As a playwright, I wanted to write about marriage. Sometimes we succeed; sometimes marriages end. It’s not always champagne and roses. So, in 2002 I wrote Separate Beds as a one-act play with Ernie and Twink celebrating their 30th anniversary on a Caribbean cruise. It premiered at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, and during its run, it was suggested that it would be interesting to actually meet the other couple, Blake and Beth, in a second act. Separate Beds then became a two-act play, and since 2002, it has traveled all over the world.
I'm thrilled to be directing Separate Beds for the Firehall Theatre. My heartfelt thanks to my wonderful, talented actors and production team for their hard work and dedication. They have been a dream team to work with! By the way, I’ve been married to my husband Brian for 47 years. You might say that we still sizzle.
Enjoy the show!
Richard Nester as Blake Stone
Richard is happy to be returning to the Firehall stage following his appearance as Dr. Bradman in Blithe Spirit. Other favourite performances in the region have included Sam in Mamma Mia, Old Joe in Damn Yankees, Norman in Bare Bear Bones, and several roles ranging from a 5-year old to a grandfather in The Dining Room. Audiences may also recognize him from his years hosting on The Shopping Channel before his retirement six years ago. Richard is grateful to Firehall Theatre for once again allowing him to indulge in his lifelong dream of performing live on stage. "Enjoy the show; I certainly am!
Darka Makarec as Beth Stone
Darka is thrilled to be making her Firehall debut in this wonderful play. She has been anticipating this show since first being cast two years ago! No stranger to theatre, Darka has performed on many Niagara stages, mostly with Garrison Little Theatre in Fort Erie. Favourite roles include Gladys in Red Plaid Shirt, Masha in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Gretchen in Boeing Boeing, and Bobbi Michele in Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Darka would like to thank her family for their continued support in her theatrical endeavours. She also offers a huge shout out to the many talented people here at Firehall!
Natalie Iggulden as Twink Fraser
Natalie is a local actor, voiceover artist, and aspiring writer who performs regularly throughout Southern Ontario. She previously appeared with Firehall Theatre in Jitters. Elsewhere, favourite performances include The Dining Room, A Question of Justice, Lost in Yonkers, The Vagina Monologues, and as Lucy Hopperstaad in Norm Foster's On a First Name Basis. She is very excited to perform as Twink on the Firehall stage. She thanks the cast and crew for such a great experience and her family for their never-ending love and support.
Scott Cooper as Ernie Fraser
Scott and his wife are recent transplants to the Niagara Region. He has performed with a variety of theatrical companies across Ontario, as far south as Florida, and has several film credits as well. Highlights have been performances in Who’ s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Merchant of Venice,December Man, Love Letters, Fiddler on the Roof, and Westside Story. Recently, he wrote and directed a one act play for Page 1 Productions and began work on a book. He has thoroughly enjoyed working with the cast and crew of Separate Beds.
Lisa Allegra as Rosie
Lisa is making her stage debut as Rosie the room steward in Separate Beds. She is a long-time resident of Niagara Falls with her husband, and both are enjoying their retirement.
Maryjane Cruise, Playwright and Director
Maryjane Cruise is an award-winning playwright and choral composer. She was born and raised in Welland and graduated from Brock University. MJ is a retired teacher with the DSBN and spent many happy years teaching drama. Separate Beds has been produced across North America as well as in Germany and Austria. Other plays include Albert Street, Dried Flowers, In My Life, A Stranger in Our House, and, most recently, Split. She is a member of the Palywrights' Guild of Canada and of Playwrights Niagara.
Visit www.maryjanecruise.com to learn more.
Janice Mayer, Producer
Janice is excited to be debuting in her newest role as Producer.
She wears many hats at the theatre. She is a current member of our Board of Directors, but you will mostly recognize her as our Front of House Manager, greeting our guests in the lobby. She has been with Firehall since 2016 and has no plans of going anywhere! She is so grateful to have a family who lets her indulge in creative pursuits. To the cast and crew, it's been the utmost pleasure to work with all of you. A big thank you to all our volunteers and to you, our audience members. Without you, there would be no Firehall Theatre!
Enjoy the show!