Stage Door News

Barrie: Talk Is Free Theatre presents “Newfie Electra” and “The Changing Voice” April 26-May 4

Monday, April 15, 2019

Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) offers an evening of two world premiere productions, written by and starring two fiercely talented female talents. One short piece is a modern re-imagining of a classic text and the other a personal account of trauma and the tools to survive - but both are triumphant feats of talent, passion, and genuine honesty.  

The first on the bill is NEWFIE ELECTRA, a modern-day adaptation of Electra, by Sophocles. Trading in the ancient Greek city of Argos for a small out-port fishing village in Newfoundland, the storyteller, Tanya is grieving the death of her Fadder at the hand of her Mudder. Like the classic, Tanya spends her days plotting her revenge, but she does it submerged at the fish plant . Between jigs and the reels, this is an exploration of this wacky character and what it’s like to live in her shoes as she struggles to honour her Fadder.

Newfie Electra is written by and starring Allison Basha, who was born and raised in Stephenville, Newfoundland before her post-secondary studies and eventual trek to London, England to study with East 15. 

In her vision, Co-Creator and Director Mary Ellen MacLean says "We like to think we have choices, but sometimes events choose us, and it’s what we do with them that brings us to the next part of our own story, the next step in life. Finding one's self out of a heap of a mess is always surprising and unlikely. It requires a lot of faith. In this story Electra is swimming her way through the best way she can."

The second production on the double bill is MUSIC FOR THE CHANGING VOICE: MY GRANDFATHER'S CELLO AND ALL THE TINY PIECES, created by and starring Barrie's own Alyssa Wright.

In this narrative of recovery from pain caused by a troubled family, Alyssa's story is one of triumph that holds a message that the world needs now more than ever. This is a reflection of Alyssa's own life that uses original music and lyrics to tell her truth, and her truth resonates deeper than fiction. Her story is one of inter-generational trauma caused by her Grandfather, a man who created a situation that caused such harm and also gave her the tools to overcome.

During the rehearsals of such a personal story, Director Rae Smith said her role was "to take Alyssa's story and put it on stage without silencing or stifling her" and that this process has been "a great honour".  She goes onto say "At the heart of theatre is the ability to heal as a community and for that to happen, we have to open up a discussion."

Written by and Starring Allison Basha
Co-Created and Directed by Mary Ellen MacLean
Set and Lighting Design by Joe Pagnan
Costume Design by Vera Aleynikova


Created by and Starring Alyssa Wright
Directed by Rae Smith
Set and Lighting Design by Joe Pagnan
Costume Design by Vera Aleynikova
Band: Leslie Arden and Ray Dillard

Previews on April 25, Opens April 26 and runs to May 4, 2019

Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

Five Points Theatre
1 Dunlop Street West
Barrie, ON

For Tickets:
Talk Is Free Theatre

Photo: Allison Basha in Newfie Electra.