Playwright notes are difficult to write. It’s easier to write a thing than to talk about a thing. But I do know this…I am very humbled by the story of Shield Maiden and very humbled by it’s impact on theatre goers.
A friend of mine said to me that as an artist, you’re a conduit; the message comes through you. Just to be clear, I don’t feel like a warrior most of the time. I was raised to be the consummate caretaker. I’m a nurturer by habit and by trade. But this story’s character and message came through me despite my discomfort stepping fully into these warrior boots. In the past, when met with the resistance of old patterns and depression, I’ve backed down. But with SHIELD MAIDEN, that’s not even a possibility.
The character Ingrid is not someone you can just trot out and then hang back up in the closet. It is so liberating to inhabit her. I wish I could go to the grocery store as her. Some days, in my mind, I do. I love this play. I love this character. Maybe these playwright notes should be viewed more as a love letter to Ingrid.
Part of what I love about her is that the messages she conveys are so timely despite the fact that she is a 10th century character. In fact, because of the weight of the message: gender bias, sexual assault, sexual freedom, feminine rage, strength and power, maybe it’s better she’s from another time. But the message is now. The global political climate, the #metoo movement, social justice issues, environmental issues and raising my daughter; All these things give weight to this project today.
THIS IS NOT A TIME TO SIT BACK. THIS IS A TIME TO FIGHT.
I am a feminist and I wrote a feminist play. I want to shine a light on women warriors of today. I want women to know they can dig deep and find the warrior spirit within. Every time I book the show, I host a panel of local women leaders who sit on stage following the performance and share what it’s like to be a woman warrior now.
Despite, and perhaps because of my own personal challenges, I have found breathtaking joy and freedom with SHIELD MAIDEN. I am humbled and grateful and overwhelmed to receive feedback from women and men who have been powerfully impacted by the play. I don’t take this role lightly at all. I work hard to step up to be my very own bad ass warrior self in life and on stage. It’s the least I can do to honour Ingrid. It’s the least I can do to honour all women warriors.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeannette Martin