Foster’s plays are known mainly for their comedic qualities, but they are not without their serious moments as well. “I find it far more satisfying if I can make an audience laugh and feel a little heartache within the same story. The farces (Sinners, Self-Help) are a lot of fun to write but it’s the stories that touch an audience’s heart as well as it’s funnybone that are the most rewarding.”

Foster has had several plays published by Playwright’s Union Press. They are; Sinners, The Melville Boys, The Affections of May, The Motor Trade, Wrong For Each Other, Office Hours, Opening Night, The Long Weekend, Old Love, Skin Flick, Mending Fences, The Foursome, The Ladies Foursome, The Gentleman Clothier, On a First Name Basis and Ethan Claymore. He has also had his work published in various compilation volumes such as ‘Vintage Foster’, ‘One Act-manship’, ‘Triple Play’, and ‘The Foster Season’. Looking and The Love List are published by Samuel French.

When asked to try and pin down a common theme that runs through his plays, Foster says, “I think for the most part, they’re about ordinary people just trying to get by in life. I never set out with a monumental purpose in mind. I’m not trying to teach an audience a lesson or pass along some profound message, because I don’t think I’m qualified. What I am trying to do is make them feel a little better about this world, and that’s not easy these days.”