2b theatre company's What a Young Wife Ought to Know at the Grand
A 2b theatre company production
By Award-winning Playwright Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Christian Barry
Limited Engagement on the McManus Stage, February 6-10
LONDON, ON, February 1, 2018 – The Grand Theatre is thrilled to present on the McManus Stage WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW, by one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights, Hannah Moscovitch. The production offers a stark but humorous look at love, sex, and fertility of young mothers inspired by letters from the Canadian birth control movement of the early 20th century.
“A few years ago, at a garage sale, I picked up a copy of Dear Dr. Stopes: Sex in the 1920’s, a compilation of the letters sent to the famous British birth control advocate. The voices of the men and women in these letters were distinct from anything I had read before. To me, the letters felt like a voyeuristic glimpse into what life was like before birth control,” said Moscovitch. “WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW is loosely based on these letters, as well as another book of similar letters published in 1915, titled Maternity: Letters From Working Women and edited by Margaret Llewelyn Davis, another reformer of the day.”
Produced by 2b theatre company from Halifax, Nova Scotia, WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW has performed to critical acclaim across Canada since its premiere in 2015 at Neptune Theatre.
“WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW is more than a compelling history lesson, it is an opportunity to contemplate the state of sexual health and freedom in our society today.” Globe & Mail
“Bristles with humour, intelligence, and big-hearted humanity.” Times Colonist, Victoria
Set in a working-class 1920s Irish neighbourhood in Ottawa, WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW tells the story of Sophie, a young wife who is repressed by the lack of sexual education and craves liberation. An exploration of society’s tradition of withholding knowledge from women, the play follows Sophie's journey through womanhood and motherhood which is at once tragic, funny, and always familiar.
Making their debuts at the Grand are Liisa Repo-Martell as Sophie, Rebecca Parent as Alma, and David Patrick Flemming as Johnny. Lighting design is by Leigh Ann Vardy, costume design is by Leesa Hamilton, and set design is by Andrew Cull.
Hannah Moscovitch’s writing for the stage includes Bunny, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, East of Berlin, The Russian Play, Little One, This is War, and Infinity. Her plays are widely produced across Canada, the United States, Britain, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Germany, Japan, and Australia.
WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW is on stage at the Grand Theatre for a limited-time engagement from February 6 to 10, 2018. Some performances are sold out. Tickets are $40 (includes HST and CIF – prices subject to change) and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street.
The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of the 2017/18 Season Sponsor BMO Financial Group.
About the Grand Theatre:
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub proudly located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original homegrown stories through COMPASS, a New Play Development Program. The Grand supports educational programming and youth mentorship such as The High School Project, the only program of its kind in North America, and 100 Schools, a new community initiative that brings professional theatre to London-area schools in 2018 at no cost.
A not-for-profit regional theatre, the Grand produces and presents professional theatre on two stages: the Spriet Stage (839 seats) and the McManus Stage (144 seats). The Grand’s season runs from September to May.
For more information, contact:
Kate Rapson, Communications Manager | krapson [at] grandtheatre.com | 519-672-9030 ext. 247
Editor’s Note: Photography available upon request.
Cast & production team
Sophie LIISA REPO-MARTELL
Alma REBECCA PARENT
Johnny DAVID PATRICK FLEMMING
Lighting Designer LEIGH ANN VARDY
Costume Designer LEESA HAMILTON
Set Designer ANDREW CULL
Stage Manager FIONA JONES
Production Manager DANIEL OULTON
Director of Production LOUISA ADAMSON
Fight Director CASEY HUDECKI
Liisa Repo-Martell Sophie
Liisa is very happy to be part of bringing WHAT A YOUNG WIFE OUGHT TO KNOW to Ontario. She played Sophie in the premiere production in Halifax in 2015 for 2b theatre company. Select Theatre Credits: The Boy in the Moon (Crow’s Theatre), The Watershed, Seeds (Porte Parole), Other Desert Cities (The Citadel Theatre), Creditors (Coalmine Theatre), Happy Place, Uncle Vanya, Antigone, The Lesson, School for Wives, Top Girls (Soulpepper), Eternal Hydra (Crow’s Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear (Stratford Festival).
Rebecca Parent Alma
For 2b theatre: Nora Barnacle in Unconscious at the Sistine Chapel. Select theatre credits: Six seasons at the Watermark Theatre, including Laura Cheveley in An Ideal Husband, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility; Anne Shirley in Anne and Gilbert (Harbourfront); Lady Nijo in Top Girls (Lunasea). Rebecca recently completed an Ontario tour of Sheatre’s Far From the Heart and Loin du coeur as the Joker. She is co-creator of What to Wear to the Birth of a Nation, a piece commissioned by the PEI Council of the Arts.
David Patrick Flemming Johnny
A Native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, David has performed across the country in theatre, film, and TV. Select Theatre Credits: Orphans (Coal Mine Theatre), A City (Necessary Angel), Bunny (Stratford Festival), What a Young Wife Ought to Know (Neptune/2b theatre company), Cymbeline’s Reign, Two Gents (Shakespeare in the Ruff), Long Day’s Journey into Night (Citadel Theatre), The Apology (Alberta Theatre Projects), Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest (YPT), Raton Laveur (Fracas Theatre), four seasons with Shakespeare By The Sea, Halifax. Select Film and TV Credits: Suits, Frankie Drake, Conviction, Slasher, Reign, Murdoch Mysteries, The Strain, The Listener, The Corridor.
