The Bellows: Self Care by Michael Kruse

Are you sleeping enough? Do you know what enough is? When was the last time you made yourself a meal, or spent the day taking care of yourself instead of all of your actors and director? Have you had moments of panic for no reason or felt an unyielding force preventing you from leaving the house and going into rehearsal? Perhaps, like the rest of us, you have been focusing on the show to much and on yourself too little. Self care is important, and vital to a long and fruitful career.  The next hour and 1/2 we talk about self care. In this session of The Bellows, host and carpenter Kevin Hutson talks to a panel of self-care experts about surviving, well, life in the theatre.

Recorded on February 20th, 2017 , our panel was made up of David Whitley, advanced care paramedic and peer support worker in paramedic services, and Leah Erbe from the Actors Fund of Canada.

Actors Fund of Canada


David Whitley

David is an Advanced Care Paramedic in a emergency service in the Greater Toronto Area, and serves on it's Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support team. David is also a registered nurse and has spent many years training in the treatment and prevention of stress injuries.

Leslie Erbe

Leah is The AFC’s first program manager. The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry, providing short-term financial assistance to entertainment industry professionals whose health, housing, or ability to work have been jeopardized by an unforeseen emergency. Leah spent eight years as The AFC’s case coordinator, fielding calls and processing applications for assistance, before becoming program manager in 2016. Prior to her work at The AFC, Leah worked as a member representative at the Songwriters Association of Canada.

Leah has performed as a solo act, with her band Smugshot, and with other bands and projects in and around Toronto. Her songs have been featured on "Dawson's Creek", “Party of Five”, and in several independent films; she has worked with producers and co-writers Mike Rocha, Luther Mallory (Crush Luther), and Haydain Neale (jacksoul). She also has extensive TV and film credits as a singer, including theme vocals for "Earth: Final Conflict" and the IMAX documentary "Under The Sea", and featured vocals for the IMAX films "Spacestation" and 2016’s “A Beautiful Planet”.

#40 Martha Mann by Michael Kruse

Martha Mann is one of the original Canadian theatre designers. I had the pleasure of speaking with Martha in her home in August of 2016. We speak about her personal origins when there were no theatre training programs in Canada, about the birth of modern Canadian drama from the amateur Dominion Drama Festival, and her work on countless productions of theatre and film, including her work at Glimmerlass Opera and on the Anne of Green Gables films. More quotes from Martha can be found here.


New York University Drama Dept.

Yale School of Drama Graduate Degree

Ontario College of Art, now OCAD University

University Alumni Dramatic Club, now the Alumni Theatre

James Raney's The Killdeer

The Dominion Drama Festival

The London Little Theatre, now The Grand Theatre

The Royal Alexander Theatre

The National Theatre Schoo

Mark Knagen, designer

Wilf Pegg, designer

William Needles

John Colicos

Ron Hartmann

Hart House Theatre

Lawren Harris

Susanne Mess

Les Lawrence

Victor Braun

South Pacific

Catherine Brickenden

Life with Father

Young People's Theatre

Jupitor Theatre - The Museum Theatre at the Royal Ontario Musem

The Crest Theatre

Hilary Corbett

Murray and Donald Davis and their Sister Barbara Chilcott

The Straw Hat Players


Central Library Building Toronto turned into the Robert Gill Theatre

Robert Gill

The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles by George Bernard Shaw

The Drama Centre at University of Toronto

Francois Barbeau

The Arts and Letters Club, Toronto - 0:41

Jo Mielziner

Susan Benson

Jean Rosenthal

Leon Major

Kevin Sullivan

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson, shot at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Krieghoff film by Kevin Sullivan

