Coming to 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe

LOVE AS A VIRUS – in Toronto Digital Fringe Festival (On-demand viewing runs July 21st, 2021 – EXTENDED to August 22, 2021)

Meet the The Director – Liz Best :

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Liz is an actor, director, producer and playwright.

Acting credits: The Pigeon, (FireWorks Festival), Surrender, Dorothy (FireWorks Festival), Inked Heart, (FireWorks Festival), Meet the Family (City TV).

Playwright credits: The Bay (Big Ideas Festival, PAL). Surrender, Dorothy (FireWorks Festival, Procunier Hall, Palace Theatre in London).

Directing credits: Outward, (Toronto Queer Theatre Festival), The Dining Room, (Marion Abbott Productions), Crossing Delancey (Encore Entertainment), The Goodbye Girl (Scarborough Players). Producing credits: Fireworks Festival, Women of Musical Theatre Festival, General Manager, Marion Abbott Productions. Email:

Meet the Cast:

Vivien Shepherd in the Role of Hannahbelle (Hannah)

Vivien Shepherd is a triple threat performer who started acting early. Her love for dance in nursery school led to her debut musical performance in kindergarten in Tarzan The Musical where her passion for storytelling and music was discovered.  She received the Vocal Music Award at KKSA (Karen Kain School of the Arts) and graduated with Honours as an Ontario Scholar from ESA (Etobicoke School of the Arts). There she majored in Musical Theatre and travelled around North America as a member of their award winning female show choir, GLO. At ESA she also acted in several student films, and began a love for that medium as well, which grew when she attended Randolph College for the Performing Arts, from which she recently graduated. Vivien has experience in voice over and as a vocalist on soundtracks. As a singer she has sung solo in local music venues around the city since she was 16. In addition to performing, she  has a keen interest in dramaturgy, writing and painting and is passionate about creating from a modern, feminist viewpoint.

Victoria Shepherd in the Role of Miriam Mazin (Mom)

Victoria Shepherd is an award-winning theatre Director. She has helmed numerous productions at the Toronto Fringe festival, the Alumnae theatre company, the Bloor West Village players, as well as many independent theatre companies. She last trod the boards when seven months pregnant with Vivian Shepherd and is delighted to have the opportunity to mark her return to acting by playing …..Viv’s mom! Email:

Mateo Chavez Lewis in the Role of Joseph

MATEO CHAVEZ LEWIS (Joseph) is an actor, singer, pianist and songwriter from Toronto.  He wrote, produced and starred in Boys Don’t Cry, a new musical which premiered at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival.  When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he began working on Quarantine Songs, a series of songs about different characters dealing with the pandemic in unique ways, which premiered on YouTube featuring top talent from the Stratford, Mirvish, and Charlottetown stages.  He has also contributed music + lyrics to #Hashtag: A New Musical (Bravo Academy), Babble (Beats + Intentions) and CanMo 2.0 (StreamStage).  Performance career highlights include: Mark Cohen in Rent (Papermill Theatre), Jack in Into the Woods (Toronto Centre for the Arts), Dickon in The Secret Garden (Factory Theatre), and Frankie McDonald in Parade (First Act Productions). This summer, you can catch him in CanJams (Garner Theatre Productions), as Joseph in Love As A Virus (2021 Toronto Fringe Festival) and as Warren in Ordinary Days (The Flare Productions).

in the Roles of Murray/Gord

Trevor Cartlidge is thrilled to be part of this production. Trevor studied theatre at the University of Waterloo.  Past credits include Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew (Rose Theatre), Giles Ralston in The Mousetrap (Toronto Truck Theatre) and other various Fringe shows and productions around Toronto.  Trevor would like to thank his family for their continued love and support.

This is the newest Mark My Words-Ink work to be produced and presented for the 2021 Digital Toronto Fringe Festival – AVAILABLE to View from July 21st, 2021. The play will be a pre-recorded staged production . Please use the CC – Mark spent more than 70 hours working on this (as it was required for this medium) and it may compensate for some sound and volume issues, while being true to the dialogue.

The story: Hannahbelle and Joseph meet by accident during a pandemic – but when the masks come off….

We are proud to present a song – Find the light – with lyrics and music written, produced and performed specifically for this play.

Trailer preview:

Here is the link to the promo video on YouTube!

Patrons are invited to visit the Fringe Festival – launchpad website and select tickets to view Love as a Virus

or click on the poster/icon

Beginning July 21st you will have option to use your access ticket to view this selection on-demand at your convenience any day or time over, at least, until the end of the Festival run.


Back with a New Play – LOVE AS A VIRUS

I literally lost sight of this site – but now I am found – and it’s timely.

