Under The Apple Tree Bios

Brian Morton (Director / Playwright / Actor – “Jack Grubb”):
was the recipient of the 2013 Hamilton Arts Award for Theatre. He trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, and was the founder and first Artistic Director of Theatre Terra Nova, where he produced the premiere of Douglas Rodger’s play “How Could You Mrs Dick”, about Hamilton’s notorious Evelyn Dick. Brian was also the producer of the 2012 Hamilton Fringe Festival. Past acting credits at the Hamilton Fringe include: “Harry Houdini” in “Escape”, Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape”, and “Gary” in his own play “New Talent”, which toured to the London, Toronto and Hamilton Fringes in 2010. Also “Lear” in “King Lear” (Hamilton Urban Theatre), “Grace Is Gone”, (McMaster), “Twelfth Night”, (McMaster S.D.F.), “Holes”, (Great Big Theatre), “Herringbone”, (Theatre Terra Nova), John Mighton’s “Scientific Americans”, (Edinburgh Fringe 1990), “Marat/Sade”, (Theatre Aquarius) and “Swingin’ in St. Johns”, (Chasing Shadows/Artword Artbar). ​Brian is currently a drama critic and arts journalist for “VIEW Magazine”, he has also published articles in the “Hamilton Spectator” and the “McMaster Silhouette”.

Chris Cracknell (Actor – “James Wall”):
is a veteran of the Hamilton music scene as well as an illustrator and an actor. Past credits include performances in “Mary, I Have His Pants!” and “Escape”, (Hamilton Fringe 2016 and 2011), “The Rocky Horror Show” and “Trafford Tanzi” (Waterdown Village Theatre), and “The Suicide”. “Time and The Conways”, “How Could You, Mrs Dick?” and “Vieux Carre” for Dundas Little Theatre. Special skills include, being an accomplished and unashamed accordionist.

Erynn Garland (Actor – “Alice Costello”/“Helen Campbell”):
is extremely thrilled to be a part of “Under The Apple Tree” in this year’s Hamilton Fringe Festival. While this is her first year involved in Hamilton Fringe, Erynn is no stranger to the world of theatre. Being a part of numerous productions with credits including:  “Fiddler on the Roof”, (Fruma Sarah/Shaindel), “Grease”, (Patty Simcox),  “Footloose” (Ensemble), “The Little Mermaid”, (Ariel),  “Cinderella” (Fairy Godmother), and “Cat in the Hat” (Sally). Erynn would like to thank all her friends and family who have supported her over the years in her journey and passion of music and theatre.

Larry Smith (Actor – “Loring Smith”):
is a born and bred Hamiltonian, with deep roots in the community that go back to his high school years at Delta Secondary, when he was president of the student council. He has been a professional stand up comic, full time since 1989, and he has toured multiple times across Canada, and all over the US several times over. Smith has been a featured performer on “Comedy at Club 54”, which ran in perennial re runs on the CTV’s Comedy Network, and TV-LAND in the US. He has opened for many acts over the years including Blue Rodeo, Sam Kinison, Rita Coolidge, Gilbert Gottfried, The Northern Pikes, and Ian Thomas. Playing venues, such as Hamilton Place, Casino Niagara, and The Zoetic Theatre; he was the top headliner, for several years, at the House of Comedy in Niagara Falls. In 2000, Larry Smith was voted “Best of the Fest at the Comedy Nest” at the Montreal Comedy Festival. Ben Guyett and Smith collaborated for three years on a CHML Sunday Night radio program. For five years, Larry Smith also ran a “live talk show” as part of the after hours programming with the Hamilton Fringe Festival every July.

Michelle LaHaise (Actor – “Natalie Dugan”):
FRINGING IS FUN, and thanks to Director Brian Morton, Michelle was afforded the opportunity to be a part of the excitement. Her favourite theatrical performances include “Time and the Conways “,(DLT), “Looking”, (DLT), “Death of a Salesman”, (BOTG) and “Ripcord”, (DLT). She can be seen performing regularly around the Hamilton/Burlington/Oakville area with her blues band, Dirty Blues Band. She also enjoys writing songs with her writing partner, Robert Laszcz and the two recently completed an album of original work under the band name 16 Mile High. All told, she is happiest when spending time with her husband Ryan and their two pups, who are her world. Enjoy the show!

Claire Shingleton-Smith (Actor – “Cecile Bartley”):
graduated from McMaster University in 2016 with an Honours Double Major in Psychology and Theatre and Film. She works full time as an ABA therapist with children and adults with ASD. Part time she works as an actor/facilitator with OnTRAC, a company that facilitates theatre work in Ontario Prisons. Recent credits include “The Little Mermaid”, (Hammer Entertainment), “If/Then The Musical”, (Hammer Entertainment), “Last Call”, (Hamilton Fringe 2017), “Sunset Boulevard”, (Hammer Entertainment) and “Tasteless”, (Hamilton Fringe 2015).

Susan Robinson (Actor – “Ethel Rosevere”):
is a visual artist living and working in downtown Hamilton. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, she creates sculpture, claymation videos, paintings and puppets. She illustrated the poster/logo and album cover for “Swingin’ in St. John’s”, painted the backdrop projections, made the codfish puppet “Gilda Finn”, and made some costume pieces and props (as well as being co-producer and assistant director, stage manager and playing 3 characters in the show). http://www.susanrobinsonartist.com

Valerie Van Landschoot (Stage Manager):
is a graduate of the York University Theatre program specializing in both stage management and lighting design. She has worked on shows in Toronto and Hamilton and even helped take a play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is excited to be working again with Brian Morton on “Under the Apple Tree” about a little known local crime.

Darl MacBoyle (Lyricist):
Was born in Waverly, Iowa, on February 12, 1880. Apprenticed in his youth to a travelling circus, he became an acrobat, and then a soldier in the Argentine Army. He was later active for many years, in vaudeville, writing special material for performers and himself, enacting roles in dramatic sketches. He worked with several well known composers, including Nat Vincent, Albert Von Tilzer, and most notably the composer, Walter L. Rosemont, with whom, he wrote the musical plays, “Oh That Melody”, “The Arabian Nights”, “The Love Shop”, “A Little Cottage”, and “Under The Apple Tree”. He became a member of ASCAP in 1925. MacBoyle died in Glen Cove, New York, on September 2, 1942.

Walter Louis Rosemont (Composer):
Was a noted composer, conductor, producer and teacher. He was born in Philadelphia, on August 16, 1877. He joined ASCAP in 1925. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he did graduate studies in Europe, including Piano in Leipzig with Martin Krasic, and conducting with Karl Schroeder, at the Sonderhausen Conservatory. Returning to the US, he became the conductor of the American Philharmonic Society in New York. He was the producer of numerous operettas, and musical revues, as well as composing music for motion pictures, and chamber music. He wrote musicals, such as, “Mr Battling Butler”, “A Night In Spain”, “The Love Hunters”, “Good Night Suzette”, and “What’s The Idea?” Between 1918 and 1920, for producer George Choos, he collaborated with lyricist/ book writer, Darl Macboyle on the short musical comedies, “Oh That Melody”, “The Arabian Nights”, “The Love Shop”, “A Little Cottage”, and “Under The Apple Tree”. He died in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 22, 1969, at the age of 91.

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