June 2015

Four Ensemble Shows From Montreal Fringe 2015
As posted in Mobtréal
This article appeared in the June 18 2015 edition of Mobtréal.com IN SEARCH OF MRS. PIRANDELLO Author/Actor MICHAELA DI CESARE has done a PH.D worthy job of discovering fragments of paper in dusty Italian archives to devise a dramatic answer to her puzzlement that the very existence of a wife to Nobel playwright Luigi Pirandello was evidenced only by a... (Read more)
Fringe Festival Reviews: Feminist Themes and Double Verrucci
As posted in Montreal Rampage
This article appeared in the June 9, 2015 edition of Montreal Rampage Most Fringe shows haven’t opened yet. I made a point of catching a rather feminist trio of shows, though each one is a very different image of womanhood. Nadia Verrucci brings a unique type of madness to two different shows. A Nightmare for Oberon Shakespeare’s most notorious women,... (Read more)
Fringe 2015 ‘wish list’
As posted in Tales from the Dark Side Cafe
This article appeared in the June 8, 2015 edition of Tales from the Dark Side Cafe I started writing this latest post while playing Yatzee on the St-Ambroise terrasse with a bunch of fellow-Fringers; some of them are Fringe staff, some are long-time friends of the festivals, others are volunteers, but we are all playing this game for the first... (Read more)

August 2014

On the boards: Lotus at The Arts Project
As posted in London Free Press
This article appeared in the August 6, 2014 edition of London Free Press By Joe Belanger, The London Free Press Wednesday, August 6, 2014 5:13:56 EDT PM The Play: Lotus, a new play by Caitlin Murphy (who wrote the hit Fringe show The Ladies Room). Lotus is described as a “provocative, dark comedy about our digital daze . . .... (Read more)
LOTUS: Homegrown Hopegrown Hits a home run
As posted in Donald's Dish
This article appeared in the August 5, 2014 edition of Donald’s Dish By Jason Menard One Hour, plus post-production Q&A Hopegrown Productions’ presentation of LOTUS at The ARTS Project may be a successful homecoming for the playwright and actors – but it’s by no means a happy one. LOTUS slowly blossoms into a contemporary tragedy filled with sorrow and dark... (Read more)

July 2014

Old friendships lead to new show at The Arts Project
As posted in London Community News
This article appeared in the July 25, 2014 edition of London Community News By Sean Meyer In the four years she spent studying theater at Montreal’s Concordia University, and in the time since, Miriam Cummings has noticed a frustrating lack of quality acting roles for women. Cummings, who grew up in London before leaving for Concordia in 2009, joined with... (Read more)
Beating the Bechdel Test
As posted in Metro.ca
This article appeared in the July 24, 2014 edition of Metro The start of an acting career carries all sorts of challenges for young women, but London’s about to welcome three who are setting their own standards. Londoner Miriam Cummings is part of Hopegrown Productions, a theatre group which has three female members determined to play strong roles and tell... (Read more)
Hopegrown Productions brings Londoner home again
As posted in The Londoner
This nice article appeared in the Tuesday, July 15, 2014 edition of The Londoner Hopegrown Productions — a Montreal-based theatre company founded in part by Forest City native Miriam Cummings — will be making a stop in London this August with a brand new Canadian play by another former Londoner, writer Caitlin Murphy. LOTUS, a two-hander that explores serious issues... (Read more)

