The Velveteen Rabbit

adapted by jocelyn adema, lena maripuu, reanne spitzer and annie tuma from the book by margery williams
The Velveteen Rabbit

Production Support Provided By

Ontario Power Generation

Will the power of a child’s love be enough to make the Velveteen Rabbit’s wish come true?

At first the Velveteen Rabbit seems like an old-fashioned toy to B, who prefers more high-tech birthday presents. Soon, though, B and “Bunny” become inseparable friends.

Together they invent worlds in the house and in the garden, and when B gets sick, the Velveteen Rabbit never leaves B’s side. Guided by the wise Toy Horse and the Magic Fairy, the Velveteen Rabbit discovers how toys become real through the power of a child’s love.

This vibrant new stage adaptation of the classic story features original music and dance.

For Students in  ELKP to Grade 3

Bring The Velveteen Rabbit to Your School

The Velveteen Rabbit will be touring southern Ontario schools and community venues from March 27 to April 21, 2023.

The performance fee for schools is $625 + hst (distance surchage may apply outside of Niagara and Hamilton Regions)

Contact Heather Maxwell, Tour & Outreach Manager

905-682-8326 *22

audience Feedback

“We had a wonderful time with our 4 year old granddaughter. Velveteen Rabbit, an awesome story for her first live play experience. She really loved it!”

“Great show! Used to see these shows in my school gym. Now attending with my 3 year old daughter. So cool! Thanks. She loved it.”

“The actors were wonderful, and we really liked the Q&A portion and that my daughter could come up and see the actors after the play.”

Photos by Lauren Garbutt

Creative Team

Jocelyn Adema - Assistant Director and Playwright


Jocelyn Adema is an award winning actor, creator and director, and is the Intern Artistic Director with Carousel Players in their 50th Anniversary season.  Recent creative projects include co-adapting and assistant directing The Velveteen Rabbit for Carousel Players; creating the interactive sidewalk adventure Sidewalk Stories in downtown St. Catharines, and developing a remote-creation experiment with Lost Mail Collective.  Her directing credits include East of Berlin with Essential Collective Theatre, Molly Zoom with NAC’s #CanadaPerforms, Molly Bloom and PIPPI: The Strongest Girl with Gorgon Theatre.  As an actor, Jocelyn has originated roles for multiple new Canadian theatre productions, and performed with companies like Bad Hats Theatre, Soulpepper Theatre, Theatre Direct, Essential Collective Theatre, and Manitoba Young People’s Theatre.  Jocelyn is a candidate for a BA with a major in Geography, and is a graduate of George Brown College’s Performing Arts program.  She lives and works between Montreal, Toronto, and Regina, SK.

Sara Allison - Stage Manager

Sara Allison (Stage Manager) is a local St. Catharines Stage Manager and Scenic Artist, and currently the Production Stage Manager at Carousel Players. The Velveteen Rabbit is Sara’s 9th production with Carousel Players! Other credits for Carousel Players include; Pop! Pop!, Meet Chloe, Mask Minis, HBD2Me, Lig & Bittle, Water Wonder, Whole World, Hare & Tortoise. Recent credits elsewhere: This Is How We Got Here (Native Earth Performing Arts @ The Shaw Festival), Old Love, Lunenburg, Fair & Square (Lighthouse/ Showboat Festival Theatre), East of Berlin (Essential Collective Theatre), Fair & Square (Bluewater Summer Playhouse), Becoming Dr. Ruth (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Co.), Bad Jews (The Segal Centre/Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company), Master Harold and the Boys (Obsidian Theatre Company) Dracula, Chitra (Director’s Project), Me and My Girl (ShawFestival). Thank you to all my family and friends who continue to encourage me while I fulfill my theatre dreams.

