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Journey Down the Rabbit Hole - RAWacting + Special Discount Code

RAW is a very important part of our production of Rabbit Hole... for MANY reasons. 

Raw, honest performance is what every artist strives for. Following instincts, connection, truth and electric chemistry is something that each of our featured actors have in common. And that is thanks to Rooney Actors Workshop aka RAW studios.

Owner, Sophie Ann Rooney has quickly become one of Toronto’s top acting coaches. Her scene study, on-camera and advanced Bar classes at RAW are consistently filled every session with some of Toronto's hottest talent. With new students joining the RAWactors family each session, the name RAW is become very well known throughout the industry for top working artists. More information on classes at RAW can be found HERE.

Sophie teaches the Strasberg method as well as influences from her years teaching and training in Europe’s most reputable establishments. In addition to her coaching, she is an award winning director and co-director of Sterling Theatre company. You can read more about Sophie HERE

The journey to Rabbit Hole actually began in RAW's Tuesday Night Industry class. Lindsey, Tyler and myself were all assigned scenes from the play and we instantly fell in love with story and our characters. In true Sophie fashion, we were given amazing challenges to help us get find the truth in our work.

A personal favourite was when Lindsey and I went on a "sister date" in true Izzy and Becca form! I (the Type A, control freak, older sister) dragged my wild child, younger sister out to paint pottery. Naturally, Lindsey left her purse in a coffee shop and had to run out in the middle of pottery to find it. That day proved that the characters just seemed to fit us so perfectly.

Fast forward to a year later, with two new RAW actors (Rhea & Nathan) in the mix we were getting ready to jump into rehearsals. In order to prep for a quick rehearsal process with Sophie, we took it upon ourselves to do some homework of our own. Sensory work, dates, interviews with BFO group leaders, shopping, chocolate binges and family dinners all seemed like a natural part of the process when approaching the work with like minded actors. 

Sophie has helped us develop all aspects of our relationships with each other and with the story and has given us the freedom to play. It's unlike any rehearsal process I've experienced before. Each night will be a new adventure... you may want to get multiple tickets for this one, because you'll never see the exact same show twice.

FOR TODAY ONLY use the promo code: RAWacting to get tickets for Rabbit Hole for only $15!!! Get your tickets HERE and be sure to use your promo code.


*** We want to say a special thank you to Sophie for opening up this wonderful space for us to hold our rehearsals in. It's been an awesome ride so far. 




Journey Down the Rabbit Hole - Meet our Director - Sophie Ann Rooney

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”
― Leo Tolstoy

Sophie Ann Rooney is an award winning filmmaker for her short film ‘Fallen Fighter’. She is also one of Toronto's top acting coaches and the owner of RAW studios where most of her classes continue to have waitlists due to their popularity. 

Sophie is Sterling Theatre Company’s Co-Founding Artistic Director; producing 27plays in just over two years. She has directed theatre in Paris, Vancouver and most recently directed ‘MACBETH’ which sold out every show.

With an all RAW cast, we are incredibly grateful to have Sophie on board. We can't wait to bring Sophie's techniques to our rehearsal process and her vision for Rabbit Hole to life. 

Director's Note for Rabbit Hole: 

When one experiences grief, one may want to escape down a rabbit hole, or feel like Alice spinning out of control tumbling to the ground. To out-live your child is one of the biggest fears as a parent, and for those who have lived it, with the range of emotion, thoughts and physical toll, it could easily be unsurmountable. This play deals with family grief but also shines a light on white prejudice and privilege.

The playwright is sending a message here, trust me. Some may argue that these characters are not the easiest to love (they could be right) we should certainly question their integrity and bigotry, especially as I am a strong believer that art should reflect the time (Donald Trump, am I right?).

However the given circumstances this family is living (the death of their child) is shared amongst a large portion of the world, therefore Rabbit Hole is a universal story that needs to be told and honoured with human sensitivity and empathy with lightness and darkness portrayed, with the heart and integrity the playwright intended which serves as a reminder for us to check our privilege no matter how hard we deem our lives. Nathan, Rhea, Lindsey, Tyler and Courtney are the perfect team to tell this story.

You can keep in touch with Sophie on Twitter:  @RAWacting & @SophieAnnRooney well as on her Instagram HERE. You can connect with her RAW Studio on Facebook HERE

To order advanced tickets (at a discounted price) check out Rabbit Hole's Eventbrite page!!!  There are 17 performances to choose from. 

If you'd like to take advantage of exclusive opening/closing night parties with complementary Frisky Beaver Wine and hors d'oeuvres, dinner/theatre packages with Braised or Triple A, behind the scenes time with the cast or would like to donate directly to Bereaved Families of Ontario please check out our Indiegogo Campaign HERE.

See you at the theatre!








Journey Down the Rabbit Hole - Meet Nathan Taylor

Rabbit Hole is Nathan's introduction to the Toronto theatre scene! He is proud to share that he was the recipient of Sophie Ann Rooney's RAW studio scholarship for 2017 and is incredibly excited to fine tune his acting technique and push his artist to new limits while immersed in classes at RAW.

You can find Nathan behind the lens snapping photos at some of Toronto's top industry events so be sure to check out some of his amazing photography featured on his Instagram page. Nathan recently became an ACTRA Apprentice after booking an OSPA commercial, so keep an eye out for Nathan on your T.V screen. Past TV credits include “Motive and Murders” on DiscoveryID. 


Exclusive Interview with Nathan who plays Jason.

1. What drew you to this story?

What draws me to the story of Rabbit Hole is the amount of truth that can be told within it, from the perspective of a family losing a child at a young age. It's heart wrenching material, a story that makes people feel uncomfortable but should be known and expressed because the world isn't perfect.

2. Tell me a little bit about your character.

My character is Jason Willete, a teenager about to leave his family to go off to college. He loves science and has good friends at school who care about him. A determined and caring person. 

3. How are you similar/ different to your character?

I'm similar to Jason in the way, I've been through high school, I've got good friends, I love science like him, and I care about other peoples feelings over my own, even in dire situations.

4. What has been the biggest challenge so far tackling the subject matter involved in the play?

Rabbit Hole is an important story to tell because in the world we live in now, people are told to forget about their past more often and focus on the future, but this story shows the past shapes our futures. As a family and as people, events that have happened within our lives are never forgotten, they always leave a mark that doesn't just fade away like people expect. This story shows, the time will pass but the hurt never disappears. 

5. Do you have a favourite rehearsal memory yet?

The first time reading through the play, Lindsey thought I was 15 because I put on my younger voice while reading. That was funny. Plus the food was good and we drank wine afterwards.

You can follow Nathan on Instagram HERE

To order advanced tickets (at a discounted price) check out Rabbit Hole's Eventbrite page!!!  There are 17 performances to choose from. 

If you'd like to take advantage of exclusive opening/closing night parties with complementary Frisky Beaver Wine and hors d'oeuvres, dinner/theatre packages with Braised or Triple A, behind the scenes time with the cast or would like to donate directly to Bereaved Families of Ontario please check out our Indiegogo Campaign HERE.

See you at the theatre!



Journey Down the RABBIT HOLE

Rabbit Hole is a stunning story about one families journey after the loss of their child, and we are so incredibly excited to share David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize winning story.

We have an incredible cast lined up lead by award winning director, Sophie Ann Rooney and we've decided to give you an inside look at all of the puzzle pieces that have come together to tell this story. 

Stay tuned for lots of behind the scenes information as we lead up to our opening night on January 24th! Did I mention you can get advanced tickets (for a CHEAPER price) RIGHT HERE?

We have blogs featuring each of the cast members: Courtney Deelen (Becca), Tyler McMaster (Howie), Linsdey Middleton (Izzy), Rhea Akler (Nat) and Nathan Taylor (Jason), as well as our director Sophie Ann Rooney.

