Watch "I'm Fine"
Alyssa Warmland, the writer and director of "I'm Fine", tells us more about the play.
What is the play about?
I’m Fine is the story of a family as they navigate the cycles of birth and death.
Four repressed siblings discuss the logistics of relocating their aging mother to a Long Term Care Facility while welcoming a new baby into the family – all while isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why I wrote it:
I’m Fine is relatable in various ways to most, whether that’s from the perspective of a new mother, a new grandparent bridging distance in hopes of connecting with his daughter and grandchild, the adult child whose parents require more care than they can give them, or the partner of a person who is moving into the next stage of life. There’s something here for everyone.
I was inspired by the disconnected form of connection that comes with communicating through technology and the way that creatively represented the disconnected form of connection many families default to during challenging times. I was also inspired by the way people have been resilient through the challenge that is the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the context of parent-child dynamics at all stages of life. I also feel inspired every day by feminized labour and care work.
How it Plays with Sense of Place:
This play takes place entirely over Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and WhatsApp, so it explores the way we strive to connect through technology when we can’t connect physically.
Meet the Cast & Crew
Alyssa Warmland (Writer/Director)
Alyssa (Lyss) Warmland is an interdisciplinary artist and activist. She is a writer, podcaster, producer, director, performer, and abstract visual artist.
Lyss is a strong advocate for fumbling towards an ethic of care. Mostly, she’s interested in the way people choose to tell their stories and how that keeps them well.
I’m Fine is her first original play she’s pushed out into the world, but she’s been involved in theatre on and off stage for most of her life and with Northumberland Players since she moved to Northumberland County in 2014.
You can listen to her radio show, The Nothing Exists Radio Hour, on Northumberland 89.7 on Friday nights at 8pm, through her website, nothingexistsradio.org, or via your podcasting app of choice.
Lyss is a 29 year old white, queer, disabled woman who lives with her partner, their son, and their wonderful angel of a dog in a Small Town on the traditional territory of the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga/Eastern Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) peoples.
Jeannette Breward (Wren/Producer)
Jeannette Breward is a photographer and filmmaker who uses her work to bring light to social issues from an environmentalist and feminist viewpoint. Her work often explores humanity’s relationship with the environments around us, and her still photography frequently draws from the traditions of surrealism.
Jeannette received her BFA in Photography from Ryerson University in 2015 and her MFA in Documentary Media, also from Ryerson University in 2017.
Her first film, the short doc “60 Seasons” had it’s premiere screening at the 2017 Doc Now Festival in Toronto and has since screened locally in Port Hope and Peterborough, Ontario, as well as internationally in Freiburg, Germany.
I’m Fine is Jeannette’s first production with Northumberland Players.
Carol-Anne Caswell (Evelyn)
“Life is my University. I love acting with a capital L.”
Over the past twenty years, Carol-Anne has acted on stage in musicals, dinner theatre, and in the Firehall theatre with The Northumberland Players. She has also worked backstage.
Community Theatre has been a wonderful journey of characters she has played, friends she has made, and a great richness of Spirit.
She is blessed to be both a Mother and Grandmother.
Elizabeth Rennie (Bethany)
Liz is excited to be working again with The Northumberland Players as a part of the Summer Shorts Festival.
I’m Fine is Liz’s third production with the Northumberland Players. She was previously in The Stars on her Shoulders and A Christmas Carol.
Before making Cobourg her home, Liz lived in Toronto and worked in theatre, most notably The Second City. Currently she teaches high school Drama and is ready (sort of) for the unique educational challenges ahead of her.
She is married to her best friend Adam, going on 20 years this month. Her proudest achievements are their two daughters, Sabrina and Lauren.
Bill Walker (Roy)
Bill Walker is currently the Head of Arts and teaches theatre at Trinity College School in Port Hope Ontario.
A graduate of the York University Graduate Theatre program, Bill is an award-winning actor and director. Bill has participated in Soulpepper Theatre’s Directors Lab led by Joseph Ziegler and has directed numerous productions including Ten Lost Years, Inherit the Wind, and All My Sons for which he won the Theatre Ontario Richard Howard Award for Direction.
Last season’s production of The Odd Couple marked his directorial debut with the Northumberland Players. In the Fall, Bill played the role of Henry in the Players’ production of Sexy Laundry. Two seasons ago, Bill played the role of Harold in the David French play, Leaving Home, for which he won the Ron Hazelgrove “Cameo” Award for the Eastern Ontario Drama League Festival.
Bill greatly appreciates the wonderful opportunity to work once again with the Northumberland Players. Bill was delighted to be in the cast of Stage Kiss and will be directing the Arthur Miller play, All My Sons at the Firehall Theatre hopefully in January of 2021.
Oliver Parker (Norman)
Oliver is very excited to be working with the Northumberland Players in this virtual festival!
Oliver has been doing community theater for the last three years. His most recent credits include Catch Me If You Can - The Musical (Upscale Theatre Company), The First Miracle (Beech Street Theatre Company) and The Sodfather (Beech Street Theatre Company). Oliver has also performed in a virtual choir with the Acapella group Voctave.
He hopes you enjoy the show and the festival!
Matt Kowalyk (Ron)
Matt Kowalyk is an actor, director, musician, and dad.
He has played such roles as Dave Moss in Glengarry Glen Ross, Hoyt in Godhead, and George Bailey in Its a Wonderful Life. He has directed plays such as Leaving Home, which won multiple awards, including four for performance.
Matt co-owns a music production company called K-Shark Audio and plays in the band Such Great Buzzes. In his spare time, he loves cooking, watching the Gunners, and hanging out in his garden with his family.
He's very honored to be a part of Lyss' show.
Neil Torrie (Lester)
Neil is a veteran actor, having appeared in over forty Northumberland Players plays or musicals, most recently as Willie in The Sunshine Boys, Oscar in The Odd Couple and Jacob in Leaving Home.
During these difficult times, it is inspiring to play and work with passionate and talented people. They are keeping this vital part of our experience alive and well. Play on!
Harriet Karch (Amelia)
Harriet is an actress who has recently moved from Toronto to Burlington. Her most recent roles have been with the Burl Oak Theatre Group and have included Vera in The Odd Couple, Mrs. Pierce in Pygmalian, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Oolie/ Donna in City of Angels, and The Stepmother in Into The Woods.
Harriet is honoured to be a part of this Zoom production directed by Alyssa Warmland.