In their own words: Conversations with the Cast of A Certain Singing Teacher

A Certain Singing Teacher opens Friday, February 10th.  If you haven’t yet reserved your seats, call 1-855-372-2210 or Book Online now.

The cast of A Certain Singing Teacher in rehearsal

 The Cast

Allan Fairfax Christopher Spear
Hillary Carlyle Heather Town
Francine LaSalle Kristiane Black
Antonio Pasquali Liam Cragg
Sam Saller Stephanie Koomen

VOS Theatre caught up with the cast from A Certain Singing Teacher and here’s what we found out.

Liam Cragg & Kristriane Black in rehearsal for A Certain Singing Teacher

Tell us about yourself in two sentences or less.

Kristiane:   I’ve been a resident of Cobourg for the past 11 years, and I love living, working and playing in this town.  My passions include my partner Dave, our children, my work as a United Church minister, gardening, cooking and playing the piano.

Liam:   I got up the nerve to get on stage in 1999 and haven’t looked back since then.
I love taking on bigger than life characters and Antonio Pasquali is no exception

Heather:  I am a colour consultant at Colour Your World in Port Hope. I’ve been involved in lots of VOS musical productions – I love singing and dancing. I’m a board member with VOS THEATRE and long time volunteer.

Christopher Spear in the PTG Production of Hedda Gabler

Many of you have been involved in large musicals with 30 or more cast members and equally large production teams. What’s great about a smaller ensemble?

Kristiane:    It’s a lot easier to feel like family and work out little glitches – it’s really fun to know that we’re all in it together, with all of us doing the heavy lifting together!

Christopher:  It is good to get to know everyone in the cast and to see what everyone is doing before the dress rehearsal.

Liam:  The great thing about a small cast is that everyone is integral to the show.
It’s a tight knit group and we rely heavily on each other.

Stephanie:  What I love about a smaller ensemble is that you get to know each individual person. With a cast of 30 or more you don’t really get to bond with every person in the cast.

Heather:  I’ve enjoyed that the entire cast is part of every rehearsal. We’ve all been able to watch each other’s characters develop from the start, and watch the show come together like the production team of a larger show does! 

Liam Cragg prepping for Grandpa in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Which popular sitcom character is closest to your character in the play?

Kristiane:    Maybe a cross between Maude, Rhoda and Mary Tyler Moore in the newsroom?  It’s hard to find anyone quite like Francine in contemporary sitcoms – she’s completely a product of her era – the 70’s and 80’s

Christopher:  No Satellite and no cable so I’m afraid I don’t know sitcoms

Liam:  Massimo from the movie, ‘The Wedding Planner’, and I’ve used a bit of Homer Simpson (but an Italian Homer Simpson)

Stephanie:  The first character that comes to mind is Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory but I don’t think my character is quite that extreme. I’m not too familiar with any neurotic phobics on television.

Heather:  I actually don’t watch much sit-com type TV so I’m not really sure.. to pick a movie character from (somewhat near) that time period, I think I’d say she has a little Connie Conehead in her! Tough on the outside, kind of trendy but individual. really just a softie romantic on the inside though.

Stephanie Koomen in rehearsal for A Certain Singing Teacher

Is there a moral to the story – does Singing Teacher have a message?

Kristiane:    It’s a story about second chances and the hard work that it sometimes takes to make a relationship last – along with love, you need trust, commitment and the ability to forgive and move forward…

Christopher:  Your sins will find you out but you may get forgiven……or you may not. And possibly that hard work gets its reward (in one way or another) in the end.

Liam:  Follow your dreams. You may not realize them but you’ll find something interesting along the way.

Stephanie:  I think that there are many messages throughout the story and that they are told through each character. For my character, Sam, I believe the message is to take advantage of every opportunity you are given because something great might come of it.

Heather:  I think Singing Teacher encourages individuality, and independence.


Heather Town & Kristiane Black in rehearsal for A Certain Singing Teacher


This production is set in the 80’s. Favourite 80s culture detail?

Kristiane:    Being an 80’s show, there’s a lot of material that would have been quite forward thinking, not the least is that Francince and Alan lived together for 18 years without being married.  You gotta love the portable phones of the time, and since you couldn’t text in those days, a lot of the miscommunication between Allan and Francine works:  in the play they do have to rely on either face to face or live phone calls to get a message across!

Christopher:  Has to be the “cell” phone

Liam:  The 20 minute workout on TV

Stephanie:  I wasn’t even thought of in the 80’s so I couldn’t really tell you.

Heather:  Go big or go home! The big hair, the big jewelry!


This show is a romantic comedy and we hear it’s something everyone  will enjoy Valentines weekend. True?

Kristiane:    If you’re a Cobourger, you get a chance to support local talent, including most of the cast, production team and the playwright.  If that’s not enough, you can relax as you sit around a table with friends enjoying the fun.  And if all that isn’t enough, you get to enjoy some silliness along with some heart-warming and bittersweet moments.  Personally, I think Francine is just a great character, and I’m loving getting to know her better with every run of the play!

Christopher:  Hints of naughtiness, a touch of desparate longing, unfaithfulness and jealousy, lovers spats, some good laughs and a happy ending – all life is here.

Liam:  Yes! I feel there are many genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments in this show. It’s the perfect way to do something special with your special someone.

Stephanie:  Yes, it’s a great show to see Valentines weekend. It’s dramatic and funny, and it’s even funnier if you know the actors personally. I hope that everyone gets a chance to see it.

Heather:  I’d say so! Also a great girls’ night show.

A Certain Singing Teacher opens Friday, February 10th.  If you haven’t yet reserved your seats, call 1-855-372-2210 or Book Online now.