(photo by Wendy Philpott)
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
Lib Spry has worked in theatre for 50 years as director, playwright, teacher, performer and translator mainly in physical, popular and site-specific theatre and theatre for young audiences. She has worked in Canada, the USA, the UK and France. She is founder of Straight Stitching Productions, Passionate Balance and Theatre Agile. Recent work: writing and performing her solo Trance For Matron at the 2013 Montreal Fringe, devising We Are Old! We Are Wonderful! with Montreal seniors’ group RECAA, directing Kevin Loring’s Where the Blood Mixes for Teesri Duniya Theatre and co-creating Luna Allison’s Falling Open as director/dramaturge. After directing Letters to My Grandma for Teesri Duniya she will be co-creating Ambigüité with Ottawa performer Guy Marsan and remounting Trance For Matron.
CHARPO: Both in discussing this play and others, what do you think of the new generation of artists?
This play is really interesting because it is not a traditional inter-generational drama. While we start and end the play with Malobee at 22, the rest of it is a mixture of her memories of her own and her grandmother's very different lives. We get to see Malobee grow from a teenager to an adult whose life is just opening out and her grandmother, over the same period of time, is slowing and closing down. But we also see Grandmother as a young woman. Plus there are two other characters who we see over the five years who also change as their lives change, all played by one actor. It is a challenging and demanding piece of work, and we are enjoying ourselves working our way through it.
CHARPO: The India partition - a core of the work and not a pretty part of history - is not immediately known to younger audience members. Besides the text itself, are you or the company making this period current to spectators in terms of documentation or even staging?