The Tortoise & The Hare!

The classic tale of the Tortoise & Hare is retold in a very weird way by our very own Mr WeirdBeard! Shelly the tortoise, Chase the hare, Ms Jazzy Bear the music teacher, and Iggy the sly salesman …. all part of the Big Race. There are a few distractions along the way and a big surprise waiting at the finish line! Curious? You’ll have to come to the show and see for yourself. Just be prepared for some great music and maybe even a sing-along!


We are performing at Cape Breton University's Boardmore Playhouse… three dates only:

  • Friday 7pm, May 23

  • Saturday 2pm, May 24

  • Sunday 2pm, May 25



Ticket Information

CBU Playhouse Box Office 563-1652
1:00pm to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and one hour before show time.
The box office will open one week prior to performances and during the week of performances.
General Seating for all plays.


$12.00 general $8.00 students and seniors, $6 CBU students



More Details to Follow… Stay Tuned!



Meet the Cast

Our cast consists of a dynamic group of individuals with Down syndrome, and their families and friends.  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!




Jonathan and Mr WeirdBeard

Mr WeirdBeard – handled by Jonathan Vassallo

Hi, I'm Jonathan Vassallo, I am 23 years old, I enjoy bowling swimming and horseback riding. I love to listen to music and watch movies. I graduated from Sydney Academy in 2010 with Honours. I really like being part of The WeirdBeard Troupe. It's lots of fun.















Emma Wilson and Shelly

Shelly – 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!















Jillian Dunn and Chase

Chase – handled by Jillian Dunn

Eighteen year old Jillian Dunn is a grade 12 student at the best school ever, Sydney Academy! She’s looking forward to her Prom this year. Jillian says she was “born to act” and loves being a part of WeirdBeard and performing live on stage with her friends. She also enjoys music, dance, rhythm gymnastics and camping with her extended family in Cheticamp. She lives in Sydney with mom, dad and big sister Lauren and her dog Zoey.














Adele Warner and Ms Jazzy BearMs Jazzy Bear – 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.







Chad and IggyIggy the Lizzard – handled by Chad Edwards





















More Cast Members to Follow – Stay Tuned!




Meet the Crew

We have wonderful volunteers. Here they are…




Bernadette Borden – Ninja

Hi, my name is Bernadette Borden (Bernie) and I'm a volunteer with the WeirdBeard Troupe. I'm having so… much fun with all of the participants!! Thank you for allowing me to take this amazing journey with the WeirdBeard Troupe. Rock on guys.



Brandon Ferguson – Cinematography



Candace Youden – Choreography & Ninja



Carolyn Guy – Puppet Maker

I am the president of the board of directors of The WeirdBeard Troupe. As well, I have created the large butterfly puppet and the bumblebee puppet seen during the transition between scenes in The Three Little Pigs. I will be on hand during the night of the performances to assist as one of the crew. I am excited to be a part of the WeirdBeard Troupe as I am inspired by Joanie Cunnigham's vision for individuals with Down Syndrome.



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???



Jason Lefrense – Cinematography



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!



Jennifer Halliday – Puppet Maker



Joan & Vince Cunningham – Endless Babysitting



Joanie Cunningham – Producer

I'm the Cruise Director on the SS WeirdBeard, sailing on the Blacklight Sea.



Karen DeAdder – Stage Manager & Prop Maker



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.



Laurel MacDougall – Ninja

I'm one of the happy "newbies" on board this year with the WeirdBeard Troupe. Following my experience as a member of the audience last year for the 3 Pigs I knew I needed to become part of this wonderful journey of Joanie's and her crew of little ones! Working with children is my calling in life– year after year it still amazes me how much I learn from each of them. Having the honour of working with some of the young crew members (past & present) it brought me great joy to see how proud they were following each performance.


How inspiring for both the crew and the audience as a whole to have such a creative mind with a strong vision behind the scenes to share the importance and the power of BELONGING and INCLUSION. For this Joanie we are thankful. I, myself, am glad to "belong" to the wonderful world of the WeirdBeard Troupe! A quote from one of my favourite books—— "HEY! I'M A LITTLE KID AND I CAN DO ALOT!" Lights/Camera/Action —Roll It!



Lorna MacLean – Puppet & Prop Maker

I'm Vice-President on the Board of Directors and co-puppet-maker with Joanie… she dreamed a dream, invited me along and now it just feels like I've been at a never-ending "dress-up party"! When my 2 year old grandson said "Granny, where are all your big nornange pigs gone?" I realized puppets had taken over my house and my heart. Despite the time and labour, the magic we were creating kept us smiling. Making plans for the next show before the first one is over is a sure indication we're having fun and that we're here to stay! So turn down the lights, click on the blacklight and let these great kids take you places they never thought possible.



Maggie Musgrave – Ninja



Maria Georghiou – Baby Bird and Ninja



Max Kearns – Ninja



Nicholas Guy – Baby Bird and Ninja



Nigel Kearns – Prop Maker

C0-Master of the Dark Side. "May the Foam be with you."



Robyn Neal – Choreography & Ninja



Lisa MacPhee – Prop Maker



Mathew Georghiou – Book Layout

Business and creative advisor, childcare, stirfry chef, battery charger, …



Quinn Gouthro – Ninja



Steven Rolls – Prop Maker

Young Apprentice of the Dark Side

Every now and then a project pops up which makes to say “Boy, do I have to be part of that”. That is exactly what WeirdBeard was for me. I love a creative idea and being able to build so I’ve hung up my computer mouse, jointed the Dark Side and am helping pump out set pieces. “I have never worked so hard of things that will never be seen”.

P.S. The building goes much easier once you realize the construction does not have to happen in complete blackness.



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.