WRITTEN BY: Edie Reaney Chunn DIRECTED BY: Julia Schultz STARRING: Edie Reaney Chunn, Ella MacDonald and Kya Mosey DESIGNED BY: Anna Shepard STAGE MANAGED BY: Kirsten Bruce PRODUCED BY: The New Pants Project
A new play about Modernist painter and poet Florine Stettheimer.
Florine’s journal entries from the month of her first and only solo exhibition during her lifetime read as follows:
OCTOBER, 1916: First, Only one person asked to see the price list. Then, I am not selling much, to my amazement. Finally, and simply, Sold nothing.
Although this show was a failure commercially, Stettheimer continued to paint and create for the next three decades, sharing her work privately in salons she held in the home she shared with her sisters and mother. An intensely private and technically skilled painter, Stettheimer created a body of work that remains difficult to categorize even to this day. The New Pants Project’s original play How the Light Lies (On You) explores her body of work, incorporating Stettheimer’s poetry and letters to offer an account of a period of her life during which she designed the set and costumes for Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein’s opera, Four Saints in Three Acts. Stettheimer dedicated her life to her passion for creativity and ephemerality, to her complicated, life-long relationships with her sisters, and, perhaps most importantly, to herself, and the value she saw in her passion.
If you have ever felt disappointed after taking a risk; if you have ever felt like too much; if you have ever been angry with your sisters, who won’t stop telling you to clean up your paints —Florine is for you.
Kirsten Bruce has been living in Halifax for five years and working in theatre for over a decade. Some theatre credits include: producing Listen to the Wind with Steady Theatre Collective in February 2020, Halifax Fringe Festival (Schranker, M: The Berlin Murders, 2019), Fundy Fringe Festival (the Waiting Gentlewoman, awarded Outstanding Original Script in 2018), Sears Ontario Dramatic Arts Festival, (Professor Carroway, The Love Course, awarded Outstanding Ensemble in 2012). Film credits include: production coordinator for the short film Jerky (winner Best Drama in the short film category, Atlanta Underground Film Festival 2019), production manager for the Nova Scotia web series I Hear You (2019), and producer/assistant director with Make it Happen Productions for their unreleased short film Inceldom. About New Pants Productions she says, “When I saw How the Light Lies (On You) in August of 2019, I knew that I wanted to be involved. It is such a unique piece of storytelling and touches some of the most intimate moments of familial connection and discord. Anyone who suffers from being “much too much” will find a kinship with Florine, whom playwright Edie Reaney-Chunn has brought lovingly to life.”
Edie Reaney Chunn is an emerging playwright and performer based in Halifax who loves to work collaboratively and inefficiently. She is a graduate of the University of King’s College with a combined honours degree in English and Contemporary Studies, and will be pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia beginning September 2020. Recent projects include serving as playwright for the New Pants Project’s August 2019 production of How the Light Lies (On You); as musical performer/composer for Steady Theatre Co.’s production of Macbeth (2019); and as co-stage director for the Halifax Summer Opera Festival’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2018). Edie is also part of Eastern Front Theatre’s RBC Emerging Playwright’s Program (2019-20), so maybe she will write a play again.
Ella MacDonald is an emerging theatre artist and collaborator from Halifax / K'jipuktuk, Nova Scotia. She is about to complete her B.A. in Acting at Dalhousie University. In 2019 she completed the Animotion Puppetry Intensive at Mermaid Theatre, and she has taught theatre classes to students ranging from young children to mature adults. This year she has received a Fountain Memorial Award as well as the Robert Stitt Memorial Award for third-year students showing outstanding commitment. Select credits include: How the Light Lies on You (New Pants Project), Ephemera, La Calandra as Assistant Director / Dramaturg (Fountain School of Performing Arts), What the Owl Said to the Orangutan as puppeteer (Unnatural Disaster Collective), The Laramie Project (Bad Ideas Collective), Crimes of the Heart (King’s Theatrical Society).
