Timothy Findley's The Wars opening the 18/19 season on the Spriet Stage

A Grand Theatre Production

Adapted and Directed by Dennis Garnhum

Opening the 18/19 Season on the Spriet Stage
October 23 – November 11


LONDON, ONTARIO, October 10, 2018 – Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the Grand Theatre will honour the sacrifices of our soldiers past and present with the Governor General Award-winning story, TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS  based on the book of the same name by one of Canada’s most distinguished authors. Adapted and directed by Grand Theatre Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum, TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS launches the 18/19 season on the Spriet Stage, running from October 23 to November 11, Remembrance Day.  The Title Sponsor for TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS is BlueStone Properties.

This Canadian classic follows young Robert Ross from his Toronto family home to the muddy battlefields of France. Intense and powerful, TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS reminds us, through one man’s journey, of the sacrifice of our soldiers in the “war to end all wars.”

“One of the greatest people I have ever worked with was Timothy Findley,” said Dennis Garnhum. “He was intensely patriotic and his passion for Canada was extraordinary. When he talked about this novel, he reminded me that we all live many wars in our lives, and it is how we navigate them that defines us.”  

TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS will star Alex Furber (Grand Theatre, CHARIOTS OF FIRE) as Robert Ross and will feature a cast of 16 including Jan Alexandra Smith as Mrs. Ross (Catalyst Theatre, VIGILANTE), Shannon Taylor in her Grand Theatre debut as Lady Barbara d'Orsey (Stratford Festival, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), and Omar Alex Khan as Captain Leather (Grand Theatre, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS).   

The set of TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS will feature a total of 4000 poppies, which were created by Veterans and volunteers during a local community event in September in partnership with St. Joseph’s Health Care London’s Parkwood Institute. Each crafted poppy, made simply with red cupcake liners and a touch of black paint, will proudly be displayed during the production’s run. The POPPY DESIGN is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under license.

“The event was a great way for Veterans, volunteers, and their families to be part of the community,” said Veterans Arts instructor Doreen Campbell. “Many of our Veterans have so much pride and they appreciated the opportunity to recognize their fallen comrades.”

THE WORLD REMEMBERS Exhibit – October 23 to November 11

The World Remembers is a powerful, unique, and Canadian-led expression of remembrance and reconciliation marking the centenary of WWI. This project respects the losses on both sides of the conflict and looks to the future with hope and understanding.

The Grand is honoured to be displaying this exhibit, which will recognize the name of each of the 1,003,167 soldiers, nurses, and other military personnel from Canada and fifteen other participating nations who perished during the war. The display will be featured in the Grand’s lobby throughout the run of TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS.

This national and international project was created by Canadian actor and Governor General’s Performing Arts Award winner R.H. Thomson and his production partner, lighting designer Martin Conboy.   

Forces night at the grand – October 25

The Grand Theatre is proud to host a Forces Night on October 25 at 7:30 pm that will bring together our Veterans as well as those currently serving in the National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces. Tickets are available for our Forces Night to active military and Veterans at a 25% discount. To purchase tickets, please contact Monica Hodgson, Sales & Partnership Manager at groups [at] grandtheatre.com (groups[at]grandtheatre[dot]com) or 519-672-9030 ext. 291.


In collaboration with the Grand, Western University presents THE WALRUS TALKS REMEMBRANCE on the Spriet Stage on Monday, November 5 at 7 pm. This national speaker series comes to the Grand for the first time.  The evening will explore the nature of how our minds work, how memories define us, and how the past can shape the future. Artists, writers, business leaders, and more will give their own unique perspectives on remembrance. Tickets are $14.50.  Learn more at grandtheatre.com/event/walrus-talks-remembrance.


New to the Grand this season is the Wednesday Speak Easy series. Following each Wednesday performance on the Spriet Stage and McManus Stage, patrons can extend their theatre experience and get closer to the artists with exclusive talks, casual conversations, and spontaneous happenings in the relaxed atmosphere of the Poster Lounge or McManus Lounge.

Our Wednesday Speak Easy series will kick-off with TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS on October 24 with Director Dennis Garnhum and the cast. TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS will have two additional Wednesday Speak Easy event dates for patrons to enjoy on October 31 and November 7.


The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group.

Tickets range from $29.95 to $86 and are available at grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street. Veterans and those currently serving in the National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces are eligible for a 15% military discount. 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, and 100 Schools, a community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools at no cost. The Grand’s season runs from September to May.


