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TFS Production of ‘A Hollywood Christmas Carol’ Offers Modern Twist to Dickens Classic

A Hollywood Christmas Carol poster

 

Charles Dickens’ beloved classic A Christmas Carol, will get a modern twist when Toronto Film School’s upcoming production of A Hollywood Christmas Carol takes to the stage.

 

Directed by Christel Bartelse, the 75-minute play will be performed by the “amazing” 5B Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre class, who “leapt into everything with bravery and heart.”

 

“When I found this version, it was perfect for a large cast, and I knew it would speak to these passionate film actors – taking place in modern day Beverly Hills,” Bartelse said.

 

“There was so much potential in adapting this play by having fun and adding great moments of comedy, all while touching on the heart of the play: Hope.”

 

The challenge, she said, was finding out how to best serve Dickens’ social and political agenda in these modern times – something they discovered is still relevant.

 

“Essentially the moral message remains: All human beings have the opportunity to behave in kinder ways towards each other,” Bartelse added. “We have one life, and we can choose compassion and kindness as how we want to be remembered.”

 

 

Toronto Film School’s production of A Hollywood Christmas Carol, which is stage-managed by Mathieu Dumas, will take to the stage at The Papermill Theatre for a three-performance run on Dec. 15, 16 and 17 as follows:

 

Thursday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 16 at 9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.

 

The Papermill Theatre is located at Todmorden Mills, 67 Pottery Rd. Tickets are free and are available at the door.

 

 

The Creative Team Behind A Hollywood Christmas Carol:

 

Darian Fazelyar as Elgin Scroge

Darian Fazelyar was born in Vaughan, Ontario. He’s currently a fifth term acting student at Toronto Film School, studying acting, writing, and directing for film and TV. Growing up around amazing friends and family that have supported him throughout his life, Darian found his passion for acting in high school, where he was introduced to the world of theatre. He is excited to perform on stage with his classmates and show everyone all the hard work that’s been going on behind the scenes. One of Darian’s goals is to inspire others to take risks and follow their dreams no matter the circumstance. He is excited to see which direction his journey as an actor takes next.

 

 

Theodore Pitul-March as Young Elgin Scroge

Theodore Pitul-March was born in Niagara Falls, but was raised all over southern Ontario. He now lives in Toronto. He is a fourth term student at Toronto Film School, studying Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre, as well as writing and directing. While studying, he was able to write, direct and even star in the short film LOOP. He also was the lead in the play Stupid Fucking Bird for a showcase at Toronto Film School. He was also able to star in Seven Stories in Term 3. He first started taking acting classes at Walkerton District Community School in the Grade 10. He takes pride in his creative abilities, such as drawing, writing scripts and poems. Theodore’s goal is to help trans youth have representation in the movie industry and inspire young actors through his work. Theodore finished a job as a scare actor for Haunted Office Toronto, mastering his craft. As he continues his work for the play A Hollywood Christmas Carol, playing a young Elgin Scroge (as well as a few other minor roles), Theodore continues to grow his knowledge of acting and improv skills.

 

 

Alliyah Moodie as the Ghost of Christmas Past

Alliyah Moodie was born and raised in London, Ontario and now resides in Brampton. She is currently a fifth term student at Toronto Film School (TFS) and is studying Acting for for Film, TV & the Theatre. Before joining TFS, rugby was her one and only passion. She was addicted to the adrenaline rush it gave her, but when she started acting, it gave her a new unforgettable feeling. Alliyah was always a shy kid, but has always loved watching TV in hopes of being like those actors she watched performing on screen and telling the stories created by others. Acting has brought out the best version of Alliyah – one she never thought she would see. During school, she starred in a short film titled Irreparable Damage, as well as Get Through and See ‘n Tower. Alliyah also had the opportunity to create and direct a short film titled Back to You. She has a strong and unbreakable love for acting and hopes to use her abilities as an actress to inspire, move and put a smile on people’s faces.

 

 

Nicholas Roger Bryant as the Ghost of Christmas Present

Nicholas Roger Bryant was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. He is of both French Canadian and Mexican decent, which, in turn, makes him trilingual. Nick is very passionate about acting and human psychology, which helps him dive deeper into the characters he plays. From a young age, he’s always loved movies and how they are made, often watching behind-the-scenes videos instead of the actual movies. Furthermore, Nick found his love for acting when he started participating in events and parties suited up as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Since then, he has written, directed and starred in his own short films, as well as starring in an independent short film, Dying on Oregano Ranch. Nick is hard working and a quick learner; he loves to bring the best out the people he meets and is always looking for new projects to be a part of.

