[Phoenix-eNews] PHOENIX THEATRE: BackstagePASS > Gut Girls opens!

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Thu Feb 9 15:20:17 PST 2017

@UVic Newsletter

Phoenix Theatre: BackstagePASS
	February 2017  • Act 10 Scene 7

      eNews: Theatre as way to change the world

The new year has brought a new reality to our world, making many realize 
that advances in human rights may not have made the progress we had 
believed. The play /*Gut Girls*/ takes us back to the 1890s with stories 
of working conditions and women's inequality during the Victorian era 
and how it effected women of all walks of life. But many of the concerns 
raised in the play haven't disappeared today, over 100 years later. Read 
more about how the cast and crew of/*Gut Girls*/ participated in world 
wide marches for women's rights and how they feel making theatre can be 
used as protest. /

      Behind the Scenes: *
      **Cast of /Gut Girls/ marches for gender equality*

By Lauren Frost, UVic Theatre student


/The cast and crew of Gut Girls joining thousands of others at the 
Women's March in Victoria, January 21,2016

It’s really the same story, told through the lives of women in a 
different century – but gender inequality is definitely not only a 
subject for a period play. Written in 1988, /*Gut Girls*/ is one of 
Sarah Daniels’ most produced plays – perhaps because its message still 
speaks to today’s audiences.

The play offers a historical look back at the Deptford 
<https://www.pinterest.com/mjn27/london-deptford/> slaughterhouses of 
the late 1800s, where women as young as 14 years old made a living 
working in one of the lowest, most disreputable jobs in society. The 
play follows the friendships of five brash and unrefined young Victorian 
women who make a decent living gutting cattle, working under horrific 
slaughterhouse conditions. The well-meaning Lady Helena is intent on 
helping the ‘gut girls’ find work as proper house maids. When the 
gutting sheds are shut down the young women are forced to choose between 
how they make a living and how they want to live.

/Near the Deptford Cattle Market’s Slaughterhouses 

//in 1905, the inspiration for Gut Girls. /

The play was commissioned by Albany Empire Theatre in Deptford to draw 
working-class Londoners to the theatre by telling the community’s 
stories and history. Characters like Lady Helena are directly inspired 
by the “philanthropic efforts” of the Duchess of Albany. /“One 
consequence of this is that the play is as close to a true story as 
theatre usually gets”, /says Pamela Bakker, who wrote her thesis on 
Sarah Daniels’ <https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/9554313.pdf> many plays, 
which all center around the struggles and exploitation of women.

In both the play and in history, there exists a gendered hierarchy in 
the workforce. In the slaughterhouses of the 1890s, women made 
considerably less than their male counterparts. But compared to working 
as a maid in service – traditionally a field ‘women’s work’ – women were 
able to make a respectable living. Daniels’ play offers insight into the 
history of devalued women’s labour. As Maggie, one of the ‘gut girls’ in 
the play, says: /“I tell you girl, you may think this place is hell but 
we get paid in one week nearly what you get for a whole year in service, 
so by comparison it makes this place seem more like paradise,”/


/Alix Reymolds chose Gut Girls as her thesis project//for her
//MFA in Directing

Unfortunately, a considerable wage gap still exists – even in Canada. 
According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation 
(CWF), the average Canadian woman makes just 66.7 cents to man’s dollar 
(based on all annual earnings, 2011 Census), and women of colour make 
even less. There are various factors that affect this wage gap, for 
example, female-dominated fields are often related to domestic work 
which is still not valued as a skilled form of labour. CWF estimates 
that, in general, lower-paying jobs such as teaching, office and 
administrative work, and retail/customer service jobs make up around 
two-thirds of the female workforce. In addition to these factors, 
however, a large portion of the wage gap remains unexplained, and is due 
to discrimination against women – especially indigenous women, women 
with disabilities, and women who are members of a visible minority.

Director Alix Reynolds has no doubt that many of the issues that face 
the female characters in the play are still faced by women in Canada and 
across the globe today. /“This distinctly feminist work spoke to me with 
its relevance to current issues – the advocacy for women’s reproductive 
rights, equal pay, and domestic recognition – presented through the 
historical period of the 1890s./"

Despite the continuing struggle for emancipation and the various waves 
of feminism, recent controversial news stories have prompted a 
resurgence of protests across the world. On Saturday, January 21, over 3 
million people participated in women’s marches in 673 cities across 57 
countries. Among the protesters in Victoria 
was the entire cast of /Gut Girls./


/Gut Girls features Caitlin Holm, Shea O'Connor, Mary Van Den Bossche
and Emma Grabinsky.//

/“We march because a play set over 100 years ago discusses the same 
issues we are still fighting for today,”/ says Shea O’Connor, who plays 
the character Kate in Gut Girls.

