Jenny’s House of Joy Features an all Female Creative Team & Acting Company

For the first time in 8 seasons, an all female acting company and creative team has been assembled at The Foster Festival.

We sat down with Artistic Director Emily Oriold and Director Lisa Horner to talk about achieving this milestone.

“Director Lisa Horner and I started talking about assembling an all female team for this production when we were working on 1812 by Norm Foster at Fort George last year,” said Foster Festival Artistic Director Emily Oriold. “With the desire to continue to give women directors opportunities at the Festival, I asked Lisa if she had ever considered directing. Lisa immediately accepted the opportunity citing that directing felt like the next natural step in her career, but that it can be hard to break into later in one’s career, especially as a woman.

Knowing how creative and talented Lisa is as an actor and artist, I jumped at the chance to invite her to direct at The Foster Festival. We immediately started talking about assembling an all female creative team and I am beyond thrilled that we were able to make it happen. It is a special team of women that we have brought together for this production and it is entirely fitting to have done so, for this play in particular. Lisa’s vision for this production is inspiring and the creative team is working in complete harmony. I can’t wait for our audiences to experience what is going to be an unforgettable topper to our 2023 season.” – Emily Oriold, Artistic Director

“What a wonderful opportunity to tell a story of women and the hard journeys they have to take, relationships they try to maintain and how they find their way in the world they find themselves in. It is a privilege to tell this story, I can’t wait to share Jenny’s House of Joy with all of you.” – Lisa Horner, Director


As an actor, Lisa has appeared on stages all across Canada including all four Mirvish stages in productions such as The Wizard of OzLes MisérablesKinky Boots, and the hit Canadian musical Come From Away. For The Foster Festival, she played Vi in our world premiere of Halfway There (2016)  and Henrietta in our world premiere of 1812 (2022). Jenny’s House of Joy by Norm Foster marks her first time directing for a professional theatre company. The Foster Festival is thrilled to be able to offer her our stage as her canvas.

Jenny’s House of Joy stars Catherine McGregor as Jenny, Donna Belleville as Clara, Julia Dyan as Frances, Zoe O’Connor as Natalie, and Kelly J Seo as Anita. Other wonderful women working on this production include Set Designer Beckie Morris, Costume Designer Alexa Fraser, Lighting Designer Stacy Graham, Stage Manager Seren Brooke Lannon, Apprentice Stage Manager Delaney Small, Production Assistant Abby Malcolm, and Wardrobe & Props Coordinator Rebecca Cowan.

Jenny’s House of Joy by Norm Foster runs August 9-20, 2023 at the Mandeville Theatre, Ridley College in St. Catharines.

We’ll see you at the theatre!

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