Bruce Horak is the creator/performer
of "Cancer" . He is a Cancer survivor (bilateral retinoblastoma) and an actor, writer, director and musician who
currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is the recipient of the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Performance
in a Musical or Comedy for his work in "This Is CANCER". He has worked across Canada with Vancouver's Monster
Theatre, a Fringe Festival favourite, and has had the great fortune to work with/for many companies across Canada, including:
Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover), The Georgian Theatre Festival (Meaford, Ontario), Hectik Theatre (Regina), Nakai
Theatre (Whitehorse), Workshop West (Edmonton), Alberta Theatre Projects, Quest Theatre, and Theatre Calgary (umm... Calgary).
He is grateful to everyone who has helped put this show together. He's also like to thank cancer. (If you understand that
sentiment - you'll probably get this show).
Rebecca Northan is the Director/creator
of "This is CANCER". She is an actor, writer and director who resides in Toronto. Her series "Alice, I Think"
can be seen on the CTV/Comedy Networks. She is a graduate of the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama.
Also an improviser, Rebecca did her improv training at the Loose Moose Theatre Company in Calgary, Alberta and is an alumni
of Toronto's Second City Mainstage. Rebecca was nominated, along with fellow cast members, for a Gemini Award in 2004 for
"Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series" for "The Joe Blow Show". She was also nominated
for a Dora Award for "Best Actress" for her work in the theatrical production of "Dear Boss", by Toronto
playwright Eric Woolfe. Rebecca is also a 5-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee for "Pretty Funny Female Improviser".
Waylen Miki, since having moved from Vancouver four years ago has been working in the
Toronto jazz scene with the Royal Jelly Orchestra as well as with his own trio. He is also the co-creator and composer of
Fringe hit "SARSical" which was remounted at the Factory Theatre in Toronto, winning him a Dora Award.
Robichaud (Choreographer) is a classically trained dancer who has performed and choreographed extensively throughout Europe
and Canada. She has set dance pieces for film, theatre,opera and many a corporate function. Sarah has most recently appeared
in a CBC one hour dance movie entitled 'Roxana' and will be joining Pro Arte Danza for their fall season. Sarah has been
busy promoting the international release of her new book entitled 'Working on the ball' A simple guide to office fitness.
R. Brown (Creative Consultant) Mr. Brown has worked as an actor & director across Canada and the U.S. for over twenty years.
Patrick is a founding member of Shadow Productions, Calgary's first professional murder mystery company, as well as a founding
instructor of Triangle Theatre School in Calgary. Patrick is also a personal success coach.
Q. What inspired you to create this show?
Bruce was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma (Cancer of the eye) and subsequently lost over 90% of his vision. Bruce
also lost both his Grandfather and his Father to Cancer. It has been a bit of a “demon” in his life, and as a performer/creator
with a somewhat “dark” sense of humour the idea of portraying the living embodiment of this horrible disease seemed like a
As Bruce performed an early version of “Cancer” at open-mic nights around Toronto he found that audiences
had a very strong and surprisingly positive reaction to the character.
Director Rebecca Northan also lost her mother,
Margorie J. Northan, to cancer in March of 1996. It was this personal connection to the material and a love of all things
dark and funny that drew Rebecca to the project.
Patrick Brown is a professional actor who also has his own Coaching
business, “Your Life, Your Way.” He, Bruce and Rebecca go WAY back to their days in Calgary. Patrick has been an invaluable
resource as “Creative Consultant”. Patrick’s good friend Lynn Huneahul is a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and one of the
FUNNIEST people that he knows.
Musical Director, Waylen Miki, and choreographer, Sarah Robichaud, were invited to take
part in the project once Bruce and Rebecca had an idea of what direction the show was going. We are EXREMELY grateful they
both said yes…because ultimately there is no such thing as a “one-man” show. We also owe some thanks to Bruce’s mom, Myrna
Horak, and to Tracey Erin Smith for script consulting.
Q. How can you make fun of cancer? Don’t people get upset about
A. As a cancer survivor, Bruce has personally found that the only way for him to get through the rough patches
in life is to try to have a laugh at them. We certainly acknowledge that this brand of humour isn’t everyone’s cup of tea
– but we are always open to hearing feedback on the show. Our experiences so far have included a number of cancer survivors
and people currently undergoing cancer treatments approaching Bruce after the show to say, “Thanks for helping me laugh at
it for a change!”
Q. Do you tour this show?
A. YES! We love to tour! Bruce has even performed “Cancer” for several
Cancer fundraising benefits. Please contact us if you’d like to book the show!