Anne of Green Gables film with an Interview with Martha

Ann Roth costume designer

Intermezzo at the Glimmerglass Festival

New York City Opera

Miami Lyric Opera

Radio City Music Hall

Imperial War Museum

Scenography in Canada, Natalie Rewa

Stan Turner, carpenter at The Crest

Malabars Costume House

Anne of Green Gables, the musical at Theatre Calgary

Glenn [Gould] play at Soulpepper

Eames chairs

Ryerson Theatre School

Julius Ceasar at Stratford Festival, 1998

Trapunto quilting

Jerry Franken

Opera News - Dress Up Games

Peter Brook

Associated Designers of Canada

Theatre Safety Guidelines

Charmion King leg injury judgement

Origins of Canadian Actors Equity

Edith Head

The Washington National Opera

The Bellows: Media Relations by Michael Kruse

On January 16th, 2017, the Bellows reconvened again to discuss another pressing and mysterious issue in the production of Canadian Theatre: media relations. Kevin Hutson spoke to Steve Fisher, Rennie Reddie and now Title Block veteran, Sue Edworthy about selling the show and growing your audience.  Bios are below, can you guess who does promotions every day?


Steve Fisher

Steve Fisher holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre, and an Acting - Performance diploma from Ryerson University. He writes a weekly arts & entertainment column for Torontoist, and contributes regularly to Post City and Now Magazine. Other outlets he has written for include The AV Club, CBC Music, and The Grid. He was a 2015 nominee for a National Magazine Award for his Torontoist contributions, and won the bi-annual 2016 Nathan Cohen Award, the top award for theatre criticism in Canada, in the short form review category.

Renna Reddie

Renna is the proud producer of multiple Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated shows. She is the inaugural Toronto Fringe TD Bank Young Producer and current Wrecking Ball member. She works extensively in event and talent coordination and has over 7 years of festival logistics with JFL42, Hot Docs, Luminato and many more.

Sue Edworthy

Sue Edworthy has worked in the non-profit performing arts for over fifteen years and is a self-described city enthusiast. Her passion for the performing arts has led her to stints in theatre, dance and opera organizations in and around Toronto such as Luminato, Opera Atelier, and Theatre Passe Muraille. She is a 2010 Harold Award recipient and recipient of a CharPR Prize for best publicity 2012 and 2013, and the 2015 recipient of the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Arts Leadership. She is a former Board member for The Toronto Fringe and The Toronto Alliance for the Performing arts, and a current Board member for the Canadian Dance Assembly and Expect Theatre. Currently a part time instructor at Ryerson Theatre School and Humber College, Sue runs Sue Edworthy Arts Planning, a freelance marketing, PR, producing and strategic planning company for the Toronto independent arts community, and is much in demand as a social media and marketing consultant. Sue holds a BFA Specialized Honors from York University. For more information, visit , find Sue Edworthy Arts Planning on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @sueedworthy.

Episode #39 Lorenzo Savoini by Michael Kruse

Designer Lorenzo Savoini

Designer Lorenzo Savoini

Lorenzo Savoini is the director of design at Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto, one of the most successful theatres to be founded in the last 20 years and one that continues to push the envelope on what theatre can or should be. Lorenzo tells me about his time growing up in Thorn Hill Ontario and his adventures at UBC, Stratford and for the last 10 years, at Soulpepper. For the second half of this marathon interview, we chat about his philosophy of design and how he is working to develop the next generation of designers who face a world that is both uncertain but alive with potential. We recorded the interview in May of 2016 in the Soulpepper library.


Support the show!

Leaving Home by David French

Our Town by Thornton Wilder

University of Guelph Theatre Arts

Alan Watts (see "Sculpted Spaces: Jim Plaxton in conversation with Alan Watts, from Canadian Theatre Review #54)

Canadian Art magazine

Michael Levine

Daryl Cloran

House by Daniel MacIvor

Alan Stitchbury

University of British Columbia MFA in Theatre

Robert Gardiner

Peter Brook

Josef Svoboda

Simon McBurney

Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw

Wagner's The Ring Cycle by Michael Levine

Rauri Murchison

The Sound of Music at The Stratford Festival 2001

Richard Monette

Timon of Athens at The Stratford Festival 2004

Stephen Ouimette

Tanya Moiseivitch

Desmond Healey

Michael Gianfrancesco

Dana Osborn

Chris Abraham

Deborah Hanson


Return (The Sarajavo Project)

