Feed back notes for staged readings


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  1. Your response to these plays is of vital importance. Each writer needs your response, needs specific information so that they can move forward in their particular process.

  1. How the feed back is delivered is also crucial. Please try always to respond in a way which is ‘empowering’ to the writer. Always try to provide response which can fuel the next step, ‘enable’ the work to move forward.

  1. Bear in mind that most of the work being responded to is ‘unfinished’. We may be talking about a portrait in which the jaw-line has yet to be defined, or a landscape whish is still determining its exact point of horizon.

  1. Rather than delivering a final verdict or judgment {or even an on-the-spot brilliant interpretation} – register a response: “I was confused because you had ‘A’ happening at one point and ‘B’ happening at another and I couldn’t put them together.” “I was very moved at this specific moment because…” “Perhaps I missed something, but I didn’t follow how you got from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. I didn’t see the bridge.”

  1. Make an effort to “hear with your eye” and your “kinetic ear.” Reading a play tends to privelege the dialogue and under-privelege the non-verbal, visual, kinetic worlds of the play. Try to ‘read’ and ‘hear’ the stage images and choreographies.

  1. Don’t write your own play. Don’t start a statement with, “What should have happened is…” It does not help the writer to be told he is like another, more famous writer; nor to be criticized because the material has been treated elsewhere. On the other hand, it is important to tell the writer what was enjoyable about the play and why. Once he understands what works, it is easier for him to deal with what does not.

  1. Avoid questions which require a direct response from the playwright. The playwright should be ‘listening’ to what you have to say, not launching into verbal explanations that distract from that focus. The playwright has already ‘talked’ in the script – now it is the their turn to do their part by giving the writer as much helpful feedback as possible.

  1. Have fun.

The International Centre for Women Playwrights

Celebrates International Women's Day


She Speaks

‘Muse’ © Virgil Burnett

Staged readings of short plays and excerpts from longer plays by women.

The Play is the Thing!

Brianna’s Quest (Act 1, Scenes I & II)

by Shirley Barrie

performed by

Arlene Thomas, Kristopher Bowman

Nicholas Cumming and Tracey Kenyon

Color Me Fuchsia (fragments)

by Lea Daniel

performed by

Shelah Ranalli & Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Down Memory Lane

by Francine Dick

performed by Shirley Barrie & Carol Lewis
Opaque ( Act: I Scene: I)

by Paddy Gillard-Bentley

performed by

Arlene Thomas, David Antscherl & Carol Lewis

The Sun is a Neon Sign (Act: I Scene: III)

by Grace Kary

directed by Jascha Narveson

performed by

Gary Kirkham & Paddy Gillard-Bentley

The Death of Suzie Lau

by Tamara Knezic

performed by

Lindsay Stewart & Bruce Wolff

On the Edge

by Jenni Mundy

performed by

Carolina Miranda & Kristopher Bowman

*unless otherwise specified, the plays were directed by the playwrights.

CAROLINA MIRANDA is a performer from Brazil, where she was part of AGORA – CDT, a very active theatre company in her country. She holds a B.A. in Portuguese and English Language and Literature from the Universidade de Sao Paulo. Carolina moved to Canada in August 2003, and has since studied with a number of eminent teachers such as Sue Morrison, Mike Kennard and David Smukler. She joined the MT Space in Nijinsky: through a window and in October 2004. She had her debut on Canadian screens playing the leading role in the short film Moving by Ian Kennedy. She has recently finished shooting Baby by Tijuana Lane.

Carolina will be reading from On The Edge.

SHELAGH RANALLI loved the idea of taking theatre to the streets, literally, in Asphalt Jungle Shorts, and she’s happy to be taking part in a venture that explores new art, and gives to the community in the same breath. Previously, Shelagh has acted in productions with Waterloo Stage Theatre, KWMP and Theatre & Company. Her most favourite production was Paddy Gillard-Bentley's renown creation, Shaking The Dew From The Lilies, where she had the honour of portraying the intoxicating, Aja. Shelagh resides in Kitchener with her lovely children, Charlotte and Joseph. Shelagh will be reading from color me Fuschia.

