Margo MacDonald

Margo MacDonald
(Playwright & Performer)

A multi-award winning, highly respected veteran of the theatre scene in Ottawa, Canada, who has toured her work both nationally and internationally, Margo has been performing and creating theatre for over twenty-five years and has recently relocated to Toronto, Canada.

Playwriting

Margo has created new work throughout her career, primarily through collaborative co-creation, but a few years ago she turned her talents towards playwriting. This has allowed her to focus more on sharing the stories she truly wants to tell; those little bits of lost history (especially women’s and queer history) which she finds fascinating and knows others will as well.

She is the co-writer/creator of many of A Company of Fools’ most popular shows, including: William Shakespeare’s Danish Play, Tempest in a Teapot, Shakespeare’s Interactive Circus, Shakespeare’s Dead, Hal & Falstaff, A Mid-Winter’s Dream Tale, and Pomme &’Restes: Shipwrecked! (commissioned by the Great Canadian Theatre Company). 

Other co-writer/creator credits include: A Leave of Absinthe (The Absinthe Collective), Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates! (Parry Riposte Productions), and the upcoming Persistent Stain: a Punk Rock Story, being co-written with Geoff McBride. 

Margo was a member of the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Playwrights Unit (2008-9) where she completed the second draft of her first solo-written script. Entitled Maupin, this biographical play about a cross-dressing, bisexual, sword-fighter in 17th century France was given a staged reading at the Magnetic North Festival (2009).

Her second work as a playwright was Shadows, a two-hander about the English-born American theatre diva and maverick, Eva Le Gallienne. Margo played the role of Le Gallienne opposite Sarah Finn as Jo Hutchinson. The show premiered at the 2010 Ottawa Fringe Festival where it instantly became a runaway smash-hit, selling out 100% and winning three of the top Fringe awards (Outstanding Overall Production, Fan Favourite, Best in Fest). It was picked up for the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s 2011 undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival, where every performance sold out a week before the festival opened. A new staging of Shadows was presented at Videofag in Toronto (curated by Jordan Tannahill and William Ellis) in April 2015, receiving only high praise in its reviews. A completely new staging played for one night only to great acclaim and a sold-out house at the Tea House Theatre in London, England in April 2016.

Her most recent play is The Elephant Girls, a solo show written and performed by Margo and directed by Mary Ellis. A fictionalized account of the historic all-woman London gang known as the Forty Elephants, the show is spell-binding to audiences and critics alike. The Elephant Girls premiered in June of 2015 at the Ottawa Fringe Festival where it won rave reviews and sold out every performance 100% (in fact, it was the first show in the history of the festival to sell out completely on advance sales alone). The show won all the top Fringe awards, including Best of Fest, Outstanding Production, and Critic’s Pick for Best Show. It was then moved into a larger venue and held-over by the Fringe for two additional performances, both of which also sold out. The production swept the 2015 professional theatre awards in Ottawa, Les Prix Rideau Awards, winning Outstanding New Work, Outstanding Direction, and Outstanding Performance - Female. Margo also was awarded Best Actress - Professional by the Capital Critics’ Circle. This show is currently touring. In Canada, it has played at: SOLOS Festival, Montreal; SpringWorks, Stratford; The Staircase Theatre, Hamilton; and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival where it again sold out 100% and received 5-star reviews. Most recently, it played for a full month at the New Town Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. From there it was picked up for a 3-week run in London, England (April 2017), and festivals in Brighton and Dublin (May 2017).

Performance

Margo is a three-time winner of the Prix Rideau Award (Ottawa’s professional theatre awards) for Outstanding Performance—Female: Iron (SevenThirty Productions); Fly Me to the Moon (Great Canadian Theatre Company); and The Elephant Girls (Parry Riposte Productions, a solo play she also wrote). She co-founded a Company of Fools in 1990, a Shakespearean performance company (www.fools.ca), with whom she has created and performed dozens of shows over the past twenty-five years, including Pomme & ‘Restes: Shipwrecked on the Tempestuous Lost Island of Never, A Mid-Winter’s Dream Tale, Tempest in a Teapot, and William Shakespeare’s Danish Play, as well as playing the title characters in Henry V and Lady Macbeth, to name just a few. Other recent performance credits include: Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates! (Parry Riposte Productions); Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), (Great Canadian Theatre Company); The Norman Conquests (Plosive Productions); Noises Off and Blood Brothers (Gladstone Productions), Age of Arousal (Bear & Co.), Top Girls, The Real Inspector Hound, Greek (Third Wall Theatre), and The Penelopiad (Citadel Theatre).

Awards & Nominations

  • Winner, Critic’s Pick—Best Show, Outstanding Production, and Best of Fest (Ottawa Fringe Festival); Outstanding New Work, Outstanding Performance—Female (Les Prix Rideau Awards); Best Professional Actress and Nominated for Best Professional Production (Capital Critic’s Circle), for The Elephant Girls, Parry Riposte Productions (2015)
  • Winner, Outstanding Performance—Female (Les Prix Rideau Awards), for Fly Me to the Moon, Great Canadian Theatre Company (2012)
  • Nominated, Outstanding New Creation (Les Prix Rideau Awards), for A Mid-Winter’s Dream Tale, A Company of Fools (2011)
  • Winner, Outstanding Overall Production, Fan Favourite, and Best of Fest (Ottawa Fringe Festival), for Shadows, Parry Riposte Productions (2010)
  • Nominated, Best Professional Actress, Capital Critics Circle, for Shadows, Parry Riposte Productions (2010)
  • Nominated, Outstanding Performance—Female (Les Prix Rideau Awards), for A Mid-Winter’s Dream Tale, A Company of Fools, (2010)
  • Winner, Outstanding Performance—Female (Les Prix Rideau Awards), for Iron, SevenThirty Productions (2009)
  • Winner, Best of Venue Award (Ottawa Fringe Festival) for …Comes Around, The Absinthe Collective (2009)
  • Nominated, Best Professional Actor (Capital Critics Circle), for Iron, SevenThirty Productions (2008)
  • Nominated, Best Visiting Production (Montreal English Critics Circle), for Richard III in Bouffon, A Company of Fools (2008)
  • Winner, Best Production (Les Prix Rideau Awards), for Greek, Third Wall Theatre (2007)
  • Winner, Best Professional Production (Capital Critics Circle), for Greek, Third Wall Theatre (2005)
  • Winner, Best Production (Ottawa Fringe Festival), for Wm. Shakespeare's Danish Play, A Company of Fools (2001)

Training

University of Ottawa, Canada — Bachelor of Arts with a Concentration in Theatre (1993)
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), England — One-Year Postgraduate Classical Acting Programme (1999)
Third Wall Theatre, Ottawa, Canada — Shakespeare Ensemble (2009-11)
Banff Theatre Centre / Citadel Theatre, Alberta, Canada — Professional Theatre Program (2013)

Representation

Mensour Agency Ltd.
41 Springfield Rd.
Ottawa, ON  K1M 1C8  Canada

613 241 1677  -  Melanie Brown - melanie@mensour.ca    www.mensour.ca

Affiliation: 
CAEA
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