9th Annual Women’s Work Festival, March 2-8, 2015


A series of new plays-in-progress by women will be read from Monday, Mar 2 to Wednesday Mar 4, 2015 at 7 pm at LSPU Hall Second Space (fully accessible space), St. John’s.  Each reading features a special performance, and a short talkback with the playwright.  Admission to the readings are free but donations are gratefully accepted for the St. John’s Women’s Centre.

The Festival also features a series of workshops that are open to the general public at a low cost.


WWF9 presents readings of new plays by Emily Bridger (NL), Joanne Miller (NS) and Klara Wojtkowska (AZ). Our 2014 dramaturges are Lois Brown (NL)  Sara Tilley (NL) , and Megan Coles (NL). Thanks to Newfoundland Artist X (NAX) we are supporting the events of the “Injury, Illness, Pain, Sadness and Performance” series from March 5-8, 2015.


We are also involved in the movement to address gender equity on our stages and are presenting a panel on Equity in Theatre and a special Gender Equity Hackathon to add women creators of NL to the theatre wiki.


Monday March 2, 7 pm   READING

Klara Wojtkowska’s MEAT (AZ)

Dramaturge Sara Tilley (NL)

Featuring Jane Dingle, Joshua Druken, Nabila Qureshi, Des Walsh and Janet Edmonds

Performance by Sherry Ryan.  Reception to follow

Tuesday March 3, 7 pm  READING

Emily Bridger’s LITTLE ORPHANS (NL)

Dramaturge Lois Brown (NL)

Featuring Monica Walsh, Courtney Brown, Natalia Hennelly, Wendi Smallwood and Colin Furlong

Performance by Tara Manuel

Wednesday March 4, 7 pm READING

Joanne Miller’s THE HABIT OF MURDER (NS)

Dramaturge Megan Coles (NL)

Featuring Mack Furlong, Claire Rouleau, Darryl Hopkins, Neil Butler, Nicole Rousseau, and Willow Kean

Performance by Kat McLevey

Thursday Mar 5, 2015, 7:30 pm  READING

NAX presents


Lois Brown, Robert Chafe, Leah Lewis, and Jane Maggs



Monday, March 2, 1-4 PM

Pre-registration required, $50/$30 student (*advance price $25/15, paid by Feb 27/15)

For writers in any genre

Join Governor General Award-winning playwright Robert Chafe (Tempting Providence, Afterimage, Oil & Water, Colony of Unrequited Dreams) as he takes us through the processes he uses to create his adapted works.

Robert Chafe is a playwright based in St. John’s, whose work has been seen across Canada, the UK, Australia, and in the United States. He is the author of eighteen stage scripts and co-author of another ten. He frequently collaborates with director Jillian Keiley. He was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Drama for Tempting Providence and Butler’s Marsh in 2004, and won the award for Afterimage in 2010. Tempting Providence, directed by Keiley and produced by Theatre Newfoundland Labrador and toured in Canada and internationally for over 10 years.  Robert is Artistic Director and playwright for Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland

INTRO TO POLISH THEATRE with Klara Wojtkowska

Tuesday, March 3, 1-4 PM

Pre-registration required, $50/$30 student (*advance price $25/15, paid by Feb 27/15)

Jerzy Grotowski wrote that what makes theatre unique as an art form, is the relationship between the actor and the audience member. How do we write ourselves into that energetic relationship? How do we articulate depths beyond the surface-level realism that has trapped our societal conceptions of Truth, in order to harness the fantastic and the grotesque? How do we access the Dreamer within? Drawing on the work of Grotowski and Meyerhold, employing music and poetry, we will be exploring ways of writing language into the body and the singing body into language.

A professional violinist by trade, Klara Wojtkowska strives for musicality, catharsis and redemption in her work. Her first play (The Wake) was produced at Rice University. At Yale University, she wrote and produced two plays – a two-act anti-play, capitalizing on the poetry of everyday loneliness (the river don’t flow by itself no more), and a music/dance/spoken word collaboration (meditation on ANGRY WOMAN). She has written and directed in Tanzania and Zimbabwe. In Poland, she studied at the ARSHARTER theatre school in Krakow. She is currently working on a solo show, A Theory of People, to be performed at the Artifact Dance Studio in Tucson, Arizona, in March 2015.