LINDSAY STEWART Lindsay Stewart is a Kitchener musician, actor and author. He is currently completing work on the recording of 13 new, original songs. Upon finishing the recordings, the music and Lindsay's other creative endeavours will be

made available when he launches lindsaystewart.ca in the next few months.
ARLENE THOMAS has been acting since grade four when she performed in her school play and discovered that she liked being on stage. More recently she graduated from the University of Windsor with a B.F.A. in acting. She has created and performed in many productions both in Waterloo region and in other areas of the country. Arlene has appeared in Twelve Angry Jurors (#9), Zazztrozzi (Julia), Something Followed Me Home (Ella), and The Merchant of Venice (Portia), among many others. Arlene is the co-founder of Shadow Puppet Theatre, a new theatre company which is currently working on mounting a production of Macbeth using Shadow Puppets. She is pleased to be involved with She Speaks, after performing in Asphalt Jungle Shorts. Arlene will be reading from Opaque and Brianna’s Quest.
BRUCE WOLFF was more surprised than anyone to be among the group of actors involved in Asphalt Jungle Shorts. While he needed not too gentle prodding to join, there may be a general impression that he accepted rather quickly. This is likely the result of his secret dreams of a return to the glory years of writing, producing and acting in high school productions. His day job (which he won't be quitting anytime soon) at Wilfrid Laurier in the Biology Department gives him plenty of opportunity to practice his oratory skills. It is most likely that work, time with his kids and friends, and traveling to Formula-One races will provide sufficient incentive to keep the stage an enjoyable avocation. Bruce will be reading from The Death of Suzie Lau.

NICHOLAS CUMMING, who is thrilled to be reading at She Speaks, will next be appearing in a remount of Legion of Memory in April, and as part of Pinteresque in June at The MT Space (www.mtspace.ca). He has been spotted acting in Yes or No!, Legion of Memory, Season of Immigration to the West, and Three Legged Horse with The MT Space; in Poor Tom’s production of Tennessee Williams’ I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow; and Mimetic Flesh / Mimetic Hotel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Spring Awakening with UW Drama. He directed/wrote/performed in The Children’s Crusade for UPStart 2007, and directed/wrote HE for UPStart 2004. He has co-created in-class work such as Welcome to BEEF-US, The Golem of Prague, and Sprinkle’s Big V. Nicholas will be reading for Brianna’s Quest.

BRIAN KELLY is interested in most aspects of the arts, but he’s really busy running Jump Logistics and doesn’t have much time to play.
TRACEY KENYON was involved in Asphalt Jungle Shorts. She is an active member in variety of community theatres, and performs regularly with The Mysterious Players - A theatre company that travels across Ontario performing Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. Some favourite shows include, Hello Dolly!! – Elmira Theatre Company, Devil’s Disciple – Galt Little Theatre, Funny Valentine – Theatre in the Trees and I Won’t Tell a Soul – Galt Little Theatre. Tracey will be reading for Brianna’s Quest.
GARY KIRKHAM is a playwright, actor, filmmaker, et al. His play, Queen Milli of Galt, won the Samuel French Canadian Playwriting Competition and will be part of the 2007 Blyth Festival Season. His one act play, Look, was adapted into a short film staring Mike Peng and Alan Sapp. His newest play, Falling: A Wake, will premiere at the Registry Theatre March 15-24, 2007! Gary is a member of Lost & Found Theatre. He has also acted with Theatre & Company and most recently, MT Space, touring in their version of The Season of Immigration. Gary spent years as an improviser with several comedy troupes including Mental Floss and was in The Second City’s Master class. If you didn’t blink, you might have seen him in several sketches on The Kids in the Hall. As a filmmaker, Gary will be going to Africa to film a documentary about Aids orphans. He is also filming Bard on the Street, a series of Shakespearean monologues performed throughout the region. Gary will be reading from The Sun is a Neon Sign.