Hannah Moscovitch Playwright
Hannah is an acclaimed Canadian playwright. Her work for the stage includes Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, East of Berlin, The Russian Play, Little One, This is War, Infinity, and Bunny. Her plays have been widely produced across Canada, as well as in the United States, Britain, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Germany, Japan, and Australia. She has won multiple awards, including the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, the Toronto Critic’s Award for Best New Canadian Play, both the Scotsman Fringe First and the Herald Angel Awards at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Trillium Book Award (the only playwright to win in the award’s thirty-year history), and the prestigious international Windham-Campbell Prize administered by the Beinecke Library at Yale University. She is a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.
Christian Barry Director
Christian Barry is an award-winning director and theatre-maker from Halifax, where he is artistic co-director of 2b theatre company. Christian has directed nationally and internationally toured shows, including: Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story (Off-Broadway, National Arts Centre, Edinburgh Fringe), The God that Comes (Edinburgh Fringe, PuSh, Tarragon Theatre, Pittsburgh International Fest, Noorderzon), Revisited (WorldStage, Theaterformen, PuSh), and The Russian Play (Canadian Tour). Awards include: Herald Angel, Scotsman Fringe First, One Dora Award for Best Production, Two Theatre NS Merritt Awards for Outstanding Direction (eight nominations) — one for Outstanding New Play, and one for Outstanding Lighting Design. Christian is a two-time nominee for the NS Masterworks award, recipient of the 2008 Halifax Mayor’s award for an Emerging Artist, and the 2006-7 Urjo Kareda residency grant at the Tarragon Theatre.
Leigh Ann Vardy Lighting Designer
Leigh Ann Vardy is a lighting designer for theatre and dance. She works in theatres across Canada including the Globe Theatre, Neptune, Buddies in Bad Times, Great Canadian Theatre Company, the National Arts Centre, Soulpepper, Artistic Fraud, Factory Theatre, The Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, The Stratford Festival, and the Charlottetown Festival, among many others. Leigh Ann has won six Merritt Awards for design and has been nominated for the Siminovitch Prize. Leigh Ann is an instructor and coach at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Leesa Hamilton Costume Designer
Leesa is a Halifax based Costume Designer. Her most recent design work includes: Let’s Not Beat Each Other to Death (Acc-idental Mechanic), Hardboiled (LoHiFi Productions) and Uncle Oscar’s Experiment (Zuppa Theatre Co.). This is Leesa’s third production with 2b theatre company, having designed East of Berlin in 2009 and When It Rains in 2011. Leesa has been nominated for seven Merritt Awards and was awarded Outstanding Costume Design for Lysistrata (Two Planks and a Passion) and Uncle Oscar’s Experiment (Zuppa Theatre) and Outstanding Set Design for Slowly I Turn (Zuppa Theatre). She is grateful to have been part of the creative team for What a Young Wife Ought to Know — it’s a beautiful and powerful show.
Andrew Cull Set Designer
Born and raised in Blyth, Ontario, and educated at York University, Andrew freelanced as a technician in Toronto and Montreal before moving east in 2002 to became the Props Master at Neptune Theatre. Select Set Design Credits: As Ever (Mulgrave Road Theatre), I, Claudia, Salt Water Moon (Globe Theatre Regina), The Debacle (Zuppa Circus Theatre), East of Berlin (2b Theatre), Splinters (Plutonium Playhouse), Fathers and Sons (Neptune Theatre).
Fiona Jones Stage Manager
Select Credits: Disgraced (Mirvish/Hope In Hell Theatre/Citadel Theatre); Life, Death And The Blues, Such Creatures, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Beast on the Moon, Sleeproom (Theatre Passe Muraille); Bombers: Reaping the Whirlwind, The Hero of Hunter Street, The Bad Luck Bank Robbers, Wounded Soldiers, Winslows of Derryvore, Queen Marie (4th Line Theatre); Trudeau Stories (Long Black Car); el Retorno/I Return, Chile con Carne, The Intruder (Alameda Theatre); Bitter Girl (Marquis Entertainment); Banana Boys, Trout Stanley, Cold Meat Party, Tiger of Malaya, Home is My Road, Belle, Life Sentences (Factory Theatre); An Acre of Time, The Road to Hell, The Wines of Tuscany, one word, The Retreat (Tarragon Theatre); Death of a Chief (Native Earth); The Danish Play, Smudge (Nightwood Theatre).
Daniel Oulton Production Manager
Daniel is a Toronto-based, Nova Scotia-raised Stage Manager and Designer. Selected Credits: SM— two tours of When it Rains (2b); Reflector (Theatre Gargantua); The Dream Catchers (Charlottetown Festival); Let’s Try This Standing, Constellations (Keep Good); The Belle of Amherst (Belle Collective); ASM— Miracle on 34th Street, Shrek, Frog and Toad, The Addams Family, A Christmas Story, Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol, Bingo! (Neptune); Canada Rocks!, Anne of Green Gables (Charlottetown Festival). Projection Design — Unconscious at the Sistine Chapel (2b); Projection and Sound Design — Let’s Try This Standing (Keep Good), Messenger (HomeFirst/EFT).
Louisa Adamson Director of Production
Louisa is a production manager, event producer and designer, stage manager, collaborator, and technician. Working with 2b theatre, Accidental Mechanics Group, Kazan Co-op, Secret Theatre, Zuppa Theatre Co., Eastern Front Theatre, Neptune Theatre, and The Atlantic Film Festival. General Manager of Spatz Theatre. Recipient of the Scotland Herald “little devil” award 2014 Edinburgh Fringe and 3 Merritt Awards. Founder of Production Resources, Co-Founder of The New Science, and Board Member of the Legacy Centre. Louisa is based in Halifax and often tours across North America and Europe.