Jail Baby guest blog: Nan Fewchuk

Have you picked up your tickets for Jail Baby yet? With less than a month to go before the curtain rises on this amazing production, we invite you to take a behind the scenes look at the process. Jail Baby contributor and assistant director Nan Fewchuk guest blogs for us today!


Nan Fewchuk

I am presently pinching myself for a reality check.  It’s true.  I have been offered the opportunity to assistant direct Jail Baby under one of Canada’s finest and respected professional directors, the brilliant Ann Hodges!

One might not understand the feeling of euphoria I am experiencing with this opportunity. It stems from the first time I saw Ann’s work in the 1980’s when she directed Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare in the Ruins. I still remember the incredible effect the show had on me. It was so innovative, imaginative, funny, compelling and powerful. My curiosity was sparked. I wanted to know what she did and how she did it.  I didn’t know who this woman was, but from that moment it was a dream of mine to work with her. Since then, I have continued to admire and respect the work of this talented woman, one of the few who have been invited to play hard ball in what is basically a male dominated force in theatre.

As an Assistant Director, I am looking very forward to experiencing the rehearsal process, especially seeing the actual transition of the text from page to stage. I am curious as to how the actors will take direction, interpret script, and translate the voices of real incarcerated women into characters of their own. I anticipate a great deal of interesting and intellectual dialogue to be exchanged among directors and actors as we work together solving challenging problems with sensitive material.  And of course, I know we will have a whack of fun with the stellar cast through it all!

This spring will bring to light a most incredible journey for me as a theatre artist. What better way to see it to fruition than to grow as a director along side the genius Ann Hodges. Over the past two plus years, the “Jail Baby” project has been an extremely important, exciting and heartfelt one which I am deeply passionate about, and incredibly grateful to be part of. I will cherish the memories of the time spent with so many wonderful women. One special lady that we met at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge and with whom I am presently corresponding, recently emailed me. I leave you with her words:

Another thing I’m excited about is the play! You’ve probably been super busy. I think it’s pretty awesome that anybody even bothered to shed light on the issue. Incarceration seems to be something that most people in society have the wrong idea about. Everybody has these ideas of what incarceration is supposed to solve…. I’m thankful that there are people out there like yourself that actually care enough to try and make change.

Jail Baby runs from May 16-26 2013 at the University of Winnipeg Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. Tickets are available online via credit card at www.sarasvati.ca or to reserve seats you can call 204-586-2236.

1 Comment

  1. Really enjoyed the production and the strong message put forward. Hopefully it will help start a conversation politicians want to ignore. I blogged on my site after seeing the production.

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