TALES OF THE GROTESQUE
CAMPBELL HOUSE MUSEUM
(October 18th - November 4th)
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door."
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
only this and nothing more ...”
In this haunting adaptation of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, join the visitors of the melancholy House of Usher on a candlelit journey into the macabre. Despite their apprehensions, a stubborn doctor, a resentful medium, and a murderer attend the funeral of an eccentric recluse—only to question the circumstances surrounding her untimely death. As they begin to outstay their welcome, they uncover evidence of a connection between their disturbing pasts and the sinister presence stalking their every move. With their secrets exposed, they must be willing to summon their ghosts to survive the supernatural forces at work, and confront the meddlesome housekeeper who knows more than she claims. An immersive horror opera, Tales of the Grotesque invites visitors to explore Victorian Toronto through the eyes of literature’s most twisted author, and come tapping at the door to the unknown ...
"Even in the grave, all is not lost." - Edgar Allan Poe
~ The Artist ~
~ The Physician ~
~ The Deceased ~
~ The Medium ~
~ The Damned ~
~ The Apparition ~
~ The Housekeeper ~
~ The Raven ~
~ The Opportunist ~
Above images by White Mills Theatre Co.
Edited by Daniel Tofach
CAST AND CREW
MEET THE TEAM
~ Annabel Lee ~
Felicia is thrilled to be returning to her third White Mills Theatre production! As a multi-disciplinary artist, Felicia trained as an actor and opera singer and has more recently ventured into voice acting for video games, commercials, and animation. Felicia has also been involved in stage, film, and TV productions. She has appeared in White Mills Theatre's 2019 productions of Ether and A Christmas Carol. Her opera roles include Mdm Lidoine in Dialogues of the Carmites, Audrey in James Bond: A Convenient Lie (Malfi Productions), and Adina in L'Elisire D'Amore (Toronto City Opera), among others. As a voice artist, she has worked on projects such as Assassins Creed and Far Cry as well as anime, audio-books and commercials.
Felicia was the frontwoman for the indie band UnHRDof and works as a session singer for rock albums and soundtracks. She has written and directed her own short film and is currently producing her second one. Felicia has won the Best International Voiceover Performance award for her work for Cineplex and is a full member of ACTRA. She continues to study voice under the guidance of Soprano Kinga Mitrowska. Felicia holds a BFA in Voice Performance and Education from York University and has been running her own voice studio since 2011.
Felicia calls Hamilton home, where she shares a cozy space with her husband, their void cat Luna, and a thriving forest of houseplants. In her spare time you can find her taking care of her mini urban farm, giving old furniture a new lease on life, and immersing herself in captivating books while savoring homemade goodies.
~ Mrs. Rupert ~
Barb Scheffler is a Toronto based actor, singer and playwright. For the last five years, she has been a member of the Canadian cast of “Menopause the Musical” touring across the country. As an actor she has performed with many theatre companies including the Drayton Festival, Huron Country Playhouse, The Classic Theatre Festival, Thousand Islands Playhouse, and the Kawartha Theatre Festival. Her favourite roles include Sister Amnesia in “Nunsense”, Yum Yum in “The Mikado”, Florence Vassy in “Chess”, Lysistrata in “Lysistrata”, Dee Dee in “Suds” and Goneril in “Lear Incorporated”. She has performed in several of her own cabarets, including “The Barb and Laurie Show”, “The Way We Were – Songs of the 70s” and “Songs in the Key of
Love” which she toured across Ontario with Smile Theatre. She has written several murder mysteries for the stage, and her comedy “The Beaver Club” (will have/ had) it’s premier production in August at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre.
~ Roderick ~
Spencer Schunk is a writer and fitness coach living in Toronto. He has worked as a performer, stage manager, playwright, and video editor. Recent creations include the web series Old Movies for Young People with Brad Fraser. He holds an MA in Performance Studies from the University of Toronto and a BA in Theatre from York University.
~ Benita ~
Mezzo-soprano Rachel Miller is a multi-disciplinary performer who finds expression through voice, acting and dance. Operatic highlights include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Ramiro in La finta giardiniera, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Mercedes in Carmen under the Stars with Julie Nesrallah.
Rachel has also appeared as a soloist in performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Beethoven’s Mass in C major.
Based in Toronto, Rachel received an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. She is a member of the award-winning Canadian Opera Company Chorus directed by Sandra Horst.
~ Wilhelm ~
Scott Garland is a German-born, Alberta-raised Toronto-based actor and writer. A George Brown grad, with a BA from the University of Alberta, he's best known forperforming across the country, and occasionally overseas, as Harris in Pea Green Theatre's award-winning Three Men in a Boat. He's one of the founding members of the puppet theatre company Silent Protagonist and former curator of the new works play reading series Sing For Your Supper.
