Director's Biographies and Notes



HelenWeeden - Director

Helen has a had a long and varied association with Kanata Theatre as a producer, properties manager, and seamstress, for many productions. Her acting career includes Hansel and Gretel plus The Haunted Castle for Kanata Theatre and That Summer for Lakeside Players. Helen completed a course in Directing with Theatre Ontario in 2002 and now is applying herself in several key roles for Aladdin. Helen says that over the years she has worked with many warm and talented people at Kanata Theatre: so much so that she now has a keen interest in scriptwriting and is nearing completion of the Scriptwriting Program at Algonquin College. She already has a half dozen completed scripts in her portfolio, for venues ranging from radio to movies to stage plays. Her Madness of Moose and Mosquitoes received a stage reading at Kanata Theatre's Evening of One Act Plays this past July and she is now heavily involved in writing a full-length screenplay.

Martin Weeden - Director

Martin began working with Kanata Theatre as a ‘techie’ running sound and lights for many of the production in the early years of the Ron Maslin Playhouse. He took the acting plunge with Hansel and Gretel and then went on to play in Hobson’s Choice, Murder by Misadventure, Communicating Doors, The Stillborn Lover and An Experiment with an Air Pump. Now he is turning his hand to the support of Helen jointly directing and producing Aladdin. Working with a large cast, innumerable details, a tight schedule, the busy lives of everyone involved plus the expectations of the community has given Martin an new appreciation for the role of all the directors he has worked with!

Director's notes

When asked to comment on the experience of directing a large cast musical production on the scale of Aladdin, Helen and Martin said: ‘We are blessed to have had an incredible host of highly talented people from which to choose our amazing cast. And we have had a most remarkable group of very capable and gifted Kanata Theatre  members contribute to the development of every aspect of the look, sound and feel of the final show. With all of these great ingredients, it was a certainty we would be able to present to our audience a startling, colourful, lively and memorable production.’


More Breaking News from the Palace

by our reporter, Clare Flockton

The palace has disappeared! I repeat the palace has disappeared! Early yesterday morning the Palace disappeared with Jasmine and her girls in waiting, Sheba and Zara, still inside it. No one is quite sure where it has gone but everyone suspects that Jammal and his sinister tricks are behind the disappearance. The rumour buzzing around Shammar is that Jammal must have put an Abracadabra hex on the Palace. There have been whispers among the loyal subjects that the royal Palace is in Morocco, where Jammal and his wicked sister Halima have their evil empire.

The Sultan is bereft that Princess Jasmine is missing. The Sultan has given Aladdin 24 hours to find his beloved daughter. If Aladdin cannot find Princess Jasmine in the allotted time, then Chop Chop will finally be allowed to do what he loves doing, chopping and more chopping.

I asked Chop Chop how he felt about potentially being able to lop off a few heads. He told me, gleefully clapping his hands, “I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself. I have been polishing my sword all day. It is so shiny. Isn’t it shiny? Look how shiny it is. You can see your reflection in it. Come lie your head down here on this contoured piece of wood and I will show you.” I took his word for it, thank you very much.

Aladdin has been in a bit of a panic all day but I was able to get him to sit down for a few minutes and tell me his plan on how he was going to rescue Princess Jasmine and return the Palace to Shammar.

Aladdin’s plan is a bit far fetched. No wonder he is so nervous. His plan is to summon the Genie of the Ring and get this mighty Genie to fly his pet monkey Alakazam and himself on a magic carpet to Morocco. Aladdin showed me the gigantic ring he will use to beckon this divine being. I was amazed by the size of it. It was the size of a peach. The smartest thing Aladdin did was tricking that horrid Jammal into giving him that enormous ring.

