Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A non-review

Well...I was in Chicago earlier this week, and had hoped to see the Steppenwolf theatre production of Pinter's The Birthday Party. Sadly, United Airlines had other ideas. So rather than getting to see what I hoped would be a solid production of a fabulous play, I got to spend 5 hours in airport limbo, then 4 hours in a car, then 3 hours of actual airport check in and travel.


I've also managed to see 0 Sondheimfest plays. You should go see things and tell me about them!

I'm hoping I'll get to Steve Reich's Chamber Music at the WSO New Music Festival tomorrow though. It isn't often that such an amazing opportunity to expose my young one to minimalism presents itself.

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Day After

Months of writing, then rehearsing, and finally over. The first run of my new play, Dear Mama, has come to an end.

It has been an absolutely fabulous, terrifying, exhilirating and rewarding experience. I knew going in that it would be risky to create a piece of theatre so close to myself. On top of that, opting to perform it myself placed me in a position even more vulnerable as an artist. Any failure really could be pinned to me. How thrilling!

What has been truly amazing is the response the little show has received. Each performance was followed by a talkback, each of which had its own flavour and was filled with thought provoking discussion. What can we do for little girls to help avoid them becoming hyper-sexualized? What is it that drives parents to push their children to perform? And is it possible for your child's skill to be developed and nurtured in a way that pushes them, but still lets them be a child? Just some of the amazing points of debate that arose.

What has been even beyond my wildest expectations has been the way the piece is continuing to resonate with people days after the fact. CBC reviewer Joff Schmidt offered his praise ( ) and many other audience members have written me or blogged about the show and how it has them thinking. It is extremely humbling to know that at least some bit of what I'd hoped to achieve artistically - pushing audiences out of their comfort zone, and forcing them to think - has succeeded. 

None of this would have been possible without the support of our creative team - Megan Andres, my fabulous director and dramaturg, along with Leah Borchert and John Norman.

Below are some production photos by Leif Norman taken at the dress rehearsal for the original production. More are available here:

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Press Releases...

It is a very strange phenomenon to write a press release for a show you have written, produced, and are performing in. I've certainly written my fair share of press releases, but somehow this was different. I'm simultaneously thrilled and terrified to be putting myself out there as an artist. Our RADA tutors provided excellent advice on this subject in our final days of the MA, and I'm aiming to live by it. You aren't really an artist if you aren't regularly putting yourself out there and laying it on the line.

Well, since i've just successfully blogged about a press it is. Come see my show!

ps. thanks to miss Pamela Roz for her help with the press release :)


Dear Mama, Impel Theatre's new one-act play, will premiere as part of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's SondheimFest in Winnipeg. The show, which was created by the exciting young company for the festival, marks Impel Theatre's first production in their hometown with writer Kendra Jones playing the lead role of Ruby.
Dear Mama is a work which pays homage to the classic stage mother in Gypsywhile making reference to contemporary child performers. Also inspired by Sondheim's lyrics in Gypsy, this new piece delves into the mind and body of a girl obsessed with fame, beauty and attention teaching that words have the power to build you up or tear you down.
"Not everyone is capable of being loved, RubyThey are too selfish. They aren't willing to give themselves to the people who want to love them," reads a line from the show. "Beautiful. I'm beautiful. Look, Mama, I'm beautiful. Mama will be proud.
Kendra Jones has performed, devised, directed and choreographed work with Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's Master Playwright Festival, Prairie Theatre Exchange Carol Shields Festival, Sarasvati FemFest, Theatre Incarnate, Winnipeg Fringe, and more. She has performed in the hit You Me Bum Bum Train in London's West End (2012) and directed/devised work at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as well as for King's College, London. Dear Mama is Kendra's first play in production.
The process of researching this piece has been very rewarding" says Jones. "I look forward to sharing the piece with audiences, and also the talkback sessions following each performance. I'm excited to see what sorts of discussions are sparked by the play."
Tickets can be reserved now by emailing kendra[at] or by phone at 204.475.8747. Note that capacity for each performance is limited to 35. The production is suitable for ages 15 years +.
The production is directed by Megan Andres, design and dramaturgy by Megan Andres, movement by Kendra Jones, stage management by Leah Borchert and sound by John Norman.  
Public information
Dates: ​​​​​January 17th  – January 20th 
Address:​​​​ Studio 320, 70 Albert Street
Ticket prices: $10 or SondheimPass
Twitter:​​​​ impeltheatre

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Dear Mama - 17-20 January

Can I just say how strange it is to move from the academic world back to a world where you need to promote your show?

Anyway, please see below for details. Come to the show!

Impel Theatre proudly present Dear Mama, a new one-act play in response to Sondheim, Gypsy, lost childhood, and stage mothers around the world.

"Not everyone is capable of being loved, Ruby. They are too selfish. They aren't willing to give themselves to the people who want to love them."

Inspired by Sondheim's lyrics in Gypsy, this new piece delves into the mind and body of a girl obsessed with fame, beauty and attention. Words have the power to build you up or tear you down. "Beautiful. I'm beautiful. Look, Mama, I'm beautiful." Mama will be proud.

No wheelchair access | Capacity 35 | 40 mins
Warning: Language, mature themes

Each performance will be followed by a 30-minute Q & A session with the creative team.

Written and Performed by Kendra Jones
Direction and Dramaturgy by Megan Andres
Stage Managed by Leah Borchert

Thursday 17 January - 8:00pm
Friday 18 January - 8:00pm
Saturday 19 January - 8:00pm
Sunday 20 January - 2:00pm

This production is part of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's SondheimFest - 2013 Master Playwright Festival

**To Reserve Tickets**


call: 204.475.8747

Note that seating is limited to 35 per performance.