ABOUT THE SHOW
Tansi, isqueewuk igwa napeewuk, tansi. Hello, ladies and gentlemen, hello!
From the renowned Canadian playwright Tomson Highway, comes The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, a musical for children and families that celebrates equality, diversity, and inclusion. This is the story of a young girl who feels like a misfit and is searching for her place in the world. Mary Jane is a mosquito who doesn’t have wings. At home in Petit Petit Le Paw she is teased by the other mosquitos who won’t be friends with her. She is sent off to school to live with her auntie in the city as she searches for a place where she can fit in and make friends. This musical show explores themes of feeling like an outsider, dealing with bullying, moving to a new place, and feeling different from what’s considered normal. As Mary Jane’s tale unfolds through song and story that weaves music, song and Cree language into its storytelling. After many adventures, Mary Jane learns to make new friends by sharing her language, her kind heart and her songs with the world.
Running Time: Approximately 45 minutes with NO intermission.
MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Last summer, Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People was the first professional theatre company in British Columbia, and one of the first in the Country, back to work after the COVID-19 Pandemic shuttered theatres around the world. Our production of Puente Theatre’s Gruff captured the hearts and imaginations of young people around the Capital Region, while safely bringing back audiences the share in the power of theatre. Now, we are excited to bring you a new story, making its Vancouver Island debut!
After a year of virtual experiences and excess of screen time for many young people, this production encourages audiences to connect with others safely in a live setting. With opportunities to engage in arts education and live storytelling decreasing, these live theatrical experiences are critically important, now more than ever. I would like to thank the Victoria Foundation for their ongoing support and recognition of the importance of live events for young people. It is through their support that we are able to bring this production to you today.
Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People strives to activate the imaginations of all young people on Vancouver Island. Our programs and productions stimulate creativity and provide meaningful learning opportunities in schools and within our community. Even during a pandemic our programs alone reached over 2000 young people from ages 3 through 18.
We believe that we have a responsibility to introduce new generations of theatre goers to the power of live theatre. We believe that we should be a place where artists and audiences can experience powerful stories that can enlarge their cultural references; a place where we can come together and share ideas, where we can explore new directions and have new conversations. We believe that every child in our region deserves access to live theatre. In a normal season ticket sales cover only 30 percent of our operating expenses, and with many of our events postponed or cancelled over the course of the pandemic, we need your partnership to continue to bring live professional theatre to young audiences and families.
When you support Kaleidoscope, you help us fuel the absolutely transformational power of live theatre. Together with our audiences and donors, we witness young people make radical transformations; from timid to confident, hesitant to engaged, excited to generous. Broadening access to tickets, classes and programs keeps our theatre, and our community vibrant.
Together we can make so much good happen at Kaleidoscope. I hope you might consider joining our growing list of supporters who believe in the power of theatre for young audiences by making a charitable gift to Kaleidoscope today. Your support makes a big difference tomorrow and every day!
It is an immense honour to work with the talented artists bringing you this production, and I hope you enjoy Mary Jane’s story as it unfolds.
Thank you for your support and welcome back to the theatre.
Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People has been the driving force behind professional family entertainment on Vancouver Island for close to fifty years.
Founded in 1973, Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People serves as the Island’s premiere producer of Theatre for Young Audiences, and has inspired generations of theatre lovers through our innovative, imaginative, and original theatrical experiences.
Kaleidoscope’s artistic mandate, formulated in 1974 and faithfully upheld to this day states that the company’s raison for being is to “provide innovative and exploratory drama for young people”. Kaleidoscope’s goal is to make theatre that surprises, challenges, and engages young people, both intellectually and aesthetically.
Young People ages 4 through 18 can discover their creativity through classes in Musical Theatre, Acting, and Voice with instruction at Kaleidoscope’s Performing Arts Studio, the premiere theatre training school for young people in Victoria.
As of today, Kaleidoscope has produced over 250 plays, many of which were world premieres, and has entertained, inspired and educated over 3 million children.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Tomson Highway, award-winning playwright and author, was born in a tent near Maria Lake, Manitoba in 1951. A full-blood Cree, he is a registered member of the Barren Lands First Nation, the village for which is called Brochet. He grew up in the spectacularly beautiful natural landscape that is Canada’s sub-Arctic, an un-peopled region of hundreds of lakes, endless forests of spruce and pine, and great herds of caribou. His parents, with no access to books, TV or radio, would tell their children stories, and Tomson fell in love with the oral tradition of storytelling. Tomson studied music, with the plan of becoming a concert pianist, but changed directions to become a social worker on reserves and in urban centres across Ontario and, later on, Canada. He then decided it was time to put all this artistic training and his social work experience together – he started writing music, plays, and, later, novels. After years of working in the Toronto theatre industry, he achieved national and international recognition in 1986 with his sixth play, the multi-award-winning The Rez Sisters. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1994. For many years, he ran Canada’s premiere Indigenous Theatre Company, Native Earth Performing Arts, in Toronto, out of which has emerged a generation of professional Indigenous Theatre artists.
