Three tubs, three women.
It seems simple enough, doesn’t it?
When I first read The Drowning Girls, I was blown away. The way in which the playwriting team wove together the individual and shared histories of these real- life women and meticulously reconstructed their stories was astounding. Giving voice to Bessie, Alice, and Margaret and elevating them beyond their status as victims was brilliant. That they tackled such a dark and tragic topic with gravity and respect yet with such playful energy was nothing short of magic.
Why drag these brave women from their bathtubs and out under the lights in 2023? Listen closely. In an age when girls and women continue to experience violence and manipulation (not to mention systemic condescension) at an alarming rate, and even as the ghosts of missing and murdered Indigenous women cry out for recognition and action, the issues of the play are as relevant as ever.
Don’t be fooled by the frequent twinkles in their eyes or by their playful sense of sisterhood. These three girls have waited over a century to tell you their stories, and tonight they take the stand.
Claire Freel hails from Niagara. She studied performance at Fanshawe College and has had the pleasure of being in the ensemble of such shows as Les Belles Soeurs, Cabaret, and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Other roles include Donna Lucia in Charlie’s Aunt, Celia in As You Like It and Anya in Three Sisters. She has worked and performed on stage, Canadian film and television, and overseas. Claire is happy to be back in Niagara and with Firehall Theatre for this production.
Daisy Hollohan is very excited to be in her second Firehall production, hot on the heels of her debut as Mabel Chiltern in An Ideal Husband. Her previous credits include Gretl in The Sound of Music, Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone, as well as roles in Heathers and All Shook Up. Currently, she is studying Dramatic Arts at Brock University, St. Catharines. She would like to thank the cast, crew, and audience for their support and is grateful for the opportunity to further her theatre education and experience.
Heidi Nickel is a recent graduate of the Dramatic Arts program at Brock University, St. Catharines. This is her first production with Firehall Theatre. While having passion for being on stage, she has also worked with the Shaw Festival behind the scenes in Under the Elms, A Christmas Carol, Gaslight, This is How We Got Here, and Damn Yankees. She would like to thank her friends and family for coming out to see this show, and “for all your love and support you’ve given over the years with my theatre career. Much love to you all”. Be sure to see her in an upcoming production titled Yours Truly, presented in Toronto this June.
Jerome Black returns to the Director’s seat at Firehall, having previously directed numerous productions including Blithe Spirit, RENT, Ruthless!, Into the Woods, and Urinetown. Onstage for the company he has appeared as Mendel in Falsettos, The Cat in the Hat in Seussical, George in Jitters, and more. Elsewhere in the Niagara region, favourite roles have included Jesus in Godspell, Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Tobias in Sweeney Todd, and two turns each as Riff-Raff in The Rocky Horror Show and the Emcee in Cabaret.
For decades, women have turned to Birchway Niagara, (formerly Women’s Place), for confidential and compassionate support when faced with the difficult issue of abuse.
Confidential, 24-Hour Support Line:
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Donations gratefully accepted in the lobby.
Director Jerome Black
Producer Janice Mayer
Stage Manager Katherine Cooke
Assistant Stage Manager Dianne Haist
Set Design Jerome Black
Set Crew Ed Anderson, Jeff Baker, Nicki Inch
Lighting and Sound Ed Anderson
Wardrobe Laurel Candler, Emma Bodner
Props Janice Mayer, Dianne Haist
Production Photography Jeff Baker
Box Office Laurel Candler
Front of House Janice Mayer
Program Jeff Baker
Ben Phelan, Tom Gonschior, and Kevin Hall,
Cogeco - YourTV Niagara, Niagara This Week,
St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre,
Garden City Productions, Darren Cranford,
and all our volunteers!
Firehall Theatre is run entirely by volunteers. From box office to sound booth, from stage manager to actor, every aspect of theatre operations is run by people like you - members of the community - who love theatre and get involved. Whether you are a first-time audience member or a long-standing part of the Firehall family, we are grateful for your support. With ticket sales being our main source of income, we continue striving to keep costs to you, our patrons, low. All revenue goes straight into the productions and to maintaining the historic building in which we operate.
Beginning as the Niagara Falls Music Theatre Society, we have been bringing theatre to life in Niagara for over 60 years. Originally using this 1917 fire hall for storage, the Society began performing in the building in 1975. The City of Niagara Falls still owns the structure, leasing it to the Society.
Attend shows! Spread the word! Volunteer! Find out more about our upcoming shows and how you can get involved by visiting the other sections of our site.