Bittergirl: The Musical

By Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence and Mary Francis Moore

John Hirsch Mainstage

"...stylish, lively, entertaining..." -CBC

"Bittergirl is a roaring and playful musical...You DON'T want to miss this one!" -Travel Manitoba

"When the romantic gets tough, women turn to other women in song and life." - Winnipeg Free Press

Howlingly funny and achingly relatable, Bittergirl: The Musical explores the bond formed between three women after they each find themselves unceremoniously ditched by their dream guy.


Times & Tickets

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A Rebecca Auerbach

Rebecca Auerbach

ROYAL MTC First appearance.
OTHER THEATRE Selected: Rebecca is an actor, playwright, and musician who has worked extensively across the country including seven seasons with the Blyth Festival, two seasons with Bard on the Beach, Bittergirl (Charlottetown/Citadel); The Valley (Belfry); The Wild Party (Acting Up/Obsidian); Dear Johnny Deere (TC/Blyth/Lighthouse); Ring of Fire (Grand); Spelling Bee (TC); Dai (WJT); East of Berlin (ATP); Rabbit Hole (Arts Club); The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom (Blyth, Charlottetown, TIP, Drayton); Escape From Happiness (Factory); Unity (1918) (Aquarius); Hello Dolly!, Dead Reckoning (VP); and many others.
FILM/TV Alleys, The Armoire (Sundance/TIFF); Sahara Sahara (Bravofact); The Tracy Fragments (TIFF); Billable Hours, and many commercials.
TRAINING Graduate of Studio 58.
ET CETERA Upcoming: Onegin (NAC/Acting Up); Writer/Creator of The Pigeon King (Blyth). Rebecca has been nominated for a Dora Award, a Betty Award, a Calgary Theatre Critics Award, two Jessie Awards and is the recipient of the Jessie Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

B Sarite Harris

Sarite Harris

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

OTHER THEATRE Romeo and Juliet Chainsaw Massacre (Bain and Bernard); Into The Woods (Hart House); The Wild Party (Acting Up/Obsidian - Dora Nomination); Legally Blonde (Aquarius); Les Belles Soeurs (AT); Parade (Acting Up/Studio 180); The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Hart House); and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Fallen Rock Productions).

TRAINING Sarite is a graduate from the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts.

ET CETERA Sarite has been nominated for a Dora Award for Best Ensemble. She is a stylist @alwaysthursdays and owner of @littleteacupvintage. She would like to thank her family, Alan, and the cast, crew and creative team of Bittergirl for this wonderful opportunity.

C Alana Hibbert

Alana Hibbert

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

OTHER THEATRE Mamma Mia! (WCT/Aquarius); The Music Man, Sunday in the Park with George (TiFT); The Wizard of Oz (YPT); Carousel, The Sound of Music (Stratford); The Mountain Top, Ragtime, Major Barbara, Trouble in Tahiti, Guys and Dolls (Shaw); Once on This Island, Caroline or Change, Parade (Acting Up); Anne of Green Gables, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Hairspray (Charlottetown); Doubt, All Shook Up (Theatre North West); Hair (CS).

TRAINING BA Simon Fraser University.

D: Everyman Michael Torontow

Michael Torontow

ROYAL MTC First appearance. 

OTHER THEATRE The Music Man (TiFT); The Light in the Piazza (TC & Acting Up); Floyd Collins (Patrick Street/TiFT); All Shook Up, Forever Plaid, Jesus Christ Superstar (Stage West); Side By Side By Sondheim (Grand); The Full Monty (The Rose); The Last 5 Years (Theatre St. Johns); Lies My Father Told Me (Segal); Dirty Dancing, Hairspray (Mirvish); Mamma Mia! (US National Tour).

TV Michael stars in the music-based teen drama Lost and Found Music Studios, in its second season on Family. Other TV: Conviction, Remedy, Reign, Hannibal, Being Erica, Forensic Factor

TRAINING Yoriko Tanno, Lenard Whiting, Elaine Overholt (Voice); Pro Actors Lab; BA in Theatre (U of O).