 

 

Ezinne Anya as the Ghost of Christmas to Come

Ezinne Anya was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, but moved to Canada 2019 and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario. Ezinne fell in love with acting during the 10th grade, when she starred in a stage play directed by her English teacher during their school’s annual graduation ceremony. She began pursuing a career in film when she was 20, enrolling in Toronto Film School. She is currently a fifth term student at the school and is studying in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program. Ezinne likes riding her bike and playing badminton. During her third term, she had the opportunity to create, and direct her own short film titled A Woman’s Love. In the summer of 2022, she gained improv experience in her fourth term in Toronto Film School. She hopes to inspire other actors and show representation in her field as a woman of colour.

 

 

Mingyue (Maggie) Deng as the Ghost of Christmas to Come

Mingyue Deng was born in Hunan, China, raised in Shenzhen, and currently lives in Toronto. She learned piano and dance from a young age, and performed in many places for 8 years. In junior school, she starred in a TV series and hosted a children’s show. She also played ‘Alice’ in the play Alice in Wonderland at the Nanshan Grand Theatre. Mingyue Deng felt the charm of acting and became determined to be an actress after playing a character called ‘Xiong Dun’, a cancer patient who is still full of hope for life. She enjoys the process of getting into a role and experiencing it. She has learned and grown a lot in the process. She is currently a fourth term student at Toronto Film School and is studying acting, writing, and directing for film and TV. While at school, she created and directed a short silent film titled, Date. She has also starred in other short films, including CIRCLE and LIFT. She hopes to experience different roles in the future and then pass on her experiences to others.

 

 

Ehsan Sadat as Bob Cricket

Ehsan Sadat is a 22-year-old actor who was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, before moving to Canada in 2019 to be an actor. He joined Toronto Film School and started his journey into acting world in 2021. He is experienced in stage combat and stunt acting, having recently taken a class at TFS in which he learned gun fighting, sword fighting, knife fighting and stage combat. He speaks English, Dari and Hindi. Among his other many interests are photography, singing, driving, racing, cooking, soccer and volleyball. He has worked on several short films and a music video. He is a very hard-working actor with an ability to give lots of ideas on set and on stage and take directions very well. He can build stuff like props, and he can be a good and helpful crew member on projects.

 

 

Athalia McLean as Tina Cricket

Athalia is a performing arts student trained in theatre, film and television. She is currently training at Toronto Film School. She was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where she initially discovered her love for performing arts in middle school. She started training professionally in high school at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts. She participated in the Wonder Seasonal Variety Show in 2019. She likes to read and write poetry and to interact with people; she is a very extroverted person. She loves to prove people’s assumptions of her to be wrong and show people her disability does not define her character. Her goal as an artist is to make a difference. She is an artist with a disability and wants to be the representation she never saw growing up for the little girls and boys watching on TV who think they can’t do it because they never see anybody like them.

 

 

Keana Holness as Sharon Cricket

Keana Holness was born in Toronto, Ontario, but raised in St. Catharines, Ontario and is currently living in Mississauga, Ontario. She is currently enrolled in the acting program at Toronto Film School. She has learned many things in the program from theatre works to directing and producing. She directed and produced a film in Term 3 called Irreparable Damage. Acting has always been her passion since she was a young girl and after many years of pursuing a career she didn’t love, she finally gave into her passion, which brought her to Toronto Film School. In her following terms, Keana hopes to hone her skill and craft and become an amazing actress who inspires others.

 

 

Suvega Suppiah as Marley Mayfield

Suvega Suppiah was born in Montreal, Quebec and raised in Hawkesbury, Ontario. She now lives in Toronto and is currently a fifth term student at Toronto Film School studying acting, writing and directing for film and television. While at school, she had the opportunity to create and direct her own silent short film, Afterwards, as well as being a part of other students’ short films. She also got to work on a project outside of school called Off-Brand Nonsense. Suvega fell in love with acting when she made short films all throughout high school with her friends and family. She loves to entertain the people around her and make them laugh. In 2020, she took a course in art fundamentals working on paintings and sketching at Sheridan College. She loves to create and paint during her free time and hopes to use her talent for something in the future. Her goal is to be able to inspire others and show representation through her work as an actress and filmmaker.

 

 

Max Lieu as Fred Scroge

Max Lieu is a 19-year-old actor who was born and raised in Toronto. He is known for his work in 519 film productions’ A Cure for the Common Classroom, playing a student. He also works as a superhero for children’s birthdays and events, and the Warden in student film Pandemonium. He also has some extras in a few independent productions and studied drama in high school. He is now currently studying Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre at Toronto Film School. His ultimate ambition is to pursue acting and modelling full time and in big productions. He is very passionate about what he does for a living, loves to play a wide variety of characters, as well as work in a wide variety of jobs, and he is not afraid to take risks and learn from/triumph out of his mistakes. Max’s skills include playing piano at a recreational level, improv, learning scripts, and so on. He also enjoys working out, listening to music, making new friends, rock climbing and zip-lining, and shopping.

