One Director’s Perspective on Directing New Writing

Kendra Jones will be directing a number of Shorts that will be read throughout the festival. These are exciting excerpts from the festival short-list that we just weren’t able to fit into FemFest but wanted to introduce to our audiences. To find out the schedule for the Shorts click here.


Directing is one of the most challenging jobs in theatre; it is our job to ensure that the message of the play is understood and shared by the artistic team, that the actors, designers, etc have what they need, and most importantly, that we communicate all of this to the audience. The approach each director has differs, and I know from my experience, the type of play I am working on will determine exactly how I go about bringing it to life for the audience.

With new writing, one of my foremost concerns is ensuring that my directorial voice does not overshadow the voice of the writer. In these instances, the director’s job is to help the writer’s story shine – to show it off, so to speak, and allow the text to work for the audience on its own terms, and not as a result of imposition from the director in terms of style. For a project like the Shorts, where I have to select a brief portion of a longer work to share, my main goal is to showcase the tone, style, and skill of the larger work, while keeping within time limitations, and ensuring that nothing I’m selecting is going to be clunky or awkward in a staged-reading situation. Some things just don’t work properly with the text in hand!

Read more!

Say it loud, say it proud with festival SHORTS!

Sarasvàti Productions is excited to announce the line-up of Shorts for FemFest 2012: Staging Identity. Shorts will be showcased throughout the festival as “fillers.” This is a great way to fill time as you wait to see the two shows in each FemFest evening. But don’t fret, these weren’t just chosen to fill space – each  was carefully selected.

Is It Wednesday? by Pam Calabrese MacLean will begin each Shorts slot. This ten-minute play will be directed by Megan Andres and feature Miriam Bronstein and Jane Burpee. Two elderly women meet at a bus stop, as they chat they struggle to hold on to their memories. A hilarious short piece full of word play, misunderstandings and poignant exploration of the aging process.

The second half of each Shorts slot will feature readings of excerpts from plays that were shortlisted for this year’s FemFest. There were so many great plays we wanted to include but just didn’t have room. This will allow you to see some of the amazing work being written by playwrights across the country. We’re excited to announce the Short-List Shorts are:

Hungry Wolf by Cornelia Hoogland
In the Valley by Natasha MacLellan
Naked by Lisa Rose Snow
The Possible Lives of Dolores Garcia Rodriguez by Jordan Hall and Zoe Green
Virgin by Joan Kivanda

For more information about the Shorts (as well as the rest of the festival), check out


Kendra Jones will be directing the Short-List Shorts for FemFest 2012. Kendra is just finishing up her MA at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. In between writing her dissertation, working full time in project management and raising a family, Kendra has also worked with the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre By The River, Shakespeare in the Ruins and countless other organizations.

What is one thing every actor needs to know? Not getting cast doesn’t mean you aren’t any good, it just means you might not be right for the part. Keep preparing work, and do so in as thoughtful a manner as possible. If you don’t feel engaged with a play, a connection with the characters or story, sit this one out and wait for a piece where you do feel the connection. Theatre is something you have to love to keep doing, because it can really hurt at times.

What does every great story have to have? I just want it to hold my attention. Don’t put all the cards on the table from the start, but don’t try to be too clever with how you reveal things either. And, something I learned from playwright Lin Coghlin, don’t let the characters leave. If you think the scene has finished, don’t let the characters leave – make them stay and see what happens next. You’ll be surprised where they take you.

What is your favourite word? Lugubrious

If I could grant you a single wish, what would it be? I would have an unlimited pool of funding for arts related endeavors.

Complete the sentence: If I wasn’t typing this email interview right now, I would be… Working on my dissertation. Or procrastinating work on my dissertation.

A common misperception of me is… That I am really serious. I am actually quite silly, and for every philosopher I can quote or theatre practitioner I can reference, I can tell you about some really ridiculous question I asked or thing I did that will cause you to question my sanity.

You know me as an actor but in truer life I’d have been… A professional athlete.

  • Calendar

    • December 2022
      M T W T F S S
  • Search