When: Tuesday, October 23 at 1:30 pm (cameras, please arrive at 1:15pm to set up)
Where: Grand Theatre, Spriet Stage, 471 Richmond Street
What: TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS photo, video, and interview opportunities for media

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

519-672-9030 ext. 247


Adapted and Directed by Dennis Garnhum
Based on the novel by Timothy Findley
October 23 to November 11, 2018


CAPTAIN TAFFLER  Christopher Bautista
ROWENA Georgina Beaty
MR. ROSS  Kevin Bundy
ELLA  Jenni Burke
ROBERT ROSS                 Alex Furber
MARIAN  Katherine Gauthier
MRS. ROSS  Jan Alexandra Smith
PRIVATE LEVITT  Braeden Soltys
SERGEANT RODWELL  Edmund Stapleton


DIRECTOR Dennis Garnhum
SET DESIGNER  Allan Stichbury
COSTUME DESIGNER  Christina Poddubiuk
STAGE MANAGER  Kathryn Davies



Christopher Bautista
Captain Taffler
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Theatre Credits: What I Haven’t Said (Toronto Fringe Festival), Othello ’83 (Repertory East Playhouse),Vieux Carré, Flyin’ West, In the Blood. Other:  Studied Theatre, English,and Film at the University of Southern California. www.facebook.com/christopherwillact.

Georgina Beaty
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Selected  Theatre Credits: Extremophiles (SummerWorks, Uno fest, Downstage); Judith, Wing Night at the Boot (Blyth Festival); All the Little Animals I Have Eaten (One Yellow Rabbit); Stitch (Native Earth); The Shape of a Girl (Greenthumb, YPT); The Graduate (Segal Centre); The Notorious Right Robert and His Robber Bride, Bedstefader, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Caravan Farm Theatre); Unity (1918) (Alberta Theatre Projects), co-creator and performer of Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show, This Must Be the Place, Like There’s No Tomorrow (Architect Theatre).  Other:  Graduate of Studio 58 (Acting) and UBC MFA (Writing).

Kevin Bundy
Mr. Ross
For the Grand Theatre: Chariots of Fire, Democracy. Selected  Theatre Credits: Unholy (Nightwood Theatre); Confederacy Parts 1 & 2 (VideoCabaret); Sequence (Tarragon); Sisters, A Christmas Carol, 12 Angry Men, Jitters, Incident at Vichy, Parfumerie (Soulpepper); five seasons at the Stratford Festival; seven seasons at the Shaw Festival; The Constant Wife, August: Osage County (Citadel); All My Sons, Holiday (Theatre Calgary). Selected  Film and TV Credits: Kim’s Convenience (CBC); Saving Hope (Entertainment One); The Expanse, Dark Matter (SyFy); Incorporated (CBS); The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship (Platinum Image Film); Suits (USA); Blood Harvest (Toronto Independent Film Festival; Dir. Josh Cooper).

Jenni Burke
For the Grand Theatre: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Selected  Theatre Credits: Mamma Mia! (Citadel); Bang Bang (Magnus); King Lear, Twelfth Night, Little Shop of Horrors (Canadian Stage); A Christmas Carol (NAC); Mamma Mia!, Cinderella, Les Misérables (Drayton Festival); Funny Girl (Segal Centre); Mary Poppins, Drowsy Chaperone, (Globe); Into the Heart (Arts Club); Bat Boy (Bathurst Street); Miracle Worker, Ain’t Misbahavin’ (Theatre Aquarius); Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Chemainus); Vagina Monologues (Stage West). Selected  Film and TV Credits: Sensitive Skin, Crash and Burn, Missing, Rookie Blue, Da Kink in my Hair, Under Cover Brother, The Music Man, Warehouse 13. Other: Graduate of Sheridan College.

Frank Chung
Private Regis
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Selected  Theatre Credits: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet (Canadian Stage); Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theatre Project); Dido Queen of Carthage, Deportation Cast, Post-National, The Merchant of Venice, Orestes 2.0, Scorched (Theatre@York). Other: Graduate of the BFA Acting Conservatory at York University.