Monica Dufault- Director

Monica Dufault has been Artistic Director of Carousel Players since January 2018. Previously she performed with The Shaw Festival, The National Arts Centre, Theatre Aquarius, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and other companies across Canada. Shehas acted in many plays for young audiences and was nominated for a Dora Award for her performance in Where the Wild Things Are. Monica was the Artistic Director of Essential Collective Theatre from 2014 to 2018, where she directed twelve productions. For Carousel Players, she has created live and digital productions, including Tomson Highway’s The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, whichtoured to Vancouver and Saskatoon in 2019. Ms. Dufault was selected as the Canadian delegate to the 2019 ASSITEJ Germany Directors in TYA Conference in Berlin, and is now a member of the board of ASSITEJ Canada. She holds a BA in Theatre, MA in Comparative Literatures and Arts, and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. Monica is thrilled to be directing this vibrant new adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit with this fabulous group of artists.

Rachel Forbes - Set Designer

Rachel is an award-winning set and costume designer creating for theatre, dance and film. Her work has been seen across the country on stages including at the Shaw Festival, Buddies in Bad Times, Neptune Theatre, YPT, Centaur Theatre and many more. Rachel is on the board of directors of the Associated Designers of Canada. She is especially interested in the development of new works, interdisciplinary explorations and integrating design into the text creation process. She received a Dora Mavor Moore award for costume design for The Brothers Size (Soulpepper 2019) and a Merrit Award for set design for The Bridge (2B/Neptune 2019).


Aisha Jarvis - Performer

Aisha is a Toronto born and raised singer, dancer, and actor and graduate of Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Music Theatre Program. Her career has taken her through many parts of Canada and internationally working in theatre, in tv/film, and as a backup vocalist. Her select theatre credits include ‘Velma Kelly’ in Chicago, ‘Silly Girl/Enchantress’ in Beauty & The Beast (Globe Theatre); ‘Bird Woman’ in Mary Poppins (Young People’s Theatre); ‘Jan’ in Grease (Irregular Entertainment); Key Change (Globe Theatre); ‘Dom’ in The Law of Gravity (Youtheatre); Prissy’ in Anne of Green Gables, ‘Lisa’ in Mamma Mia (Charlottetown Festival); ‘Snow White’ in Snow White (Solar Stage); ‘Annette’ in Brantwood, ‘Vanessa’ in In The Heights, ‘Sonia/Aisha’ in Godspell (Theatre Sheridan). Select Film/TV credits include ET Canada (CTV), Private Eyes (Global TV), the lead in the short film ‘She Her Him’ (Halo Productions) which was part of the Reelworld Film Festival in 2020, and an upcoming show on Apple TV. Last fall, she also toured in Europe with the band Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar as a backup vocalist and is part of the development of a new dance musical with Monster Collective! Aisha thanks her family, friends, and EJ for all of their love and support and is thrilled to making her debut and returning to live theatre with Carousel Players! Instagram: @aishaljarvis

Raha Javanfar - Music Director

 A musician, lighting/projections designer, theatre performer, and educator, Raha is a multi-faceted artist, born in Iran and raised in Toronto. She is the bassist/front-woman of Maple Blues Award nominee, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes. A classically trained violinist with a passion for roots music, Raha has played with such notable artists as Stars, Peter Katz, Tom Wilson, Protest the Hero, and Daniel Romano. She was recently featured in Musical Stage Company’s first virtual concert, Uncovered, and is currently a Slaight resident artist at Soulpepper. She was a featured performer at the 2019 Women’s Blues Revue at Roy Thomson Hall, and hosted the Maple Blues Awards at Koerner Hall in 2020. Raha was one of six co-creators of Dora-nominated and published play, Now You See Her. She was a cast member of the world premier of Rose: A Musical at Soulpepper, and has toured globally with Toronto Baroque orchestra, Tafelmusik, for over a decade as projections designer. Her lighting design credits include Brothers Size (Soulpepper; Dora nomination), Trout Stanley (Factory Theatre) amongst others.