You'll get the inside story of how we all fell in love with the play and what our RAW collective is all about. You'll also get a glimpse into our rehearsal process as method actors.

As the theme of this play is loss, we've decided to connect with Bereaved Families of Ontario and donate a portion of our ticket sales to them. We will have an exclusive blog about this incredible organization and how you can help raise awareness and support them. 

 We've got feature blogs for our sponsors... Smokin' Beaver Winery, Braised & Triple A, all of which have featured perks in our Indiegogo Campaign.

Did I mention we are also running an Indiegogo Campaign to help us get our show off of the ground? We have some INCREDIBLE perks that include dinner/ticket packages, exclusive opening and closing night tickets with free wine & hors d'oeuvres, and special 50/50 perks that give straight to Bereaved Families of Ontario.

 PLEASE check it out HERE and grab one of our awesome perks. 

Stay tuned for more goodness and come join us at the theatre!



NOT Another TIFF Party Wrap-Up

Now that the TIFF festivities have been over for some time now, and all of the glitter has settled we've had time to sit back and see how absolutely lucky we are to have such wonderful people in our lives. 

First of all, we must send out another HUGE thank you to all of the people to helped make this night a success. Kelsey Willmott & Sam Hachey you both dominated our social media contest and made the night run more smoothly than we could have imagined. You guys are rock stars and we're SO LUCKY to have you on the Deelen with Trouble team.

A HUGE shoutout to our sponsors Smokin' Beaver Winery for providing our Frisky Beaver trio for the evening. We got glowing reviews from our guests and have found some new Frisky Beaver fans! 

Honeybutter Desserts provided the highlight of the sweets table with the most adorably, delicious macarons and Marlene Matos-Jones created incredible, personalized cookies to showcase the hosts of the evening. I am now 5lbs heavier thanks to both of you.

Thank you to everyone who donated to our raffle table! 17 people went home with killer prizes thanks to all of you. Jessica Rose Photography, Flex & Smash Fitness, Metro Movement, Roots For Wings Healing, Robin's Healing Nest, Photo By JoH, Shop M Boutique, The Second City, Avoca Chocolates, Studio Blue, DJ D-Rock 

AND FINALLY a HUGE thank you to our co-hosts of the evening!! LambLion for sharing their stunning music with us and Sophie Ann Rooney for her incredible GRAND PRIZE and for the use of the RAW studio

The winner of the GRAND PRIZE..... a full 6-week, scene study workshop at RAW Studio's is..... (drum roll)....... Meghan Frayne!!!!  You are going to LOVE working with Sophie and welcome to the RAW family.

Here are some of the incredible photos captured throughout the night by the wonderful Nathan Taylor!!! Thank you SO much or capturing these moments 

We can't wait to see what next year's NOT Another TIFF Party will bring!

Thank you to everyone who came out to join us! Thank you to everyone who couldn't come but still bought tickets. Thank you for supporting LambLion! Because of your help, we have the resources to make their first music video amazing!

We're ready to shoot and can't wait to see you at the Norfolk County Fair on Thursday. Oct. 6th at 3:00! Join us and be a part of the action




Countdown to our NOT Another TIFF Party Fundraiser

DAY #17 - TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!!!

I'm gonna keep this one SUPER short, as I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off to complete all of the finishing touches for tonight's event.

All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart for any and everyone who gave their time, their resources, their talents to make this event as incredible as it can be!

Our goal was to make this an event that our guests would love to be a part of, and we can't wait for you to join us! Come check out Sophie ann Rooney' amazing, acting space that is our home for the evening RAW studio. Come get lost listening to LambLion's soulful music. Come try Smokin' Beavers award winning Frisky Beaver Wines.

Come mix and mingle with casting directors, indie filmmakers, producers, directors, musicians, actors, CREATIVES at all stages of their careers. And you get the chance to win some pretty amazing stuff!




