2016 Artists: Ladies of the CNR

Three women sneak into an empty and abandoned locomotive repair shop, their former employ during World War II. They revisit the world of the machines that temporarily held them captive, and re-experience the challenges of life on the Homefront.

Ladies of the CNR is a vignette inspired by a powerful wartime photograph with the provocative caption: “Ladies of the CNR Shops, Stratford 1944.”

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Courtesy of Perth Archives

 

KELLY MCINTIOSH.jpg

The project is conceived by Kelly McIntosh, actor, director, and devisor of theatre. Kelly brings her experience of creating shows through research/interview techniques learned from director Paul Thompson of Farm Show fame. Their collaboration credits include The Outdoor Donnellys, Death of a Hired Man, and Hippie for the Blyth Festival. Kelly has worked in theatres across the country and acted in the inaugural production of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 

STACY SMITH

 

Stacy Smith is an actor, arts educator and theatre-maker. She’s worked in theatres throughout the country and extensively in television and film.  She was nominated for a Genie award for her work in the film New Waterford Girl. She recently completed a run of The Ladies Foursome at Theatre Aquarius and Drayton Entertainment.

 

bAPTISTE NEIS

 

Baptiste Neis is a graduate of Concordia University’s Acting Program with a Drama For Human Development specialization. Baptiste most recently co-facilitated a community puppet capacity building project in Newfoundland with David Lane of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop.  A founding member of the Clever Crones, she presented a new work in development at Springworks 2016, The Baker’s Daughter.

 

 

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Jody Satchell, crew/performer: Jody is a Perth County Organic Farmer, and works as a carpenter at the Stratford Festival Scenic Shops.

 

 

hEATHER dAVIS

 

Heather Davies provides directorial assistance for the vignette. Heather’s directorial credits span across North America, the UK Germany and Spain. Filling a variety of directing roles Heather has worked with an impressive list of theatre companies that includes the Stratford Festival, The Grand Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company. Upcoming: Colours in the Storm at The Grand, London ON

 

Early dramaturgical/ research assistance by Elizabeth Davidson.

KELLY MCINTOSH, ILONA STEINACKER

‘Lady of the CNR’ Ilona Steinacker with Kelly McIntosh

Kelly McIntosh explains how ‘Ladies of the CNR’ relates to the theme of Unharvested Histories: 

Many people have sought me out to share their stories and to encourage me to continue. The shops are a big deal in Stratford. For one, they loom, empty, cavernous, dangerous, unresolved. Most locals I meet are connected one way or another through a family member. I see this story not just as a Stratford story, but a national story, and of women, and a perspective on our involvement with industry not unlike the Bomb Girls and Riveters. But for the lone photograph who would have remembered them? Our aim is to share and celebrate these women, who rose to the occasion, to a moment in history where necessity bent the gender lines. Many of their descendants tell me oh mum never talked about that, I didn’t even know there was a photograph, isn’t that something?

2016 Artists: Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree from Saskatchewan and a master’s student in history at the University of Waterloo.His work centres on trauma and memory within populations of Métis and Cree in Northern Saskatchewan, and the Algonquin of Timiskaming, Ontario. Specifically, he looks at how history can be applied to understand the effects of intergenerational trauma in contemporary Indigenous populations. His work is directed towards community healing and cultural reclamation as well as retrieval of oral history archives—termed as truth-telling as defined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission—challenging orthodox settler histories in the narrative of Turtle Island. Jesse is also interested in how the arts—film, writing, dance, painting and illustration—can be used to as a mode of resistance, cultural revitalization, and land reclamation among Indigenous peoples.

Follow Jesse on Twitter: @michifMan

Find out more about Jesse & his work on his blog.

Join us for Unharvested Histories on Oct. 15th to view Jesse’s film, kiskisiwin – remembering, created in partnership with 2015 Staging Our Histories artist Martha Stiegman.

2016 Artists: Henry Greenspan

Henry (“Hank”) Greenspan is a psychologist, oral historian, and playwright/actor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His play, REMNANTS was originally produced for National Public Radio in the U.S. and has been presented as a one-person staged performance by Greenspan at more that three hundred venues worldwide. He has been the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

We asked Hank how REMNANTS represents Unharvested Histories: 

Rather than single “testimonies,” my work with Holocaust survivors is based on multiple interviews with the same survivors that extended over months, years, and–with a few people–even decades. Survivors (like everyone else) say different things, and in different ways, in sustained conversations that allow deepening reflection, exploration, and candor. For that reason, much of what REMNANTS presents has not been “harvested” before.

You can see more of Hank’s work at www.henrygreenspan.com

Good news! Unharvested Histories DEADLINE EXTENDED past long weekend!

GOOD NEWS for dancers, poets, musicians, film makers, students and historians who want to share lesser known histories off the page & on the stage: Staging Our Histories has extended the submission deadline for Unharvested Histories in Goderich to better accommodate our submitting artists.

Artist submissions will now be accepted until midnight on July 4th, 2016. If you haven’t already started a written or recorded proposal that outlines how you would bring #UnharvestedHistories to life on the stage or screen, you have one extra week to create material and pinpoint your technical needs. See our submission guidelines for more detailed information on what our co-organizers will be looking for when selecting pieces, and what to include in your proposal. For the 2016 event in Goderich, we’re seeking a diversity of storytelling mediums & performance styles, as well as diverse histories that matter to individuals and communities across Huron County and surrounding communities.

Prospective performers can submit early or send questions about their proposal for more detailed feedback and guidance from our co-directors. We’d love to hear from you! Email us at staginghistories@gmail.com, tweet us @stagehist or message us via Facebook.