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What Happened Was...

By Tom Noonan

Poster Design by Jonah Hundert

The Assembly Theatre

1479 Queen St. West

Preview Wednesday, April 25

Opening Night Thursday, April 26

Closing Night Saturday, May 5

All Performances at 8:00pm

No Performances Sunday/Monday

No Intermission. No Latecomers. 

Previews $15

General Admission $25

Arts Worker / Student $20

Indie Theatre Lover $35

Directed by Christopher Hayes

Starring Craig Henderson and Breanna Dillon

Set Design by Mike Vitorovich

Lighting Design by Steve Vargo

Sound Design by Dustin Woods-Turner

Stage Managed by Stephanie Williams

Assistant Directed by Stephanie Williams

Produced by Christopher Hayes, Breanna Dillon, Anne van Leeuwen, Melissa Wright and Alice Lundy

This is a Canadian Actors’ Equity Association production under the Artists’ Collective Policy.

"Tom Noonan's work is funny, tragic, scary and incredibly moving. A dream firmly rooted in ice-cold reality. I go to it for inspiration and I'm so grateful he's around."

           - Charlie Kaufman

About the Play

"I had turned 40 and I was unhappy and I wanted to write about that. Dating just became the framework…" It was the early 90’s, and actor Tom Noonan was at a dinner party when he heard a story about a man invited to a woman's home for dinner.  In the middle of dinner, he asked, "Is this a date?”  Noonan quickly excused himself from the party and got to work on his first feature film, What Happened Was…, apparently writing 75 percent of the script in 3 days.  After playing a number of mainstream parts, including the lead villains in Robocop 2 and Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero, Noonan was able to finance the film.  Before going to camera, he directed and starred in the two-hander on stage for 6 weeks with his theatre company in NYC.  The film was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Gene Siskel raved, "One of my favourite films of the year! I've always felt there was a great film to be made out of a first date... Now I've seen it! It's superb!”  To this day What Happened Was… remains a cult classic. 

About the Writer

Tom Noonan is a well-known actor, writer, and director.  His work in theatre began with the role of Tilden in the original Off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's Buried Child.  He founded the Paradise Factory theatre in NYC in 1983, which became an incubator for developing plays and films.  His big break into film came when he famously played the serial killer in Michael Mann’s Manhunter.  The lanky (6’5”) soft-spoken actor went on to build an impressive career playing oddball characters in film and television (Mystery Train, The Pledge, House of the Devil, Synecdoche, New York, Louie, and an acclaimed episode of The X-Files written especially for him by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan).  His directorial debut, What Happened Was…, made him a  fixture in the arthouse scene.  He has written and directed two other feature films (The Wife, The Shape of Something Squashed), and his more recent work can be seen on 12 Monkeys, Horace and Pete, and Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa, in which he voices the roles of “Everyone else.”  

Reviews and Awards

2018 Dora Awards - Breanna Dillon Nominated in Independent Theatre Division for OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE - FEMALE

"The actors navigate their lines with open, lived-in performances... Don’t be surprised if you carry this play around with you for a couple of days. It’s haunting." NNNN | Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine

"Dillon is excellent in a tricky role... (her) performance is packed with empathy and optimism that’s endlessly moving in its commonplace futility." | Kelly Bedard, My Entertainment World


Photo by Lyon Smith

Photo by Lyon Smith

Photo by Lyon Smith

Photo by Lyon Smith


Photo by Lyon Smith

Photo by Lyon Smith

Photo by Lyon Smith

Photo by Lyon Smith

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