CAROL LEWIS is delighted to be part of this celebration of International Women’s Day. She is a member of several local community theatre groups. Last summer Carol won an award at a one-act play festival as “The Sweetest Little Mom in the World” for her role as 'Mrs. Spiller' in ‘Autumn Blooming’. Most recently Carol narrated the role of 'Death' in Distler’s ‘Dance of Death’ with the Menno Singers in Kitchener.

Carol will be reading from Down Memory Lane & Opaque.

She Speaks

Produced by

Flush Ink Productions
Producers – Paddy Gillard-Bentley & Jenni Mundy

Lights and Sound – Sean Fullerton

Set-ups and Stage Directions – Brian Kelly

Cool stuff around the theatre – Samuel Liam Bentley

Thanks to Jump Logistics
This event has been funded by ICWP - International Centre for Women playwrights. The money raised will be divided between ICWP and Anselma House; providing emergency shelters and services for abused women and their children.

The Artist

VIRGIL BURNETT was born in Kansas in 1928, Virgil Burnett is an author and illustrator whose work has been widely published in Europe and North America. He received his undergraduate education at Columbia University in New York, where he studied with Edward Melcarth, a Social realist painter. In 1950 he was drafted, trained as a combat engineer and sent to Europe where he served for two years in a propaganda company as an artist-illustrator. After his military service he attended graduate school at Berkeley, taking a master's degree in art history. When a Fulbright scholarship took Burnett to Paris in 1956, he encountered other expatriate artists including David Hill, who remained a close friend until his death in 1977. Burnett also met Maurice Darantiere, a French publisher, who made him aware of the expressive possibilities of the book arts. By 1960 he was working primarily as an illustrator. A professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Waterloo since the early 1970's, Burnett has created an artistic oeuvre of extraordinary scope and breadth. (From Beglo, Jo Nordley. "Text, Image, Memory, and Illusion" in Virgil Burnett: a Retrospective Exhibition 1960-1990. Waterloo, Ont.: University of Waterloo Library, 1991).

Thank you, Virgil, for allowing us to use your amazing artwork, Muse.

The Playwrights
*SHIRLEY BARRIE is a Toronto playwright who has received two Chalmers Awards and a Dora Award for her work. Her newest play, Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…, a vaudeville musical murder mystery, will be produced at 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook in August, 2007. Other recent productions: the award winning one-act, Revelation (Alumnae New Ideas, Toronto Fringe), Possession (Alumnae New Ideas) and two new adaptations of old tales: Hansel and Gretel (Geordie Theatre) and The Girl in the Flower Basket (Japanese Folklore Theatre Productions). She was in South Africa for much of 2005/06 working as Senior Story Editor on Jozi-H (short for Johannesburg Hospital) , a 13 x one-hour TV medical drama series broadcast on CBC TV in Canada and SABC in South Africa. Shirley was a co-founder of the Tricycle Theatre in London, England and of Straight Stitching Productions in Toronto.
*LEA DANIEL (Kitchener) was a founding member of Theatre & Company’s Writers Bloc and PlayLab and is currently a member of Pat the Dog playwrights’ collective. Her short play Highway Robbery was produced as part of Theatre & Company’s May Playfest (1999); Burn was part of May Playfest (2002); Heretic, a full-length play was chosen for the Off-The-Page Series at Equity Showcase Theatre, Toronto (2003), for a reading at The Cobblestone Festival, Paris, Ontario (2004) and was workshopped in 2006. Lea is an award-winning illustrator and writer of books for children.

FRANCINE DICK lives in Toronto and is part of the Alumnae Theatre's New Play Development group. Her play, As Large As Alone, was part of the Alumane's New Ideas Festival in 2006. She is also the author of Meditations and A Wedding in Blue and White. Under the name of Miriam Wright she published a collection of short stories, The Inner Core.

