What a young wife ought to know
We are thrilled to announce that we'll be presenting Hannah Moscovitch's searing play What a Young Wife Ought to Know in spring 2023!
For more information, see below, and please watch our social media for updates.
What a young wife ought to know
By Hannah Moscovitch
"JUST DON’T LIE DOWN AND NO CHILD WILL COME."
It’s Ottawa in the 1920s, pre-legalized birth control. Sophie, a young working-class girl, falls madly in love with and marries a stable-hand named Jonny. After two difficult childbirths, doctors tell Sophie she shouldn’t have any more children, but don’t tell her how to prevent it. When Sophie inevitably becomes pregnant again, she faces a grim dilemma.
In an unflinching look at love, sex, and fertility, and inspired by real stories of mothers during the Canadian birth-control movement of the early twentieth century, one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights vividly recreates a couple’s struggles with reproduction.
Performance Works, Granville Island
March 24 – April 1 2023
*TW: domestic violence, abortion, miscarriage
DIRECTOR: Jessica Anne Nelson
STAGE MANAGER: Gabriella Hu
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER: Cooper Cardinal-Smith
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR/LIGHTING DESIGNER: Victoria Bell
SET/PROPS DESIGNER: Kimira Reddy
SOUND DESIGNER: Jack Goodison
COSTUME DESIGNER/INTIMACY DIRECTOR: Michelle Thorne
FIGHT DIRECTOR: Mike Kovac
ACCENT COACH: Adam Henderson
PRODUCERS: Jessica Anne Nelson & Bronwyn Henderson
MARKETING: supported by Events Plus Management
PHOTOGRAPHY: Matt Reznek (Reznek Creative)
POSTER DESIGN: Bronwyn Henderson
*Rehearsal space provided by Green Thumb Theatre’s Rental Subsidy Program. Additional space provided in kind by Rumble Theatre and The Cultch.
Jessica anne nelson
Jessica Anne Nelson (she/her) is an award-winning theatre director, creator, producer, and intimacy director, living and working on the stolen, occupied, and traditional homelands of the Coast Salish peoples; the xwməθkwəyə (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), ̓Səlílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓ ic̓ əy̓ (Katzie), q̓ wɑ:n̓ ƛən̓ (Kwantlen), and Semiahma (Semiahmoo) Nations. Jessica sets the bar for creating respectful, caring, and imaginative spaces for artists to play and explore in her gripping and provocative productions. Her intimacy direction centers on the principles of creating consent based and trauma informed work and she has trained with the National Society of Intimacy Professionals (Canada) and Theatrical Intimacy Education (USA). With her MFA in Directing (UBC), and many years of experience in devising, creation-based techniques, and community collaborations, her work focuses on stories that shine a light on stereotypically negative or dark characters and stories, while also striving for social change. Jessica is praised as being one of the most kind- and open-hearted directors’ actors have had the pleasure to work with. She has been honoured with the Sydney J. Risk Award in Directing, Yvonne Firkins Prize, John Brockington Scholarship in Theatre (UBC) and was an inaugural recipient of the Bill Millerd Artist Fund (Arts Club Theatre). Some of her favourite past productions include In Camera (Realwheels Theatre, Intimacy Director, 2022), Something Rotten! & We Will Rock You (Theatre Under the Stars, Intimacy Director, 2022), Cipher(Arts Club Theatre Company & Vertigo Theatre, Assistant Director and Co-Intimacy Director, 2020 & 2022) Romance, Relationships & Rights (Anvil Centre, 2019), Consensual (Peninsula Productions, 2018), The Crucible (2018), girls!girls!girls! (2017) (Theatre@UBC), Othello (Bard on the Beach, Apprentice Director, 2016), The Competition is Fierce (ITSAZOO, Assistant Director, 2015), and Ithaka (2016), AFTER (2014), and Meanwhile (2013) (Excavation Theatre).
Hannah Moscovitch is an acclaimed Canadian playwright, TV writer, and librettist whose work has been widely produced in Canada and around the world. Recent stage work includes "Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes" and "Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story" (co-created with Christian Barry and Ben Caplan). Hannah has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Trillium Book Award, the Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award, the Scotsman Fringe First and the Herald Angel Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize administered by Yale University. She has been nominated for the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Drama Desk Award, and Canada’s Siminovitch Prize in Theatre. She is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. She spends her time between Halifax and Los Angeles.
Born in Toronto and raised in Montreal, Michael pursued a degree in Theatre from John Abbott College. Some Selected Theatrical credits include Counter Offense, A life lost (Teesri Duniya Theatre); Under Milk Wood (Edinburgh Fringe); The Nesei & the Narnauks, Spring Awakening (Persephone Productions). He is thrilled to be making his Vancouver debut in Excavation Theatre’s production of What a Young Wife Ought to Know. Honoured for the opportunity to bring Hannah’s word to life, Michael hopes to help leave audiences with a sense of curiosity, empathy and openness. “Many thanks to my family, friends and acting coach Deb Podowsky for pushing me to be better!”
Bronwyn is an actor for theatre and film, producer, and an arts marketer by day. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of British Columbia, where she earned the Beatrice Johnson Award for Theatre and was nominated for the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Award for English Theatre. Selected past theatre credits include: In Camera (Realwheels Theatre), The Russian Play (Lovecat Theatre/Vancouver Fringe Festival), Tiny Replicas (Tremors Festival/Rumble Theatre), girls!girls!girls! (Excavation Theatre), Les Belles Soeurs (UBC Theatre), and The Imaginary Invalid (United Players). She would like to dedicate this performance to Susan Ross (Devon and Bronwyn's mum), Irene Ross (Susan and Bob's mum), and Alice Coels (Venn, Ruth, Connie, Julie, Judy, Joyce, Irene, Linda, Mary Alice, Roberta, Clive, and Mark's mum).
Charlotte holds a BFA in Acting from UBC and a Certificate in Arts and Entertainment Management from Capilano University. She is an Ovation Award nominee and a CTC Award winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, she is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. Select theatre credits include Nell Gwynn (United Players); Crybaby: The Musical (Awkward Stage Productions); Bad Girls: A Musical (Dramanatrix Productions); and Oliver! (TUTS). Select audiobook credits include The Lie Tree (Frances Hardinge); Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne Du Maurier (Tatiana De Rosnay); and Indelible (Adelia Saunders).