Mother’s Day with SpringWorks

Make Mother’s Day Extra Special with SpringWorks!Mother’s Day is just about a month away and it’s never to early to start planning the perfect way to show your love for your mother or how to spend the day with your family.With our new Family Passes and Children’s Flex Passes, it’s easier than ever to have a lovely day of theatre and entertainment the whole family will enjoy

!A Celebration of Women – #swfCelebrationCreated & Performed by Peggy Mahon
Sunday May 11 @ 2:00pm @ Falstaff Family CentreFrom the Golden Age of Music comes this cabaret concert celebrating the many great female singer-songwriters from The Great American Songbook. Accompanied by jazz festival regular Danny McErlain.A Bit About Peggy
A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and the Girroir School of Music, Peggy is an actress, singer, director, producer, voice and acting teacher. Her career spans 60 years, beginning on radio in Halifax, playing leading roles in theatres in almost every city in Canada as well as several in the US, and she continues to perform in theatre, film, cabaret, jazz festivals and clubs. Peggy has recorded 3 CDs – two are jazz releases and the third is a children’s album.

SWF: Where did the idea for A Celebration of Women come from?
PEGGY: This is an annual show that I do in Toronto on or within a few days of Mother’s Day to focus on the often obscure but always amazing contributions of women to the music industry. The proceeds of that show are donated to Interval House, Canada’s first women’s shelter.

SWF: As this newsletter is highlighting our Mother’s Day performances, what makes A Celebration of Women the ideal experience to share with our mothers and families?
PEGGY: It’s all about how wonderful we are! What better day to celebrate!

SWF:  In compiling the songs for A Celebration of Women have you found any fascinating untold stories of the part women played in the creation of the Great American Songbook and The Golden Age of Music?
PEGGY: The show is filled with little known anecdotes about the women whose music is featured, or who made the music famous.

Get your tickets for A Celebration of Women here
Or by phone:1-800-518-2819 ext. 3

Dairy-Free Love – #swfDairyFree
Written & Performed by Victoria Murdoch
Saturday May 10 @ 12:00 p.m.
The Perth County Welcome Centre (Shakespeare)
Sunday, May 11 @ 12:00pm, Friday May 16 @ 6:00pm, & Saturday May 17 @ 2:00pm
Falstaff Family CentreHostess of nightly Internet cooking show “Dawn’s Delights,” and married to handsome (but curiously absent) cruise ship captain Kalum, Dawn loves domestic life, and does her best to maintain the values (and appearance!) of a perfect 1950’s housewife.  But Dawn has a secret: tonight is the five-year anniversary of the last time she left the house, and her slowly simmering life is about to reach a boil! Laugh and cry (and watch Dawn prepare three dairy and gluten-free treats live onstage) as she invites you into her home, her life, and her heart in this emotionally fulfilling treat that will leave you wanting seconds!

For a sneak peek at Dairy-Free Love, check out this trailer!
Hear what Victoria has to say about Dairy-Free Love here!

A Bit About Victoria
Victoria is a Stratford wannabe – Toronto-based actress, voice over talent and emcee of the Food Network Celebrity Stage (CNE).  Recent credits include The Nun in Paul Priya’s Wedding, Libby Tucker in I Ought to be in Pictures, and her New York City debut as Denial in award-winning stage play First Hand Woman. Victoria founded Savory Entertainment to create “pleasantly satisfying productions” and Dairy-Free Love is its founding project. She is currently in production on her next show, Bootlegger’s Wife – a historical drama inspired by the woman behind Canada’s most notorious bootlegger which she will tour to the London and Hamilton Fringe Festivals this summer. When she’s not performing, Victoria loves to cook gluten/dairy-free food for her friends and family and regularly posts recipes/reviews and tips on her popular blog Gluten/Dairy Freedom.

SWF: Where did the idea for Dairy-Free Love come from?

VICTORIA: There is a lot of cooking in the show, and as the oldest of three kids with full-time working parents, I started to prepare dinner from an early age.  Also, my mother (a Stratford native!) didn’t allow “junk food” in the house, so if I wanted a treat, I had to make it myself!  Later in life, when I learned that I was gluten and dairy intolerant, I had to change my whole approach to food, which is when the idea for the show started to form. My character – Dawn – is a 1950’s domestic diva wannabe who has shut herself away from the pleasures in life because she can’t quite cope with the “real thing”.  Dairy-Free Love is based on the idea that we can settle for an easily digestible substitute for life, or top it with whipped cream and a cherry!

SWF: As this newsletter is highlighting our Mother’s Day performances, what makes Dairy-Free Love the ideal experience to share with our mothers and families?