Once they get to Morocco, Aladdin plans to rescue Jasmine from that evil magician Jammal and his nasty sister Halima. While in Morocco Aladdin will also attempt to retrieve the wonderful magical lamp that Jammal stole from him. Aladdin is a bit loose on the details telling HOW he will accomplish this heroic feat. He told me when he arrives in Morocco he will “wing it.” Oh dear! I am quite nervous for our beloved hero.
Aladdin told me that once he returns with the Palace and Princess Jasmine, he will organize the biggest wedding the city of Shammar has ever seen.

I asked Aladdin if he was scared of what would happen if he did not bring Jasmine back. Aladdin swallowed hard and said, “I am not scared of Chop Chop (gulp). His sword is so old and rusty and has never even been used. It probably couldn’t even slice through a tomato.” Aladdin did not seem as confident as he would have liked me to believe.

Do you think Aladdin will be able to pull off his elaborate scheme? Or will Chop Chop's dreams at long last come true? You will have to come to the Ron Maslin playhouse on December 27th, December 28th, or December 29th at 1pm or 3:30pm to cheer Aladdin on to victory. All tickets are five dollars each. Pick up times for tickets are December 20th from 10am until 12pm and December 27th, December 28th and December 29th from 12pm until 4pm at the Ron Maslin box office, located at the front of the theatre. Check out the website for more details at Come and help Aladdin defeat the evil magician Jammal and his nasty sister Halima. You will be glad you did.


More Breaking News from the Palace

by our reporter, Clare Flockton

This just in! Jasmine was found wandering the streets of Shammar without her royal procession. The palace is in an uproar. The Sultana is in a state. Chop chop, the executioner, is tickled pink that he may finally be granted his wish to chop off a few heads.

Jasmine at the tender age of 15 has been kept under lock and key all her life by her overly strict parents. Since this is the year Jasmine is to marry, her parents are more adamant than usual about her not leaving the safety of the palace. Whomever Jasmine marries will become the next Sultan of Shammar. The Sultan and Sultana are worried that Jasmine’s teenage tendencies will get her into trouble and cloud her judgement when choosing an appropriate suitor.

I had a chance to meet with the Sultan and Sultana of Shammar to find out how they felt about Jasmine’s recent short-lived escape.

The Sultana blames Jasmine’s disappearance on “those foolish girls” in waiting that Jasmine is constantly hanging around with. Seems all they do is whisper and giggle.
The Sultana was furious, “I wanted to pick her entourage, but Jasmine would have none of it. She said I was being overprotective and then she stomped her foot and held her breath until she turned blue. Of course this got my husband in a terrible panic, so I was bullied into letting Jasmine pick her own girls. It went against my better judgement. If you ask me, I think those two girls are bad news. That Sheba has her own camel licence, and I have heard rumours of Zara hanging out at that seedy karaoke bar in town… you know the one? The Mirage?” The Sultan did not have a lot to add. He just nodded and said, “Yes…whatever my darling hummingbird lip just said, I agree with.”

The Sultana is worried that Jasmine’s disobedience will cause Ali Bubba to change his mind about marrying Princess Jasmine. The Sultana handpicked Ali Bubba herself to marry Jasmine.

I asked Ali Bubba if Princess Jasmine being a flight risk would prevent him marrying her. He told me, “Are you kidding? I get to live in the palace, eat all the figs I want, and have you seen her? She is HOT. Emmm do you have any figs on you? I was promised figs if I gave you an interview.” Seems Ali Bubba may have a one-track mind, and it does not involve Princess Jasmine.

When I sat down with Jasmine, I found out she was just like any average teenage girl I had encountered. She wanted to experience life, meet a few boys and go to a dance or two. Jasmine told me, “I just wanted to get out of the palace for a while. I have never been to the city of Shammar before. It was wonderful to be free and away from all the pressure that is piling up on me. For one quick instant, I felt like a normal fifteen year old.” Jasmine lowered her voice and told me through a giggle, “I met a boy, his name is Aladdin.” It seems that Aladdin has captured Princess Jasmine’s heart. What will the Sultana say?

