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TFS Stage Production of ‘In This Economy’ Brings New Life to Classic 1920s Satire

Toronto Film School acting students will breathe new life into Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann’s The Threepenny Opera later this month when their production of In This Economy takes to the stage.

Adapted from the circa-1928 socialist critique of the capitalist world, the 75-minute musical satire was conceived and directed by Tanya Rintoul, who said something just ‘clicked into place’ the first time she read the play with her fifth term Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre students.

“I was struck by how the actors intuitively played together and I was completely taken aback by how current the conversation of the play feels. We needed to do this play,” she said, noting that, despite the fact that the original play was set in 1920s London, England, the desperation of its characters is something she sees in the streets of Toronto today.

“The characters in this play, like so many people living here in Toronto today, are all actively surviving their circumstances. Some of those circumstances are much better than others, but none contain a life of comfort and security. When everyone is surviving, empathy starts to wear thin.”

In This Economy, which is stage managed by Hayley Kent, will take to the stage at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse for a three-performance run on June 21, 22 and 23 as follows:

 

Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 22 at 9 p.m.

Friday, June 23 at 7 p.m.

The Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse is located at 79 St. George St. Tickets are free and are available at the door.

The Creative Team Behind In This Economy:

 

Eniola Arobadade

ENIOLA AROBADADE

Eniola Arobadade is a Nigerian-born actress born in Lagos and raised in Ghana. She moved to Canada in 2017 and is currently a 5th term student at Toronto Film School studying Acting for Film & Television. Eniola has been in a few acting productions set outside of school, and produced her own short film titled, Never Again. She has also written many other stories which have yet to be brought to life. As much as she loves working in front of the camera, she also loves working behind it. She is determined to bring her dream to life.

Alex Gruspier

ALEX GRUSPIER

Alex Gruspier is an actor, artist and creator who grew up in Schomberg, Ontario and now lives in Toronto. They’ve been acting since childhood and is currently in their 5th term in the Acting program at Toronto Film School. They wrote and directed the short film Chicken Dinner and starred in the short film Darla. After acting in every play they could get their hands on in high school, including the role of “Mrs. Pennywise” in the musical Urinetown and “Mary Winrod” in The Rimers of Eldritch, they attended OCAD University, earning a degree in animation.

Malcolm Green

MALCOLM GREEN

Malcolm Green was born and raised in Dundas, Ontario. He moved to Toronto to pursue acting after leaving the Computer Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. He has since starred in the short films Athletic Withdrawal, Cracks and Fate, and produced and directed his own short film, My Sound of Life. Malcolm is also a guitarist and a drummer. In 2021, he wrote his first album Hallowed as a Broken World and has since written the score for the short film ‘Til Death Do Us Part. He enjoys playing music and running in his spare time.

Lean Jafari

LEAN JAFARI

Lean Jafari was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She is currently a term five student in the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program at Toronto Film School. Lean can speak Farsi fluently. While she didn’t have any professional experience in acting before coming to TFS, Lean is highly passionate about writing her own stories and scripts to build her film production career. Lean fell in love with acting through her experience of writing and performing her own stand-up comedy show called Mom’s Weird Things. She is grateful for the opportunity to study at TFS and showcase her talents in this industry.

Emma Lavoie

EMMA LAVOIE

Emma Lavoie was born and raised in Huntsville, Ontario and now resides in Guelph, Ontario. They have extensive training in yoga and martial arts, as well as basic training in stage combat. While in school they wrote, directed, and starred in their first silent horror film titled Sir, Your Wallet. They also had a leading role in the play productions of Top Girls, Salt-Water Moon and Marat/Sade. Their goal is to forever study the paradox that is acting, and to truthfully, honestly, and simply inspire their audience with their work.

Aren Marashlian

AREN MARASHLIAN

As a kid, Aren loved watching TV, pretending to be in every cartoon he watched and memorizing them. He then started making up scenes from what he watched and imagined himself as a part of the stories, and it became a personal hobby for him and his best talent. At first, Aren never thought of becoming an actor, but as he continued doing his favorite hobby, and with some inspiration from everyone who liked his talent, Aren began to believe that an actor’s life is where he belonged, and as an actor he gets to take part in multiple adventures.

Leigh Morris

LEIGH MORRIS

Ashleigh “Leigh” Morris was born in St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica, raised in Detroit, Michigan, and now resides in Toronto, Ontario. She is currently a 5th term student at Toronto Film School, where she studies in the Acting for Film, TV, & the Theatre program. During her time at TFS, she has written, directed, and produced her own short silent film titled Darla, and also starred and played supporting roles in two other short films, Eye to Eye and Breakup Scene, while also landing a leading role in A Streetcar Named Desire as “Stella Kowalski”. Her objectives are to produce art that she and others can be proud of.

Samantha Morris

SAMANTHA MORRIS

Samantha Morris was born and raised in Westmoreland, Jamaica and now lives in Toronto, Canada. She is currently a 5th Term student at Toronto Film School, where she is studying Acting for film and television. While at the Toronto Film School, she has had the opportunity to write, direct and produce her own short film titled Dark Impulses. She also had the opportunity to star in other short films such as Chicken Dinner and Two Face. She has studied and trained in basic accents and voiceovers. Her goal is to inspire and represent people and lifestyle stories throughout her work.