Other credits include Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (Bruce County Playhouse), Midnight Madness (Port Stanley Festival Theatre), Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre (Bain & Bernard), Threepenny Opera (Soup Can), Miracle on 34th Street (Sudbury Theatre Centre). Writing credits: A Madhouse Dramedy (play), Half A league (play;) and episode writer for Female Therapy (web series). You can hear him in the award-winning animated series People Watching (CBC Gem) and Let's Go Luna (PBS Kids); or catch him on select episodes of Workin Moms, Mayor of Kingstown, Murdoch Mysteries, and Titans.
~ Jactina ~
Soprano Michelle Danese is delighted to be performing the role of Jacinta alongside a fabulous team and within such a spectacular venue. This year marks Michelle’s fifth collaboration with White Mills Theatre Co. Previously she sang the role of Belle in A Christmas Carol performed at the Spadina museum; Monica in both the full production and workshop of Giancarlo Menotti’s The Medium, as well as Mrs. Fiorentino in the company’s adaptation of Street Scene.
An artist of diverse musical and theatrical prowess, Michelle’s roles include: the Vixen (The Cunning Little Vixen), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Calli (world Premiere of Pandora’s Locker), Rebecca (La Didone), Celeste 1 (Sunday in the Park with George), Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Hope Harcourt (Anything Goes) and Maria (West Side Story). Recent roles with Opera By Request include Fatima (Abu Hassan), Miss. Silvertone (The Impresario), Bastienne (Bastien and Bastienne) and Ännchen (Der Freischütz).
As an actress, she appeared on CW’s TV series, Reign, in the feature film Dr. Cabbie, and on CTV’s The Listener. Her vocals can be heard in the film Dr. Cabbie as well as Indie film I Wish You Love.
Born in Toronto, Michelle holds a B.F.A Honors in Music from York University, and a Post-Bachelor Artist Performance Diploma in voice from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music. She continues to study in the studio of soprano Norma Burrowes.
~ Morella ~
Shelby is a Toronto-based actor with a concentration on film and vocal work. While focusing her film career, she has also spent the last two years performing and writing for the Mentalism group Beyond Mental Borders at The Rec Room Toronto. Shelby is thrilled to finally be rejoining White Mills Theatre Co. in Tales of the Grotesque after playing Shirley in their last production at Spadina House, A Christmas Carol. She is excited for you all to explore Campbell House; and the stories & secrets within.
~ The Raven ~
Breanna (she/her) is thrilled to be back collaborating with White Mills Theatre Co. on this spooky theatre excursion. Breanna earned her MFA in Acting at East 15 Acting School in the UK and is a graduate of the University of Windsor’s BFA acting program. Recent theatre credits include Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival), Iphigenia in Splott (Toronto Fringe), Cooking for Grief (Vancouver Fringe), A Christmas Carol, Ether (White Mills Theatre Co.), Hamlet(s) (Skipping Stones Theatre) and The Dutch Courtesan (Poculi Ludique Societas). A few of her favourite writing endeavours include one-act play Cooking for Grief, contributions to The Tank NYC Theatrical Productions and poetry contributions to The Nature Poetry and Environmental Zine, curated by Alley Biniarz (Windsor, ON). Breanna is passionate about storytelling that challenges our perception of society and the way in which we interact with each other and our environment. It is Breanna’s ongoing mission to create professional theatre with care, joy and curiosity. She hopes you enjoy the show!
~ Lenore ~
Ella Mazur is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her work explores the beauty of nature and the power of the human imagination through visual art, poetry, murals, and performance. She is thrilled to be working with White Mills Theatre company once more as Lenore.
~ Sir Usher ~
Jonas is an emerging theatre-maker living and working in Toronto. A graduate of George Brown Theatre School, he has been lucky enough to tread the boards with many great indie companies in Toronto. After being away from the stage for a few years due to a global and prolonged health event, he is very happy to be returning to the stage and to be making his debut with White Mills Theatre Co. in this delectably macabre exploration of the work of Edgar Alle Poe.
Past Credits (selected): December Man (Theatre at Eastminster), Dry Land (Cue6), All of Me (Theatre Insomnia), The Provok’d Wife, Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, Candide, Machinal (George Brown Theatre School), RED (In Your Eyes Productions).
~ Pedro ~
Nolan is an avid theatre performer, who has performed in many productions at school and in community theatre. He is currently attending University of Toronto where he is hoping to complete his Bachelors Degree in 2025. This is Nolan's first production with White Mills Theatre Co.
Past credits include Into the Woods (Hart House Theatre),
Cabaret (Factory Theatre), Spring Awakening (Young Centre for the Performing Arts), Dear Evan Hansen (Wirth Theatre, St Andrew's College), School of Rock (Wirth Theatre, St Andrew's College), We Will Rock You (Wirth Theatre, St Andrew's College), Guys and Dolls (Wirth Theatre, St Andrew's College), Les Misérables (Newmarket Theatre), and Hairspray (Newmarket Theatre).
