Christmas Eve at the Julibee 

World Premiere of an Original Canadian Play

At The Hamilton Fringe Festival, July 15-25, 2010


by John Bandler


Starring Monica Cairney and Duncan Thompson

Directed by Michael Anania

Stage Managed by Riane Leonard


“There’s a film waiting to be made...,” says Tom Mackan. “Bandler owes a debt..., a debt to the likes of Renoir, Godard, and even Hitchcock.”


Plot Summary  Christmas Eve finds Cassie about to lock up her remote, bare-bones Julibee Motel when an icy rainstorm sweeps the well-heeled Mick into her lobby. She insists the motel is closed for Christmas. He insists he needs a room and is willing to pay whatever she asks. She’s alone. He’s alone. His name is familiar, but she doesn’t let on. Instead, she kicks their hard-core banter into an emotional rollercoaster of confessions, threats, and unfulfilled desires. As each one struggles for control, Mick must decide whether he wants to die, and Cassie must decide whether she wants him to live.  You’re on my turf, Cassie says, so if anyone’s going to do any killing around here, it’s me.


Theme  Psychological drama

Key Words  Escape, lust, manipulation, isolation, seduction, power, capitalism

Warning  Mature content, language


Monica Cairney
Duncan Thompson
Michael Anania
Riane Leonard

“Director Michael Anania paces his characters through a tortuous warren of truth and could-be...”

“Duncan Thompson’s Mick gropes through pain both physical and mental with convincing realism...”

“Monica Cairney’s grasp of the sub-text of her Cassie [...] drives the dangerous battle of wits and needs here. She’s one fine actor, with a surprising depth of creative resources.”

John Bandler

—Tom Mackan (Outstanding Director, Theatre Ontario, 2010)



Venue  Downtown Arts Centre Studio

28 Rebecca Street, Hamilton, Ontario →MAP


Show Times 




4:45 - 5:45 pm




8:30 - 9:30 pm




9:30-10:30 pm




9:30-10:30 pm




9:00-10:00 pm




7:30 - 8:30 pm




4:30 - 5:30 pm



Michael Anania—Director  When two individuals from opposing worlds collide, the results may be charming, dramatic and even horrifying. Whatever the outcome, it is sure to be too captivating to ignore. Cassie and Mick take part in a game of cat and mouse where the roles can switch at any moment, where the lines that separate fantasy and reality blur and where the difference between truth and deceit are indistinguishable. How far down the rabbit hole can we travel before we can no longer go back? I don’t know—And I hope you never have to find out.

Throughout Christmas Eve at the Julibee Motel I have been able to work alongside some of the most talented and creative individuals in Hamilton theatre. The fantastic imagination of the writer is only matched by the creativity of the players and the ingenuity of the stage manager. As with any theatrical endeavour, the end result is always a revelation and the journey to get there, the most exciting.

Thank You and Enjoy!

Riane Leonard—Stage Manager  Riane is thrilled to be a part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival and work with the lovely and talented cast of Christmas Eve at the Julibee Motel. A graduate of the Theatre & Film program at McMaster, Riane’s next theatre endeavours will be Producing McMaster’s Summer Performance Festival in September and Directing Urinetown: the Musical for McMaster Musical Theatre in February. Riane would like to send her love and thanks to Monica, Duncan, and Michael, you have all made this a memorable experience. Your warmth, spirit and talent are the reasons she does theatre. As always Riane would like to thank her friends and family, especially Mom, Tom and the amigo team of Erin, Matt & Chrisyou all fulfill and enrich her life.

Monica Cairney—Cassie  This is Monica’s third time being involved in the Hamilton Fringe Festival. She was previously on stage for Fringe productions A Modicum of Freedom and The Rural Legends of Mary Rutherford. Monica would like to thank those who helped get this show up and running, John and Beth for promoting the hell out of it, Michael for being an amazing and forgiving director, Riane for her help and patience and Duncan for his awesome talent. Next up for Monica is Co-directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the McMaster Summer Performance Festival and HAMMER ENTERTAINMENT’S exciting 3rd season!! Enjoy the show!

Duncan Thompson—Mick  Duncan couldn’t be more ecstatic to work with Michael for the 3rd time this year. He would like to thank Michael, Monica, Riane and John for all the support, patience and good cheer they brought to this production. Duncan appeared most recently in Dundas Little Theatre’s “The Constant Wife” with Elaine Hale and Michael Hannigan, directed by Peter Lloyd. In the past season Duncan has appeared as “Ron Miller” in Theatre Burlington’s award winning show “Breaking the Code” Directed by Tom Mackan, for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Theatre Ontario Festival and at Theatre Burlington. Also this season Duncan acted in McMaster Thespian Company’s “A Winter’s Tale”, Hammer Entertainment’s “Brilliant Traces”, DLT’s “Still Life” and a great deal more. You can look for Duncan in the upcoming Theatre Burlington Show “The Subject was Roses” and Waterdown Village Theatre’s “Miss Julie”. Check out for more info.

We would like to extend a “Special Thanks” to the following people: Beth Bandler, Matt Bergen, Erin Giroux, Albert Snow, Tom Sweeney, Chris Vergara & Mel Watkins.

Awards and Highlights  Michael Anania and Monica Cairney appeared as actors in the 2009 Hamilton Fringe Festival’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’ show A Modicum of Freedom. Actor Duncan Thompson played Ron Miller in Theatre Burlington’s 2010 award-winning production of Breaking The Code, and garnered a Theatre Ontario Festival 2010 nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Supporting Role. For the same production, John Bandler received the 2010 Western Ontario Drama League adjudicator’s special award for Dialect Coaching



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Hamilton Connections

Professor, engineer, entrepreneur, and author, John Bandler, a long-time Hamilton area resident, unleashed the right side of his brain when he plunged into art and creative writing.  His fiction includes four stage plays, a screenplay, and a novel.

Michael Anania is a 2007 McMaster graduate, and currently an elementary school teacher in Halton. This will be his second directorial endeavor. Prior to this, Michael appeared as an actor in two of Dundas Little Theatre’s 2009/2010 season shows.

Riane Leonard is a 2008 McMaster graduate. She continues to be involved in various production aspects with McMaster Musical Theatre, Hammer Entertainment and Black Box Fire, to name a few.

Monica Cairney is a 2008 McMaster graduate as well as a McMaster theatre veteran. She has recently branched out and now works both on and off stage with various local theatre communities such as Dundas Little Theatre, Hammer Entertainment, Black Box Fire and Theatre Burlington.

Duncan Thompson is currently a student at McMaster University, but he always makes time for theatre. Since discovering his new passion for the stage through McMaster’s theatre and film program, Duncan has ventured out and now graces the stages of theatres throughout Hamilton, Burlington and Dundas.

Last Update: July 19, 2010