Reading explores role of women in early 20th...
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Jan 21, 2013  |  Vote 0    0

Reading explores role of women in early 20th Century

Stratford Gazette

The Stratford Perth Museum is starting off 2013 with a special Sunday afternoon event on Sunday, January 27.

The museum will present Peggy Coffey, who will be reading from her mask and story piece – I Was Born.

Using masks designed and executed by Heather Ruthig, Coffey brings alive the stories of women who began their lives at the turn of the century in rural Ontario, extraordinary women who lived through some of the most dramatic changes of any generation

The reading is based on stories of the women of the Women’s Institutes (WI), which were collected and published by the WI in a book called "From This Place," a project initiated by Pat Salter of the WI.

“I was immediately taken by the power and historical significance of the stories these women tell about the lives they lived in the early part of the 20th Century in rural southern Ontario,” says Coffey, who began to envision a theatre piece which would tell these stories and celebrate the lives of these remarkable women.

Working in collaboration with  Ruthig, a prop and mask maker from the Stratford Festival, Coffey created the first mask, “Grace,” a 90-year-old woman who tells the first story in the book.

Coffey recalls, “I envisioned “Grace” standing on a white pedestal with ‘circa 1901’ on a sign at her feet, the idea being that she is a museum piece. Then Grace steps off the pedestal and tells her story.”

The peformance will be held at the musuem, 4275 Huron Rd. Doors open at 1 p.m., with the performance at  2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 at the museum or by phone at 519-393-5311

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