tea and sympathy

In certain circles in the 19th century, drinking tea was considered a dangerous habit. More specifically, working class women were discouraged from engaging in the practice because if they were taking time from their daily chores to congregate around a pot of tea, it could only mean that they were up to no good. In short: “Sipping tea was once thought of as a reckless, suspicious act, linked to revolutionary feminism.” (Alison Aubrey, for npr.org) No wonder I love it so!  My love affair with tea began in my early 20’s. Up to that point, I hadn’t given it much

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a perfect day

Opening night for Two Planks and a Passion Theatre’s 2017 season was absolutely glorious! The weather was perfect for both shows — Nothing Less! set on a hill overlooking the beautiful Nova Scotia landscape;  A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed around a roaring campfire, the Bard’s words rising up with a near-full moon. I only wish my grandmother had been there to see it. We all have those moments—at weddings or the birth of a child; or during a spectacular sunset; or even upon pulling a loaf of bread, perfectly browned from the oven — when we wish more than anything

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suffrajitsu

Suffrajitsu… the first time I came across the word, I thought Google was pulling my leg. Digging deeper I found it was indeed real; and with further sleuthing I discovered it had an amazing connection to a remarkable Canadian woman. (Naturally, suffrajitsu made its way into a scene in Nothing Less! ) Throughout the research process that went into writing the play, I unearthed many examples of   women involved in the suffrage movement (in Canada, the UK and the US) using boundless creativity and ingenuity to further the cause. Marches, rallies, speeches, tracts and petitions were all a given; but

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Philomel, with melody

You spotted snakes with double tongue,  Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen; Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong, Come not near our fairy queen.  My garden has been shrouded in fog the last couple of days – nature acting as a beguiling muse as I compose incidental music for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As I enter into my fourth week of rehearsals with the talented crew and company of players at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre, I feel profoundly blessed to be a part of their 2017 summer season. The words, characters and melodies that have lived in my

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a woman’s place

We’re about to start week three of rehearsals for “Nothing Less!” so I thought I’d share another behind-the-scenes post about the history that has informed and inspired the play. This time, I’m tackling the anti-suffrage movement and how it found its way into homes across Canada, the US and the UK. Postcards were extremely popular in the early 1900’s. People were keen to send, collect, and display them in their homes. Political cartoons were also wildly popular and often found their way from the newspapers in which they were printed, into the scrapbooks of middle-class families. Illustrations depicting anti-suffrage sentiments

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Let them howl.

99 years ago today…  On May 24, 1918, female Canadian citizens (not included under racial or Indigenous exclusions) aged 21 and over were awarded the right to vote in Federal elections.  A hard-won victory, yes, but there was still much work to be done.  We often abbreviate history into a series of sound bites, tantalizing lists, and anniversary dates. We see them flit through our social media feeds on a daily basis. We assign them appropriate emoticons, and move on. I couldn’t let this date go by without writing a few words that I hope will illuminate the history of women’s suffrage in Canada in my own small

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