[ID: An image of a black heart wrapped in red string with two stick figures hanging from it. White and red text boxes with black and white text read RCA Theatre Presents The Heart Play By Marie Pike Productions.]

Table of Contents
Land Acknowledgement
Notes From the Interim Artistic Animateur
Development History
Cast and Creative Team
Thank Yous
Seat Campaign
Coming up Next
Volunteer At The Hall
Endowment Fund

RCA Theatre Company Presents The Heart Play

Written and Directed by Marie Pike
Produced by Marie Pike Productions
Stage Management: Lisah Nsanzugwanko
Assistant Stage Management: Sarah White
Set Design: Colleen Best
Lighting Design and Technical Direction: Bob Stamp
Sound Design: Shauna Gilpin and Ian Foster
Costume Design: Grace Pike
Heartstring Stagehands: Deepesh Paudel and Jackie Hynes 
Graphic Design: Perfect Day

Featuring: Andrya Duff, Ian Foster, Wendi Smallwood, and Bridget Wareham

Land Acknowledgement

RCA respectfully acknowledges that the land on which we currently create, perform, and gather is the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, whose culture has now been erased forever. The island we call Newfoundland is the unceded, traditional territory of the Beothuk and the Mi’kmaq. Labrador is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Innu of Nitassinan, the Inuit of Nunatsiavut, and the Inuit of NunatuKavut. We ask that before you watch the performance tonight, you take a moment to reflect on whose land you are standing on, whose land you were born on, and whose land you currently live on. We ask that you reflect on how that land was taken care of, and how it is taken care of now, and finally who currently walks freely on it. If this reflection makes you uncomfortable we ask that you sit in that feeling and question it. Let it help you work towards reconciliation, something we can only achieve together. Thank you.


In this 70-minute comedy, Venus develops a black hole in her 2-dimensional world after losing her Nan. Unable to rid herself of the hole, it continues to grow throughout her interactions with others until one day she wakes up inside the hole and is confronted by her colorful, raging heart. Dying to live, Venus’s heart revolts against her templated world, forcing her to unpack all of her relationships, including the most important one of all: the relationship she has with her heart. Desperate to hide her heart from others, Venus struggles to accept the parts of herself that make her magically whole.

Please note this show includes the use of herbal cigarettes and flashing lights.

A Message from our Interim Artistic Animateur


Welcome to the first presentation in RCA Theatre Company’s 2023-2024 Season, The Heart Play, written and directed by Marie Pike of Marie Pike Productions. We are thrilled to be to support this thoughtful and funny work through the Canadian Arts Presentation Fund. The Heart Play touches on love, boundaries, and the relationships surrounding us. We hope this work inspires meaningful conversations as it seeks to highlight the different ways in which we connect to each other.
Thank you to all our donors, sponsors and funders who make this possible. Thank you, as ever, for coming with us and choosing live theatre for your night out. When you buy a ticket for a show at The Hall, you are supporting essential, live performance in your community, as well as important programs and resources for the artists who create them. We love to see you and hope you can join us again for more events in our upcoming season, check out the details below.

Laura Williams, Interim Artistic Animateur

Development History

I started writing The Heart Play in 2019 while I was experiencing my Jupiter return. At the time I was learning more about astrology and discovered my natal Venus (planet of relationships and love) is in detriment in the sign of Scorpio (destruction and transformation). After an intense Aha! moment, and time I’ll never get back surfing the Internet for articles on the ‘harsh placement’, I began to imagine what Venus in Scorpio might look and act like as a character out in society. With the help of Canada Council’s mentorship grant, and ArtsNL, I apprenticed with Robert Chafe for a couple years as I wrote various drafts of The Heart Play. In 2023, the play was workshopped as part of The Women’s Work Festival with Megan Gail Coles as my dramaturg, and was then co-produced with White Rooster Theatre in July. RCA’s February, 2024 presentation of The Heart Play has given me and my team the opportunity to discover more hiding within the text of the play, thus allowing us to add more light to the depths of the work. Thank you RCA xo

Cast and Creative Team

[ID: Marie has white skin and a beauty mark fixed above her upper lip, brown eyes, and medium-length, brown hair parted down the middle. She’s wearing a tight-fitting black, long sleeved turtleneck and is pictured from the waist up, in front of a light grey backdrop.]

