Hit Stage Adaptation of Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Fall On Your Knees Completes its Epic Stage Journey at the Grand Theatre
The National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage Company,
Neptune Theatre, Grand Theatre production
World Premiere Adaptation for the stage by Hannah Moscovitch and Alisa Palmer
Co-Created and Written by Hannah Moscovitch
Co-Created and Directed by Alisa Palmer
Production Dramaturgy by Mel Hague
Based on the Novel by Ann-Marie MacDonald
On the Spriet Stage
March 29 through April 2, 2023
March 22, 2023 – London ON – Following acclaimed performances across the nation, the Grand Theatre is proud to present the final performances of the epic, two-part stage adaptation of author Ann-Marie MacDonald’s beloved Canadian classic Fall On Your Knees from March 29th through April 2nd.
Produced by the Grand Theatre, National Arts Centre English Theatre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, and Neptune Theatre, the world premiere of the stage adaptation of Fall On Your Knees is the result of a historic partnership among the five companies – with the show premiering in Toronto, ON, before travelling to Halifax, NS, Ottawa, ON, and finishing in London, ON.
“After years of development and anticipation, we are thrilled to welcome the company of Fall On Your Knees to the Grand Theatre to share their final performances with us and complete their epic stage journey,” says Dennis Garnhum, Grand Theatre Artistic Director. “Between the sweeping story, the multitude of large theatre companies involved, and the gathering of artists from coast-to-coast, this truly is an historic production – one that we are honoured to be a part of and share with the city of London.”
Ann-Marie MacDonald’s debut novel, Fall On Your Knees is a sweeping work of historical fiction that chronicles three generations of Cape Breton Island’s Piper family. The story moves from the battlefields of the First World War to the emerging jazz scene in Harlem, NY, and into the lives of four unforgettable sisters.
The stage adaptation is co-created by renowned theatre artists Alisa Palmer –who serves as director for the production– and playwright Hannah Moscovitch, who developed the work over the course of a decade together. The pair then invited illustrious Toronto/New York composer, Sean Mayes to bring a compelling musical score to the production. Finally, this powerful creative team assembled an equally powerful cast to bring the work to life, including: Tim Campbell, Janelle Cooper, Diane Flacks, Eva Foote, Samantha Hill, Drew Moore, Tony Ofori, Cara Rebecca, Maryem Tollar, Dakota Jamal Wellman, Jenny L Wright, Antoine Yared, Amaka Umeh (Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Grand Theatre 2017/18 Season), and London’s-own, Deborah Hay – who last appeared on the Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage as Mary in the 2019 production of Mary Poppins.
Fall on Your Knees, MacDonald’s first novel, was first published in 1996 by Knopf Canada as part of their inaugural “New Face of Fiction”. Becoming an instant Canadian-classic, and critically acclaimed international best seller, the novel won multiple awards, including: the Commonwealth Prize, the People’s Choice Award, the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year, and was short-listed for the Giller Prize. In 2002 it became an official selection of Oprah’s Book Club.
“As Fall On Your Knees arrives in London, I want to express how grateful I am,” remarks Ann-Marie MacDonald, the celebrated author of Fall On Your Knees. “Alisa Palmer and her creative team, along with the incredible producing partners, including the folks at the London Grand, have exceeded my expectations every step of the way. The show is spell-binding. So many people have put so much into bringing this extraordinary theatrical experience to audiences, and they’ve done it out of faith in the importance of stories; and the love of sharing them, live, together, in real time.”
Fall On Your Knees is a two-part production on the Spriet Stage for a limited run, from March 29th through April 2nd, 2023. Tickets start at $35 and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.
The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges the continued support of the 2022/23 returning Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group. As well as:
Fall On Your Knees Lead Donors: Margaret Fountain, C.M., D.F.A.(hc), D.H.L.(hc) and David Fountain, C.M.
Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
To learn more about Fall On Your Knees, please visit: https://www.grandtheatre.com/event/fall-on-your-knees. Additional facts, photos, and updates can also be found by following @thegrandlondon and #FallOnYourKnees on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Grand Theatre wishes to acknowledge and honour the original stewards of the land on which our Theatre stands. Gratitude and recognition are extended to the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapewak peoples for preserving this land where we gather and create art.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
In the heart of downtown London, Ontario lies one of Canada’s oldest regional theatres and a leading cultural hub of today: the Grand Theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Evan Klassen, the Grand proudly presents diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe – and around the corner – on its two stages. The not-for-profit theatre is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. Further, it is an ardent supporter of educational programming, as demonstrated through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. For more information, visit: grandtheatre.com.