 

 

Onyinyechukwu Blessing Ikezue as Patty Cricket

Onyinyechukwu Blessing Ikezue was born and raised in Oba, Anambra Nigeria and now lives in Toronto. She is currently a fifth term student at Toronto Film School and is studying Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre. While in school, she’s had the opportunity to create, direct and star in a short silent film called Two Face. She also starred in other short films, Back to You and 9 to 5 Clocked In. She was also in a commercial for shapewear called “Smart Curves” and a model in a music video called “Fresh Start”. Blessing got interested in acting through modelling. She likes reading stories and is looking for an opportunity where she can tell her own stories. She also hopes that she can inspire people through her work as an actor and scriptwriter.

 

 

Qian (Fiona) Yu as Fiona Scroge

Qian Yu was born and raised in Jiangsu, China and now lives in Toronto. She is currently a fifth term student at Toronto Film School in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program. She started her acting journey and found a passion for it in her high school acting program. While at school, she’s had the opportunity to create, direct, shoot and edit a short silent film titled AS YOU WISH. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and dancing. She loves the creativity of the arts and hopes to continue developing and sharing her many talents with others during her career. Her goal is to be featured on stages and in a variety of roles in the acting industry.

 

 

Yitong (Kimmie) Wu as Ann

Yitong Wu (Kimmie) was born in China in 2002, grew up in Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, with Mandarin as her first language. When she was very young, she often went to see her brother’s plays, so she was deeply interested in theatre, but what she really loved about acting was watching Sleep No More. She began acting at the age of 12, and in high school starred as ‘Wenye’ in Little Friends and ‘Fulai’ in Robinson Crusoe. In September 2020, she was admitted to the acting department of Shanghai Theatre Academy. There she learned a lot of experience and knowledge about theatre, as well as some knowledge about film theory and history. After that, she went to Toronto Film School to study Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre. During this time she made a silent film called Future is Uncertain and appeared in Find Yourself, Turn Off the Light and Memoirs. Kimmie can speak Mandarin and English, but she also wants to learn French, German and Spanish. She plays the piano and she likes all extreme sports.

 

 

Duran Lawrence as Intruding Actor

Duran Lawrence was born the oldest of three siblings in the Bahamas, on the island of New Providence. He served for more than five years as a Marine Seaman in Royal Bahamas Defence Force, where he was dedicated to serve his fellow Bahamians. Duran then became a father at a very young age, welcoming a beautiful baby girl named Nahla. He was Inspired to become an actor by his fellow native Bahamian, the late Sir. Sidney Poitier, who became a very successful actor despite all odds against him. He admired Mr. Poitier’s determination to make something of his life, even though he wasn’t supposed to. Mr. Poitier penned a few autobiographies and biography during his lifetime, which helped fuel Duran’s passion to become an actor. Duran currently studies at Toronto Film School in the Acting program. He is an aspiring actor and knows that he is going to do great things in the entertainment industry. Duran aspires to win an EGOT in the very near future.

 

 

Christel Bartelse — Director

Christel is an actor/performer/storyteller, director and educator. As a performer, she got her start in comedy and improv with the physical comedy duo, The Burnt Marshmallows (Canadian Comedy Award Nominees). She is most known for having created and written six award-winning solo shows and has toured them all across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. She works closely alongside fellow TFS instructor and director Andy Massingham on several of her creations. Christel is also the co-producer and co-host of the hit Toronto storytelling show, But That’s Another Story, and has told her personal stories on stages all over. She was also awarded the 99 Second Story – Grand Slam Winner title, an international story competition involving some of the best storytellers in the world. Christel is also the co-producer and co-host of the variety cabaret Chris and Christel’s Collection with fellow TFS faculty member Christopher Sawchyn, showcasing some of Toronto’s top talent.

She is a graduate of Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, The Second City Education Program, and has also studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Christel has also studied under some top instructors, including Philipe Gaulier and several artists who have inspired her. She is also a sought-after instructor and teaches numerous workshops in improv, physical comedy, solo creation, acting, storytelling around the city and is a proud faculty member of the Toronto Film School. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

 

 

Mathieu Dumas — Stage Manager

Mathieu was born in 1997, in Montreal, Quebec, with French as a first language. He got initiated in theatre acting at the age of six and continued playing in several plays in middle and high school, including Peter Pan, in which he starred as ‘Mr. Smee’, and Beauty and the Beast, in which he starred as ‘Gaston’. During the summer of 2013, he directed, wrote, and starred in his first short film ever, involving a dozen of his high school friends, for four days of shooting. Unfortunately, the film never came out and it was left unfinished. In high school and college, he gained improv experience, and during the summer of 2017, he auditioned for the off-Broadway show Stomp, in New York City, but did not move on to the second round. At the beginning of 2021, he was the assistant director of a short film called Dédale, and one week after the shooting was completed, he began the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program at Toronto Film School. Another three weeks later, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Cinema from the University of Montreal. Mathieu speaks both French and English fluently. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, working out, cooking, travelling, and baseball.