Alex Furber
Robert Ross
For the Grand Theatre: Chariots of Fire. Selected  Theatre Credits: As You Like It, Taming of The Shrew (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mary's Wedding (Festival Players of Prince Edward County); My Night With Reg (Studio 180/Mirvish); Marathon of Hope, Brighton Beach Memoirs (Drayton); Jitters (Soulpepper); Anne and Gilbert (NAC); Red (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Cabaret (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Warhorse (Mirvish). Film and TV Credits: Reign, Mayday, Murdoch Mysteries, Flashpoint. Other:  Graduate of The National Theatre School. Twitter:@Alexfurber.

Katherine Gauthier
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Selected  Theatre Credits: King Charles III (Arts Club Theatre); A Doll’s House, The Just, Spoon River, Marat/Sade, Tartuffe, Bedroom Farce, The Dead, Thirst of Hearts (Soulpepper Theatre); Statu Quo (Théâtre La Seizième); As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival); 100 Saints You Should Know, Godspell (Pacific Theatre). SELECTED FILM and TV Credits: The Strain, Saving Hope, Running With Violet, Deep Six. Other: Nominated for 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards (including Outstanding Lead Actress) and two Jessie Nominations (including Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Large Theatre).

Omar Alex Khan
Captain Leather
For the Grand Theatre : A Thousand Splendid Suns. Selected  Theatre Credits: Timon of Athens, The School For Scandal, The Komagata Maru Incident (Stratford); The New Canadian Curling Club, 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (Blyth); As You Like It, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare in High Park/Canadian Stage); The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/ Citadel); Glengarry Glen Ross, Romeo and Juliet, The Seafarer (RMTC); Acha Bacha (Passe Muraille/Buddies).  Selected  Film and TV Credits: Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Less Than Kind, Killjoys, The Strain.  Other: omaralexkhan.com, @omaralexkhan

Jeff Lillico
Private Purchas
For the Grand Theatre : Debut. Selected  Theatre Credits: Soulpepper, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Mirvish, Factory Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, Tarragon, Studio180, Theatre Panik, Musical Stage Company, Theatre20, National Arts Centre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Theatre Calgary, GEVA Theater, and Charlottetown Festival. Dora Award for The Light in The Piazza; 4 Dora nominations (Tom at the Farm, Grey Gardens, Our Town, The Glass Menagerie). Selected  Film and TV Credits: On the Basis of Sex, Designated Survivor, Rocky Horror Picture Show (2016), Copper, Flashpoint, Murdoch Mysteries, Separation, The Ticket.

Danik McAfee
Private Côté
For the Grand Theatre : Debut. Selected  Theatre Credits: The Dream Catchers (Charlottetown Festival); Weesageechak Festival 2017 (Native Earth); G I G The Musical (Panasonic Theatre); Cabaret (First Act Productions); Jesus Christ Superstar (LOT); Villains (Small But Mighty); 7 Stories (Sour Dog/Loose Moose Theatre). Production Credits: Aqusaarnit (Assistant Director, Charlottetown Festival 2018); OTLTA 2018 (Assistant Director, YPT); Moll World Premiere (Assistant Director, Randolph College). Film and TV Credits: Canada: The Story Of Us (CBC). Other: Graduate of The Randolph College for Performing Arts.

Jan Alexandra Smith
Mrs. Ross
For the Grand TheatreEvita (Director/Choreographer); A Christmas Carol, The Dining Room. Selected Theatre Credits: Much Ado About Nothing (Director, Shakespeare Co.); Vigilante (Catalyst Theatre); The Hollow (Director, Vertigo Theatre); Mamma Mia!, Alice Through The Looking Glass (Charlottetown Festival); Seussical (Director/Choreographer, St. Lawrence College); As You Like It, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare in High Park/CanStage); The Mountaintop, God of Carnage  (Director, Theatre Calgary); Lost (Theatre Calgary); Forests (Tarragon); Shakespeare’s Will (Citadel Theatre); Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Shaw Festival); Les Misérables (Royal Alexandra). Other: Jan’s work has been nominated for 20 Theatre Awards across Canada including two Best Actress Awards which she received last year for her role in Vigilante. She was also shortlisted for the Gina Wilkinson Prize as emerging Director in 2013.

Braeden Soltys
Private Levitt
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Select Theatre Credits: Trap Door, The Cradle Will Rock, If/Then, Floyd Collins (Theatre Sheridan); Chelsea Sunrise (Canadian Music Theatre Project); Songs of the City 2017 (Winter Garden Theatre); Lockdown (Leda Serene Films/Toronto Fringe Festival). Select Film and TV Credits: Transporter: The Series (HBO); Ghostly Encounters (W Network). Other: Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance (Sheridan College, Class of 2018).