It was not the best of times but was it the worst of times – 2020? Life changed for everyone, but when doesn’t change happen and isn’t it always a transition of growth. Heck, even our dead remains can nurture nature.

Last year was another year and opportunity for me to enter the Toronto Fringe Festival 2020. Then all bets were off, including the Fringe season event. The pandemic had taken its toll and live theatre was all but swept away in viral waves that were like a tsunami to social gatherings.

The play that I had written; something organically sprouted from a previous work; was struggling for the voice in which it could be told. It was dark and dismal and weighted with sadness and heavy messaging, in far too many monologues. With the Fringe cancellation, it too went dark and dormant.

With time and opportunity to think and write at The Lakehouse – a family summer home located on a version of the beaches of Lake Ontario – I set to writing something new; inspired by what we now see and don’t see, behind the masks we must wear.

The question – does a virus have to infect sickness – or can it affect love?

I chose to look at the latter. This is a piece about light and love. Two positive forces that we can give and get.

…and so I’m back to present – the thing – and – the play’s the thing (so says Shakespeare)


Detective Harland-played by: Mark H Albert

Missed Metaphor Productions proudly presents
“The Cult of Dalkhilu”: A Horror in Two Acts
A reclusive horror writer, trapped in her tiny apartment by intense agoraphobia, struggles to finish the final novel in her feverishly popular series “The Cult of Dalkhilu”. The pressure increases as her dangerous and demented fan base discover her real identity and begin visiting her with violent and gruesome offerings. The line between fact and fiction is blurred when she learns that the demonic cult from her novels has become a reality and they are worshiping her as their prophet. Weary and weathered, a lone Detective must face the demons of his own haunted past in order to uncover the source of the madness before it consumes them all.
Coming soon to the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson Avenue, Toronto ON)
Thursday October 24th @ 7:30pm
Friday October 25th @ 7:30pm
Saturday October 26th @ 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Tuesday October 29th @ 7:30pm (PWYC performance)
Wednesday October 30th @ 7:30pm
Thursday October 31st @ 7:30pm
Friday November 1st @ 7:30pm
Saturday November 2nd @ 2:00pm & 7:30pm
General admission $25, Arts Lover $35, PWYC performance on October 29th
Please note this event is not recommended for patrons under 12 as it contains strong language and depictions of violence.
Visit us at for more information!
Join us! Follow along for posts & pics:
Facebook @MissedMetaphorProductions | Twitter @MissedMetaphor | Instagram @MissedMetaphor


The Right Place at the Right Price in the Right Neighbourhood



This is the Crescent you want to be on.

Only steps to the walking path to Bathurst where you can travel the City by transit or shop just up the street at the Promenade Mall or some of fine shops kosher and otherwise along the way; find some good schools elementary, secondary, catholic or french immersion or a places to worship.

You’ll love the Gourmet Kitchen with maple wood cupboards, granite counters and stainless steel appliances including a new gas stove and 2 dishwashers. Home for the Holidays? Entertain using the second full kitchen, including 2 dishwashers, downstairs and set up a Dining Area to accommodate all of your family and friends.

Hardwood floors in the Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room and in the FOUR Bedrooms.

This lovely Family Home in a Family neighbourhood naturally includes a well placed Family room, with a cozy gas fireplace, beside the kitchen with sliding glass doors opening  to the back deck and yard.

The oversized garage is conveniently and directly accessed from the foyer.

All this under one NEW 2017 roof.

One time OPEN HOUSE:

SUNDAY, MARCH 4th, 2018

from 2:00p.m. to 4:00pm.

Please note: previous offer fell through on Financing…Lucky for YOU

Mark's Biz Pic17

Head for the Hills- Thornhill MCMORRAN CRESCENT, VAUGHAN…

is ready for Your Family



Falling prices afford you the opportunity to climb the spiral stairs to this investment and fine four bedroom family home in a near-cul de sac crescent, south of Clark.

Features includes two fully functional kitchens:

The gourmet kitchen on the main floor with stainless steel appliances, including two dishwashers and new gas stove/oven and island/breakfast bar complete with sink


A full kitchen in the fully finished basement with two dishwashers.

The house has been renovated including handsome hardwood floors and most recently- a recent new roof .

Only steps to a direct walkway to Bathurst Street shops and transit.

More to see and experience…come see

Contact: Mark H. Albert, Broker

Re/Max Realtron Realty Inc.

Office: 416-782-8882  (search Mcmorran)






Broken Glass by Arthur Miller

Sam Rosenthal, Ermina Perez,
Mark H. Albert, Leah Charney
Arnold Zweig, Harriet Rice

In a Miller Masterpiece

This was the last play that Arthur Miller wrote and perhaps the most personal and vulnerable self-examination of his Jewish identity.

