“All women together ought to lay flowers on the grave of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” ~Virginia Woolf
Aphra Behn, adventuress, spy, novelist and playwright, defied the popular expectations placed upon seventeenth-century women. For this, the society of her day banished her and her work to oblivion. Her voice was effectively silenced for over 300 years. Few people knew she had ever existed. Aphra opens on Behn writing feverishly at her desk, ill, depressed, close to death, but still indomitable, still ready, one last time, to take on those moral forces eager to suppress her.
Aphra events will address issues of women in theatre.
Rose Scollard will present the book in Calgary at Shelf Life Books on April 4 at 7:30 pm, free admission, light refreshments. https://www.facebook.com/events/232868127057176/
A live streamed event between Glasgow and Calgary on July 7, 6:30 pm – 8 pm in Glasgow and 11:30 am – 1 pm in Calgary, details tba
Nancy Jo Cullen
is a Toronto writer who has written many stage productions, three poetry books and a story collection, Canary, which won the 2012 Metcalf-Rooke Award. She is the 2010 recipient of the Writer’s Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers.
is a writer, director, and performer who lives in Scotland. She has a long history of creating performance works and events as an interdisciplinary artist. The Scottish Book Trust selected her as a resident artist for 2016–17.
is a Calgary writer who has over 30 professional radio and stage productions. Her latest play, I Ain’t so Tough, will premiere with Urban Stories Theatre, Calgary. Tango Noir, a trio of her plays, was published in 2011.
Aphra premiered in 1991 with Maenad Theatre, Calgary, the first woman-centred theatre company in Western Canada. Maenad Theatre was formed by the
authors in 1986 because there were so few opportunities in theatre for women. As Rita Fraticelli reported in Women in Theatre, between 1977 and 1981 only 10 percent of produced playwrights in Canada were women.
In 2016 things have improved for women in theatre, but a recent report by Rebecca Burton, Adding It Up: The Status of Women in Canadian Theatre revealed that only 22 percent of plays produced in the 2013–14 season were by women, 63 percent by men and 15 percent by mixed-gender partnerships.
Besides the drama Aphra, the book includes:
• An interview with the three playwrights conducted by Susan Stone-Blackburn.
• An article by the authors describing their experiences of collectively writing Aphra.
• A history of women’s works produced by Maenad Theatre.
For review copies, excerpt requests, interviews with the playwrights or further information, contact Lyn Cadence at 403-465-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For production queries contact agent Caroline Russell-King at 403-238-4477 or via www.carolinerussellking.com.
Aphra Drama, 92 pages
Release date March 1, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-927823-45-3 paperback, $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-927823-46-0 pdf, $9.95
ISBN: 978-1-927823-47-7 html, $9.95