*PADDY GILLARD-BENTLEY (Kitchener) has been involved in one aspect of theatre or another since her Mother, Tessa, was four months pregnant with her during, Time Out For Ginger. Several of her plays have been produced, including, Shaking the Dew from the Lilies, Quantum Entanglement, About Surreal Life, Howard & the Snake, External Musings, In Tense City, Cynthia's Story, Frailty Thy Name is Woe, One Tender Lie, Comic Strip, Sanguine Sonata and White Noise, in several cities in Canada and USA. After co-producing “Lilies”, Paddy produced Asphalt Jungle Shorts, a series of site specific plays performed downtown Kitchener Sept. 2006. The next AJS will be May, 2007. Paddy is the President of ICWP (International Centre for Women Playwrights), was in Writer's Bloc, (Theatre & Company) for several years.
*JENNI MUNDAY (Australia in Burlington for six months) is on the academic staff of Charles Sturt University. She has written several shorter works and a larger work that is the product of her doctoral research on 'adapting the novel for live performance', VitaBrevis. Her Masters research and earlier professional performance work centered around creating performances in unusual places - her performing group, Elbow Room's last work was Tom's Women, by Geoffrey Sykes – a series of female monologues based on the paintings of an Australian artist, Tom Roberts. Her works also explore and include aspects of technology.

*GRACE KARY (Kitchener) is a graduate of Ryerson’s media arts program in Toronto and an active member in the independent media community in Canada, Grace Kary is the first recipient of the prestigious Hunter Award for her script “Immaculate”. Her short films have appeared in film festivals around the world and on Canadian television. In addition, she has received grants from civic, provincial and national granting bodies including the Canada Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Waterloo Regional Arts Foundation. This is her first full-length play, a short play has been produced in Canada. Two upcoming exhibits of her work - a show in March ‘07 in Mexico and an installation piece in Zero to One Gallery, Kitchener in June ’07.

TAMARA KNEZIC (Toronto) likes to mix it up. In 2006 she edited the content for the Pride Toronto website, worked on the Journal for the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted and work-shopped a play she wrote called "Willfully Blind". She's excited about having her newest play included as part of the ICWP's staged readings on International Women's Day 2007.
*Playwrights are members of The International Centre for Women Playwrights.
The Director * The Sound/Light Guy * The Actors
JASCHA NARVESON is a local area composer of acoustic and electronic

music, and has never directed anything before now. Jascha will be directing The Sun is a Neon Sign, for Grace Kary.

SEAN FULLERTON, the light and sound guy, lives downtown with his family and a multitude of pets, It is his pleasure to be once again back with his friends, Sean was the TD at theatre and company for the 13th 14th and 15th Seasons, before that he was the sound operator for 2 season (love those Chai & Cookies eh nicole) and prior to that he has held various technical jobs, Software Developer, Make-Up artist, currently he is wearing his Software development hat.

DAVID ANTSCHERL has been involved in theatre for as long as he can remember from childhood days. He has done everything from sweeping the stage floor to knocking them in the aisles. These days he is a professional stage set and costume designer - most of the time. For this occasion he wears a hat marked 'actor'. Just in case you don't realise that he is. David has recently designed costumes for the world premiere of local playwright Gary Kirkham's play 'Falling, A Wake'. David is delighted to be associated with this special event and working with Paddy Gillard again. David will be reading from Opaque.
KRISTOPHER BOWMAN, a Kitchener native, has been performing since the age of fourteen. His most recent credits include, KWLT’s production of What the Butler Saw, and his several roles in Shaking the Dew from the Lilies. Kris’s passion on the stage include improv, clown work and dinner theatre. “Comedy in any and every form, is so necessary today, I’m only happy to help. If I had a wife and kids, I’d thank them for their support.” Kris will be reading for Brianna’s Quest and On The Edge.

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