June 2014

Quietly powerful. Eerily compelling. Deeply disturbing.
As posted in Festival St-Ambroise Fringe De Montréal
Some plays waste no time with one quick punch to the collective face of their audiences. Others prefer to fire off a rapid succession of emotional blows over the course of their varied running times. But the dramatic effect that LOTUS has on its audience is something rather different, if not altogether unique, and it takes a great deal of... (Read more)
The Facebook Wall
As posted in The Charlebois Post
By Sarah Deshaies. It’s a bold and tempting move to rip a story from the headlines, so-to-speak, and make it your own. Playwright Caitlin Murphy’s Lotus riffs quite nicely on the threads of cyberbullying, teen rape and the permanency of actions that we’ve seen played out in the news on a regular basis now. Dark content, to be sure, but... (Read more)
OnStage: Review: LOTUS (Montreal Fringe)
As posted in OnStage Ottawa
June 17, 2014 by Matthew Champ The 12:45 PM Sunday show of Lotus was nearly sold out, not surprising after Hopegrown Productions 2013 Fringe hit Around Miss Julie. I’m sure there was a lot of pressure to live up to the show that Hopegrown Productions put on last year and Lotus is a valiant effort. Written, by Caitlin Murphy, on... (Read more)
Bloody Underated: For The Love Of Pie, Crook Of My Dreams, LOTUS
As posted in Bloody Underated
BY Scott Humphrey LOTUS Hopegrown Productions, winners of last year’s Spirit of the FRINGE award here in Montreal, are back with a new piece: LOTUS. Born out of the stories of Amanda Todd and Rehteah Parsons, Caitlin Murphy has written this new play about “how one person’s suffering is never discrete” — a single event can create waves of pain... (Read more)
The Visitorium: Montreal Fringe-Coma 2014 – LOTUS
As posted in The Visitorium
BY KEVIN REID Yay, two shows in a row at the same venue! Music to my ears, or rather my feet, which are getting pretty tender now that I’m two days and 10 shows in at the Montreal Fringe…I keep forgetting how spoiled we are for venues in Ottawa. And speaking of Ottawa Fringe, last year when I made my... (Read more)
The Montreal Gazette: Montreal Fringe Festival Marathon Continues
Pat Donnely of The Gazette says LOTUS is worth the detour.
BY PAT DONNELLY, GAZETTE THEATRE CRITIC JUNE 15, 2014 The first weekend of a fringe festival is always a marathon, a test of how many shows can be visited within the space of a day. Because Montreal Fringe Festival veterans know that most of the good shows will have long lineups next weekend. Accessibility is seldom an issue on the... (Read more)
The Montreal Gazette: Montreal Fringe Festival: High hopes by the dozen
Pat Donnely of The Gazette picks LOTUS among the best
Breaking news: LOTUS makes @patstagepage Top 12 Fringe Picks!! BY PAT DONNELLY, GAZETTE THEATRE CRITIC JUNE 13, 2014 MONTREAL — Decisions, decisions. Since there are 110 shows to choose from at this year’s Montreal Fringe Festival, the choosing demands careful consideration. The 24th edition of this democratic annual festival, which gives all performing artists a fighting chance to draw an... (Read more)

May 2014

The Montreal Gazette: The queen bees of the Fringe
First mainstream media Mention for LOTUS
This article appeared in the May 30 2014 edition of the Gazette. MONTREAL — When I began looking at the Montreal Fringe Festival from the “girl power” perspective last week, I was mainly thinking of young playwrights like Johanna Nutter who have launched their careers through this annual performing arts festival, as well as those like Melissa Paulson who are... (Read more)
LOTUS Posters have gone to print!
And they look very good
LOTUS posters have gone to print! Thanks to Rubiks! These’ll soon hang all-over! (Read more)

August 2013

Theatre Review -- Around Miss Julie
as featured on Three Weeks Edinburgh
Based on the famous work by August Stringberg ‘Around Miss Julie’ takes an interesting and amusing take on the classic text. Focusing on the actors putting on a version of the play, this show is a must watch for any performer or director. Creating comedic moments from the perils of early rehearsal and ‘how they were going to ‘do’ the... (Read more)
Around of Applause
as featured on BroadwayBaby.com
It’s rare that, at the close of a play, I’m still anxious to follow its characters around, still curious about their lives and where they lead but after the uproarious, somewhat abrupt close of Around Miss Julie, which follows the lives and loves of three Canadian actors as they rehearse an ill-fated contemporary adaptation (‘Miss Julie in a Snowstorm’) of... (Read more)

