Program Notes

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Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia presents
STELLA, QUEEN OF THE SNOW
2014-2015 U.S. & Canada Tour


Author/Illustrator: Marie-Louise Gay
Director/Production Designer: Jim Morrow
Composer: Steven Naylor
Narrator: Marie-Louise Gay
Video Design: Nick Bottomley
Associate Designers: Deborah MacLean, Struan Robertson
Stage Manager: Michael Panich
Performers: Kaitlin Morrow, Seann Murray
Special thanks to the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Pre-show video images courtesy of Andrew Dill, Avard Woolaver and the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency.


About Stella Queen of the Snow
Canada’s acclaimed theatre for family audiences has joined forces with Marie-Louise Gay, the award-winning creator of Stella and Sam, in this new stage adaptation designed for young spectators.  Stella, Queen of the Snow tells the story of the two children as they spend the day playing in the snow.  The forest, snowballs, snow angels and the mysterious white stuff itself provide fuel for Sam’s questions and Stella’s answers as they discover the world of winter together.  First published in 2000, the book (as well as its French-language edition, Stella reine des neiges) remains a favourite among Stella’s worldwide fans.

About Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
Founded in 1972, Mermaid Theatre’s unique adaptations of children’s literature have delighted more than five million young people in sixteen countries on four continents.  Based in Windsor, a small rural town in Nova Scotia’s Avon Region, the company performs for more than 300,000 spectators annually, and currently ranks among North America’s most active touring organizations.  Closer to home, Mermaid offers instruction at all levels through its Institute of Puppetry Arts, welcomes artists-in-residence through its Theatre Loft, provides a unique outreach program for adolescents through the Youtheatre, and offers a vibrant performing arts series at MIPAC (the Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre).

Marie-Louise Gay, Author/Illustrator and Narrator
Marie-Louise Gay, who is one of Canada’s best-loved creators of children books, has published more than sixty titles and achieved international acclaim for her work, now available in more than fifteen languages.  She has been widely recognized as both an author and illustrator, earning the Governor General’s Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.  Her stories about Stella, her brother Sam and their pet dog, Fred, explore the world around them in the company of countless young fans who eagerly share their delightful adventures.  Marie-Louise Gay is a resident of Montréal.


ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
Jim Morrow, Director/Production Designer
Jim creates puppets for stage, television and film.  He’s directed numerous?shows for the Theatre, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites; Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook; Swimmy, Frederick, and Inch by Inch; Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny as well as designed many others.  A gifted performer, Jim has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.  He serves as director of puppetry for Symphony Nova Scotia’s production of The Nutcracker, and frequently conducts master classes in puppetry in North America and abroad. Jim is Mermaid Theatre’s Artistic Director.

Steven Naylor, Composer
Steven has created the music for more than a dozen Mermaid shows, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites; Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook; Swimmy, Frederick, and Inch by Inch; Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny.  His many other professional activities include original film and television scores; contemporary music composition and performance; university teaching and curriculum development; and a long-term international involvement with electroacoustic concert music.  Steven is Mermaid Theatre’s Artistic Advisor for Music and Sound Design.

Nick Bottomley, Video Designer
Nick Bottomley is a projection designer based in Halifax. Recent credits include collaborations with Neptune Theatre, LunaSea, Halifax Theatre for Young People, OneLight Theatre, Us vs. Them Theatre co-op, Wit’s End Theatre, 2b theatre, and DaPoPo Theatre.  He is the recipient of the SummerWorks 2012 Design Award for his work on 2b’s When it Rains.


ABOUT THE COMPANY
Michael Panich, Stage Manager
Michael graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec in 2008 with a BFA in Theatre.  He has worked as stage management with a number of Montreal theatre companies, including Infinitheatre, Repercussion Theatre, Teesri Duniya Theatre, Black Theatre Workshop & The Segal Center for the Performing Arts, as well as Victoria Playhouse Petrolia in Petrolia, Ontario.  In addition to stage management, Michael is also an independent set and light designer and does a bit of acting occasionally.  He joined Mermaid in 2014.

Kaitlin Morrow, Performer
Born and raised in Port Williams, Nova Scotia, Kaitlin has spent her whole life surrounded by the art of puppetry.  She joined Mermaid Theatre in 2009 after completing the ANIMOTION intensive training program, and toured with Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny through Canada, the U.S. and China.  Kaitlin lives in Toronto, where she graduated from George Brown theatre school, and where she has been active in Toronto’s puppetry scene.  She has organized puppetry workshops, staged puppet shows at local venues, and recently participated in Puppetmongers’ “Fresh Ideas In Puppetry” conference.

Seann Murray, Performer
Seann was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he began his theatrical career with Theatre UNB and the NotaBle Acts theatre festival.  After touring the Fringe with NB’s Theatre Free Radical, he moved to Toronto to enter the George Brown College Performing Arts program.  While in Toronto, he was active in the local theatre scene, working with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Puppetmongers, Stagecraft Company, and performing with an award-winning improv troupe.  Seann joined Mermaid Theatre in 2009 after completing specialized training with the Mermaid Institute of Puppetry Art’s ANIMOTION program.

Stella and Sam Books are published in English by Groundwood Books and in French by Dominique et Compagnie. For further details about the books please see www.marielouisegay.com. Text and Illustration © Marie-Louise Gay.


Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is represented by
KIDS’ ENTERTAINMENT
460 College Street, Suite 202
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6G 1A1
Tel: (416) 971 4836
Fax: (416) 971 4841
email: info@kidsentertainment.net
website: www.kidsentertainment.net

For general information, please contact
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia
P.O. Box 2697
Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada B0N 2T0
Tel: (902) 798 5841
Fax: (902) 798 3311
email: puppets@mermaidtheatre.ca
website: www.mermaidtheatre.ca

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia Staff
Artistic Director: Jim Morrow
Managing Director: Sara Lee Lewis
General Manager: Lisa Gleave
Artistic Advisor for Music and Sound Design: Steven Naylor
Administrator: Cathy White
Office & Tour Coordinator: Jason Tucker
Production Manager: Deborah MacLean
Production Associate: Struan Robertson
Technical Director: Michael Jamieson
Youtheatre Coordinator: Kaleigh Heide
Scenic Painter: Sarah Haydon Roy
Seamstress: Sarah Harvey Hart
Production Assistant: Isaac Chaytor
Fabric Artist: Holly Carr

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia. Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and engages professional Artists who are members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement