Grand Theatre presents The Boy in the Moon on the McManus Stage

A Crow's Theatre Production

This award-winning memoir by CBC Radio and Globe and Mail journalist Ian Brown, powerful and moving in print, is even more extraordinary on stage


LONDON, ONTARIO, NOVEMBER 8, 2018 - The Grand Theatre is honoured to welcome on the McManus Stage THE BOY IN THE MOON, a Crow’s Theatre production written by Emil Sher based on the book by CBC Radio and Globe and Mail journalist Ian Brown and directed by Chris Abraham. This production has a exceptional cast starring Kelly McNamee, Liisa Repo-Martell, and David Storch.

THE BOY IN THE MOON is the true story of Ian Brown and Johanna Schneller’s journey of raising their son Walker, severely disabled due to a rare genetic disorder, Cardiofaciocutaneous Syndrome or CFC. Director Chris Abraham reflects upon the impact of the play in that “it challenges us to think about the fundamentally fragile and uncertain nature of parenting and of life."

Playwright Emil Sher notes that Ian Brown’s memoir is “fuelled by layered, tangled questions about Walker, about himself, about our relationships with the Walkers of the world.”

“Adapting The Boy in the Moon was more than simply a great privilege linked to a deep responsibility,” Sher said. “It was a reminder that theatre is a communal experience, and it is in community where we find the answers to the questions — raw, necessary, urgent — laid bare on stage.”

 Grand Theatre Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum, has commented that this production’s raw honesty, illuminated by Emil’s theatricality of Brown’s book is beautifully carried by the bold acting of the Crow’s Theatre company.

“When I first saw this production last year, I was overwhelmed,” said Garnhum. “I remember a feeling I don’t often have in the theatre; the feeling that I was holding my breath throughout, holding on to every word and every thought, seeing the beauty through the pain and admiring the courage to tell a story truthfully.”  

The adaptation of The Boy in the Moon was commissioned by the Belfry Theatre and the Great Canadian Theatre Company. It was first performed at The Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, ON, on September 14, 2014. The development and production of the premiere was made possible by the Charles Dalfen Tribute Fund. The script was revised in 2017 with the support of Crow’s Theatre.

The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group.

Tickets are general admission at $40 and are available at, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street. Prices include HST and are subject to change.

About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director
Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming with The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.

For more information please contact:
Ashley Roberts, Communications Consultant, Grand Theatre
aroberts [at] (aroberts[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)

Cell: 937-554-1894


A Crow’s Theatre Production
By Emil Sher
Based on the book by Ian Brown


HAYLEY Kelly McNamee
JOHANNA Liisa Repo-Martell 
IAN David Storch 


Director & Choreographer CHRIS ABRAHAM
Assistant Director MARIE FARSI
Set and Costumes Designer SHANNON LEA DOYLE
Lighting Designer ANDRÉ DU TOIT
Lighting Designer KIMBERLY PURTELL
Video Designer & Production Manager REMINGTON NORTH
Assistant Sound Designer DEANNA H. CHOI
Choreographer MONICA DOTTOR
Stage Manager AJ LAFLAMME


Kelly McNamee  Hayley
Kelly feels extremely privileged to be remounting this beautiful show. She has appeared in television series such as Murdoch Mysteries, 12 Monkeys, Rogue, Sensitive Skin, and The Next Step Aftershow. Other theatre credits include Domesticated (Company Theatre/CanStage), Steel Magnolias (Highland’s Summer festival), and Legally Blonde  (The LOT). She is also one of three in an all-female, vocal, folk trio called Lunar Bloom. You can follow them @lunarbloomband

Liisa Repo-Martell  Johanna
Liisa last appeared in Festival Players production of A Beautiful View. Other theatre credits include: What A Young Wife Ought to Know (2b theatre company), The Boy in the Moon (Crow’s Theatre), The Watershed and Seeds (Porte Parole), Other Desert Cities (The Citadel Theatre), Creditors (Coalmine Theatre), Happy Place, Uncle Vanya, Antigone, The Lesson, School for Wives, Top Girls (Soulpepper), Eternal Hydra (Crow’s Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford Festival), King Lear (Stratford Festival).

David Storch  Ian
Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Patience (Grand Theatre), What Lies Before Us (Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel, Canadian Stage). Recently: The Nether (Coal Mine/Studio 180), Picture This, Noises Off (Soulpepper), Cake and Dirt, In the Next Room—The Vibrator Play, Misanthrope (Tarragon), Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies in Bad Times). Directed: Instructions to Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas (Coalmine Theatre), Bunsch-o-Munsch, Munsch-o-Mania (George Brown Theatre School), The Hours That Remain (Gwaandak Theatre, Talking Stick Festival, Native Earth, Saskatchewan Native Theatre), The Road to Mecca (Soulpepper).

Chris Abraham  Director and Choreographer
Chris Abraham is a multi-award winning theatre and film director, dramaturg, and teacher who has worked with Canada’s foremost artists and theatres, including the Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Globe Theatre, and Theatre Junction, among many others. Chris has been the Artistic Director of Crow’s Theatre in Toronto, ON since 2007. At Crow’s he has directed numerous award-winning plays including, The Watershed, The Seagull, Winners and Losers, Someone Else, Eternal Hydra, I, Claudia, Boxhead, and The Country. He has directed widely across the country including seven seasons at the Stratford Festival. Recently Chris directed Tartuffe (Stratford Festival) and Macbeth (Bard on the Beach).  In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award-winning hit I, Claudia for which he won a Gemini award. A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as co-director of the school’s renowned directing program (2006-2010). In 2013, Chris was awarded the Siminovitch Prize, the most prestigious prize for Canadian performing arts.

Marie Farsi  Assistant Director
Marie joins Crow’s Theatre for the 2018-19 season as Associate Artistic Director. Elsewhere: All my Friends are Animals (Babelle and Axis Theatre), This, Here; Movements 1&2; Rivulets (seven Jessie Richardson Award nominations including Outstanding Direction and Production in Small Theatre), Seabird is in a Happy Place (2015 winner of the OOB Short Play Festival/NYC), Surveil – A Comedy About Being Watched  (Hip. Bang! - Vancouver Fringe Artistic Risk Award), Crème Glacée (La Seizième), John & Beatrice (Vortex Théâtre), The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide (Rumble Theatre). Other: Marie was the recipient of the 2015 Prix Power Corporation du Canada as an emerging Franco-Canadian theatre artist. She was also an Assistant Director at The Stratford Festival, Bard on the Beach, and the Arts Club.

Shannon Lea Doyle  Set and Costumes Designer
Shannon Lea Doyle is a scenographer from Toronto. She holds a BFA in Sculpture and Installation from OCAD University and is a graduate of the Soulpepper Theatre Academy.  In 2017 her work earned a Dora Mavor Moore award and she was named one of the top ten theatre artists in Toronto by NOW magazine. Her design credits include: Girls Like That (Tarragon Theatre), John (The Company Theatre), The Last Wife (The Belfry Theatre / GCTC), Romeo and Juliet (Canadian Stage), The Boy In The Moon, Breath In Between (Crow’s Theatre), La Bête, Vimy, The Just, The Heidi Chronicles, The Anger of Ernest and Ernestine, The Dybbuk, (Soulpepper Theatre), I’m Doing This For You (Hayley McGee), Merrily We Roll Along, Violet, Billy Elliot, Hairspray, Fiddler on The Roof (YES Theatre). Shannon is a co-founder of the sustainable design company Triga Creative. @shanoui @trigacreative

André du Toit  Lighting Designer
André du Toit is a lighting designer for live performance based in Toronto. Recent designs include The Orchard (Shaw Festival), Now You See Her, Mouthpiece (Quote Unquote Collective), Prince Hamlet (Why Not Theatre), Jerusalem (Outside the March/Company Theatre), Animal Farm, A Delicate Balance, VimyThe 39 Steps, (Soulpepper), Italian Mime Suicide, Three Red DaysPaolozzapediaThe Double (Bad New Days), Harlem Duet (Tarragon Theatre), Love and Information(Canadian Stage), The AssholesAs I Lay Dying (Theatre Smith-Gilmour), Asking For It (In Association), Helen’s Necklace, Watching Glory Die, Tideline (Canadian Rep Theatre), FLORENCE (The Dietrich Group), Oraltorio (MotionLive Collective), This is The Point, Ralph + Lina (Ahuri Theatre). André has won three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design and has been nominated for twelve.

Kimberly Purtell  Lighting Designer
For Crow’s Theatre: The Boy in the Moon, A&R Angels, The Wedding Party, The Watershed (with Porte Parole), The Seagull, We Are Not Alone (with Segal Centre), Someone Else. Selected design credits include Breath of Kings: Rebellion, Breath of Kings: Redemption, Bunny  (Stratford Festival), Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Our Town (Shaw Festival), Concord Floral (Canadian Stage), The Barber of Seville (Pacific Opera Victoria), All But Gone (Necessary Angel), Life Reflected (National Arts Centre Orchestra). Kimberly is the recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award, three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and a META.

Remington North  Video Designer and Production Manager
Remington North is a Career Technical Director with a specialty in facility development. In the last four years he has opened two prominent Theatre Venues in Toronto as the inaugural TD. Aside from management, Remington is fortunate to still be able to explore theatrical and environment design with so many wonderful creative teams. Selected Design Credits: Video Design & Production Manager: The Boy in the Moon (Crow’s Theatre); Lighting & Video Design: True Crime (Castleton Massive& Crow’s Theatre), Intangible Trappings (Lester Trips Theatre), Naked Ladies (Too Much Information); Video Design: Oraltorio, A Theatrical Mixtape (MotionLive Collective).

Thomas Ryder Payne  Sound Designer
For Crow’s Theatre: The Boy in the Moon, The Wedding Party, A&R Angels, The Watershed (with Porte Parole), The Seagull, Someone Else. Elsewhere: Designs for Stratford, Shaw, Mirvish, Soulpepper, CanStage, Tarragon, Factory, TPM, YPT, Modern Times, Aluna, BIBT, Nightwood, Toronto Dance Theatre, NAC, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, RMTC, and many others. Thomas has received 2 Dora awards and 17 nominations.

Deanna H. Choi  Assistant Sound Designer
Crow’s: The Wolves (Sound Design & Composer), The Wedding Party.  Upcoming: The Penelopiad (Grand Theatre). Elsewhere: Paradise Lost (Stratford Festival), Happy Place (Prairie Theatre Exchange), Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua (Theatre Passe Muraille), 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (Blyth Festival), Midsummer (Thousand Islands Playhouse), The Monument (Factory), Selfie (Young People’s Theatre), Mixie and the Halfbreeds (fu-GEN), Fortune of Wolves, The Boat, Laurier (Theatre New Brunswick), Ipperwash (Native Earth), LO, Or Deal Mr. Wells (Nightwood), Rope Running Out (lemonTree). Film Credits include: Prey. Other: Nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award (Ontario Arts Council).

Monica Dottor  Choreographer
Selected Choreography: Marat / Sade, Eurydice, Glenn, A Tender Thing (Soulpepper), The Penelopiad*, Her 2, (Nightwood), Craigslist Canata* (Musical Stage Company), Malaria Lullaby, The Other (CompanyBlonde, PyreticProductions), The Middle Place (Canadian Stage),The Russian Play* (Factory),  Bombers, The History of Drinking in Cavan (4th Line), Untethered (Canadian Film Centre), Big Love (University of Windsor). Monica is a 7 time Dora Mavor Moore* award nominated actor (3X) & choreographer (4X). She has been resident Choreographer at 4th Line Theatre for 8 seasons and is their new Intern Director.

AJ Laflamme  Stage Manager
Selected Stage Management Credits: The Overcoat, Declarations, Liv Stein, Chimerica, Julie, London Road, The Arsonists, Red, Another Africa (Canadian Stage), A&R Angels (Crow’s Theatre), Musik für das Ende (Sounstreams), Onegin (Musical Stage Co./NAC), The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom (Sudbury Theatre Centre), Buddy:The Buddy Holly Story, Maggie & Pierre, You Are Here, Into the Woods, Pirates of Penzance (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry Opera), All Shook Up (Globe Theatre), The Unplugging, Bingo! (Factory Theatre), Waiting Room (Tarragon Theatre), A Beautiful View, The Africa Trilogy (Volcano Theatre), It’s A Wonderful Life, Kim’s Convenience, Spoon RiverLa Ronde, True West (Soulpepper), Tosca, La Traviata, Die Zauberflöte, Le Tragedie de Carmen (Highlands Opera Studio). Upcoming: Next to Normal (The Musical Stage Company).

Emil Sher  Playwright
Emil’s stage work for the young and the once- young include Sanctuary, Bluenose, Derailed, Beneath the Banyan Tree, The Book of Ashes, and his adaptation of Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine.  He is delighted that the Crow’s Theatre production of The Boy in the Moon was selected as one of the top 10 productions of 2017 by The Globe and Mail, and was nominated for a 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play. Works-in-progress include The Boys of Vedem, a play commissioned by Seattle’s ACT Theatre based on the true story of imprisoned Jewish teens who created a secret magazine in the midst of the Holocaust; April, a new play Emil is developing for and with the divine Louise Pitre; and Then the Lyrics, a young adult novel.  A laureate of the 2014 K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Literature, Emil’s debut novel for young readers, Young Man with Camera, was a Governor-General’s Award finalist.

Ian Brown  Author
Ian Brown is an acclaimed roving feature writer for the Globe and Mail. He is equally well-known for his work on CBC Radio, where he was the moderator of Talking Books for more than a decade, and hosted Sunday Morning and Later The Same Day, and on TVO. He is the author of four books, including, most recently, Sixty and The Boy in the Moon, upon which Emil Sher’s play is based. It won the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, and the Trillium Book Award, and was chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2011. In his spare time Brown paints, reads, and skis in the back-country. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Johanna Schneller, and their two children.