Reynolds, like Daniels, is not a stranger to tackling feminist issues 
through her art. The young director hails from St. John’s, Newfoundland, 
where she founded Joint Productions 
<https://www.facebook.com/jointproduction/>, a theatre company committed 
to blending comedy with thought-provoking and innovative theatre. Since 
she began her Masters at UVic, she has explored several challenging 
contemporary plays including /Crave/ (Sarah Kane), /Mud/ (Maria Irene 
Fornes) and /In on It (/Daniel MacIvor). /Gut Girls/ marks her thesis 
production for her MFA in Directing.

"/Gut Girls is constantly reminding me to question what we deem 
‘acceptable’ and to redefine the gender binary. It is a piece of theatre 
that lives in 1899 and breathes in 2017,” /says Reynolds.

/"As theatre artists, performing a play like*Gut Girls* is our way of 



*February 9 –18, 2017
**Gut Girls 
By Sarah Daniels
Directed by Alix Reynolds

    /Gut Girls /follows the friendships of five brash Victorian women
    who work in the Cattle Market slaughterhouses. Lady Helena helps by
    training them as maids when the gutting sheds are closed down, but
    they quickly realize that this newfound employment comes at a high
    price. With sharp dialogue and dazzling humour, /Gut Girls /cuts
    right to the heart of women’s struggle for independence.

*Box Office* now open for /Gut Girls/ Tickets 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/phoenix/tickets/>. Call 250-721-8000.
TICKET TIP: Best seats are on February 13, 14 & 15 evenings!

*March 7, 2017 at 12:30pm
Adaskin Series for the Arts in Canada Lecture with Paul Shaw*

    Canadian entertainment veteran Paul Shaw will lecture about working
    in commercial and not-for-profit theatre. Over his career, Shaw has
    managed many national tours, production directed and stage managed
    productions for the Stratford, the National Arts Centre and
    Vancouver Playhouse. He has also produced, directed and managed
    numerous large-scale events including the 2002 Papal Visit, the
    Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays on Parliament Hill in 2010, the
    Pan Am Torch Relay in 2015, as well as Expo 86 in Vancouver. He will
    be speaking about his career with a question and answer period to

*March 8, 2017
* *UVic's IdeaFEST* <http://www.uvic.ca/ideafest/>**

    Join UVic thinkers, innovators and artists for a free, week-long
    festival of world-changing ideas through lectures, workshops,
    performances, exhibitions, panel discussions and tours.This year’s
    festival features hundreds of speakers, presenting on topics ranging
    from angry populism and ocean sustainability to innovations in
    cybernetic technologies and Indigenous resurgence.


*March 9 –18, 2017
**Previews March 7 & 8
**The Inspector 
Written, Adapted & Directed by Linda Hardy
Inspired by /"The Government Inspector"/ by Nikolay Gogol

    Word arrives in Paradise (a “fictional” West Coast town) that a
    government inspector is coming incognito. Will the improprieties of
    the town’s mayor and officials be exposed? When they mistake a
    cunning ex-civil servant for the inspector, their schemes are turned
    against them. Inspired by local news stories, this adaptation of
    Gogol’s 19th-century comedy is no less relevant – and possibly even
    more humorous! – when reimagined into our own political landscape.

*Box Office *opens for/The Inspector/ tickets 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/phoenix/tickets/> on February 28.
NOTE: UVic Faculty and Staff are welcome to join us for a reception and 
open house on Wednesday March 8.

*Saturday, March 11, 2017
10am to 4pm (Drop in)*
*Phoenix Theatre Human Library 
FREE EVENT during UVic's IdeaFEST

    The Human Library is a way to learn more about theatre and celebrate
    the Department of Theatre's 50th anniversary by taking out a "human
    book" for a short and informative conversation. Choose from titles
    such as 'Actor', 'Playwright' or 'Producer'. Sign out one or up to
    12 human books during the day. Drop in between 9:30am and 4pm to
    sign up at our "circulation desk" in the Phoenix Lobby. Interact
    with Phoenix pioneers, current educators and industry professionals.
    Whether you wish to connect with the past, or make connections for
    the future, there will be a book for you. Learn more at the Phoenix
    Human Library Facebook Event Page.

*Friday, March 24 at 1pm*
*The Tempest Orion Project Panel Discussion 

    Following a special week-long series of workshops exploring
    Shakespeare’s /The Tempest/ with our students, five influential
    theatre experts will share their developments and ideas at a closing
    panel discussion. Visit our 50th Anniversary website
    <https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/50th/events/>to see the list of
    visiting artists who will approach this classic from the fields of
    acting, applied theatre, design, directing, and theatre history.