Tomson Highway is represented by The Mensour Agency Ltd.
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DANICA CHARLIE | Mary Jane Mosquito
Danica is a proud queer and Nuu-chah-nulth artist, and recent graduate from the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ three
year Applied Diploma Program. Sheis thrilled to have the opportunity to work on such a charming show with all of the lovely people at Kaleidoscope! Her favourite credits include: Imogen in Cymbeline (GVSF), Satan in Paradise Lost, Medda Larkin in Newsies, Romeo in Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet (CCPA). She hopes you enjoy The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito!
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito marks Danica’s Kaleidoscope debut.
JESSICA SCHACHT | Director
Jessica is a Métis/Canadian director, dramaturg, and playwright gratefully living on Quw’utsun territory. Her work and ethos centre around exploring identityand relationships through the cultural, environmental, and personal experiences that shape us. Jessica is a graduate of the UVic’s Theatre Program and has honed her craft at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity. This is Jessica’s first show with Kaleidoscope and she is thrilled to help bring to life this wonderful story.
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito is Jessica’s Kaleidoscope debut.
KELSEY CAIN | Stage Manager
Kelsey has recently graduated from Uvic’s Phoenix Theatre, with a focus in Production and Management. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane
Mosquito is Kelsey’s sixth show with Kaleidoscope Theatre, with previous credits including serving as Stage Manager for Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery (2019) and Apprentice Stage Manager for Gruff (2020). Other production experience includes her role as Stage Manager for 7 Stories ( Phoenix Theatre, 2019), West ( Phoenix Theatre, 2017), Yorkshire Tragedy ( Phoenix Theatre, 2018), and The Dining Room (Phoenix Theatre, 2018). She was also recently an Apprentice Stage Manager for Countess Maritza (Pacific Opera Victoria, 2019) and Flight (Pacific Opera Victoria, 2020). Enjoy the show!
Previous with Kaleidoscope: Snow White: The Panto, Peter Pan: The Panto, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, Charlotte’s Web, & Gruff. Kelsey is the new Production and Administrative Coordinator for Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People.
ALICE HAWES | Costume Designer
Alice is delighted to be back working with Kaleidoscope again having designed The Secret Garden. After graduating from San Jose State University theatre department, Alice honed her skills as a costume maker at the San Francisco Opera and Metropolitan Opera in New York. Now working as a Victoria based costumer she works with Pacific Opera Victoria, The Belfry Theatre, UVic Theatre Department and Saint Michael’s University School. Her movie and TV work include Spooksville, Super Pups and Pancake Manor. You may also have met her at The Makehouse working with kids in the summer and teaching people to sew throughout the year.
AARON SMAIL | Sound Designer / Music Director
PATRICIA REILLY | Set Designer
ANDREA LEMUS | Choreographer / Audience Services
Born and raised in Mexico, Andrea’s love for performing arts began at a very early age. She graduated from the National Ballet School of Cuba “Fernando Alonso” and later from the Canadian College of Performing Arts. Since then, Andrea has been performing with professional theatre companies in Victoria, including as a faculty member at Kaleidoscope’s Performing Arts Studio. Andrea has choreographed some original work across Mexico, Cuba, Florida and Victoria. Performance credits include: Twelve Angry Jurors, The Penelopiad, Sweet Charity (Company C), Countess Maritza, Flight (POV), La Sylphide (Ballet Etoile), Mamma Mia (VOS), The Rocky Horror Show, Mind the Gap (Atomic Vaudeville).
GEORGE SCOTT | Production Manager
George Scott is a production professional in his third decade of practice. He has a recurring role as Production Manager for Kaleidoscope Theatre, with whom he has been working since 2005. George is honoured to be again working with Kaleidoscope, as the company brings a little light and a lot of magic to audiences as we emerge from the shuttering of our theatre ecology. He hopes you enjoy meeting Mary Jane Mosquito, and that the production puts a little buzz in your day.
Kaleidoscope would like to acknowledge the following individuals and organizations for their support in bringing Mary Jane Mosquito to Victoria Audiences.
- Tara Britt
- Judd Palmer
- Becca Jorgenson
- Mark Leigh and the team at Pacific Opera Victoria’s Opera Shop
- Maya Fischer and Nathan Corpus
- Metropol Industries and Victoria Poster Co.
- Catherine Mensour and the Mensour Agency
- Shea O’Connor and Josh Graetz
- Event Service Production
- Sandra Russell and the City of Colwood
- Jeanette Mollin and CRD Regional Parks
- Tara Mason and The Town of Sidney
- Thandi Williams, Vasuhi Collins, The office of the Lieutenant Governor, and Government House
- Katt Campbell and the Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre
The Playwright Acknowledges:
- John Miller and Stratford Summer Music
- Andrey Tarasiuk
- Claude Labine
- Ross Murray
- Tom Osborne
- Patricia Cano
- Thérèse Lalonde.