July 2013

Hamilton Fringe 2013 Reviews
as featured on View Magazine Online
Around Miss Julie Review by Katie Penrose This is an interestingly–written play with a vibrant main character Julie, who is funny in an unusual way and almost glows with her strange qualities. Bubbly, full of hope, fresh–faced Julie has come into some money recently and by unorthodox means intends to produce and direct a play with the cash for personal... (Read more)
Around Miss Julie (second review)
as featured on Hamilton Fringe Festival Community Reviews
Playwright: Harry Standjofski Director: Norah Paton Cast: Mitchell Cohen, Miriam Cummings, Lindsey Huebner, Samantha Megarry Review by: Katie Stoneman Art imitating, life imitating art. Around Miss Julie is a must see if you like a show with laughs and lots of sexual tension; a pretty good mix of things. It’s a play about putting on a play. Basically, it offers... (Read more)
Hopegrown Tour, Part 4, It’s a venue!
as featured on Bloody Underrated
By Miriam Cummings, Hopegrown Productions Getting to London, Ontario was the first true “people piled in a car road trip” leg of the tour. At 5:00am on July 2, Hopegrown (and Around Miss Julie) piled into two cars. Norah and Tariq (Sam’s boyfriend and arguably Hopegrown’s #1 Fan) got us safely into London with half an hour to spare before... (Read more)
Hopegrown Tour, Part 3, On to the next… Ottawa!
as featured on Bloody Underrated
By Norah Paton, Hopegrown Productions Ottawa was the first stop on our ʻhometown tourʼ of Ontario this summer. Leaving Montreal meant we were sort of living on the road, although with Lindsey and my parents both based in Ottawa, it also meant staying in nicer houses than our apartments in Montreal. We also left Tara and Sonya in Montreal, which... (Read more)
Around Miss Julie – Summer tour 2013…catch it while you can!
as featured on The Beat Magazine
By Trish West Around Miss Julie is an adaptation of an adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic play Miss Julie. Having had no prior knowledge of this classic, I wasn’t sure how much of the humor or story line I would catch. As the play progressed, I knew I didn’t have to worry, as the Playwright Harry Standjofski has set this... (Read more)
Kenneth Chisholm's Review – Around Miss Julie
as featured on Theatre In London
By Kenneth Chisholm Some actors can keep an intellectual wall around their roles, but for others, theatre is not always that emotionally simple. This play compellingly illustrates that truth with a challenging narrative where the actors’ roles and their personal lives intertwine to the point where differentiating each is a matter of interpretation. In a rented theatre, a small company’s... (Read more)
Hopegrown Tour, Part 2, Every new beginning
as featured on Bloody Underrated
By Lindsey Huebner, Hopegrown Productions Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end… Lines from the 13th Hour hit ‘Closing Time’ still rattle through my head, even days after our final a capella rendition. Post-show, post-Frankies, post-dance party, post-goodbyes, post-Montreal FRINGE: we found ourselves in the nation’s capital for round two. This was the play I never thought would... (Read more)