Umbuntu (The Capetown Project)

Claire Sakaki

László Marton

The Soulpepper Academy

BLiNK by the 2010 SoulpepperAcademy

Of Human Bondage by Sommerset Maughm at Soulpepper Theatre

Gregory Prest

Raquel Duffy

Diego Matamoras

John Cage

Richard Feren

CAGE at Soulpepper Theatre

Mies van der Rohe

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Soulpepper Theatre, Director:  Alan Dilworth, Set and Costume Design:  Lorenzo Savoini, Lighting Design:  Kim Purtell, Sound Design:  Debashis Sinha, Actors:  Michelle Monteith, Courtney Ch'ng Lancaster, Oyin Oladejo, 

A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen, Soulpepper Theatre
Director:  Daniel Brooks, Set design: Lorenzo Savoini, Lighting Design: Kevin Lamotte, Sound Design:  Richard Feren, Actors:  Katherine Gauthier, Christopher Morris

Episode #38 The Bellows: Ask Me Anything by Michael Kruse

On this episode we once again return to The Bellows, a monthly informal discussion about theatre production that is recorded in Toronto, this time at Theatre Passe Muraille on November 16th, 2016. Carpenter and Bellows founder Kevin Hutson moderates a Q and A with some of Toronto theatre production's bright lights, with questions poised by the Bellows audience. Taking the spotlight this time are Bellows veterans Remington North and Dave Degrow, as well as Rebecca Hooten and newly minted theatre technician Cameron Kirk.  They are asked a number of smart questions about their career in theatre and their thoughts on theatre production, while Kevin makes sure their ego's do not get too inflated.



Kevin is a scenic carpenter, former technician and occasional project manager.  He comes from Scarborough and loves talking about work over beer.


Pip Bradford has been working in theatre exclusively since she quit the porn store back in ’07, and she has hated writing bios the whole time. She has production managed for companies around Ontario including Why Not Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, The Theatre Centre, The Lower Ossington Theatre, FADO Performance Art, and Stand-Up Dance, and worked in innumerable capacities for countless others. When Pip isn’t production managing or teaching production management to the young, she makes interactive art pieces with Rebecca Vandevelde for Art Is Hard Productions, including the upcoming Blanket Fort at the Theatre Centre in January 2017. In the spare time left over from her spare time, Pip is one of the hosts of The Bellows, a monthly production artist mixer that fosters community among production peeps in Toronto.


Christopher Ross has extensive experience as a technician, stage manager, and production manager. he has worked in most of Toronto’s independent theatres, and has been a venue technician for the Fringe Festival, the Next Stage Theatre Festival, and the Summerworks performance festival. he is currently the head technician of the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace.

remington north

David degrow

David DeGrow is a designer, academic, and teacher whose work has been seen across Toronto and across Canada, and has been nominated for three Dora Awards. He is PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, where his dissertation examines how theatre space shapes artistic mandate, audience and the theatre’s relationship with the city. Selected lighting designs include: Pyaasa (Theatre Passe Muraille/Theatre Jones Roy); Tap-Ex: Metallurgy (Tapestry); Monday Nights (Sixth Man/Theatre Centre); Morro & Jasp: 9-5 (UNIT Productions/Factory); Tagged (Greenthumb/YPT); The Hours That Remain (Gwaandak); the tin drum (Unspun); Dreaming of Rob Ford (Mike Daisey/Crow’s). Recent Production Management/Technical Direction credits include: Salt Baby National Tour (Salt Baby Collective/Globe); Fashion Straight from the Art (University of Toronto/Mirvish); All the sex I’ve ever had (Mammalian Diving Reflex/Luminato); Belleville (Company); Forgiveness (Modern Times); Passion Play (Outside the March/Sheep No Wool/Convergence); Justice (Gwaandak/National Arts Centre); Cafe Daughter (Gwaandak Theatre - National Tour); ZED.TO-Patient Zero (The Mission Business - Nuit Blanche); The Pub Operas (Tapestry). 

rebecca hooton

Rebecca Hooton is a Toronto based deviser, director, production manager, and a founding member of Raw Matter Project.

