Magazine article Herizons

Still Acting out after 25 Years [Nightwood Theatre]

Magazine article Herizons

Still Acting out after 25 Years [Nightwood Theatre]

Article excerpt

(TORONTO) Shortly after she became artistic director of Nightwood Theatre, Canada's oldest and largest professional women's theatre company, Kelly Thornton was asked by a reporter whether a feminist theatre company was still needed in the 21st century.

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"Nightwood very much needs to exist," Thornton replied. "Feminism is not a dead movement."

This year marks the company's 25th season, which began in late August with Groundswell--a festival of new work by women playwrights, directors and actors. The celebration continues in October, when Sonja Mills' The Danish Play will be at the National Arts Centre. Hysteria: A Festival of Women, a Nightwood/ Buddies in Bad Times Theatre co-presentation, runs from November 4 to 13, and a new play by Lisa Codrington, Cast Iron, runs from February 13 to March 15. FemCab, the annual five-minute feminist cabaret, will take the stage in May 2005.

Nightwood began with the September 1979 production of The True Story of Ida Johnson, based on the Sharon Riis novel. Formed by Cynthia Grant, Kim Renders, Mary Vingoe and Maureen White, the company has produced acclaimed work such as Djanet Sear's Harlem Duets and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). Since 1983, FemCab has featured work by the likes of Brigitte Gall, Dionne Brand and Jackie Richardson. Besides Groundswell, Nightwood produces Write from the Hip, a playwright's workshop for women 25 and under, and Busting Out, a new program for girls aged 13 to 15. …

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