MAY 4 @ 9:00PM
TICKETS $5-20 using link above or also available at the door.

Sam and Max have been inseparable best friends since they were knee-high to a grasshopper. But now, despite being neighbours, Max has never felt further away. Sam is determined to get his friend back, but they’ll both have to contend with the forces that have inserted themselves into their once simple lives. How do you fight against hate when it’s coming from inside your own home?

Avert Your Gays is a raw, honest look at the way hate ripples through our lives and a celebration of the unyielding spirit of those resisting the rising tide.

photo by Isak Vaillancourt

Alex (he/him) is a francophone theatre creator, freelance communicator, and queer community activist born and raised in N’Swakamok (Sudbury).

A graduate of Laurentian University’s now defunct French-language Theatre and Political Science programs, he currently serves as President of Théâtre Action, an arts service organisation catering to Ontario’s francophone theatre community.

In June 2023, Alex wrote and directed his first full-length independent project, Nickel City Fifs, which he coproduced with Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario. He also presented an English adaptation, Sudbury Saturgay Night, during PlaySmelter 2023. The original play has since won two awards during Contact Ontarois 2024, leading to an upcoming tour across Ontario slated for Spring 2025.

Jessie Bergeron is a multidisciplinary theatre artist from Timmins and the Artistic and Executive Director of the Tamarack Arts Association. After graduating from the University of Ottawa with a BA in Theatre Studies, she trained in acting at George Brown College. She has since branched out into playwriting, directing and producing. She is a proud mama of two and a teacher-mom to many more. As a mother-artist, a feminist, a queer woman, and a person who lives with mental illness, she works to create space for these communities and explore these lived experiences through her art.

Actor, clown, writer, director and community arts builder, France Huot is a bilingual artist and graduate of Laurentian University’s Arts d’expression program. As an actor, she has also worked closely with the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario on many productions such as Jack, written by Marie-Pierre Proulx, and Parmi les éclats written and directed by Miriam Cusson. In the fall of 2023, she participated in the production of Trois created by Mani Soleymanlou (Orange noyée, National Art Center). Written in collaboration with 40 francophone artists from across the country, the play toured in nine different cities in Canada. She’s currently writing her newest play Ragtime Gal which sheds light period pain and period management. 

France is also the co-founder of the collective Hoquet/Hiccup! with her artistic partner Jenny Hazelton which is dedicated to creating new theatrical works. Their kaleidoscopic approach to theatre-making draws upon many different forms such as clown, shadow puppetry and physical theatre to develop new pieces. They are currently working on a new clown piece called The Pyramid Project

France is also very active in the arts and culture sector in Sudbury and across the province. She hosts and organizes events, cultural mediation activities, workshops for schools and the community. 

Based in Northern Ontario, Joël Giroux is a graduate of the now-defunct French Theatre program at Laurentian University. He’s thankful to have trained in theatre performance with Miriam Cusson and Alain Doom, as well as the craft of Clown with John Turner. Recent stage credits include Jersey Boys and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in Concert (YES Theatre, 2023).

ER, is a bilingual (french/english) freelance actor/artist, living in N’Swakamok (Sudbury, ON). As a performer based in Northern Ontario, he has collaborated with theatre communities in both English and French (Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, YES theatre, STC) on diverse productions (plays/musicals). Since 2020, their collaborations within the art communities has brought them closer to their creative self ; as well as given them the opportunity to meet and work with amazing, and caring people. They are very much looking forward to this year’s festival!

Natalie LaLonde

Dramaturg: Caitie Graham is a dramaturg, playwright, and emerging screenwriter who is as excited about telling stories as she is about empowering others to do the same. Over her career as a dramaturg, Caitie has designed and facilitated several playwriting units for emerging artists, most notably at Tarragon Theatre (Young Playwrights Unit 2017-2020), and Driftwood Theatre Group, where she began as Company Dramaturg in 2020. Most recently, Caitie was the Assistant Dramaturg on Queen Goneril by Erin Shields at Soulpepper Theatre. She is the facilitator of the inaugural Northerners Creation Unit.