Call: 1-855-985-2787


In person at the TCA Box office

1pm-6pm Tuesday – Saturday


If you were at the Jewish Radio Hour save 20%

And for groups of 10 or more

Call: 416-733-0545

Am I Blue…


I’m singin’ the blues.  That is.. in praise of the Labe Kagan’s Blues Bawls.  Labe has written an audacious and irreverent, melodious narrative following the exploits of those who narrow culture to cult. Stylized with jazzical, bluesy music and lyrics, collaboratively composed by the partnering of Allan Soberman and Labe Kagan, this romp into the unknown, unpredictable and unmentionable parts of human being, departs from the road most traveled.  Really it does… The story begins when four celibate, different shade of blues brothers are stranded at a broken down, off the path Mexican motel run by liberated Libby( Erin Roche), having been diverted from their promised rendezvous with their messianic leader.  The only other guests are four sexually liberated ladies looking for…well, you can figure it out. Hence the fix is in and the plot thins.  The characters find their voices in suggestive songs and colourful language providing some toe tapping, hum/sing along tunes and a fairly consistent audience laugh track.

Kagan adeptly chose a site specific intimate venue to share the performance of this, well directed by Jacqui Burk,  well cast work.  Certainly there are some stand-out performances delivered by Martin Buote (the definitive “Blueser” the protagonist),  Erin Roche (Libby), Jessica Callaghan(Christine- the ingenue), Lisa Ferreira(Kusbi – a very engaging siren) and Tom O’Neal (Daddyo -the Rebleader of the pack).  The music is magically, deftly arranged and delivered on keyboard by Sandy Thorburn.

This production enjoyed four sold out days at Jingles; and here’s the good part…return performances are expected.

I delayed in writing about this but I’m giving you advance notice to look for the return.

100 minutes of “THIS”


100 minutes of “THIS”. Last night I went to see a new play by playwright Melissa James Gibson. “This” was incisive, insightful and incitefull. Almost shamefully engaging, as we eavesdrop on the lives, thoughts and struggles of 5 middle aged individuals trying to define who they are and whom they are in relationship to –

This was a play that I had been invited to audition for and did so. Obviously, as my part was audience member last night, I did not successfully win the role. I could quickly see why. Of the two male parts I auditioned for “Tom” and “Alan”. Tom(played by Andrew Batten) was easily the best physical (both individual and ensemble) match for the role of the unhappy male carpenter in a challenging marriage to a beautiful singer and mother. Andrew certainly brought his “A” game to the role finding the vulnerability and complexity of the character. As for “Alan” (played by Michael Harvey). He was a force to be reckoned with. I had watched and marveled at (as one could only do) Michael in the auditions. Both eclectic and electric in the sharped witted and comedic timing of his characterization of the gay, sometimes Jewish (in-play joke) friend.
Amanda Jane Smith, cast as Jane, the main character in this ensemble presented a finely balanced and on-point portrayal.
Audra Yulanda Gray (playing Tom’s wife Marrell) intrinsically meshed the challenges of her multi-coloured roles of new mother, unsatisfied wife and emerging singing artist…and the bonus was a splendid singing performance.
Even in his small role as the foreigner, the one outside this clutch of friends, Christian Martel, found all the sweet spots.
I’ll not go into the plot but to say, it was real and rich with well written and wonderfully articulated dialogue on the human condition. I will say that 100 minutes without intermission was masterfully timed and directed by Rebecca Ballarin. The perception of a good director could be seen – because it couldn’t be seen.
Though the audience may have been small in numbers, they were high charged and well entertained by this work.
This is why the shout-out to go see “THIS”
Really! Mark My Words
shared on Facebook:

A Player before Dying

Cemetery Club Poster revised (2)



I have not been on stage of late and I am happy to return to my creative side in the up-coming- THE CEMETERY CLUB by Ivan Menchell.
I have come of age, well almost. In joining the cast of this staged reading, directed by my good friend and experienced Director, Merle Garbe, I was told to age myself up. That is for the first time in my thespian throng of collective characters, I was told that I could be perceived as too young for the role. Sign me up, I said. I’m in. Mind you, that is after I auditioned and was told that got the part.
This play speaks to the greying demographic, who recognize and respect their relationships of the past; but when those relationships die (literally) then what?
Interestingly my first play with Merle’s recently resigned, Encore Entertainment was as Sam the Pickle man in “Crossing Delancey” where I played the 30-something love interest. Now just shy of pickled, I play the butcher Sam.
It’s fun and frivolous and a good substitute for “Jane the Virgin” on a Monday night.
Come and bring your friends.
You can attend our one and only performance on Monday, June 6 at 7:30, at Temple Sinai, located at 210 Wilson Avenue, on the north side, between Bathurst and Avenue. It’s cash $15. at the door.