Lena Maripuu - Performer & Playwright

Lena is a Dora Award winning Toronto actor / theatre creator / artist-educator. She loves collective creation and adapting classic stories. In addition to The Velveteen Rabbit, she is a co-writer for Pippi: The Strongest Girl In the World (Gorgon Theatre) and a co-writer / composer for MOBY: A Whale of a Tale (Pirate Life & Gorgon Theatre) in which she also played the role of Starbuck. Her other acting credits include: Wendy (Peter Pan, Soulpepper Theatre & Bad Hats Theatre); Molly (Molly Bloom, Gorgon Theatre) Shelley (Moving On, Toronto Fringe); Mrs. Do (Scott & Will, Solar Stage); Mary Snow (Salt Water Moon, Quarter Century Theatre.) Lena is also a drama teacher, director and choreographer for youth programs throughout Toronto and St. Catharines. A huge thank you to Carousel Players for making The Velveteen Rabbit become Real!!

Kara Pankiw - Associate Set Designer

Kara is an emerging set designer originally from Winnipeg, but now calling Toronto home. Her previous credits include, but are not limited to: This is How We Got Here (NEPA), The Killing / The Madness of Lady Bright / The Seagulls (Shaw Festival), La Liste (Théâtre Cercle Molière), Awaken (Shakespeare in the Ruins/ Zone41), Bar Mitzvah Boy (WJT), After Jerusalem (WJT). She has worked as an assistant at the Shaw Festival Theatre and Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. She received her formal training in design from the University of Winnipeg, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film (Scenic Design). As well as a Bachelor of Environmental Design (Architecture) from the University of Manitoba. 


Reanne Spitzer - Performer & Playwright

Originally from Ottawa, Reanne now resides in Montreal after a decade of working in Toronto in the professional theatre industry. She has made contributions to the Canadian theatre industry as an actor, choreographer, musician and writer. In 2020 she pivoted to watching Netflix, Crave, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime. After a casual two year hiatus, she is thrilled to be making her return to live theatre with Carousel Players! 

Annie Tuma - Performer & Playwright

Annie Tuma is a Toronto based actor, writer & creator. Originally from Minnesota, she has performed in shows in Minneapolis, San Francisco, Winnipeg and across southern Ontario. Some fav credits: Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre Rusticle), Boeing Boeing (Magnus Theatre), Peter Pan (Bad Hats/Carousel Players) and the feature film Flee The Light (Mythic Trips Entertainment) where she stars as Andra.

Writing credits include MOBY: A Whale of a TalePIPPI: The Strongest Girl in the World (Pirate Life & Gorgon Theatre) and of course The Velveteen Rabbit. All of which she has contributed to by writing, songwriting and performing in. She is so extremely grateful to Carousel Players for making this piece come to life! 

Ming Wong - Costume Designer

CAROUSEL PLAYERS: Debut. ELSEWHERE:  Is God Is, Canadian Stage/Obsidian/Necessary Angel; Pipeline, Soulpepper; Orphans for the Czar, Crow’s Theatre; Hamlet 911, Stratford Festival; Trouble in Mind, Shaw Festival; Hansel und Gretel, Canadian Opera Company; Julius Caesar, Crow’s Theatre/Groundling Theatre; Every Day She Rose, Nightwood Theatre; The Color Purple, Citadel Theatre/RMTC; A Beautiful Man, Factory Theatre; Girls Like That, Tarragon Theatre; hang, Obsidian Theatre; Life After, Musical Stage/Canadian Stage; The Wedding Party, Crow’s Theatre/Talk Is Free; Rocking Horse Winner, Tapestry Opera. DIGITAL: Alice in Winterland, Ross Petty Productions; New Monuments, Luminato/Canadian Stage; Savitri, Against the Grain; Alice in Wonderland, Bad Hats Theatre/Soulpepper. UPCOMING: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Crow’s Theatre; Things I Know to be True, Company Theatre/Mirvish). AWARDS: 2021 recipient of the Virginia & Myrtle Cooper Award. ONLINE: www.mingwongdesign.com