Edmund Stapleton
Sergeant Rodwell
For the Grand Theatre:  Chariots of Fire. Select Theatre Credits: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Citadel/MTC); Dedication (RCA); Arms and the Man, The Charity That Began at Home (Shaw Festival); Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare by the Bow); Henry IV, Part 1, The Merchant of Venice (Perchance Theatre). Select Film and TV Credits: Reign (CW), Acres (short). Other: BFA Acting, University of Alberta; BF English/Philosophy, Memorial University.

Marcel Stewart
Sergeant Steward
For the Grand Theatre:  Debut. Select Theatre Credits: The Drawer Boy (Festival Players); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Father Comes Home From the Wars: Parts I, II, III (Soulpepper); King Charles III (Mirvish/Studio 180); Up the Garden Path (Obsidian); We Are Proud to Present... (Why Not Theatre); Wilberforce Hotel (Blyth Festival); Small Axe (Theatre Centre). Film and TV Credits: Kim’s Convenience, Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), The Bridge (CTV).

Shannon Taylor
Lady Barbara D’Orsey
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Select Theatre Credits: King Charles III (Mirvish/Studio 180); Shakespeare in Love, School for Scandal, Twelfth Night, The Hypochondriac, The Diary of Anne Frank, Oedipus Rex (Stratford Festival); The Road to Mecca (Soulpepper); Pride and Prejudice (Theatre Calgary/NAC); The Jones Boy, When the World was Green (Surface/Underground); A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Little Women: The Musical (Citadel Theatre); The Madonna Painter (Factory Theatre). Film and TV Credits:  Private Eyes, May Day. Other: Mary Savidge Award (Stratford Festival); Dora nomination for The Jones Boy (Outstanding Performance). Upcoming: A Doll’s House (RMTC).

John Wamsley
Private Harris
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Select Theatre Credits: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Hart House Theatre); Spain (OPIA Theatre Collective); The Importance of Being Earnest (Theatre Erindale); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tottering Biped Theatre). Other:  Graduate of the University of Toronto and Sheridan College Acting Conservatory Program. www.johnwamsley.ca.

Dennis Garnhum
Director and Adapter
For the Grand Theatre: Prom Queen: The Musical (High School Project), Chariots of Fire, Beethoven Lives Upstairs, A Christmas Carol. Select Theatre Credits:  World premiere of musical The Little Prince (Theatre Calgary); Barber of Seville (Florida Grand Opera, Opera Lyra, Vancouver Opera); Timothy Findley’s The Wars (Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse); director/adapter of Lost: A Memoir (Theatre Calgary, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Neptune Theatre); director/adapter of King Lear (Theatre Calgary, Bard on the Beach); Carmen, La Traviata (Pacific Opera); West Side Story (Bangkok University); Rat in the Skull (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Stratford Festival (four seasons); Shaw Festival (six seasons). Other:  Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre since 2016. Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary from 2005-16. Recipient of a Calgary Award for Community Achievement in Arts and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Allan Stichbury
Set Designer
For the Grand Theatre:  A Christmas Carol; Set and Lighting: Prisoner of Zenda, Educating Rita; Set and Costume: Pack of Lies; Set, Costume, and Lighting: Master Harold and The Boys; Lighting: Waiting for the Parade, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Godspell, The Paul Galico Series. Select Theatre Credits: Notable works with Director Dennis Garnhum include: West Side Story (Bangkok University); The Barber of Seville (Vancouver, Ottawa, Florida, Edmonton, Pittsburgh); Timothy Findley’s The Wars (Theatre Calgary, Vancouver Playhouse); Of Mice and Men (Theatre Calgary, Can Stage); Three Tall Women (Manitoba Theatre Centre). Other: Graduate of University of Alberta (BFA), Past President of Associated Designers of Canada, 28 years teaching at Phoenix Theatre University of Victoria. Awards: CITT Education Achievement Award 2017.

Christina Poddubiuk
Costume Designer
For the Grand Theatre: The Odd Couple, Toronto Mississippi, The Man Who Came to Dinner. Select Theatre Credits:  Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, John Gabriel Borkman, Phèdre and many others for the Stratford Festival; Pygmalion, Faith Healer, Come Back Little Sheba, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Major Barbara, The Heiress (Shaw Festival); The Fantasticks, Travesties, Mary Stuart (Soulpepper); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing (Chicago Shakespeare); A Doll’s House Part 2, Venus in Fur, A Tender Thing (Belfry Theatre). Opera Includes: Don Quichotte, Béatrice et Bénédict (Canadian Opera Company); Lucia de Lammermoor, Tosca, Capriccio (Pacific Opera Victoria).