Playwright and Director

Marie Pike is an artist living in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Since 2017, her short stories have appeared in the Humber Literary Review, as part of the English Literature curriculum at Memorial University, and on the CBC and CHMR airwaves. In September 2019, Marie wrote, performed, and produced her first short play, Garden by Mattel in the St. John’s Short Play Festival. Following her first production, Marie was awarded mentorships with NL playwrights Robert Chafe and Sara Tilley. In 2021, Marie began a multi-disciplinary artist collaboration called Grand Trine with NL artists Andrya Duff and Megan Allison. Since that time, Grand Trine has publicly presented movement work at Neighbourhood Dance Works’ 2022 First Look series, theatrical work at the 2021 St. John’s shorts, and an art installation at CB Nuit 2022. Presently, Marie is BOD chair at NL’s arts and literary journal Riddle Fence.

[ID: A black and white photo of Andrya, a white adult with long light brown hair, thick full bangs, and light eyes. Andrya is wearing a dark turtle neck and is standing in front of a grey wall.]


Andrya is a multi-disciplinary artist who has created and performed works across North America.

[ID: Ian is a white person in his early 40s with short white hair, blue eyes and glasses. He is wearing a black leather jacket and scarf and is standing outside on a sunny day. ]

Actor and Sound Design

Ian Foster is a Grammy award wanting musician and filmmaker from St. John’s, NL. He has toured internationally since 2006, and his films and film scores have appeared in festivals like TIFF and The Calgary International Film Festival, amongst others. His latest release, Close to the Bone, is a film/music album hybrid project that can be found at closetothebone.ca. Other work is available at ianfoster.ca.

[ID: Wendi is a white woman in her early 60s with reddish-brown hair and blue-green eyes. She is wearing a buttoned up golden tan suit jacket and is standing against a maroon background. ]


Wendi Smallwood is a St. John’s based writer, director, producer, and actor. She has performed & directed with many local theatre and film companies. She is the founder and artistic director of SW|FT and writer/performer of the one-woman shows Barely Mary and Resurrecting Mary. Wendi was a Toronto Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee for her performance of Sandy in Judith Thompson’s Crackwalker and is a past recipient of the Rhonda Payne Theatre Award from ArtsNL. She is thrilled her ‘heart’ will once again be beating the boards with the cast and crew of The Heart Play.

[ID: Bridget is a white woman with blue eyes and brown curly hair. She is wearing a rose button up shirt and is standing with her arms crossed in front of a grey backdrop.  ]


Bridget Wareham (she/her) is an actor from St. John’s Newfoundland. A graduate of Memorial University, The National Theatre School of Canada and The Toronto Metropolitan University. She now lives and works in St. John’s. She works in theatre, film, television, voice over, dance and recently, has been expanding her teaching work. Some of her credits include: Eli And The Death Curse (RCAT), Offensive To Some (NewfoundlandArtistX), Cassius in Julius Caesar (Perchance Theatre), voicing Ursula in Teletoon’s 2015 George Of The Jungle, playing Dr. Karma Poole on CityTV’s Hudson and Rex, Lauralee on ABC/Global’s Rookie Blue, Katie in Hallmark’s My Christmas Guide and Emily in Lifetime’s Who’s Stalking Who?. She is thrilled to be back bringing this play to life!

[ID: Lisah is a black person in her 20s, she has brown skin, black hair and brown eyes. She is wearing a cream blouse infant of a brown background.   ]

Stage Manager

Lisah Nsanzugwanko is an International Student at Memorial University, in her final year as a Communication Studies major with a Sociology Minor. Throughout her time in St Johns she has immersed herself in the vibrant theatre and film industry of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Lisah is a Writer, Director and Stage Manager for both Theatre and Film. A passionate advocate, she weaves a vibrant mosaic of narratives, learning more and celebrating the richness of Black culture and history. Lisah’s focus is empowerment, representation, and an unwavering pursuit of truth, leaving a mark both on and off the stage.

[ID: Headshot of a dark haired 40 year old white woman wearing a headband and grey V-neck sweater. Mouth slightly open, smiling with her hazel eyes.  Photo taken outdoors with a few blurred trees in the background. ]

Set Design

 Colleen Best worked as a set designer on The Heart Play in July of 2023.  She is Marie Pike’s sister and loves working on projects together.  When they were younger, Colleen would design and sew the clothes, and Marie would model them. Working as a full time Executive Coordinator, Colleen loves to sew, knit and be creative in her spare time.  

[ID: A Black and White photo with a blurred background of Bob, a 62 yr old white man with gray hair standing with arms folded.  ]

Lighting Design and Technical Direction

Originally from St. John’s, Bob moved back home in 2021 after nearly 40 years away. Throughout his career in stage and screen, he has worked in numerous capacities including designer, director and producer. As a lighting designer, Bob has accumulated hundreds of credits for projects ranging from theatre, dance, concert production and television to exhibits and special events.