Band (Bassist) Marie-Josée Dandeneau

Marie-Josée Dandeneau

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

TV Performed on CTV, CBC TV, Shaw TV.

ET CETERA MJ Dandeneau of Ojibwa/Métis ancestry was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in a French-speaking family. Over the past 15 years, her tours and studio work have literally taken her all over the globe and been nationally recognized with recording awards such as Canadian JUNO, WCMA-Award & CFM-Award. MJ’s deep-seated roots in her French-Canadian and Métis heritage are translated and embodied in the music she creates. MJ Dandeneau has had seven WCMA Award nominations, three Juno Award nominations and recently awarded On The Rise Award from the Winnipeg Art Council. 

Band (Guitar) Charlotte Friesen

Charlotte Friesen

ROYAL MTC First appearance.

ET CETERA Charlotte is delighted to be appearing in her first professional theatrical production. Just out of high school, she is already a busy guitarist collaborating with numerous musicians. Charlotte wants to thank all of her teachers and mentors for pushing her to pursue a career in music. Look out for upcoming releases in April from both of her bands, Paisley and ATLAAS. For more information go to and

Band (Drums) Joanna Miller

Joanna Miller

Royal MTC First appearance.

OTHER THEATRE The Music Man, Crazy For You, 42nd Street (Rainbow); That’s Life!, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! (WJT); Little Shop of Horrors (PTE); Honk! (MTYP).

FILM A Marriage of Convenience.

ET CETERA Joanna has been part of the Winnipeg music community for over 20 years. She has done extensive touring of Canada and the United States with local artist Scott Nolan, and they have toured as backup musicians for Americana artists Hayes Carll and Mary Gauthier. She has also done numerous recordings with a variety of North American bands and songwriters. Most recently, Joanna and her husband, guitarist Chris Dunn, have been playing locally in their own band, Knob & Tube.


Artistic Team

Playwright Annabel (Griffiths) Fitzsimmons

Annabel (Griffiths) Fitzsimmons

Annabel is a playwright and freelance writer. Co-author of bittergirl; Bittergirl: Getting Over Getting Dumped; and Bittergirl – the Musical, Annabel has also written a number of plays for kids and young adults. Her writing has been published in print and online in publications such as Today’s Parent; Canadian Family; the Toronto Star, Wedding Bells and numerous health and wellness websites. Annabel also runs a mobile yoga, Pilates and meditation studio. She can be found at and on twitter: @annabeljfitz.


Playwright Alison Lawrence

Alison Lawrence

Alison is a writer, actor and independent theatre producer based in Toronto. With Annabel and Mary Francis she has written Bittergirl – the Musical (Charlottetown Festival 2015; Citadel Theatre Edmonton 2016; Royal MTC, The Arts Club, Vancouver and a return engagement in Charlottetown, all in 2017); bittergirl (the play which she and her fellow bittergirls performed for many years); and Flush. Her work as a solo writer includes The Thing Between Us (shortlisted for the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt Award); Piece by Piece (Next Stage Festival, Toronto and New American Voices, London, UK) and The Catering Queen. Both bittergirl and The Catering Queen are published by Scirocco Drama. Alison is writing a new play, Close to Home, for the Lighthouse Festival, and has two other plays currently in development. As an actor Alison has worked in theatres across the country and will be seen next year in Alexander Payne’s upcoming film Downsizing. She and Mary Francis Moore are the artistic principals in the mcguffin company, an independent theatre company in Toronto.


Playwright Mary Francis Moore

Mary Francis Moore

Aside from her life as a bittergirl, Mary Francis is an award-winning writer, actor, and director. She is the director of the international touring production of You Fancy Yourself and its critically acclaimed sequel The Cure For Everything and recently co-created and directed the Dora Award-winning One Thing Leads To Another for Young People’s Theatre. Mary Francis is the current Associate Artistic Director at the Confederation Centre of the Arts/The Charlottetown Festival and is currently touring across Canada creating The Dream Catchers project for The Charlottetown Festival. She lives in Toronto with her husband actor Brendan Wall and their two sons, bitter no more.