Bonnie Beecher
Lighting Designer
For the Grand Theatre:  A Christmas Carol, Art, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Ned Durango Comes to Big Oak. Select Theatre Credits:  Designed over 350 productions for theatre, opera, and dance across Canada and internationally. Recent productions include Romeo and Juliet (Ballet Im Revier, Germany); Hadrian (Canadian Opera); Paradise Lost (Stratford); Oh What A Lovely War (Shaw); Bed and Breakfast (Soulpepper); Rachmaninov/ Tchaikovsky (Dortmund Ballet, Germany); The Secret Garden (Theatre Calgary), The Children (Canadian Stage/Centaur). Upcoming: The Penelopiad (The Grand); The Runner (Human Cargo/Passe Muraille); The Father (Coal Mine); Akhnaten (Dortmund Opera, Germany); New work by Juanjo Arques (Acosta Ballet, Havana); A Midsummers Night’s Dream (Ballet Im Reveir, Germany). Other: 15 Dora Award nominations and 2 wins. www.bonniebeecher.com.

Richard Feren
Composer & Sound Designer
For the Grand Theatre: Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell. Select Theatre Credits: Dr. Silver, Jerusalem, TomorrowLove™ (Outside The March); An Ideal Husband (Stratford Festival); Unholy (Nightwood); Daughter (QuipTake/Pandemic/Theatre Centre); Asking For It (Nightwood/Necessary Angel/Crow’s Theatre); Sisters, Animal Farm, Waiting For Godot, CAGE (Soulpepper); Confederation & Riel, Scandal & Rebellion (VideoCabaret); The Magic Hour (Theatre Centre). Select Film and TV Credits: It’s Hard To Be Human, The Anniversary, Burning, Burning, A Trip To The Island, Past Perfect, numerous shorts. Other: 7 Dora Awards, 1999 Pauline McGibbon Award, shortlisted for the 2012 Siminovitch Prize.

Kathryn Davies
Stage Manager
For the Grand Theatre:  The Wizard of Oz. Select Theatre Credits: Les Contes D’Hoffmann (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Dividing the Estate (Dallas Theater Center); Daddy Long Legs (Laguna Playhouse); The Mystery of Irma Vep (The Old Globe); Rigoletto (Tulsa Opera); Vietgone, All the Way (South Coast Repertory); Of Mice and Men (Theatre Calgary/CanStage/Neptune Theatre); Vinci (CanStage/ MTC/NAC); Skylight, Anything That Moves, The Four Lives of Marie (Tarragon Theatre); To Kill A Mockingbird (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre/MTC); Phèdre (Soulpepper); Closer (CanStage). Film and TV Credits: Head Theatre Manager at the Toronto International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, AFI Fest, TCM Classic Film Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival.

Suzanne McArthur
Assistant Stage Manager
For the Grand Theatre:  Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Joni Mitchell: River, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Intimate Apparel, Ring of Fire, Dance Legends, PlayWrights Cabaret, Ed’s Garage, Side by Side by Sondheim, Pride and Prejudice, The Wizard of Oz, High School Projects: Evita, Hello, Dolly!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oklahoma!. Select Theatre Credits: The Birds and the Bees, Aladdin: The Panto, Snow White: The Panto, Weekend Comedy, Perfect Wedding (Drayton Entertainment); The Normal Heart (Studio 180/Buddies in Bad Times); Buying the Farm, Birds of a Feather, Storm Warning, Wrong for Each Other, Knickers! A Brief Comedy (Port Stanley Festival Theatre); Hosanna, The Tempest (Stratford Festival); Forests (Tarragon Theatre); Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Silver Mist Productions).

Lore Green
Apprentice Stage Manager
For the Grand Theatre: Debut. Select Theatre Credits: A Christmas Carol, West Side Story, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Sense and Sensibility, Hadestown, The Silver Arrow (Citadel Theatre); Blood of Our Soil (Pyretic Productions); Grease, The Great Gatsby (New Vintage Theatre). Other: Graduate of the BFA Stage Management Program at the University of Alberta.