Our First Production and Live Show
This was our first public performance of our first production, at Cape Breton University's Boardmore Playhouse. Two shows only: Friday evening and Sunday matinee. We were not sure how the show would go. Our first full run-through was the dress rehearsal the previous afternoon! The Friday show had been completely bought out by our Gold Sponsor: RE/MAX Park Place Inc. Tickets for the Sunday matinee had gone on sale through our website and were completely sold out. There were even posts on Facebook looking for tickets!
Some of the highlights from my perspective (Joanie Cunningham):
– The puppeteers were as calm as cucumbers, it was the family members who were crazy excited!
– Seeing family members in the audience watching their puppeteers on stage, full of pride!
– Hearing my son Nico, then three, yell Pigs when the first pig puppet came onstage!
– Watching the young puppeteers and ninjas doing their parts without any guidance whatsoever!
– Trying to get our wolf, Brian, off the stage after his dancing part … he was having too much fun!
– Seeing Adele, who handled Beoinkse, add dance moves that made her puppet really come alive!
– Finding out that Emma, aka the butterfly, had to have a microphone!
– Jillian, who handled DJ Jazzy Hogg, provided most of her dance moves.. was a perfect match!
– And finally, receiving a crushing bear hug from Ian after that first performance… the best ever.
This cast received standing ovations both nights. Two shows were not enough for them. It really ended too soon. Made the decision to push on for following years pretty easy.
Check out some of the photos from these shows in our Photo Gallery.
Meet the Cast
Our cast consists of a dynamic group of individuals with Down Syndrome. They are committed and excited to provide an evening of entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy.
Here are the stars of the show!
DJ Jazzy Hogg – handled by Jillian Dunn
Hi, my name is Jillian Dunn. I’m 16 years old. I’m in grade 11 at the best school in the world, Sydney Academy.
I love to dance, sing and play guitar. I also love to read. My favorite book is Twilight. I like to hang out or go to the movies with my best friend Brandy. I’m happy to be a member of the Weird Beard Troupe. It’s a lot of fun.
I live in Sydney with my parents and older sister Lauren, and my dog Zoey.
Beoinkse Hogg – handled by Adele Warner
Hi, my name is Adele Warner. I live in Glace Bay. I graduated from Glace Bay High and audited some courses at CBU. I worked 4 years at Jewels and Gems Daycare and go to Cooking class at Marconi Campus. I like to stepdance, act, bowl, and I like all kinds of music. In 2004 my biggest dream came true when “The Accents “ invited me to perform with them on stage at the Savoy Theater in their Christmas show. I love the WeirdBeard Troupe. There are lots of new things to learn and nice people to meet. Remember, follow your dreams and make all of come them true. Believe in yourself and you can do anything.
Mick Hogg – handled by Ian MacIssac
Hi, my name is Ian MacIsaac and I am 13 years old. I live in River Ryan with my parents and my sister Clare and twin brother Blair. I am now in grade 7 at Breton Education Centre and love junior high. I love acting with the WeirdBeard Troupe and have fun every week practicing on stage and with just hanging out with the cast and crew. I hope you will enjoy the show as much as I do.
BB Wolf – handled by Brian MacIntyre
Hi my name is Brian MacIntyre and I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I am 17 years old and in Grade 12 at Sydney Academy. I live with my Mom & Dad, brother Brandon (15) and my dog, Sampson.
WeirdBeard Troupe is made for me because I am a great actor and I also have Down syndrome.
The Butterfly – handled by Emma Wilson
Hi! My name is Emma Wilson and I am in grade 8 at Malcolm Munroe Jr. High. I live in Westmount with my parents, older brother and my dog Roscoe. I love swimming, art, listening to music and going to concerts, especially Taylor Swift! Being a part of the WeirdBeard Troupe has been so much fun, I can't wait for the next show!
A Flower – handled by Jenna Gouthro
Hi, my name is Jenna Gouthro. I am six years old. I am in grade 1 at Brookland Elementary School.
I love books, drawing, legos and music. I have two cats; Angus and Soxs which I adore. I love to hang out with my friends at Sparks and play soccer. I live with my parents and older brother Quinn. My favourite thing about the WeirdBeard Troupe is the friends that I have made and getting involved. I have lots of fun!
A Flower – handled by Ryan Delaney
Meet the Crew
We had wonderful volunteers. Here they are…
Candace Youden – Choreography
Carol Cunningham – Music Logistics
I’ve been happy to help the Cruise Director, mostly with music development and sometimes as a sounding board for ideas. I’m very glad to be part of this group and project and can’t wait to enjoy the show!
Courtney DeJeet – Ninja
Derek Gallant – Photography
My name is Derek Gallant and I am the owner of The Winning Shot photography & design. When Joanie talked to me about working with the WeirdBeard Troupe I jumped right in. I feel so honored to part of something so amazing. It’s been a thrill getting to know all those involved in the Troupe. Some of my favorite studio shoots ever, were spent rocking out some tunes and letting the cast members work their magic. Oh and how many photographers get to post on their blog that they have several pigs hanging in the studio for a shoot???
Devin Farrell – Soundtrack Sound Engineering
My name is Devin Anthony Farrell and I am the owner of De.A.F audio. I run a small recording studio and work with local artists to help produce and work on demos. I've jumped on board with this great project recently to help assist with working on the audio tracks and help record the narration. Looking forward to meeting everyone involved!
James Munroe – The Voice of Mr. WeirdBeard
I'm a local musician, actor, and voiceover artist who programs and does sound design, arranging, and composition. Joanie captured my imagination and did me a great honour with the offer to voice the role of Mr. WeirdBeard for this wonderfully fun and innovative project. The wily wizard has taken up residence among the multiple personae of my already crowded head 😉 Here's hoping you find him as magical and inspiring a character as I do!
Joan & Vince Cunningham – Endless Babysitting
Joanie Cunningham – Producer
I'm the Cruise Director on the SS WeirdBeard, sailing on the Blacklight Sea.
Kyle MacDonald – Website Development
I am the web developer of WeirdBeard. WeirdBeard was an interesting project to work on, kind of popped up all of a sudden for me, but after hearing what it was all about and seeing design, I was pleased to be part of it.
Maggie Musgrave – Ninja
Maria Georghiou – The Voice of the Beard & Puppeteer
Mathew Georghiou – Book Layout
Business and creative advisor, childcare, lawncare, battery charger, …
Maynard Morrison & Bette MacDonald
Providers of moral support, encouragement and some choice scripting.
Parker Donham – Script Writer
Todd Hiscock – Advisor
Vicki Devoe – Choreography
I bumped into this amazing project unexpectedly and it has been an absolute delight learning to tango as one big happy family. Everyone involved has so much energy and enthusiasm, it's a joy to be a part of every hop, skip and jump along the way!
Wendy McElmon – Graphics
I am WeirdBeard’s Graphic Designer. From the troupe logo, sponsorship package, website and more goodies to come, it’s been a blast and honor collaborating with the crew to help represent this fantastic production and to get our community excited to partake.
The decision to sink roots back into Cape Breton soil, was greeted with this amazing opportunity to be involved with something that makes me really giddy. Growing up and still to this day I admit; no other TV shows made me wiggle quite like Fraggle Rock and the Muppet Show. I have no doubt that our Troupe of inspiring young people will remind our audience to embrace imagination, to sing loud and often, and of course, to dance their cares away, in a whole new way.
Zach Borden – Puppeteer & Stage Hand
Hi my name is Zach Borden and I am 11 years old and my brother sings and my mom helps also. I will be in the back in the dark helping with the puppets and props.