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A Witchs Brew

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Barrie, Shirley (Canadian playwright, arts administrator, 1945-____), A Witchs Brew,

a 40-minute comedy-drama in English set in a duck blind, an upscale condo, a garden, and a timeless anywhere,


  •  © 1997 by Shirley Barrie;  •  script/rights available from Shirley Barrie, 462 Clendenan Avenue, Toronto Ontario M6P 2X6, Canada, e-mail sbarrie.kchubb@sympatico.ca, telephone (home) 416-762-7050, fax 416-762-8769.  •  Cited by Shirley Barrie via ftp, May 12, 1997; Barrie says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Jenny (f), 14; Amy (f), 35ish, an ambitious single lawyer; Margaret (f), 50, happily married mother of three.

  §  Synopsis Jenny, 14, finds herself unexpectedly catapulted from a boat onto a duck blind in the fog. While her parents circle searching for her, Jenny pours out her frustrations about her child/woman limbo to a duck. Amy, an ambitious 35ish single lawyer, is furious because her oldest friend, Barbara, whos turned into a stay-at-home Mum still nursing her third, has strongly objected to her dismissive attitude towards the sexual harassment of a young woman at work. The very real possibility of losing her friend forces Amy to confront the chasm that has grown up between them. Margaret, a 50-year-old, happily married mother of three is in her garden having a go at God about menopause. She pokes fun at conventional wisdom and reinterprets her life and 'history, finally daring to contemplate the possibility of a Female Being. In the linking scenes, the three figures explore the cycle of experience: creation, decay and regeneration; and the cycle of life: maiden, mother and crone. The final sequence connects the three characters.

  §  Comment “‘A Witch’s Brew’ is three monologues by women of different ages framed by a chorus of female figures evoking images which have connected and divided women throughout time.  •  Margaret’s monologue, ‘Transition,’ is published in Going It Alone, edited by Kit Brennan, Nuage Editions [ISBN 0921833520]. Jenny’s monologue, ‘Duck Blind,’ is published in Instant Applause: 26 Very Short Complete Plays, Blizzard Press, 1996 [ISBN 0921368380], and is also published by Brooklyn Publishers, 1999. ‘A Witch’s Brew’ has been translated into Dutch, Een Heksenbrouwsel, translated by Jan Dullemond, is published by Internet Dionysia, Holland, 1999 [Titel: Een heksenbrouwsel—Schrijfster: Shirley Barrie—Vertaler: Jan Dullemond—Genre: Een tragedie/komedie voor drie speelsters.—Bezetting: drie vrouwen—Beschrijving: Dit is een serie monologen voor vrouwen van diverse leeftijden. De monologen zijn gevat in vijf korte scènes waarin tijdloze vrouwen in woord en daad spelen met de verschillende betekenissen van vrouw en heks.—De monologen: 1. Een vreemde eend. Inge, 14 jaar belandt op een mistige herfstavond op een eendenkooi terwijl haar ouders rondvaren om haar te vinden. Te kwaad om haar te helpen, stort Jenny al haar frustraties over het opgroeien uit over een eend. 2. Proces. Myra, een 38-jarige advocate dreigt onverwacht haar oudste vrienden Barbara kwijt te raken, een huismoeder van drie kinderen. En dat over iets schijnbaar nietszeggends als de houding van Myra t.o.v. een jongere vrouw op haar werk. Als ze probeert te bedenken wat er mis ging, moet ze pijnlijke waarheden onder ogen zien over de prijs van haar succes. 3. Overgang. Margreet, 50 jaar, gaat in haar tuin te keer tegen God over haar menopauze. Stort ze haar hart misschien uit bij het verkeerde Wezen?http://home.wxs.nl/~Ouverture/internet.htm, accessed September 8, 2000].”

  §  Themes chorus, creation, crone, cycle, decay, feminism, maiden, mother, regeneration.

See also Shirley Barrie’s

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Page updated May 12, 1997, September 8, 2000, March 1, 2001, by the site Webmaster.

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