Cameron kirk

Cameron Kirk is a recent graduate of Humber Colleges Technical Theatre Production program.  He spent the summer of 2016 working at the Blyth Theatre Festival as a Carpenter. Since he's been back in the big city he's been freelancing as a carpenter and technician; picking up calls in various spaces throughout the city and dabbling in the wonderful world of corporate events.  Cameron is striving to be a Technical Director but wants to keep his hand in more creative pockets of theatre. Specifically, set and sound design.  His set design dabut was at Array Music, with Glass Reflections Collectives 'Bonds Beyond' which premiered on October 27th.  Cameron is excited about kicking off his career in the world of theatre and eagerly awaits what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. 

Episode #37 Eo Sharp by Michael Kruse

Eo Sharp, photo by David Cooper.

Eo Sharp, photo by David Cooper.

The Swanne at the Stratford Festival. Directed by Peter Hinton, Set Design by Eo Sharp, Lighting Design by Robert Thomson, Costume design by Caroline Smith,

The Swanne at the Stratford Festival. Directed by Peter Hinton, Set Design by Eo Sharp, Lighting Design by Robert Thomson, Costume design by Caroline Smith,

Episode #36 The Bellows: Contracts and Fees by Michael Kruse

In this next episode of The Bellows, a conversation about contracts and fees. How do you negotiate to your advantage? What are the necessary parts of a contract and is it worth having an agent or being a member of the Associated Designers of Canada? Moderator Kevin Hutson talks to Kesta Graham, business agent at The Tarragon Theatre, designer Simon Rossiter, and the executive director at the ADC Shiela Skye.  This was recorded on October 17th 2016 at The Central bar in Mirvish Village, Toronto, Ontario.


Kevin Hutson

Kevin is a scenic carpenter, former technician and occasional project manager.  He comes from Scarborough and loves talking about work over beer.

Kesta Graham

Kesta is currently the Business Manager for Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. She has spent the last 10 years full time in arts management in a variety of positions including General Manager of Studio 180 Theatre (2008-2015), freelance producer/ consultant, and Treasurer for Common Boots (formerly Theatre Columbus). Experience in project management ranges from collective/ profit share, workshops, co-productions, full seasons, long run productions and large scale musicals.  Prior to becoming a full time arts administrator, Kesta spent 10 years as an actor/producer and part time project coordinator for kitchen and bath renovations. .

Simon Rossiter

Simon is a Toronto-based lighting designer who occasionally designs scenery. He has created more than one hundred and fifty original lighting designs over the last ten years for a diversity of theatre and dance companies throughout Canada, and is the lighting director of the annual Fall for Dance North festival at the Sony Centre and the Next Stage Theatre Festival at the Factory Theatre. He has received two Dora Mavor Moore awards for outstanding lighting design, is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School, and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

Sheila Sky

Sheila has been active in Toronto’s vibrant performing arts scene since the mid ‘80s.  She has undertaken management, strategic and logistical planning, marketing, publicity, fundraising and producing in both the commercial and non-profit sectors.  Her career has spanned Fringe to Broadway, and she has worked for clients in drama and musical theatre, dance, opera, devised theatre, puppetry, comedy and contemporary classical music.  She is the Executive Director of Associate Designer of Canada and their fundraising arm, the ADCF; and is Treasurer of the inaugural Board of the Alliance of Women in Theatre.  She is the owner of Sky Arts Management which provides management services for arts organizations and their projects, as well as a consulting practice. 


Episode #35 Julie Fox by Michael Kruse