For more information please contact:
Caitlin Core, Communications Manager
ccore [at] grandtheatre.com
519-672-9030 ext. 266
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE
The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.
ABOUT VITA BREVIS ARTS
Vita Brevis Arts (VBA) was founded by Alisa Palmer to support the development of unusual theatre projects, aimed for larger spaces and audiences. VBA was created to support projects that are ambitious in scope, urgent in content and that have the capacity to speak to diverse audiences in a highly theatrical and sensually rich language. Inclusive and artistically excellent storytelling is at the heart of VBA's mission. In practice, VBA partners with established theatre companies and helps to realize projects that may be outside the box: to curate artist - driven development processes outside traditional development models, and which require sensitivity to culturally specific material. VBA is comprised of producers Alisa Palmer, Paul Beauchamp, and Patricia Cerra.
ABOUT CANADIAN STAGE
Canadian Stage is one of the country’s leading contemporary performing arts organizations. A collision of disciplines and cultures, Canadian Stage reflects the dynamism and complexity of Canada and is a vital artistic force locally, nationally, and internationally. In its over thirty-year history, Canadian Stage has employed thousands of artists and developed and produced hundreds of new productions. Many of the plays developed by Canadian Stage have been awarded and nominated for Canada's most prestigious literary and performing arts honours, including Governor General's, Chalmers, and Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Throughout the theatre season, nearly 100,000 patrons attend performances and workshops in its three Toronto venues.
ABOUT NEPTUNE THEATRE
Neptune Theatre is Atlantic Canada’s regional theatre, now in its 59th season. On our stages you’ll experience theatre that is uplifting and thought-provoking. Working with the best local, regional, and Canadian theatre professionals, we seek to present a thought-provoking playbill that amplifies creative voices, inspires future generations of theatre artists, and delights audiences. With a mindful and inclusive approach, we are committed to bringing stories that represent the history and diversity of our region and its people to life on our stages. The work created and presented at Neptune explores our rich history and diversity, builds understanding, and shapes dialogue, helping to create a stronger, connected community.
James Piper - Tim Campbell
Adelaide Taylor / Sweet Jessie Hogan - Janelle Cooper
Sister St. Monica / Giles MacVicar / Mrs. Luvovitz - Diane Flacks
Lily Piper - Eva Foote
Frances Piper - Deborah Hay
Kathleen Piper - Samantha Hill
Ralph Luvovitz / David - Drew Moore
Leo “Ginger” Taylor / Impresario - Tony Ofori
Materia Piper / Charity Woman - Cara Rebecca
Mrs. Mahmoud / Musician - Maryem Tollar
Rose Lacroix / Doc Rose - Amaka Umeh
Anthony / Ambrose - Dakota - Jamal Wellman
Mercedes Piper / Jeanne - Jenny L Wright
Mr. Mahmoud / Jameel / Maestro - Antoine Yared
Rehearsal Swing - Kira Chisholm
Rehearsal Swing - Naomi Ngebulana
Conductor, Piano, Accordion - Douglas Price
Violin, Accordion - Anna Atkinson
Flutes, Reeds, Pipes - Spencer Murray
Vocals, Qanun, Oud, Percussion - Maryem Tollar
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Author - Ann-Marie MacDonald
Director / Adaptor / Co-Creator - Alisa Palmer
Writer / Adaptor / Co-Creator - Hannah Moscovitch
Associate Director - Cherissa Richards
Choreographer - Natasha Powell
Associate Choreographer - Holly Wood Jade
Associate Choreographer - Terek A Tyler-Davis
Music Supervisor & Composer - Sean Mayes
Set Designer - Camellia Koo
Costume Designer - Judith Bowden
Associate Costume Designer - Joyce Padua
Lighting Designer - Leigh Ann Vardy
Sound Designer - Brian Kenny
Audio Engineer - Brandon Wells
Technical Director - Daniel Bennett
Associate Music Supervisor - Douglas Price
Fight & Sexual Choreographer - Anita Nittoly
Dramaturg - Mel Hague
Dialect Coach - Jane Gooderham
Dialect & Disability Consultant - Yousef Kadoura
Stage Manager - Michael Hart
Assistant Stage Manager - Sarah Miller
Apprentice Stage Manager - Virg Iredale