David Plevoets

DAVID PLEVOETS

David Sebastian Plevoets Delgado was born and raised in Toronto. He has had a passion for the arts since he was a child – starting with choir in elementary school, and growing more in love with the arts in high school when he took advanced music, drama, and vocals. Later in life, he decided to pursue his passion for acting and applied to Toronto Film School, where he had the opportunity to play a leading role in Zereck Wayne’s The Talk, as well as many other background roles. He is incredibly excited to see what the future holds for him.

Ajay Shankar

AJAY SHANKAR

Ajay Shankar was raised partially in India and Qatar. Growing up, he participated in a handful of school plays – an experience that led him to recognize his passion for acting. It wasn’t until he turned 27, however, that he had an awakening and realized that he could pursue acting as a career. He quit everything that and moved to Toronto to pursue his passion. During his time at TFS, Ajay has directed and produced a silent film called Reflection, and has also acted in several other short and silent films.

Memphis Storm

MEMPHIS STORM

Memphis Storm is an Indigenous actor originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She now resides in Toronto, where she she studies in the Acting for Film, TV, & the Theatre program at Toronto Film School. During her time at TFS, she directed and starred in her own short film ‘Til Death Do Us Part. She also starred in other short films, such as After, Under Water, and Fix My Leak. Memphis fell in love with acting through dance, where she had the opportunity to appear on stages and in music videos with her dance group Ikigai. Her goal is to share her heart with the world, inspire, and resonate with people just like her.

Serena Thompson

SERENA THOMPSON

Serena Thompson is a 20-year-old actress who was born in Toronto, Ontario and currently lives in Brampton. Serena can be described as a very bubbly and energetic person who is driven by her family and the desire for success. At first, Serena wasn’t sure if she wanted to become an actress, but during her time in Toronto Film School’s Acting program, Serena has gained a strong passion for acting and loves all the hard work that goes into it. Serena’s goal is to be the best she can possibly be while being a team player and pouring her heart into every character she plays.

Hongbo Wang

HONGOBO WANG

Hongbo Wang is the founder and owner of Yarestday Film and Television Media Company (Hangzhou CN), as well as a producer, director, photographer, screenwriter, actor, and commercial voice actor. He is also an amateur in sociology, theology, philosophy, history, economics, and psychology, and an occult enthusiast.

Mercedes Wickert

MERCEDES WICKERT

Mercedes Wickert was born in Mississauga, Ontario. Her passion for dance, choir, and theatre began as a child and has been allowed to flourish as a 5th term student at Toronto Film School studying acting, writing, and directing. During her time at TFS, she had the privilege of being cast as Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Her developing talent for live theatre also led to another lead role as Marquis de Sade in the play Marat/Sade. She is dedicated to her work and continues to execute an amazing, heartwarming show.

Tanya Rintoul

TANYA RINTOUL – DIRECTOR

Tanya Rintoul is a director, theatre maker, dramaturge, and educator born and mostly raised in Tkaronto. She has a background in devised theatre and the development of new plays. Her most recent professional directing credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire (assistant director – Soulpepper, dir. Weyni Mengesha), The Worst Thing I Could Be Is Happy (Tiny Bear Jaws), The Queen’s Eulogy (the orchid beauty shop/Toronto Fringe), The Nails (SummerWorks), The Last Five Years (Rural Stages Productions), Deceitful Above All Things (The Storefront Theatre), and Father Comes Home from the Wars (assistant director – Soulpepper, dir. Weyni Mengesha), which won the Dora Award for Outstanding Production. Her original work includes: Good Girl performed in the back of a pawnshop in the 2013 Toronto Fringe, A Wake for Lost Time, a 24-hour durational performance (elephants collective), and No Time for Dreams (barking birds theatre, Toronto Fringe). Tanya is the program director of the Toronto Fringe’s T.E.NT. Program which provides mentorship, networking, and training for emerging theatre producers in the GTA.

Hayley Kent

HAYLEY KENT STAGE MANAGER

Hayley Kent is a 19-year-old Canadian-born actress who graduated from the Acting for Film, TV & the Theatre program at Toronto Film School in late March 2023. Her most recent role was in her own term 5 play, starring as Mary Hatch in It’s a Wonderful Life. Coming from her small-town high school theatre program, to now acting in Toronto, she is learning all new sides the industry has to offer. Working as a stage manager with Toronto Film School’s Tanya Rintoul on In This Economy?! has been incredibly insightful, and she is incredibly grateful for this opportunity.

Cynthia Reason

Cynthia Reason (she/her) is a former newspaper journalist turned communications professional who currently works as Toronto Film School’s Manager of Communications. Prior to joining TFS, she spent 13 years working as a reporter for Torstar/Metroland Media Toronto, writing for publications including Toronto.com, the Etobicoke Guardian, and the Toronto Star, among others. Her byline has also appeared in the National Post. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Humber College.

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