Kya Mosey is an actor and a puppeteer currently living in Halifax, NS. Recent theatre credits include two Canadian/US tours of The Rainbow Fish (Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia), Mike Malloy: Kid Detective! (Sinking Ship Theatre), How The Light Lies (On You) (New Pants Project), Macbeth (Steady Theatre Co.), Joyride (Matchstick Theatre Co.), Shakespeare in Love (Neptune), Murder Play (Taboo), and she was featured as Joey Del Marco in the Canadian professional premiere of Slut: The Play (Lunasea). Her film/tv credits include Escaping the NXIVM Cult (Sony/Lifetime) and These Woods Are Haunted (Ocean Magic Tv Inc.). Kya has an Honours degree in Acting from Dalhousie University, and completed the ANIMOTION Puppetry Intensive at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia in 2017. Kya is thrilled to reprise her role in How The Light Lies (On You) and is extremely excited to delve back into the Stettheimer world of creation and poetry.
Julia Schultz is a come-from-away who found a home in Halifax. She graduated Dalhousie in 2018 with a double major in Theatre and English. Recent credits: Co-producing and directing Steady Theatre Collective’s Listen to the Wind, February 2020 and Macbeth, February 2019. Co-producing, devising and performing in the New Pants Project’s How the Light Lies (On You), August 2019. Directing Monster for Halifax Fringe, September 2019. As a theatre maker she prioritizes the dignity of the individual, a sense of play, and authenticity.
Anna Shepard is a multidisciplinary artist currently working in direction, projection design, and devised creation. Her artistic practice focuses on work that harnesses theatre’s social and political voice, recognizes the diverse experiences of its creators, and responds to those experiences in the most direct and honest way. This winter, Shepard assisted director Marcia Kash on The Last 5 Years, and director Nigel Shawn Williams on the world premiere of Controlled Damage, bothat Neptune Theatre. Recent design credits include: Tiny (Zuppa Theatre), How The Light Lies (On You) (New Pants Project), Miss N Me (Eastern Front Theatre), and One Discordant Violin (2b theatre company). Shepard is a graduate of the drama program at Mount Allison University, and has trained in devised creation with Ghost River Theatre in Calgary. She was the 2017/18 Emerging-Artist-In-Residence at 2b theatre company, is a part of the 2019/20 Directing Unit of the Chrysalis Project at Neptune Theatre, and received the 2019 Chrysalis Emerging Artist Award from Theatre Nova Scotia.
The New Pants Project is a group of emerging artists Julia Schultz, Edie Reaney-Chunn, and Anna Shepard. They share an interest in the non-literal, the poetic, and the innovative, and create theatre in a heightened style of lightness and radical softness.
How The Light Lies (On You) was their first collaboration in this configuration, though they have all worked together previously on various projects. In this sense they are the same artists in a slightly different outfit, and have therefore donned New Pants. Schultz and Reaney Chunn collectively wrote Door Play (King’s Infringement Festival), and collaborated on a new work entitled I Believe This Is What Happened, based on the life and legacy of feminist and modernist painter Florine Stettheimer. In Stettheimer’s paintings, the group found a visual version of the theatre they strived to create -- it was excessive, feminine, unapologetic, and joyful. In her poetry they found a voice and style that floated and sang, abandoning the literal in favour of the poetic, the symbolic, and the surreal. Schultz, Reaney Chunn, and Shepard all worked on Steady Theatre Collective’s February 2019 production of Macbeth, in the respective roles of director, musician, and stage manager. At this time the group began discussions on a second workshop of I Believe This Is What Happened, with Shepard joining the group as projection, lighting, and set designer, and deviser for new content. From May to August 2019, the New Pants Project developed and mounted this new play, renamed How the Light Lies (On You), with four public performances in August 2019 at NSCAD’s Art Bar. They are now planning further development for this work in preparation for presentation at Eastern Front’s Stages festival, and future touring.
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