This is for You, Anna
Collectively created by Suzanne Khuri, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Banuta Rubess and Maureen White
Directed by Chelsea Dab Hilke
Feb. 27-Mar. 7, 2015
This is for You, Anna is a haunting exploration of revenge, liberation and motherhood. Breaking the mould of contemporary theatre, it demands that we acknowledge a new perspective and a new possibility in storytelling. When it made its debut in the 1980s, it was the first of its kind: a collective creation that strove to construct a theatrical story that was wholly female. From its structure and creative process to its subject matter and performing space, This is for You, Anna is a cheekily satirical and surprisingly poignant play that stands apart even today.
Approximate running time with no intermission: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Discussion Forum: Post-performance panel discussions or keynote speakers will be featured each evening throughout the show’s run. See the menu items below for a full scheudle and links to information about our guest speakers.
Approximate running time of Discussion Forum: 30 minutes
- VIDEO: Trailer
- Production Photography
- VIDEO: Rehearsal Teaser
- Production Team
- Public Service Announcement
- Director’s Notes/Thoughts
- Media Release
- DISCUSSION FORUM Schedule
- DISCUSSION FORUM Guests
Two Week Run
Week 1: Fri. and Sat. at 8 pm
Week 2: Wed. to Sat. at 8 pm and Sat. at 2 pm
Preshow Artist Chat: Sat., Mar. 7 at 1 pm
Once the curtain comes down on the show, there will be a brief intermission to set the stage for these distinguished guests and our audiences to explore the important topics raised in the play. All evenings will be moderated by Professor Kathleen Gallagher (Canada Research Chair in Theatre, Youth, and Research in Urban Schools at the University of Toronto) and/or Grace Smith (a PhD candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto).
Friday, February 27, 2015: Professor Ramona Alaggia takes us through the growth and development of the feminist movement in her talk Feminism & Motherhood: How Far Have we Come?.*
Saturday, February 28, 2015: Comedian Jessica Beaulieu will perform a stand-up act (WARNING: Mature content!) before joining panelists Barbara Larose (President of Alumnae Theatre) and Michelle Alexander (Associate Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre) to discuss Women in Performance.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015: Join the cast, crew and director of This is for You, Anna and members of Theatre Inamorata as they discuss the challenges and rewards of Collective Creation.
Thursday, March 5, 2015: One of the original creators of This is for You, Anna, Dr. Banuta Rubess, talks on the Building of the Anna Project.
Friday, March 6, 2015: Cheryl Champagne (Assault Counsellor/Educator at U of T) and Najiba Ali Sardar (VP, Equity for UTSU- student union) discuss Campus and Community Resources for women in all forms of distress and answer the question – how can you help a friend in need?
Saturday, March 7, 2015 – matinee: Join the cast and director of the show as they discuss the Research and Building of this production.
*Please note: Particular titles of the talks may change, but the subject matter will remain the same.
A few glimpses of the production in rehearsal. Before costumes, set and lighting, this a look at the actors exploring their characters on Hart House Theatre’s stage.
Adults: $28 / Seniors: $17 / Students: $15
$10 Student tickets every Wednesday
$17 Alumni tickets every Thursday
www.uofttix.ca / 416.978.8849
Hart House Theatre offers student matinees at the low price of $15 per student, and complementary tickets for teachers and chaperones.
Tentatively scheduled performances:
Tues., Mar. 3 at 12 pm
Wed., Mar. 4 at 12 pm
Please note: a later curtain time may be available upon request and our student matinees do not include a Discussion Forum, but a 15 minute talkback with the cast after the performance.
For more information and to book a performance please call the Box Office at 416.978.8849.
Marianne Bachmeier walked into the courtroom and shot him seven times. There was spontaneous applause.
In recent years we have seen an influx in the media of situations in which women take violence upon themselves in response to violence taken out on them: Rehtaeh Parsons, Audrie Pott, Sasha Menu Courey, Lizzy Seeberg, Dana Baker and Anne-Marie Ellement. A lesser known story is one of women taking violence on their perpetrator. In a society where, when it comes to violence against women, we are inclined to question the victim rather than the offender (“Was she drunk?” “What was she wearing?”) is it so shocking to consider a woman taking the law into her own hands?
As a young artist, it is not often that I am given the opportunity to work on a piece that means truly so much to me. When I was first introduced to this play two years ago, I knew immediately that it would alter the course of my life as a theatre-maker, and it has lived up to this expectation. This is for You, Anna is a piece unlike any other I have come across in my history as a theatre artist. To be able to combine my passionate stance on Feminism and women’s issues with a piece that supports and engages both myself and the cast and crew to consider these socio-political themes is truly a dream come true. There is no denying that working on Anna has been a complicated and difficult journey for all of us. Our opinions, inquiries, reactions, thoughts, motives, and desires have been constantly challenged, constantly questioned. There is no one way to respond, no one opinion, no one stance to uphold. Everything we thought to be true may be false and everything we believe in may be scrutinized.
And now it is your turn – to question, respond, uphold or dismiss your beliefs, and allow yourselves to consider the question: “What is better than an eye for an eye?”
Chelsea Dab Hilke, Director
There are certain images and ideas we conjure up when considering women and violence. Consider instead altering that notion toward the idea of violent women – women who take violence on others or themselves. How do those previous images and ideas change? This Is For You, Anna demands the audience to reflect on what it means when a woman is the initiator of violence and not the victim, the cause and effect of this circumstance, and how we, as a society, respond. The play’s themes of motherhood, justice, revenge, abuse, love, and memory all tie into its core question – can violence ever be justified?
Over 30 years after the creators of This Is For You, Anna began asking this question, women continue to suffer abuse from their spouse, boss, strangers, friends, lovers, and families. It is clear that a discussion on women and violence is still needed in 2015 and this piece provides a strong framework for that conversation to evolve.
This Is For You, Anna is a wild, darkly-humorous, challenging, and deeply-moving piece that remains relevant to a contemporary audience 30 years after its creation. The performance script allows for contemporization of the material, improvisation by the performers, and a collective approach that develops a unified feeling among the creators who feel honored and privileged to share it with you, our audience.