Making Room for ROOM

One of the staff traditions at the Grand takes place on the mornings we have an Opening Night. We gather as a team to have breakfast together, celebrate the work that everyone has put into making that particular production come to life on our stages. Staff teams take turns pulling together themed breakfasts that help get us through what we know will be a busy day, night and weekend ahead! Wardrobe, Props, Scenic Art, Marketing, Box Office, Development, Front of House, Administration - everyone pitches in!

On Friday March 13, the Audience Development Team treated staff to a ROOM-inspired 'cold breakfast buffet' - cereal, yogurt, fruit and of course Box Car Donuts!! The team knew that 'Ma', 'Jack' and 'Super Jack' would not have access to bacon and eggs and hashbrowns - and likely not donuts either - but the months of work to mount this incredible production deserved to be celebrated in style.

With incredible sadness and disappointment, Deb and Dennis kicked off our staff breakfast with the announcement that the show would not open due to the COVID-19 pandemic and our collective concern for the health and safety of our staff, patrons, cast and crew.

The cast and crew had been informed and communication with patrons had begun. In shock and with tear-stained cheeks, we cleaned up from breakfast, waved goodbye and left the building, not knowing when we'd return.

ROOM was frozen in time.

Photo by Dahlia Katz
Cast members in the above photo: Brandon Michael Arrington, Quinsley Edison, and Alexis Gordon.

Please see full production credits at the end of this post.

The set remained on the Spriet Stage from Thursday, March 12 (last preview performance) for a period of over 4 1/2 months - that has to be a record for a single set on a Grand Theatre stage! Desks were filled with papers, notes, to-do lists. Last-minute costume and props adjustments were left untouched.

The Grand was going to be dark on a night that it should have been full of our wonderful patrons, proud family and friends of the cast and crew, supportive sponsors, and community partners. There was so much buzz in the city about this North American Premiere that was destined for the Mirvish stage after its run at the Grand.

Fast-forward to late July/Early August, when RENO2020 plans begin and the staff and crew return to prep the spaces for the renovations in the lobbies and throughout the backstage areas and production areas.

The following images will take you through some of the dismantlings of the ROOM set - which is now being stored at the Grand's Scene Shop for what we all hope will be an eventual re-mounting of this extraordinary production.

ROOM is the story of hope - the power of a mother's love. ROOM tells us all that if we believe and dream and never give up, anything is possible.

Stay safe everyone - and stay tuned for more RENO2020 updates!

(Following the photos, we ask that you take a moment to acknowledge the work of the incredible creative teams noted in the credits.)

Friday 13th Call Sheet

The Daily Call Sheet/Rehearsal Schedule is posted before the Stage Management team leaves the night before. You'll see all the activity scheduled for Opening Night as well as the final two performances of "Juno's Reward" - the 100 Schools Project that also had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

Officially Dark

ROOM set containing all props sits dark on the Spriet Stage.

Tomorrow's To-Do's

Dennis took this photo in May of a desk backstage. Notes from the last preview performance were ready to be actioned on Opening Night. Everyone believed we'd be back the next day.

Reno Prep

Seats covered (from Roof Reno work) - lights on and we are ready to pack up!

Props First

Props Team has first crack at packing to ensure all items are secured safely before the set is dismantled.

IATSE Crew Gets to Work

With props safely stored, the IATSE crew begins to dismantle the set. Health and safety training took place the week prior. Masks, distancing, and hand sanitization in full force.

Disassembly of the Revolve

The set was designed and built over a complex revolve system that was disassembled with great care for future use.

Last Walls to Come Down

Set dismantling is almost complete. IATSE crew works safely and efficiently.

The Set Ready for Packing

As we await the truck, a final look at the full set disassembled and ready for storage.

Truck Arrives and Squeezes Down the Alley

Who wants a turn at backing in this 18 wheeler into the alleyway??

Full and Ready to Move

Packed and ready for storage at the Grand's Scene Shop.

Unpacked from the Truck

As the Crew worked on stage to prepare the set to be moved, even more work was taking place at the Scene Shop to ensure there was adequate space to accommodate the set, props and revolve mechanism.

Ready for its Next Life

As difficult as it is to see the set down, it is exciting to know that it is safe, intact and ready for the future!

Lamp, Cupboard, Bathtub

A few more treasures from Ma and Jack's ROOM

Jack & Ma's Castle

Each piece of the set and every prop has a special story attached to it.

Property of ROOM

We look forward to opening these bins in the future!

Larger than Life

Aaron from our Maintenance Team takes care as he rolls the stair banner up for storage. We have amazing memories of Quinsley and his family seeing this larger than life image for the first time, hanging in the lobby.

Farewell from Jack's Place

Closing off this story in pictures with a final wave from Jack's Place!


Special thanks to Dennis Garnhum, Deb Harvey, Natalie Kearns, Lauren Rebelo, Tim Whitty, Lyndee Hansen, Jim Doucette for their photography skills.


Presented by: Grand Theatre, Covent Garden Productions, and David Mirvish 

By Emma Donoghue
Adapted for the stage by Emma Donoghue
Music & Lyrics by Cora Bissett & Kathryn Joseph
Directed by Cora Bissett


GRANDPA/DOCTOR -  Stewart Arnott
SUPERJACK -  Brandon Michael Arrington*
JACK - Hayden Baertsoen
JACK - Quinsley Edison
GRANDMA - Tracey Ferencz
MA - Alexis Gordon
OLD NICK - Ashley Wright
*Fight Captain


DIRECTOR -  Cora Bissett
MOVEMENT COACH -  Linda Garneau
SOUND DESIGNER -  John Gzowski
MUSIC DIRECTOR -  Gavin Whitworth
FIGHT & INTIMACY DIRECTOR -  Siobhan Richardson
STAGE MANAGER -  Beatrice Campbell
REHEARSAL PIANIST -  Andrew Petrasiunas

Originally produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East, National Theatre of Scotland, and Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

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London, ON N6A 3E4