VICTORIA: There is something so wholesome and comforting about preparing food for loved ones and the conversations and intimate revelations that come out of time spent together in the kitchen, or over a meal.  The kitchen and the dinner table are truly places where we can to get back to family, reflect on where we’ve come from, and spend time with the people who have helped bring us to where we are today! I am so incredibly grateful for my large extended family; many of which are scattered around the Stratford area, and many which have seen or are coming to see this show! Dairy-Free Love reflects on what’s important in life, and reconnecting with the people who are always there for us.  Not to mention there’s lots of laughter, and lots of chocolate – two things most mothers love – I know mine does!

SWF:  I love the way Dairy Free Love combines 1950s ideals with the very 2014 concept of the web based cooking show. What was the process of marrying those two like?

VICTORIA: I have always loved cooking shows, particularly the hostesses who share their kitchens and homes with their audiences.  I wanted to take the spirit of the perfect 1950’s housewife and filter her through a web-cam for a worldwide audience in 2014! Even though she’s not from the ’50’s, Dawn is nostalgic for what she thinks was a “simpler time” and rather then leaving her house and meeting people who may challenge her perfectly controlled life, she invites the world into her living room every night for a “virtual dinner” as the host of “Dawn’s Delights.”  Dawn’s online bubble is a very comforting place to hide, but the bubble is about to burst, and that’s where the play begins!

Get your tickets for Dairy-Free Love here
Or by phone: 1-800-518-2819 ext. 3

Life as a Pomegranate – #swfPomegranate
Written & Performed by Dawna Joy Wightman
Saturday, May 11 @ 6:00 pm @ Falstaff Family Centre
Tuesday, May 13 @ 8:00 pm & Wednesday, May 14 @ 6:00pm @ Factory163

Rosie Fudge is a quirky actor who believes she can enjoy both family and an international career. Instead she finds small town people, a buffoon husband and an evil inner critic. Directed by Ginette Mohrand original music & sound design by David Mesiha

Check out a sneak peek of the show here!

A Bit About Dawna
Even ‘at her age’, Dawna began writing in 2006 under Queen’s University’s Prof. John Lazarus. Montreal born, she has been acting since 2008. Selected roles: Lyubov Andreevna in Guild Festival Theatre’s The Cherry Orchard, Annie Sullivan in BTW’s Helen, Annie, Alex: The Helen Keller Story, Mrs. Poorly in BTW’s Dracula: A Love StoryLife as a Pomegranate: OUTSTANDING ACTRESS AWARD, MITF, Mid Winter Madness Division, NYC 2013. Other plays written: Grand GesturesContainers (Official Selection, 2007 Women’s Work New Play Festival), The Hush Baby (People’s Choice Award 2013, SpringWorks Festival) and Little Birds (unproduced). Novel (unpublished)A Yarn of Bone & Paper.

SWF: Where did the idea for Life as a Pomegranate come from?

DAWNA: Life events are free. And true. Things happen to us and we can leave them behind or collect them and write a story! I wrote Life as a Pomegranate. The idea came from 19 years spent living in small towns in BC and Ontario. I stripmined my life to find the people and events that stood out in sharp relief. Then I wove them together and pounded them into submission so they’d make sense. My story is so Canadian. When the show went to NYC I warned the producers that they might want me to tweak or remove the nationalism in my work. They loved it! Now I am testing out some new material at SpringWorks. It is even more Canadian.

SWF: As this newsletter is highlighting our Mother’s Day performances, what makes Life as a Pomegranate the ideal experience to share with our mothers and families?

DAWNA: This show is by, about and for…mothers. Ever read The Glass House by Jennifer Wells? Sort of that kind of mother experience. The main character can’t find the balance between being a good mom and making her own dreams come true. Perfect for anyone who has children in their life. If my three kids took me to a play on Mother’s Day I would want it to be worth the trip. It would need to hit me in the head, heart and deep in the gut. It would have to have raw, juicy, skilled acting and tight direction. I would want to leave the theatre saying ‘THANKS KIDS! THAT WAS FUN!’ Most of all I would want to have made a happy memory. Life as a Pomegranate makes all these promises. Plus the tickets are affordable. Nice!

SWF: Life as a Pomegranate has been performed in some very intimate spaces. Do you find that intimate venues reflect and enhance the personal nature of the story?

DAWNA: LOL. Guess a mattress store is close to the epitome of intimate performance space! That’s where it began. Imagine being inside a pomegranate. Smack dab in the heart of the story along with the set and the actor. Lucky there’s only one actor in this play. When the audience is close I think they appreciate that my characters draw them into their reality. You are cradled by Life as a Pomegranate. You become part of the messy, juicy, seedy, bitter, sweet experience. It becomes an event as much about the audience as it is about Rosie Fudge. Lead by the nine characters the audience can really enjoy their proximity to the action yet still have a delightful vantage.