Wednesday, March 4, 9 AM to NOON

Pre-registration required, $50/$30 student (*advance price $25/15, paid by Feb 27/15)

LSPU Hall Cox & Palmer Second Space

3 Victoria St, St. John’s, NL

The WWF has been looking forward to getting Tara to the East Coast to bring her unique mix of talents.  In this shadow puppetry workshop, the group will work together to make, build, and rehearse the elements for a shadow play based on a specific text and present it for a small invited audience. (If you have a specific text you’d like to work with, we are open to suggestions from participants.)

Tara Manuel is an actor, singer, writer, and puppeteer. She is a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada, and worked as an actor in various Theatre, Film, and TV productions in Canada, the US, and Europe before returning to Western NL in 2000. She is the author of three books as well as an original shadow puppetry version of “St. George and the Dragon”, which she continues to tour solo to rural schools all over the province, teaching workshops and well as building and performing the show solo. She’ll reach her 60th school this spring!

Tara has a big pink passion for singing with puppets and to this end, has developed a one-woman, several puppet cabaret called “Big Pussy’s Super Soul Cabaret”.


WRITING THE SHOW: Talking to Women Creators

Wednesday March 4, 12-1 PM

Free admission (RCA’s Lunch at the Hall Series)

Equity In Theatre (EIT) is a new and inclusive initiative designed to help redress gender inequities in the theatre industry. Although women form the vast majority of theatre school graduates, support workers, amateur practitioners, and audience members, when it comes to key creative roles in the sector (e.g. AD, director, and playwright), their numbers diminish substantially, dropping below the 35% marker. With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Trillium Foundation, EIT will work for change:

-fostering dialogue

-generating greater awareness of and exposure to Canadian women practitioners

-developing community actions to help rectify industry imbalances.

This will be achieved via a multi-faceted and multi-partnered response involving the national community as a whole. Our panel is just a part of this initiative.

Panel moderated by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (Steering Committee for Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Equity in Theatre initiative (EIT)

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard is a prolific wordslinger, working for change through the arts as a playwright, director, and performer. Notable works for the stage include Salome’s Clothes, The First Stone, and Cake. She has been playwright-in-residence at Obsidian Theatre, lead vocalist for Belladonna & the Awakening, and contributor to Afrotoronto.com. DM is currently the general manager of Native Earth Performing Arts.  In 2013 Donna-Michelle received a Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts.

WORKING WITH DRAMATURGY with Lois Brown & Emma Tibaldo

Wednesday, March 4, 2-5 PM

Registration required, $20/$10 student (*advance price $10/5, paid by Feb 27/15)

LSPU Hall Cox & Palmer Second Space

3 Victoria St, St. John’s, NL  *limited enrollment

This workshop is for every artist who has wanted to work with a dramaturge on the development of a new work.  Lois and Emma have worked together extensively at Playwrights Workshop Montreal and will take us through a short practicum where participants are placed in the dramaturgy of an actual play and we discuss the questions that arise as the play is read and discussed.  This workshop is useful for writers, actors, directors- almost anyone involved in the writing and development process.

Emma Tibaldo is a graduate of Concordia’s Theatre Department and the National Theatre School’s directing program where she continues to be a guest artist. She is the Artistic and Executive Director of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal and a founding member of Talisman Theatre for whom she has most recently directed Billy (The Days of Howling) by Fabien Cloutier, translated by Nadine Desrochers. She also sings in the family band The Tibaldos.

Lois Brown is a seventh generation Newfoundlander. She graduated from The University of Alberta in 1977 with an undergrad degree in Drama and returned to St. John’s, where she has maintained a cross-disciplinary practice, working in theatre, dance and film.  In 2004, Lois was short-listed for the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize and received The Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from The Canada Council for achievement by an outstanding mid-career Canadian theatre artist. She is the recipient of an Artist Achievement Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.

Participants are asked to pre-register for all events (including free sessions, to reserve a seat.) Spaces are limited.

The Women’s Work Festival is also proud to support NAX’s series of readings and performances that explore “INJURY ILLNESS PAIN SADNESS AND PERFORMANCE”  March 5-8, 2015

email info@newfoundlandartistx.ca for more details


March 8, 2015, 1-5 pm

In honour of IWD, we are partnering with Equity in Theatre and participating in a nation-wide Gender Equity Hackathon to add women creators of NL to the theatre wiki.  Volunteers are needed to research artists in advance and to input information on the day of the event.  Coffee and snacks will be provided.

For Women’s Work Festival information, to volunteer, or register for a workshop, contact Ruth Lawrence or Heather Rumancik at womensworkfestivalNL@gmail.com

For more details, visit our website at www.womensworkfestival.ca