Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 141 years

Play on Spiritualism in 1920s Winnipeg

2 January 2007

Theatre Projects Manitoba proudly presents the world premiere of:

The Elmwood Visitation
by Carolyn Gray
Directed by George Toles
Magic and illusion effects by Dean Gunnarson

Featuring Graham Ashmore, Monique Marcker, Harry Nelken, Miriam Smith, and Gordon Tanner.

16 - 25 February 2007
Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers Studio Theatre,
211 Bannatyne at Main Street (Crocus Building)

Tuesday to Saturday at 8:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm, no performance Monday.

Tickets are available in advance by calling Theatre Projects Manitoba Box Office at 204-989-2400. Box Office open at venue nightly at 7:00 pm, matinees at 1:00 pm.

In 1923 Arthur Conan Doyle traveled to Winnipeg to join the city’s famous Hamilton Circle. The leader of the circle was Dr. Thomas Glendenning Hamilton - one time president of the Manitoba Medical Association, member of the Legislative Assembly, and spirit photographer.

Playwright Carolyn Gray calls to the stage famous mediums, Houdini’s Water Torture Chamber, séances, grifters and the auspicious Doyle in her hysterical historically based tale. Who was this Hamilton? Did he invent the fire drill? Is Winnipeg home to the largest collection of paranormal exhibits? Find out when Theatre Projects Manitoba teams up with the Manitoba Historical Society and the University of Manitoba Archives to illuminate this intriguing piece of our cultural history.

Directed by George Toles featuring Graham Ashmore, Monique Marcker, Harry Nelken, Miriam Smith, and Gordon Tanner.

Tickets: $18 / $15 students and seniors; Saturday matinees all tickets are $15.

Call 204-989-2400 for tickets and information. Further information on Theatre Projects Manitoba, and their upcoming production of The Elmwood Visitation, is available on their web site:

Theatre Projects Manitoba gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Manitoba Arts Council, The Winnipeg Arts Council, The Winnipeg Foundation, Investors Group and the Manitoba Historical Society.

Warning: Ectoplasm!

Throughout the run of The Elmwood Visitation, the spirit photography of T. G. Hamilton will be displayed in gallery format within the WCD Lobby. To accompany the exhibit, an historical guidebook to Spiritualism and Winnipeg in the 1920s will be provided to patrons. History writers Gordon Goldsborough, Bill Redekop and others will be featured. Sunday February 18th after the matinee performance, there will be a Round Table Discussion and Talk Back with artists, historians, writers, and of course, the audience! A fabulous blend of Art and Academia not to be missed!

Featuring Gordon Tanner in the role of T. G. Hamilton, and Harry Nelken as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Elmwood Visitation brings together some of Winnipeg’s finest theatre artists including, Monique Marcker, Miriam Smith, and Graham Ashmore. Set Design by Lisa Hancharek, Costume Design by Maureen Petkau, Lighting by Hugh Conacher, Sound Design by Mike Wright, Stage Managed by Paul A. Skirzyk. Renowned illusionist and escape artist Dean Gunnarson creates the magic!

Selected Bios:

Carolyn Gray - playwright has written over six plays and three films including Ffion and The Three Sisters Meets Chaos. Carolyn is one of Winnipeg’s most eclectic theatre artists; an actor, director, puppeteer and visual artist. She is a member of Adhere and Deny, Grant Guy’s Object Puppet Theatre. Her plays have been produced by Manitoba Theatre For Young People, Winnipeg International Children’s Festival, Theatre Projects Manitoba, The Winnipeg Fringe festival and Tarragon Theatre. Her latest play, The Confessional of the Black Penitents or the True Path to the Church is currently in development. Carolyn recently starred as The Reverend in the Theatre Projects Manitoba production of The Monster Trilogy.

George Toles - director is a screen writer, stage director and professor of Film Studies at the University of Manitoba. For more than twenty years he has been a screenwriting collaborator with Canadian Film director Guy Maddin. Their collaborations include screenplays for The Saddest Music in the World, Careful, Archangel, and Twilight of the Ice Nymphs. In 2006, his original screenplay for a stop action feature film was green lit for production by Telefilm. Toles has directed over 14 productions for the The Black Hole Theatre at the University of Manitoba and five productions for The Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Other directing credits include John Guare’s Bosoms and Neglect for Persona Theatre, and premiere productions of the Ross McMillan plays, Washing Spider Out and Toby’s Made Up Mind. His book of film essays, A House Made Of Light, has been published by Wayne State University Press (2001).

Gordon Tanner – recently Gordon was seen at the Manitoba Theatre Centre as Nathan Detroit in Guys And Dolls and as Jamie in The Retreat From Moscow. His recent film roles include Category 7: The End of the World, Something Beneath, Haunting Sarah, and the Sean Garrity films Inertia and Lucid.

Miriam Smith – is currently starring in The Real Thing at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and starred in Girl In the Goldfish Bowl, and Molly’s Veil at Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Harry Nelken was recently seen in The Tempest and The Philadelphia Story at the Manitoba Theatre Centre and After The Orchard at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Graham Ashmore is currently featured in Jumpers by Tom Stoppard and was recently seen in The Tempest and A Christmas Carol at MTC.

Monique Marcker was seen in last season’s production of Sight Unseen for The Winnipeg Jewish Theatre and the previous season’s Sunday Father.

Press Contact:

For further media information and artist interviews please contact Anne Bennett, Publicist at 204-223-1170 or or Ardith Boxall, Artistic Director at 204-989-2400. For marketing and promotions inquiries please contact Ardith Boxall at 204-989-2400 or

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