*Friday & Saturday, //
April 13 & 14, 2017 *(Time TBC)
*A Queer Trial:
A site-specific play <https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/50th/events/>*
Written by Dr. Jennifer Wise/
/Directed by Matthew Payne

    In 1860, two successive Victoria juries effectively acquitted an
    openly gay man of sodomy charges, the first jury preferring to spend
    a night in jail themselves sooner than agree on a guilty verdict.
    Join UVic theatre students as they musically and dramatically
    reenact this surprisingly inspiring event from Victoria’s early
    history—on the very site where it occurred.


      Phoenix Phacts:

The Department of Theatre's 50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion this past 
November saw over 200 alumni and their family members came back to visit 
this Phoenix over the Remembrance Day long weekend. We loved getting to 
see you all again, and watching old friends and colleagues reconnect, 
sometimes after more than 20 years! Many thanks to those who came, 
including founding faculty member *Carl Hare*.

The 16th annual Victoria Critics’ Choice Theatre Awards were announced 
on CBC Radio’s /On The Island/ at the end of December and, as always, 
there were plenty of our Phoenix family alumni among the 2016 nominees 
and winners. Last February’s production of/Wild Honey/ 
singled out as an outstanding overall production, with one critic saying 
“It was one of those shows where you had to ask yourself if you were 
actually watching students or professional theatre.” /Wild 
Honey/ nominees included Theatre alumna *Dallas Ashby *(BFA’16) for best 
set design, current students *Graham McMonagle* for best costumes and 
*Jack Hayes* for acting, with *Peter McGuire* ultimately winning his 
category of best director for a community production.

Theatre professor *Brian Richmond *was named winner in the best 
directing category for work with Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s 
<http://bluebridgetheatre.ca>production of /Long Day’s Journey Into 
Night/. The Greater Victoria Shakespeare Society’s 
<http://www.vicshakespeare.com> production of /Twelfth Night, /directed 
by Phoenix alumna *Janet Munsil* (BFA’89), won best acting ensemble for 
a cast that included theatre alumni *Trevor Hinton* (BFA’07) and *Cam 
Culham* (MFA’03), as well as current students *Emma Grabinsky* and *SJ 

Theatre and writing double alumnus *Mark Leiren-Young* has written a new 
book that was on most literary charts last fall. The book, entitled /The 
Killer Whale Who Changed the World /is about the first public display of 
a captured killer, whose gentleness sparked a worldwide crusade that 
transformed how people understood and appreciated orcas. The book was 
published in partnership with the David Suzuki Institute. Congrats on 
the great success of this interesting story, Mark!

The Victoria-born, Off-Broadway production /Ride the Cyclone 
wrapped up an extended (and nearly sold-out!) run in New York at the end 
of December. The run was met with amazing reviews - The New York Times 
even hailed it as one of the pieces of theatre to see in New York in 
<https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/theater/best-theater.html?_r=0> A 
special congratulations to former Phoenix student *Jacob Richmond*, who 
wrote the play, and our alumnus *Kholby Wardell* (BFA’08), who starred 
in the Off-Broadway production and has been part of the show since its 
beginning here in our fair city.

Former student *James Douglas* is producing and directing a film 
adaptation of “The Doctor’s Case,” a Stephen King story about Sherlock 
Holmes. James has got a few of his previous classmates and other Phoenix 
alum involved, including *Peter Abrahams, Brendan Bailey, Danette 
Boucher, Ian Case, Cam Culham, Erin Fitzgerald, Connie Hosie, Kate 
Humble, Trish Pattenden, Will Weigler *and previous student *Monica Joan 
Ogden*. They’ll be shooting this spring in the historic town of 
Barkerville, BC and at Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria – keep an eye out!

//more alumni updates? /*Check out the Alumni Profiles 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/>area of our website. Email 
your updates to us to be posted here in future eNews. Submit 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/forms/phoenixalumnisurvey/biography//> your 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/> bio online 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/> and yours could be the next 
alumni profile on our website!
*<https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*Follow the most recent department and 
alumni stories by liking us on*Facebook* 
or following us on *Twitter <https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*. Use 
*#phoenixalumni* to stream on our alumni website or tag *@UVicPhoenix* 
for us to retweet your event!


      Sponsor Kudos:

Thank you to the Phoenix Theatre's many individual donors 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/donations/> and corporate sponsors for 
their support of our programs and talented students!

Thanks also to our supporters over the past year from the *Cadboro Bay 
Village* <http://www.cadborobayvillage.com> including: *For Good Measure 
<http://www.forgoodmeasure.ca/>, Pepper's Foods 
<http://peppers-foods.com/>, Smugglers' Cove Pub, 
<http://www.smugglerscovepub.com/> Caddy Bay Liquor Store 
<http://www.caddybayliquor.com> and* *Heart Pharmacy 

Find out how your company can reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic 
community of over 25,000.Contact us <mailto:aholierh at uvic.ca> to discuss 
a customized sponsorship package to meet your goals.


Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the 
Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of 
Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, 
V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. 
Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

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	© University of Victoria 2015 	

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