[ID: Shauna is a mixed female, 30 years old , blue shirt, black and blonde hair, blurred white background.  ]

Sound Design

Shauna Gilpin (She/Her), known artistically as Cleo Leigh, was born and raised in Newfoundland. She has been heavily involved in the electronic music scene in St. John’s, since 2018, immersed in DJing, producing, and sound design. From co-owning the renowned nightclub Lavi Séks to the most recent creative endeavor, STÄMPT, the exclusive “private members club”. Shauna is a passionate creative and entrepreneur. She is also a co-owner of the globally recognized techno label SÉKS TAPES. With a penchant for modular synthesis, giving her a unique and eclectic approach to sound design, her tracks have appeared on labels like YUNGDUMB and Nodding Heads. Shauna’s musical journey has taken her across the country and international venues.

[ID: Grace is a white woman in her seventies with blue eyes, glasses, and a white-blonde bob hairstyle. She’s wearing a red jacket with a multi-colored scarf and is standing in front of a clothing rack. ]


Grace Pike is a retired teacher living in Mount Pearl. She has been sewing since the age of 11, and designing clothing and costumes for her children and their friends since forever. Her latest work was creating costumes for Grand Trine Presents Neptune presented at the 2021 St. John’s Short Play Festival.

Thank You’s!

PerSIStence Theatre, ACC Costume Bank, Always in Vogue, Atlantic Studios Co-Operative, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Megan Allison, Connie Duff, Claude & Grace Pike, Brad Pike, Lina Makaga, Andrew Blagdon, Jennie Apps.

Resource Centre for The Arts Staff

Laura Williams Interim Artistic Animateur
Andrea Dunne Interim Artistic Associate

Suzanne Mullett General Manager                                
August Carrigan Communications and Marketing Manager
Kevin Woolridge Operations Manager
Ian Campbell Volunteer Coordinator

Ren Follett Box Office Manager
Jen Fleming Box Office Supervisor
Brandon Cave Box Office Attendant/ Bartender
Allie Duff Box Office Attendant/ Bartender
Cheney Emberg Box Office Attendant/ Bartender
Paul Warford Box Office Attendant/ Bartender

Reg Hoskins Technical Director
Sarah White Technical Director Associate
Phil Winters Theatre Technician

[ID: Text reads: Seat Campaign Back in the seats again! Ask us how to get your own seat in the historic LSPU Hall’s mainstage theatre. The photo shows the red theatre seats of the Hall.]

[ID: The blue and red CAA logo in a circle. A blue line and then the word Atlantic. Black text reads Ask the box office about the caa discount on all RCAT shows!]

[ID: The black and pink RCA Theatre logo. The pink letters R-C-A are inside the black shape of the Hall building.]

Coming Up Next for RCAT!

Now that you’ve got tickets to The Heart Play, purchase tickets to Between Breaths and Tamasha-O-Tamasha before Sunday and be automatically entered to win the RCAT Prize Pack, valued at over $300.

Thank you to the LSPU Hall Donors!

Without you, we would not be able to do what we do.
Your generosity makes a difference.

Check out what Andy Jones has to say about becoming a monthly donor!

To find out how to donate to the LSPU Hall, visit our Support Us page.

Thank you to the LSPU Hall Volunteers!

A faded photo of the Hall with the word Volunteer in green and pink blocks vertically down the left side of the photo. The white hall logo is in the top right corner.

[ID: A faded photo of the Hall with the word Volunteer in pink and green blocks written vertically down the left side. The white Hall logo is in the top right corner.]

Volunteers are the backbone of the theatre community.
We would truly be lost without them and can not thank them enough for their wonderful work.

Why volunteer at the Hall?

Visit lspuhall.ca/volunteer or e-mail our volunteer coordinator Ian at volunteer@lspuhall.ca to find out how!

  • You get to see live theatre for free!
  • Looking for a free date night with your partner? Volunteer together!
  • Volunteer with your friends and have a safe night out together.
  • Looking to expand your social circle? Join a community of like minded theatre lovers.
  • In high school and need volunteer hours? We got you.

CAPE - Culture Artists Plan for Emergencies

[ID: CAPE logo. Text reads Cultural Artists Plan for Emergencies]

Since its inception in 2005, The Cultural Artists Plan for Emergencies (CAPE) Fund has
become a life line for artists in our community finding themselves in unexpected crisis
situations. Fifty cents from each ticket sold will benefit the CAPE Fund.

RCA/LSPU Hall Endowment Fund

Did you know Resource Centre for the Arts has an Endowment Fund? Donations are currently being accepted at the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador website at www.cfnl.ca  or Here!