Bio

Our Board of Directors

Biographies in Process

Ruth (Ruth) Stackhouse


Founding member (1989)
A leader in the Mad/Disabilty Arts Community Ruth has produced many plays and events with The Friendly Spike Theatre Band.
She is an actor, director, playwright and administrator who holds an Honors BA (Ryerson University 2010), and MA (York University, 2013).A recipient of the prestigeous City of Toronto Access Award (2011) and the distiguished Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)

Honey Novick


Honey Novick is a singer/songwriter/voice teacher/poet, and the author of 8 CDs and 9 poetry books, most recently, Undefeated Relevance (Flowertopia Studio, 2018). She was a recipient in the 2018 Canada 150 Outstanding Neighbours Award, and two-time awardee of the Dr. Reva Gerstein Legacy Fund for Voice Yoga. Her poetry & songs have been translated and published in Greek, Japanese, Spanish and Urdu. Her poem “WHO is an Indigenous Woman” was requested by the Ontario Native Women’s Association and used in a report to the Ontario government drawing attention to murdered and missing Indigenous Women. Her tone Poem, “I’m MAD – Making A Difference” will be presented at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She’s sung tributes to Leonard Cohen and Austin Clarke with George Elliott Clarke.  

Maureen O’Donnell


I have been a fan of and volunteer for Friendly Spike Theatre Band since the 90’s, and honoured to be invited to join the Board of Directors. I’m scheming ways to offer my experience and schooling to continue furthering the band’s work.

Untold stories will die. FSTB gives them a voice, for some a stage and a spotlight, and for some a place behind the curtain. For a collective of survivors the work is important. In ways we cannot measure. It is work of the spirit.

I volunteered with I Will Not Fall, Angels of 999, and Girls of Grandview among others, and I look forward with enthusiasm to being a part of FSTB’s future.

Kathy Friedman


Kathy Friedman’s poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction have appeared in literary magazines across Canada. In 2012, she was named an under-35 writer to watch by the Writers’ Trust of Canada as a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. She has also been runner-up for the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award and PRISM international’s short fiction contest and was nominated by PRISM for the Journey Prize. Kathy has a BFA in Creative Writing from UBC and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She teaches creative writing in the University of Guelph’s Open Learning program and has led writing workshops for CAMH, Workman Arts, The 519, Progress Place, and the Toronto Public Library. Kathy is also the co-founder and artistic director of InkWell Workshops, which delivers free creative-writing workshops to people with mental-health and addictions issues led by professional instructors with lived experience.

​Penny Riegle


Penny Riegle has been involved with the Friendly Spike Theatre Band since attending method acting classes conducted by Ruth Ruth in 1991. She has been an actor in a number of the Friendly Spike Theatre Band productions, as well as working on costuming for some productions. Some things she likes doing are sewing and catching up on projects she started in the past. Doing a little cat-sitting too. She goes to choir at the JCC on Tuesdays and recently became a member of Trinity St. Paul’s United Church and is recovering from hip replacement surgery.  She is in flux at the moment.

​Helen Posno



Helen Posno is an actor,  director, media and textile artist, painter, photographer, playwright, poet and producer.
I was a performer for Ruth Ruth Stackhouse’s TIED TOGETHER  when she took the play and several performers to the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver,  British Columbia,  2008.
Recent Publication:
WATER FROM THE WELL copyright Helen Posno 2020 – a collection of poetry published by Secret Handshake Gallery,  Toronto 2020.
Recent Productions:
HONEST INSANITY copyright Helen Posno 2019 at the Red Sandcastle Theatre,  September, Toronto 2019
JESTER’S HAT copyright Helen Posno 2018 through the Seeds of Hope foundation at 6 St Joseph Street , September,  Toronto 2018
CHALLENGING THE SEA copyright Helen Posno 2016 at the Theatre Centre,  January,  Toronto 2018  – Funded by the Ontario Arts Council.
THE CLOSET PUB copyright Helen Posno 2015 at the May Robinson Auditorium for Ruth Ruth Stackhouse and the Mad Pride’s Mad Culture Night, July Toronto 2015. 

Richard Paul


Richard Paul is a coder, artist, engineer, designer and illustrator.

He joined the Friendly Spike in 1999 when he met ruth at a Houselink Community Homes general meeting and the rest is history. About this time he finished his diploma from Humber’s Industrial Design program and from there went on to help in administration, performance, prop and set design, and much of the promotional material that the theatre required. He took a break to take art/animation courses and completed a diploma in Systems Analysis. Currently he is working on some publishing projects and acting as an IT consultant in addition to webmastering for the Friendly Spike.

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