I asked Jasmine about the Sultana’s reaction. “Oh Mother is just so overprotective. She won’t even let me get my camel licence. She is scared their spit will ruin my royal gowns. Sheba has had her licence since she was thirteen and I have not seen stains on her clothes. Mother is ridiculous. All she wants to do is control me.” I had to end the interview because Jasmine broke down into a fit of inconsolable tears. It seems that she is quite distraught about having to marry a man she does not love.

Are interested in seeing how Jasmine deals with her over bearing mother? Do you want to find out if Jasmine is permitted to marry the boy she loves? Come to the Ron Maslin Playhouse on December 27th-29th. Show times are 1pm and 3:30pm. Tickets are $5.00 each.  Box Office hours are December 13th and 20th from 10am-12 noon and December 27th, 28th and 29th from 12 noon until 4pm. Jasmine is going to need all of your help to convince her overbearing mother that she can marry whomever she chooses.


The Palace Has Been Returned -
Aladdin Saves The Day

by our reporter, Clare Flockton

  The palace has returned. No need to worry. Princess Jasmine has been reunited with her parents and the royal palace has been safely restored to the city of Shammar.

Aladdin and his sidekick Alakazam flew to Morocco yesterday morning on the early magic carpet flight. They were nervous about their journey, as there seemed to be an excessive amount of ice on the rugway. No amount of ice was going to prevent Aladdin from rescuing Princess Jasmine from the evil magician Jammal and his wicked sister Halima. They buckled up and hung on for dear life as they flew through the Moroccan sky.

In Morocco, Jammal was getting ready to use the Genie of the lamp to force Princess Jasmine into marrying him so he would become the new sultan of Shammar. Aladdin arrived just in the nick of time. Aladdin foiled Jammal’s sinister plan by poisoning him with a potion he aquired from Sinbad the sailor, called “bish”. The potion caused Jammal to flail around in a great deal of discomfort.

While Jammal was under the influence of the potion, Aladdin was able to retrieve the stolen lamp. The powerful genie of the lamp was able to restore the palace and give Jammal and Halima their just desserts. That evil duo will no longer be wreaking havoc on innocent victims in Shammar.

Everyone has returned to Shammar and Aladdin and Princess Jasmine will have the biggest wedding the city of Shammar has ever seen.

Jammal and his sister are bereft by their new occupations. They will own a used lamp shop, called “Smiling Jammal’s”, located in a local shopping mall. I don’t know why they are complaining; a small business can be quite profitable. They will be under close supervision. Their landlord is the Genie of the Lamp and he has given strict orders that there is to be no violent behaviour from those two, or else Chop Chop will be called to the scene.

I sat down with the nasty siblings to see how they are going to deal with their newfound careers. Jammal told me “I will get that do-gooder Aladdin and his Princess Pretty will be mine, oh yes, she will be mine.” It was odd listening to Jammal because his words were truly sinister; however, throughout the entire interview he had a big toothy grin that I could tell was really hurting his face. He told me that Aladdin had better sleep with one eye open because when he breaks the smiling curse the Genie placed upon him, he will be back with vengeance.

Halima whipped her head around to show her equally toothy wide mouthed smile. “Those two have not seen the last of us. Mark my words; when one door closes another door opens, and who knows what the next door will be named.” Halima tried to wipe the smile off her face but it was as if it was glued in place.

I left their shop with an uneasy feeling in my stomach and a very nice used lamp, which I got for a steal. It seems those two are not too swift when it comes to making change.
Are you interested in seeing how true love will defeat evil? Come and see Jammal and Halima get what is coming to them. Clap, cheer, boo and hiss as they are forced to wipe the evil sneers from their faces and have permanent grins. Join the Kanata Theatre cast and crew at the Ron Maslin playhouse from December 27th to December 29th. Shows begin at 1pm and 3:30pm. Tickets are five dollars each and you can purchase them at the Ron Maslin playhouse box office located on Terry Fox drive on December 20th from 10am-12pm as well as December 27th-29th 12pm-4pm. Check out the Kanata Theatre website for more details at