Director Krista Jackson

Krista Jackson

ROYAL MTC Director: Private Lives, The Seagull, The Seafarer. Actor: Myth of the Ostrich, The Threepenny Opera (with SIR), Quills, The Good Sisters (Les Belles-Soeurs), The Sisters Rosensweig, Brighton Beach Memoirs.

OTHER THEATRE Associate Director: All My Sons (Stratford). Director: The Lion in Winter, Fly Me to the Moon, Much Ado About Nothing (Grand); Dying to Be Thin (MTYP); The Miser of Middlegate (zone41/TPM); Village Wooing (zone41).

ET CETERA Krista is Royal MTC’s Associate Artistic Director, the recipient of the 2015 Stratford Festival Jean Gascon Award and the 2013 Gina Wilkinson Prize. She will be directing Dancing at Lughnasa this season at the Shaw Festival.

Music Supervisor, Orchestrations & Arrangements Bob Foster

Bob Foster

ROYAL MTC Next to Normal, The Boys in the Photograph (with Mirvish), Little Shop of Horrors, Camelot (with TC/Citadel), Evita (with TC).

OTHER THEATRE Billy Elliot, Rock of Ages, Dirty Dancing, Hairspray (Mirvish); Evangeline, Bittergirl (Mirvish workshops); Cabaret, A Christmas Carol, Fire, Into the Woods, Anne of Green Gables, Piaf (TC); A Year with Frog and Toad (Citadel); Snow White and the Group of Seven (Ross Petty Productions); Twist and Shout (Drayton/Grand); Rock and Roll (Grand); Legends, The World Goes ‘Round, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Drayton); The Sound of Music, The British Invasion, Five Guys Named Mo, My Fair Lady, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Stage West); Nine Months, Side By Side By Sondheim (Lunchbox Theatre).

TV Much Music Intimate & Interactive; the SOCAN Awards; In Conversation with Gzowski (with Jann Arden), Triple Sensation (CBC).

ET CETERA Bob is Head Of Music at the Charlottetown Festival. He has two Dora nominations, one Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award nomination and two Betty Mitchell Awards. He has spent many years working with Jann Arden, co-writing the songs “Good Mother” (SOCAN Classic Award), “It Looks Like Rain” and “Give Me Back My Heart,” among others.

Music Director/Keyboards Rachel Cameron

Rachel Cameron

ROYAL MTC Billy Elliot the Musical.

OTHER THEATRE Children’s Music Director: Shrek (Rainbow). Apprentice Music Director: Sister Act, Les Misérables (Rainbow); The Addams Family (Dry Cold). Music Director: Songs For A New World, Chess, The Musical (Winnipeg Fringe Festival).

FILM This is Why We Fight (Prairie Kid Productions).

TRAINING Opera Nuova (upcoming later in the spring). Bachelor of Arts: Theatre & Film from the University of Winnipeg.

ET CETERA Thanks to Mom, Dad, Austin and Heidi for their constant support!

Choreographer Kimberley Rampersad

Kimberley Rampersad

ROYAL MTC Cabaret, The Penelopiad, Legally Blonde (choreographer), Grumpy Old Men: The Musical, Calendar Girls (with Mirvish), White Christmas (Judy), It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (assistant director), Dreamgirls (with TA), Guys and Dolls (with Citadel/TC), Lady, Be Good!

OTHER THEATRE Kimberley has been fortunate to work as an actor, director and choreographer at several theatres across Canada, including a season at each of the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival.Choreography: Passing Strange (Acting Up/ Obsidian); Seussical: The Musical (YPT); James and the Giant Peach, Honk! (MTYP); Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare (White Rabbit Productions); Annie, Miss Saigon (Rainbow); Head (SIR); US National and Asian tours of Hairspray (NETworks) (associate choreographer).

