DANCE ANIMAL: TORONTO Set for Toronto Fringe Festival
Robin Henderson and Derrick Chua are thrilled to announce the cast of DANCE ANIMAL: TORONTO, which will premiere at the Toronto Fringe Festival, June 29 to July 10, 2016, at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace. Specific show times to be announced in May.
The Dance Animal: Toronto cast is: Guy Bradford, Robin Henderson, Kat Letwin, Michael MacEachern, Allison Price, Kevin Vidal, Leighton Williams and Carol Zoccoli. Simon McCamus and Vanessa Salazar are the understudies.
Dance Animal was founded in Montreal in 2008 by Robin Henderson. Inspired by her observations of pop culture, her personal travels and learning the "yes, and" philosophy of her improv comedy friends, the original Dance Animal production was Robin's love-letter to the city of Montreal. Reflecting the vast spectrum of languages and cultures of the city, it combined the talents of Anglophone, Francophone and Allophone theatre artists to dynamic results, winning numerous awards including the Just For Laughs "Best Comedy" Award (Dance Animal Presents: Dance Animal) and the Cirque du Soleil "Best Original Creation" Award (Dance Animal Presents: Freaks of Nature). Their production Dance Animal Presents: Dance Animal also saw record-breaking runs at the JFL's Zoofest and the Centaur Theatre's Wildside Festival. Dance Animal also played at the 2010 Toronto Fringe.
Dance Animal: Toronto features an entirely new cast, with the exception of leader Robin Henderson (Dance Tiger) who has moved from Montreal and found a new home in Toronto. This new show sees a group of Toronto misfits from all walks of life, each being recruited by the mysterious Dance Tiger to join Dance Animal's Toronto Tribe. As each Animal shares their story with the audience, we discover how their lives have changed for the better, now that they have met their ultimate Tribe, and realized their true calling: to express themselves through DANCE
As with the original Dance Animal, Dance Animal: Toronto is Robin's love-letter and a reflection of a city, but now to the city of Toronto. It is inspired by present-day Toronto's pop culture, music, sports, politics and more. Dance Animal: Toronto's sketches are written by Canadian Comedy Award nominee Anders Yates. Monologues are written by the Animals and dramaturged by Robin Henderson. The show is directed and choreographed by Robin Henderson.
Dance Animal also believes strongly in supporting their community. They have performed in over 30 events and fundraisers outside of regular performances, including Toronto's Pride Parade, Concordia University's Garnet Key Society Autism Fundraiser, Montreal's Roller Derby, Faggity Ass Friday Fundraiser for Head and Hands, and the UQAM fundraiser for Ligne Parents. Catch them at the Toronto Air Guitar Competition on Saturday, May 28th at the Drake Underground. Additional Toronto appearances will be announced in the future.
DANCE ANIMAL: TORONTO TRIBE BIOS
Guy Bradford (Performer) is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and the Humber School of Comedy. Credits include Rulers of the Universe: A Love Story (RotU Productions), The Princess of Porn (Me and Snow White Productions), Everyone Loves Sealand (EXHF Productions), as well as various commercials, music videos, and web productions.
Derrick Chua (Executive Producer) is an award winning theatre producer and entertainment lawyer, and past President of the Toronto Fringe. Recent shows include the Edinburgh Fringe productions of Morro and Jasp Do Puberty, Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl and In Case We Disappear, all of which played Toronto Fringe prior to Edinburgh. Upcoming: I'm Doing This For You and Adventures of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl in Edinburgh.
Robin Henderson (Creator, Performer, Director, Choreographer, Producer) most recently produced, directed and choreographed Glimmer Twins for 2015 Toronto Sketchfest, which were called the "best surprise of the festival" by Steve Fisher (Torontoist). She produces & hosts a monthly comedic lip-sync battle, Lip-Schtick, in Toronto (Bad Dog Theatre) and Montreal (Mainline Theatre). Lip-Schtick has also participated in the jfl42 and Toronto Sketchfest. She also teaches a comedic dance class at Second City called Jazz Hands.