P.S Even if you can't make it, we would still LOVE your support in funding LambLion's first music video... sooooo buy a ticket anyway. We will still put your name in the draw to WIN our grand prize. A $460.00 spot in Sophie Ann Rooney's (already close to full) Thursday Scene Study Class, for next session. I'd say that's a pretty damn good deal!





Countdown to our NOT Another TIFF Party

DAY #16 -  I can't believe it. Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! Time has absolutely flown by. Today's blog is all about the details of tomorrow's event!

First of all, I'm so excited to announce our host for the evening, Farid Yazdani! You've probably seen him around, as he has been working like crazy! Farid is also heavily involved with ACTRA's YEAA committee and is a regular host of the increasingly popular Toronto Monologue Slam!

Farid Yazdani is an award winning Canadian actor, producer and writer. He is best know for his role on Suits (2011) and is the creator and star of Day Players.

A graduate of the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Etobicoke, he quickly began to book roles in TV, Film, and Commercials. He can be seen guest staring in shows such as Odd Squad (2014), My Babysitter's a Vampire (2011) and XIII: The Series (2011). His most recent achievements include winning the coveted Toronto Monologue Slam and producing and starring in his own film, "Day Players".

Recently signing with Bryan Misener of The Characters, one of Canada's top agencies, he can be seen on USA's Suits (2011) as the recurring character, David Green.

Be sure to follow Farid on Twitter - @Farid_Yazdani  and Instagram -  @faridyazdani and come see how hilarious he is in person, tomorrow night!

NEXT UP, we've got some details for the PRIZES!!! We have TONS of opportunities to WIN

EVERYONE who purchases a ticket will get the chance to win the GRAND PRIZE... A spot in Sophie Ann Rooney's Thursday Scene Study Class (6 weeks/next session) worth over $460.00!!!

SO even if you can't make it to the event, grab a ticket on line HERE and you will still get the chance to WIN this incredible prize. IT'S THAT EASY


We also have a social media contest with our official wine sponsor Smokin' Beaver Winery! Come out and enjoy Frisky Red, Frisky White or Blushing Beaver wines and let them know what you think! Use the hashtag #FriskyAtTIFF and tag @FriskyBeaver1 on Twitter or @friskybeaverwines on Instagram and you could WIN a special Smoke & Gamble reserve wine gift package!


Onto the list of AMAZING raffle Prizes!!!

Here's how it works. For $10, you get 10 raffle tickets to put into the raffle prizes that YOU want to win the most. Are you in the market for head shots? Increase your chances and put all of your tickets into the headshot jar. You want to try for 10 prizes, spread them out. Hey buy 20 tickets!

If you need to leave early, don't worry you can still win some of the bigger prizes.

Write your name on your ticket number and we will let you know if you win a prize that get's drawn in the evening.



- A mini headshot session with JESSICA ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY

- A Fitness Assessment & Personal Training session with Aniko Kaszas FLEX & SMASH FITNESS

- A 5 Class Dance Card from METRO MOVEMENT

- TWO $75 gift packages from BATH & BODY WORKS

- An Oracle Reading from ROOTS FOR WINGS HEALING

- One Reiki or one IET® session from ROBIN'S HEALING NEST

- A mini headshot session with PHOTO BY JOH

- A $50 gift certificate and a personal style consult at SHOP M BOUTIQUE 

- Two tickets from THE SECOND CITY


- A beautiful dark chocolate sculpted shoe from AVOCA CHOCOLATES


- Two handmade necklaces featuring glass, gold flecked beads from DAWSON CITY YUKON

- A one on one yoga class with JULIE TESOLIN and a FREE class at STUDIO BLUE

- A Jam Session with LAMBLION

- A FREE Night of DJ services from DJ Derek D-ROCK Gilroy!!!


Plus FREE sweets all night, featuring cookies by Marlene Matos Jones, cupcakes by moi and stunning macarons from Honeybutter Desserts!


LambLion will be playing 3 musical sets at 9:15, 10:30 and 12:00 with an OPEN MIC for all of those singers out there who want to join in!

We can't wait to celebrate with you all! It's going to be one hell of a night!!!