June 2013

Matthew’s Review – Around Miss Julie @ Ottawa Fringe 2013
as featured on Production Ottawa
By Matthew Champ Hopegrown Productions presents Around Miss Julie, a play about a group of actors who come together to rehearse and perform a pulpy, purple-prose adaptation of Miss Julie with the “guidance” of a young director who feels that she has something to prove. Coming in hot from Montreal Fringe, Around Miss Julie garnered two award nominations for Best... (Read more)
5 Fringe Questions with Hopegrown Productions
as featured on Visitorium
I admit that I never really heard of Montreal’s Hopegrown Productions until I found out they would be sharing a venue with me at my inaugural acting Fringe. Their original show, Around Miss Julie, just made its debut in Ottawa after tearing it up at Montreal Fringe. Consisting of Graham Berlin, Miriam Cummings, Lindsey Huebner, Samantha Megarry & Norah Paton,... (Read more)
On The Fringe Around Miss Julie
as featured on Hamilton Fringe
by Denyse Terry Around Miss Julie at the Hamilton Fringe Festival Five folks from Hopegrown Productions recently piled in to their rehearsal space to Skype-chat about their upcoming play, Around Miss Julie, and their extensive travel plans for the summer. The 45 minute show recently opened in Montreal and was nominated for Centaur Theatre’s Best Production: English Theatre Award. From... (Read more)
Fringe Review - Around Miss Julie
as featured on The Main - Montreal
Posted by Uma Hopegrown Productions’ debut performance of Around Miss Julie by Harry Standjofski is a refreshing piece of theatre. Being a play about putting on a play, it’s about as self-reflexive as theatre gets. It’s a performance that humorously reveals the ups and (mostly) downs of what goes on behind the scenes when putting on a play. Featuring a... (Read more)
Around Miss Julie - Two nominations
as featured on Festival St-Ambroise Fringe News
##Two nominations for Hopegrown’s Around Miss Julie! They are: ###Centaur Theatre Best Production: English Theatre Award Nominees (so far): 2 for Tea (Life & Depth) Around Miss Julie (Hopegrown Productions) The Birdmann (The BIRDMANN) Dandyman (Varietyville Productions) Good Housekeeping (R.L. Palestine) Fuck You! You fucking Perv! (Leslie Baker) Little Orange Man (SNAFU Dance Theatre) Peter n’ Chris Explore their Bodies... (Read more)
Around Miss Julie @ Ottawa Fringe 2013
as featured on Production Ottawa
By Josh Chenoweth Brought to you by Montréal’s Hopegrown Productions, Around Miss Julie tells the tale of a young theatre director and three actors adapting August Strindberg’s beloved classic while trying to deal with each other. Snowstorms, dead birds, and more await you in this dramedy penned by Harry Standjofski and directed by Norah Paton. ##ABOUT MISS JULIE (HOPEGROWN) By:... (Read more)
Fringe Interview Series CUTV - Around Miss Julie
as featured on Concordia University TV
Graham and Miriam are interviewed by Concordia University Television (CUTV) about Around Miss Julie. (Read more)
Around Miss Julie Gets the Part
as featured on The Link
Your Guide to FRINGE Fest 2013 By Alejandra Melian-Morse With a mission to bring more dynamic female roles to the stage, Hopegrown Productions showed promise in the pre-fringe hype, even managing to making it onto The Main’s list of Top 10 Fringe Picks . The play by Harry Standjofski does not disappoint. The team is successful not only in the... (Read more)
Much Hope for Hopegrown
as featured on The Link
Concordia Theatre Group Debuts Around Miss Julie at Fringe Fest  By Alejandra Melian-Morse  If having playwright and director Harry Standjofski as a professor has taught his students one thing, it’s that—in the theatre world especially—you have to create your own opportunities. As a group of recently graduated Concordia fine arts students, Miriam Cummings, Lindsey Huebner and Samantha Megarry have realized... (Read more)
Ladies Love Hopegrown Productions
as featured on The Main - Montreal
Posted by Lauren Marlowe  Photo: Hopegrown Productions  Hopegrown Productions was born out of necessity. Months earlier and a few months away from graduation, three fourth-year theatre students at Concordia University – Miriam Cummings, Lindsey Huebner and Samantha Megarry – in dreaded anticipation of the empty abyss of joblessness, post-study decided to find a play that they could possibly perform at... (Read more)
Hopegrown Tour, Part 1 - Out of the Classroom and On the Road
as featured on http://bloodyunderrated.net
We at Hopegrown are pragmatic. Since the Fall, we’ve been anticipating this moment: the dance between the exhilaration of completing an undergraduate degree and the crushing fear of the future. We wanted to keep busy in the face of the unknown, so we designed a 6-city summer tour. Now it’s June, so it’s time to collect our gowns for Convocation... (Read more)

May 2013

The Tension of Fresh out of School
as featured on The Charlebois Post - Canada
In September 2012, Hopegrown Productions was created by Miriam Cummings, Lindsey Huebner and Samantha Megarry to facilitate a 2013 Fringe Festival tour. Graduating from Concordia’s Theatre Performance program and keen to work together, the project was initiated to help bridge the gap between the academic and professional worlds. We commissioned Montreal playwright and director Harry Standjofski to write us a... (Read more)
Hopegrown Productions