TRAINING 2013 Artist in Residence (Rainbow); Jean Murray-Moray Sinclair Apprenticeship (Royal MTC); M/A Program (Obsidian); Guthrie Award (Stratford); Maude Whitmore Scholarship (Charlottetown); Bachelor of Arts (University of Manitoba).

Set & Costume Designer Charlotte Dean

Charlotte Dean

ROYAL MTC Things We Do For Love, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Secret Annex, The Glass Menagerie, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, White Christmas, The Drowsy Chaperone (with TC), The Importance of Being Earnest.

OTHER THEATRE Engaged, Sweet Charity, Arms and the Man, Our Betters (Shaw); She Stoops to Conquer, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice (Stratford); Dear Johnny Deere, Evangeline (Charlottetown Festival); Summoned, The Trouble with Mr. Adams, The Valley, The Real World?, The Misanthrope (Tarragon).

TRAINING/TEACHING Charlotte holds a BFA from York University and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. She has coached Costume Rendering at the National Theatre School.

ET CETERA Charlotte is the 2009 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design. She has received five Doras for Outstanding Design, and has been nominated for Sterling Awards and Betty Mitchell Awards.

Lighting Designer Scott Henderson

Scott Henderson

ROYAL MTC Over 50 productions since 1995, including Black Coffee, The Audience (with Mirvish), Billy Elliot the Musical, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (with Mirvish), Good People, Next to Normal, Red (with Belfry), The Seagull, Top Girls, The Shape of Things, Closer.

OTHER THEATRE Scott has designed lighting for opera, dance and theatre companies in Winnipeg and across Canada, including the Shaw and Stratford festivals.

TRAINING Scott is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.

ET CETERA Special thanks to Karen, Sean and Alex for love and support.

Sound Designer Michael Wright

Michael Wright

ROYAL MTC Over 20 productions including Black Coffee, Million Dollar Quartet, Billy Elliot the Musical, Seminar (with Mirvish), Late Company, Private Lives, The Secret Annex, The Seagull, Venus in Fur, The Penelopiad, August: Osage County, Romeo and Juliet, The Seafarer, Top Girls, Rope’s End, Fully Committed, The Last Five Years, Cherry Docs.

OTHER THEATRE I Dream of Diesel, North Main Gothic, The Monster Trilogy, The Elmwood Visitation, Age of Arousal (TPM); Everything is Coming Up Roses (Gearshifting Performance Works); Something Drastic, Puppet Munsch (PTE); Macbeth (SIR); Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Winnipeg Fringe); Hedwig and the Angry Inch Atrocity Tour 2004 (Rose Tinted Productions, UK).

FILM The Last Harvest, Métis, Métis Not, Dead Mothers Kitchen Floors, Dust

ET CETERA Michael is active in the music world with over two dozen album credits and is a member of IATSE 63.

Apprentice Choreographer Amanda Nuttall

Amanda Nuttall

ROYAL MTC First engagement.

OTHER THEATRE The Music Man, Darling of the Day, The Wakowski Bros., Guys and Dolls (TiFT); Carrie: The Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wedding Singer, Cabaret (Hart House); Merrily We Roll Along (Theatre Sheridan); Heart of Steel (NSTF/Aim for the Tangent Theatre); Women (Toronto Fringe); The Rocky Horror Show (Fallen Rock Prod.).

TRAINING Graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts; Kickit Dance Studio; Oak Park High School Dance Company.

ET CETERA Jean Murray-Moray Sinclair Theatre Scholarship (Royal MTC). Biggest thank you to the entire team at Royal MTC, especially Kimberley for her incredible support; and endless love and thanks to Mom & Dad.

Stage Manager Chris Pearce

Chris Pearce

ROYAL MTC 25th production at the Mainstage, including last year’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; 10 productions at the Warehouse, including August: Osage County and The Seagull.