Get your tickets for Life as a Pomegranate here
Or by phone: 1-800-518-2819 ext. 3

Marilyn~After – #swfMarilyn 
Written and Performed by Nonnie Griffin
Sunday, May 11 @ 4:00pm @ Falstaff Family Centre
Wednesday, May 14 @ 8:00pm Factory163What if? What might she have had to say? A one-woman play by Nonnie Griffin, based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn tells her story depicting herself as older because in her words, she never got the chance to be her older self.  Also, as she says, she always loved older people and names some of the many she was close to and who meant so much to her during her lifetime. Marilyn comes back from beyond to tell her audience the truth about how her life was: Her lack of any real parenting, the many foster homes, the sexual demands made on young actresses in those days, the nude calendar she became famous for, the men in her life and much more. It is an evening of shocking truths, mitigated by touches of wit and humour, for which of course, the unforgettable Marilyn Monroe was famous.

A Bit About Nonnie
Blessed with striking beauty, a gifted mimic, and acting with simple truthfulness that combines power and vulnerability, she went on to make an artistic contribution in many mediums from stage to screen, but especially stands out as a radio actress. Hear Nonnie talk about her incredible and varied career here!

SWF: Where did the idea for Marilyn~After come from?
NONNIE:  It seemed that quite a few people were giving me books on Marilyn Monroe for Christmas.  I had always been fascinated by her and the fascination grew as I read each book.  Then a friend gave me the Marilyn Monroe Encyclopedia and the information within that book started me on the idea of writing a show about her. I had been compared to her from time to time and I had a strong feeling about her as a woman. So much that was difficult in her in some ways applied to myself as well. Her search for the core of any character was mine, a great sense of comedy as well. Her loneliness struck a chord too. I had parents and several brothers but I often felt alone as did Marilyn. That need to express the truth of a character was my greatest aim. Marilyn and I aren’t just actresses. There was a need in us to make the inside of a character our life’s work. We had to be actresses and we wanted to be good ones.

SWF: As this newsletter is highlighting our Mother’s Day performances, what makes Marilyn~After the ideal experience to share with our mothers and families?NONNIE:  Nothing was more important to Marilyn Monroe than being a mother. She had wanted it with all her heart and soul although things didn’t work out for her. The child she had was taken from her when she was only 19 and there was nothing she could do.  She was poor and had no one to turn to and so, she had to let her little baby girl go.  She had wanted to be the kind of mother she never had.  Her own mother was unable to take care of Marilyn because of mental illness and Marilyn longed to show a child what real love could be.  She found her little girl when she was in her early 30’s but didn’t want to take her away from the family she had grown up with.  She had loved her first foster mother but was taken away from her and it hurt her badly.  She didn’t want little Nancy to suffer as she had.  Anyone who is a mother can understand the anguish of those who long for a child. Marilyn had three pregnancies when she was married to Arthur Miller, but lost them all.  When anyone sees Some Like It Hot, they are seeing a pregnant Marilyn Monroe.  Sadly, she lost the child.  It caused her great sorrow and those who are mothers will empathize with her and her great wish to be a mother too.

SWF: What do you think it is about Marilyn Monroe that people find so fascinating? What was it that drew you to her story?
NONNIE: Marilyn Monroe wasn’t just an exceptionally beautiful woman.  In any of her roles she shows not just the character, but her own self.  It’s all any actor or actress has.  Whatever came through, those watching picked up on that quality and she had a rare sweetness as well.  There was something about her that expressed vulnerability and people loved her for it.  No pride, nothing put-on, no vanity, but a person with a heart and soul.  She had a great sense of fun as well and of course, comedy was her forte. I was drawn to the story of Marilyn because, being an actress myself, it’s the inside story of anyone that has the greatest appeal for me. I could see she had a heart of gold and also that she was a lonely soul.  I even dreamed about her quite a long time ago and I told her in my dream that I wanted to be her true friend.  She said, ‘Oh thank you, Nonnie.  I need a friend!’  Basically, Marilyn is entirely lovable and I wanted to tell the world her story and especially the truth about her last days.  It is a compelling one and somewhat shocking.  In the end though, it is Marilyn Monroe and her great gifts that needed – in my mind – to be acknowledged and shared with the world.

Get your tickets for Marilyn~After here
Or by phone: 1-800-518-2819 ext. 3

In addition to the four productions featured in today’s newsletter, our Mother’s Day programming also includes Anna Atkinson’s Dinner & Cabaret at The Church Restaurant (a wonderful package of music and a special three-course menu), Poetry of Gay Allison at Gallery Stratford, and a family-friendly Shakespeare Workshop with award winning Women’s Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Lisa Wolpe.Get your tickets for these and other shows here!

SpringWorks now has charitable status and can issue tax receipts! All levels of sponsorship are appreciated. Check out our website for how you can donate today!

Let’s use the above #hashtags & get SpringWorks 2014 trending on Twitter!

From technicians to Front of House, SpringWorks can always handle more Volunteers! For more information or to volunteer, check out our website.

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