~ Rosalie ~
Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Rae is a musician and comic, currently based out of Toronto. Throughout North America, Rae has shared her passion for performance and education. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Rae has collaborated as a viola soloist with the Sooke Philharmonic and Sidney Classical Orchestra. An advocate for new musical works, Rae was also a selected soloist for a composer reading with the Victoria Symphony. During a recent West Coast concert series, she commissioned a new work, a viola/piano duo for a selected young composer.
While studying, Rae found a love for engaging with her surrounding communities. As a Community, Performances and Partnerships at NEC and as a Morse and GLUCK fellow at Juilliard, she brought performance and education to public schools, hospitals and retirement homes. Currently, Rae is a teaching artist for Sistema Toronto as well as a private violin teacher.
This past year, Rae has dived into the world of comedy, studying the craft at Bad Dog Theatre and Second City. She can be found performing at clubs around the city, such as Comedy Bar, Comedy Lab, and SoCap. She blends her comedic voice with her classically trained viola playing, sharing to the world/universe how cool classical music can be!
~ Hugo ~
Praised for his "fine baritone voice" (The Brooklyn Eagle), "Austin Larusson sang beautifully" (barczablog.com), “Austin Larusson’s Crespel was a very effective and even touching foil” John Gilks operarambling.blog), Austin most recently appeared in DIE FLEDERMAUS as Frank, DON GIOVANNI as Masetto and TOSCA as the Sacristan and covering Scarpia with Toronto City Opera. He was pleased to return to the stage this past season as Shem and Patho in CONAN AND THE STONE OF KELIOR with Mightier Productions, John Sorel in the THE CONSUL with Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, covering Conte Di Luna in IL TROVATORE with Opera Sustenida, Potrero/Sereno in LA VERBENA DE LA PALOMA, Montschi in A WALTZ DREAM and Mars in ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Fiorello in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with the Mississauga Symphony, Priest/Armed man in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE With Opera York, and Louis Pasteur in the new music THE LEGEND OF LOUIS PASTEUR with Thick and Thin Theatre.
Previous engagements include Vicomte Cascada in THE MERRY WIDOW, Ajax 1 in THE BEAUTIFUL HELEN, Massakroff in THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER and the Sergeant of Police with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Johann in WERTHER, Lorenzo in I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI and George Jones in STREET SCENE with Opera in Concert, Leporello in DON GIOVANNI and Malatesta in DON PASQUALE with Vera Causa Opera, Crespel in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN with Toronto City Opera, and Bartolo/Antonio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and Conte Ceprano in RIGOLETTO with Southern Ontario Lyric Opera.
~ Mackenzie ~
Aleksandar Gajic is a violinist, composer, arranger and a recording artist with a distinguished career in classical, folk, jazz and world music. In 1995 he became concert-master of the Symphony Orchestra of Radio
Television of Serbia and guest concert-master of the Belgrade
Philharmonic Orchestra. Aleksandar co-founded the Bellotti String Quartet, with whom (1995-2002) he recorded four CDs featuring their eclectic repertoire of classical, jazz and his own original music. He also played and recorded with the world-renowned Yugoslav composers and
musicians Goran Bregovic and Laza Ristovski.
Since his arrival in Canada, Aleksandar has served for many years with
the Ontario Philharmonia, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Toronto
Philharmonia, Sinfonia Toronto, Canadian Sinfonietta. In 2004 he became a member of the acclaimed klezmer/east European fusion ensemble Beyond the Pale, with whom he won the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Instrumental Group and Pushing the Boundaries for the CD Postcards. Since 2007, Aleksandar has also been a member of the Cuban-Jewish fusion group Odessa-Havana, (2008 CFM Award for Best World Ensemble and 2014 Juno Award). In 2008 Aleksandar co-founded his own Hotland Trio, which released a CD titled Most in 2011.
He also performed and recorded with groups such as Gypsoulogy,
Autorickshaw, Great Lake Swimmers, Organic Balkanic, Tipica Toronto,
and artists such as Suba Sankaran, Molly Johnson, David Buchbinder,
Socalled, Eliana Cuevas, Hilario Duran, David Wall, Roberto Occhipinti, Mark Kelso, Quinsin Nachof, Jeremy Ledbetter and many others.
~ William ~
Rob is an emerging artist based in Toronto, deeply connected to the world of music. His passion for self-expression finds its voice through his compositions, arrangements, and performances on multiple woodwind instruments.
Rob's musical journey began at the prestigious Regional Arts Program at Cawthra Park. Here, he learned the value of collaboration and leadership within bands and choirs spanning a variety of genres. Now, as a student at York University, Rob continues to explore and expand his creative boundaries, always seeking to learn and grow through his music.