OTHER THEATRE Three Sisters (zone41/TPM); La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Transit of Venus, Carmen (Manitoba Opera); The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, The December Man (L’homme de décembre), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Valley (PTE); The Light in the Piazza, A Man of No Importance (Dry Cold); Kindness, Peter Pan (MTYP).

ET CETERA Three seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe. Seasons at the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown festivals and a run in London’s West End.

Assistant Stage Manager Paul Skirzyk

Paul Skirzyk

ROYAL MTC 23.5 Hours, Shakespeare’s Dog (with NAC), Guys and Dolls (with TC/Citadel), Closer

OTHER THEATRE 28 years of theatre in Winnipeg, across Canada and globally. In Winnipeg: Manitoba Opera, PTE, Theatre Projects, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Rainbow Stage, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, MTYP.

TRAINING/TEACHING Instructor/SM at Banff Arts Centre summer program: Opera - The Magic Flute.

FILM/TV Grip crew member on Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, Channel Zero: No-End House, Cult of Chucky.

ET CETERA Also a proud member of IATSE Local 63 - stage and IATSE Local 856 – film. Thank you to Patti for enabling me to stay happy by following my passions and not keying my truck.

Apprentice Stage Manager Zoë Leclerc-Kennedy

Zoë Leclerc-Kennedy

ROYAL MTC Props: Black Coffee, Hand to God, My Name is Asher Lev. 

OTHER THEATRE Apprentice Stage Manager: Falstaff (MB Opera). Stage Manager: Vinegar Tom (U of W); Bake Off 2016 (Sarasvàti). Props: The Seduction Theory (Sarasvàti); La Cenerentola (U of M Opera Theatre); The Power of Yes (U of W). 

TRAINING Graduating this June from the University of Winnipeg with a BA (Hons), specialization in Theatre Production and Stage Management. 

ET CETERA Big Thank You to everyone at the U of W Department of Theatre and Film and to Royal MTC for creating wonderful opportunities for young artists!



"...stylish, lively, entertaining..." - CBC
Read the full review here

"Bittergirl is a roaring and playful musical...You DON'T want to miss this one!" - Travel Manitoba
Read the full review here

"When the romantic going gets tough, women turn to other women in song and life..." - Winnipeg Free Press
Read the full preview here

"It's a flashy, high-energy show..." - The Guardian
Read the full review here 

"Bittergirl the Musical: having fun with the familiar pain of getting dumped" - Edmonton Journal 
Read the full review here

What is Bittergirl?
In 1999 three writers and actresses, Annabel (Griffiths) Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence, and Mary Francis Moore, met in Toronto – one divorced, one just dumped by her long time live-in and one facing yet another failed short term romance. Quicker than you can say “It’s not you, it’s me” bittergirl the play was born! The girls took their outrageous and sometimes unbelievable experiences of getting dumped and turned them into onstage hilarity in what has become the smash-hit play bittergirl. The original bittergirls toured the show to London, England,  to New York City for showcase performances at the John Houseman Theatre off-Broadway, and had three sold-out runs in Toronto. Now they’ve passed the torch to a new generation of bittergirls, with productions worldwide.

On Valentine’s Day 2003, the bittergirls met an agent for coffee to talk about writing a book. And that’s how BITTERGIRL the book was born. BITTERGIRL: Getting Over Getting Dumped was published by Penguin Canada in January 2005, Penguin U.S. in September 2005, and Distribuidora Brazil in 2009.

The bittergirls have been covered extensively in the media, appearing in numerous publications and television shows. Highlights include: features in Elle magazine, Bust, Glamour, and Complete Woman, and appearances on NBC’s The Today Show. They have offered advice on television, radio, in line at the grocery store and the waiting room of their OB/GYN.

Once the book was published there was continued interest in the play, and the concept of Bittergirl - the Musical surfaced. Bittergirl - the Musical offers the best of bittergirl the play, concepts from the book and the sweetest girl-group music from the 60s and 70s.  After being workshopped across Canada, including at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Bittergirl - the Musical made its debut at the Charlottetown festival in June of 2015. (Source:

Bittergirl: The Musical