ABOUT THE SHOW
Gruff tells the story of two goats, one wealthy with plenty to eat, and one poor goat with nothing. A hideous troll has taken up residence under the bridge separating the lush green lands of the Rich Goat from the barren waste on the other side of the craggy chasm. The promised land is forever unattainable! The troll is soon recruited to join the side of the underclass, but when the revolution is won, the victors become tyrants, and it’s up to the troll to find a way to break the cycle of greed. Finally, everybody agrees that the green grass is for everybody to enjoy, and that sharing and friendship are the true lessons. Gruff is a timely parable about immigration, friendship, sharing, and individuality created by three celebrated Canadian theatre artists: Mercedes Bátiz-Benét, Brooke Maxwell, and Judd Palmer.
Gruff was first presented at Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People’s inaugural Family Theatre Festival in 2013 and has since performed at Calgary’s Festival of Inanimate Objects, The Gabriola Theatre Festival, The Victoria Fringe Festival, the 4th Annual Kaleidoscope Family Theatre Festival, and at Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre.
Running Time: Approximately 60 minutes with NO intermission.
Pat Rundell | Executive Director
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 237 plays, many of which were world premieres, and has entertained, inspired and educated over 3 million children.
Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and engages under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement, professional Artists who are members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.
ABOUT PUENTE THEATRE
Mercedes Bátiz-Benét | Artistic Director
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TREVOR HINTON | The Troll
Past work with Kaleidoscope includes: Adventures in the Rouge Trade (2005), Macbeth (2008), The Secret Garden (2014 and 2017), Munsch-ercise (2015), The Little Prince (2016), fight director the The Neverending Story (2013), and as a Teaching Artist at Kaleidoscope’s Performing Arts Studio.
JANA MORRISON | Poor Goat
Jana Morrison is a multi-disciplinary bilingual Filipino-Canadian performing artist from Winnipeg, MB but now resides and works on her craft in Victoria, BC. Jana is an alumnus of The Canadian College of Performing Arts and is known for being a triple-threat performer, Voice Over actor, producer, and choreographer. She has performed across many regional theatres across North America and internationally with these select credits:
Dancer on a new hit NBC series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Paw Patrol LIVE! as the Female Swing (Life Like Touring), American Idiot as Ensemble (Winnipeg Studio Theatre), Toopy and Binoo: Fun and Games as The Host (Koba Entertainment), The King and I as Wife/Angel (Gateway Theatre). Little Shop of Horrors as Crystal and A Funny Thing Happened On The Way The Forum as Vibrata/Dance captain (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre), Hedwig and the Angry Inch as Yitzahk and The Rocky Horror Show LIVE as Riff Raff and Magenta (Atomic Vaudeville), Gruff as Poor Goat (Puente Theatre).
For Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People: choreographer for Singin’ in the Rain (2013)
PAT RUNDELL | Rich Goat
Pat is a Victoria based actor, director, educator, and arts leader. When not clip-clopping around as a goat on stage, Pat is the Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People. A graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, Los Angeles, Pat’s favourite stage highlights include Orin in Mourning Becomes Electra, Alan in One Man Two Guvnors (LCT), CB in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Black Box), Edgar in the Canadian Premiere of Nevermore, Hunter in [title of show], and the baker in Into the Woods (Urban Arts), and Brad in The Rocky Horror Show.
For Kaleidoscope Pat has appeared in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (2003), Peter Pan (2004), Anne of Green Gables (2005), Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit (2010), Mozart in Amadeus (2012), and directed The Addams Family (2014) and Singin’ in the Rain (2013) as well as the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Studio Youth productions of Mary Poppins Jr., The Addams Family Jr., Once Upon A Mattress, and Pinkalicious. Pat was the Artistic Associate for Kaleidoscope from 2011 through 2016 and was appointed Executive Director in 2018.
MERCEDES BÁTIZ-BENÉT | Director / Creator
Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a Mexican-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winning director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus (FaustFest International Festival), Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles (Teatro Salvador Novo in Mexico City), With Open Arms, El Jinete -A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre and Puente Theatre co-production, and as co-writer, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre in BC, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, The Umbrella, an Old Trout Puppet Workshop and Puente Theatre co-production, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete – A Mariachi Opera, and in 2015 she was chosen as
the Distinguished Alumna of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and the artistic director of Puente Theatre. Mercedes is absolutely thrilled to be directing Gruff again with such a fantastic team of collaborators, and she is delighted audiences get to experience this wonderful show after everything we have all endured this year. Mercedes would like to thank Pat Rundell and everyone at Kaleidoscope for believing in our show and loving it as much as we do.
JUDD PALMER | Creator
BROOKE MAXWELL | Creator
BECCA JORGENSEN | Stage Manager
Becca is an Indo-Canadian Victoria born and raised stage manager and avid runner. For Kaleidoscope: Debut. Other favourites elsewhere: The Ministry of Grace, Every Brilliant Thing, Bears, Griffin & Sabine, Bed & Breakfast, A Christmas Carol (The Belfry Theatre), Busted Up! A Yukon Story (OpenPit), The Piano Teacher (Arts Club), La Bohème, Il Trittico (POV), Mamma Mia!, Kim’s Convenience, 2 Pianos, 4 Hands (Chemainus Theatre Festival), Sweeney Todd (Blue Bridge Repertory). She is a graduate of the University of Victoria.
KELSEY CAIN | Apprentice Stage Manager
Kelsey has recently graduated from Uvic’s Phoenix Theatre, with a focus in Production and Management. Gruff is Kelsey’s fifth show with Kaleidoscope Theatre, with previous credits including serving as Stage Manager for Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery and Charlotte’s Web (2019). 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!