In addition to his work as a composer and arranger, Rob shares his talents by playing a variety of woodwind instruments. Among his musical projects is 'The Pit,' a 7-piece jazz ensemble that he founded and leads. This ensemble, characterized by its saxophone quartet, multiple instrument doubles, and a vibrant rhythm section, explores a fusion of musical tastes and styles, resulting in a truly distinctive sound.
His performances resonate with audiences, inviting them on an emotional journey through his music. Rob's modest blend of talent and versatility, combined with his deep love for music, offers a refreshing and genuine presence in Toronto's music scene.
As an emerging artist, he aspires to make meaningful contributions to the world of music, one heartfelt note at a time. With his unique artistry, Rob hopes to continue connecting with listeners and sharing his love for the craft.
~ Madeline ~
Producer, Co-Director & Musical Director
Shannon Mills earned her Master of Arts with distinction in Music Performance from California State University, Fresno, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Lethbridge. Inspired by the achievements of her academic mentors, Shannon has gone on to instill a love of opera in children—previously working as a Program Assistant with the Canadian Opera Company’s After School Opera Program. With this in mind, Shannon is driven to produce engaging work for fellow artists within her community. Recognizing both the wide range of talent and few performance opportunities in Toronto, Shannon founded White Mills Theatre Co. to bring her fresh perspective to the stage. As Managing Director, she reimagines classic libretti to produce original theatre projects and newly relevant opera, creating fulfilling work for herself as a soprano. Shannon’s extensive musical training has been an asset in her ventures as a theatre director, working closely with actors to develop the cadence and musicality of spoken text.
~ Producer, Co-Director, Playwright & Production Designer ~
Brandon White is an interdisciplinary artist whose passion for queer theory and theology recurs throughout much of his body of work—both thematically as a director and visually as a designer. A graduate of York University’s comprehensive Theatre program, Brandon specialized in Devised Theatre, with an emphasis on collective creation, directing, and design. A wearer of many hats, Brandon’s numerous interests are integrated into a singular vision as Artistic Director of White Mills Theatre Co. His original work has toured throughout much of Central America, earning him a Bernice Adams Memorial Award nomination at an early age. More recently, he has collaborated with the City of Toronto to animate local heritage sites, working together with his creative partner, Shannon Mills, to stage an immersive adaptation of Menotti’s The Medium at Spadina Museum: Heritage House and Gardens. An active participant in the Toronto theatre community, Brandon creates inclusive opportunities for performers of diverse backgrounds, skill levels, and experience.
~ Assistant Director & Stage Manager ~
Cassie is an actor, producer, stage manager, playwright and theatre educator from the beautiful small town of Walkerton Ontario She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from The University of Guelph and is a graduate from George Brown Theatre School’s acting conservatory. She is also a founding member of Theatre Foolscap, a Toronto theatre company dedicated to creating performance opportunities for emerging artists. When Cassie is not teaching or working on a production, she enjoys hiking with her partner and dog, Remi.
Some of her favourite theatre credits include: Liz (Girl’s Night Cabin Fever, Theatre Foolscap), Tanya (Een, Theatre Kingston), Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol, White Mills Theatre Co.), Paisley (Ether, White Mills Theatre Co.) d’Eon (Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman, GBTS)
Cassie is thrilled to be joining White Mills Theatre Co. once again for this incredible season of offerings.
~ Feature Artist & Production Assistant ~
Daniel Tofach received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University in 2010. As a visual artist, Daniel’s work has been featured in Small Works—Small Space (Gallery 1313), Experiencing Perspectives (Mercedes-Benz Financial), Canadian Landscapes Juried Exhibition (Agnes Jamieson Gallery), and Masterworks (Peterson Art Gallery). Although known for his expressive landscapes, Daniel’s most recent work explores the nature of portraiture—capturing the abstracted interplay of light and darkness on the plains of the human form. With this in mind, his work has been known to make its way to the stage in the form of set dressing. A frequent collaborator with White Mills Theatre Co., Daniel has assisted at various stages in production development—as an artist, sound technician, and production assistant.
Michael Williamson is a Dora nominated performing artist from Port Perry Ontario. A graduate of George Brown college's theatre program, Michael has spent multiple seasons working with the Guild Festival Theatre (Alice in Wonderland) and numerous seasons with Theatre on the Ridge. Select credits include: Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Connor (The Valley), Jacob (Salt-Water Moon), and Jim (The Glass Menagerie). Michael also writes music for himself and stage productions, credits include: Wind in the Willows (Theatre on the Ridge) Munsch on the Moon (George Brown Theatre), and Monsters and Millfoil (Theatre on the Ridge).
Michael is so excited to be diving into their first immersive theatre experience with the team at White Mills Theatre Co. and is grateful for their constant support and dedication!