Parasol Lane Productions, Historical Performances & Tours
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Photo by David Cooper

“An enchanting tour from an enchanting guide.”

“So glad I read about you. The tour was wonderful! I’ll be back”

“Thank you for a lovely stroll down memory lane! It was simply wonderful and pleasing to the senses!”

 

Repertoire

Historical


WALKING TOUR of Niagara-on-the-Lake

A Victorian Stroll About Town, a one hour walking tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake with a presence from the past.

Have you ever wondered how our First Lieutenant Governor General, John Graves Simcoe, met his wife, Elizabeth? And speaking of shocking, don't be too scandalized by the story behind the finest house in Niagara, now known as The Preservation Gallery. (Ladies, we will be stopping at The Apothecary beforehand so you can replenish your smelling salts in case you need them.)

And you will be respectfully requested to not repeat the story about Reverend Addison's poor wife, well, one of his wives, and why he had to build his home, Lake Lodge, so far from the town!

Stories abound in Niagara-on-the-Lake, stories of the grand and not so grand inhabitants; decisions of major significance, such as the abolition of slavery, and the trifle choices of every day life in the 1800s. You will hear this and more on your Victorian Stroll About Town as Maja Bannerman confides all she has heard from her Great Aunt Charlotte, a notorious personage of Niagara fame, fictitious fame, that is! Presented in character and costume, Maja includes stories about the War of 1812 and The Underground Railroad, as the tour stops by The Apothecary, the Niagara Historical Society and Museum and, by special permission (invitation only), a visit to The Lord Mayor’s Civic Reception Room in The Old Courthouse.

To view a 4 minute excerpt visit www.niagaraonthelake.com
(Click: View Video; Episode Six; Historical Walking Tour with Maja Bannerman)

 

Performances

Historical Performances

Maja has been commissioned many times to create both educational versions of history and what can be considered as “edu-tainment”.

Hustle Your Bustle: A Romp & Stomp through Niagara’s Past

A popular choice for Corporate and Conference Groups seeking unique entertainment, Parasol Lane Productions combine original songs, stories and vignettes to present a light- hearted look at the past. Maja also enjoys tailoring scenes to the theme of conference or special event.

Performances include the following:

  • Find out why Laura Secord really walked 20 miles (32.2 kilometers)
  • Learn how to use a fan (Ladies) or understand the messages (Gentlemen) being sent to you … someone may be wanting a kiss.
  • Enjoy a lesson on How to Kiss as written by a young man in 1800: “First know whom you are to kiss. Don’t make a mistake, although a mistake may be good…”

 

Wine, Woman & Songs ~ Once Upon A Vine

Inspired by Niagara's vineyard and wine history, Maja's interest and passion for wine is expressed through vignettes and songs in this performance. The audience will meet two old farmers, learn about past dastardly deeds in the wine industry and enjoy songs, both comedic and poignant, including Chardonnay's for Making Hay and Once Upon A Vine during this light hearted entertainment. If desired, Maja is able to lead the audience in a wine appreciation tasting.

Maja gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council in the writing of this performance.

 

 

Katie Ward Meets Laura Secord: A Super Unnatural Fairytale

Laura Secord is unquestionably one of the most recognized names in Niagara’s history because of her actions during the War of 1812.

Fourteen year old Katie is really looking forward to her summer. Not only will her all girl band have lots of time to practice, but she is also thrilled to have been hired as a tour guide at the Laura Secord Homestead in Queenston. This is this just the beginning of her adventure. An adventure that will change her life!

Maja is pleased to acknowledge the support of an Ontario Arts Council grant for the creation of this play. Bannerman was Playwright in Residence with Carousel Players and is grateful for their immense assistance during this project. A play with four characters, Maja is available to present excerpts and songs from the production.

 

HISTORICAL CHARACTERS & THEMES THUS FAR…
presented in vignettes and song:

Laura Secord
Elizabeth Simcoe
Arabella Williams
Janet Carnochan in Pirates of Niagara
Pauline Johnson
McFarland girls in 1800s: Marjory, Martha, Jane , Sarah, Anne & Mary
Maria Spelterina (first woman to tightrope across the Falls)
The Underground Railroad
Lizzy, a servant girl of the 1800s
Hannah Hamilton (of Willowbank Estate)
Mary Malcolmson (founder of Girl Guides in Canada)

 

“Maja’s work to tell the fascinating stories of our town’s past through theatre and first person interpretation is a welcome addition to heritage programming available in town. There (are) many opportunities for her work to be featured at our various historic sites and at numerous special events with a heritage theme…Maja Bannerman is very talented, capable and able to bring our history alive.”

- Ron Dale
War of 1812 Project Manager, Parks Canada
Niagara National Historical Sites

 

Contemporary Performances

Maja as MC ~ Mistress of Ceremonies

It is always a delight to assist with creating a wonderful event and Maja has frequently served as MC at various functions. She is able to incorporate individual requests and tailor to suit the occasion.


Casta Diva ~ Visions of Maria Callas

She was the century’s greatest opera singer..in love with the world’s wealthiest man…but then the widow of a murdered President came between them…CASTA DIVA: Visions of Maria Callas, a one woman show based on the life of opera diva Maria Callas, written and performed by Maja Bannerman.

In July 1959, opera singer, MARIA CALLAS began an idyllic Mediterranean cruise as a guest of Aristotle Onassis, one of the world’s wealthiest men. By the time the ship docked, she had left her husband for Onassis. Their passionate liason continued throughout the 1960s- until Onassis married Jacqueline, the widow of assassinated US president, John F. Kennedy.

Adored for her talent and dreaded for her temper throughout the Western musical world, since her death in 1977, Callas has often been seen as a tragic figure. But writer and performer, Maja Bannerman always sensed some other story hidden within this modern Greek Tragedy. “It was as if one day Maria whispered in my ear, “ Bannerman says, “and I began to write.”

 

Parasol Lane Productions | Telephone 905-934-PAST (7278) | Website by Marty Spellerberg