Kat Letwin (Performer). Theatre: The Chasse-Galerie (Red One), Scheherazade (Next Stage Festival), Retreat (Theatre Brouhaha), Dark Matter (Circlesnake). Comedy: Toronto / Montreal / Vancouver Sketchfest (Northwest Passage), Sirius XM Sketch-Off (finalists, Rulers of the Universe). Film/TV/Web: The Amazing Gayl Pile (LaRue Entertainment), Good Morning Tonight! (Crazy Shirt), Diamond Tongues (Mongrel Media).
Michael MacEachern (Performer) is a graduate of George Brown College's Theatre Performance Program. Past credits include: Jacob in Salt Water Moon, Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Single Thread Theatre) Tom in Opening Night, Mr Fullerton in Munsch Upon a Time, the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre).
Simon McCamus (Performer Understudy). With comedy troupes "Fake Cops" and "Northwest Passage," Simon has been featured in international improv and sketch comedy festivals in: Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, Chicago, Detroit, NYC. You can see him as a recurring actor/writer for the Franchise Show at The Social Capital Theatre. Returning to the Toronto Fringe Festival after starring in the 2014 revue Summer Hot Some Are Not.
Allison Price (Performer) is a Canadian Comedy Award winning and Dora nominated alumnus of the The Second City, where she wrote and performed in four critically acclaimed revues including Sixteen Scandals and The Meme-ing of Life. Allison also performed alongside Colin Mochrie at Roy Thomson Hall in The Second City Guide to the Symphony. Additional theatre includes People Suck (Nutmeg Productions); pool (no water) and Pieces (Cue6 Productions); The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine (Beacon Theatre). Upcoming: The Second City Guide to the Symphony at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C. Allison is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School.
Vanessa Salazar (Performer Understudy) is an actor/singer/dancer who performs as male, female and gender fluid. They are also a slam poetry writer currently concentrating on gender roles and growing up as a second generation Canadian to Colombian parents. They will soon be walking the runway in multiple collections for this year's Fashion Art Toronto.
Kevin Vidal (Performer) is an alumnus of The Second City and is one of the stars of CityTV's Sunnyside. Kevin's previous theatre credits include; Sixteen Scandals, We Can Be Heroes (The Second City), RENT (Lower Ossington Theatre), Hairspray (Curtain Call Players), Radio Active Drag Queens of the Year 3000 (Toronto Fringe), RENT (Fallen Rock) Skule Nite 0T9/1T0 (UofT Skule)
Leighton Williams (Performer) is a Toronto based actor and graduate of York University's Acting Conservatory. Film/TV credits include: Damien, Untouchables: Power Corrupts, Lions Nest (the web series), Soliloquies of Santiago, Ludomania, Honeymoon, and Independence Cha Cha. Recent theatre credits include: Secrets of A Black Boy, The Shipment (Piece of MINE Festival), Beat Drop (House of Rebels Theatre), Tachycardia (Fringe 2014), and A Drum Major's Instinct (Obsidian Theatre). Upcoming: Secrets of A Black Boy at Theatre Passe Murraille.
Anders Yates (Writer) is a founding dancer and writer in the original production of Dance Animal presents: Dance Animal. He is a member of the multiple Canadian Comedy Award nominated improv and sketch comedy troupe Uncalled For, with which he has toured North America and Europe, and is a former member of the Second City National Touring Company. Anders teaches improv classes, performs regularly at Bad Dog Theatre, and can be seen judging Lip-Schtick, a monthly lip-sync battle. Other theatre credits include Slip, Slap Shot Live!, Hypnogogic Logic, Humans and the upcoming Playday Mayday. Selected film and TV credits include Helix, Murdoch Mysteries, Saving Hope and The Words.
Carol Zoccoli (Performer) is a comedian and writer from Brazil. Carol is a Second City's Conservatory Program graduate and performs stand-up and improv regularly in Toronto. She was recipient of the 2015 Tim Sims Encouragement Award. Her TV credits include Saturday Night Live Brazil.