What a whirlwind! I still wonder how it all went by so quickly. Directing “Once Upon a Rocking Chair” for Northumberland Players this year was definitely a lifetime highlight for me. We had a wonderful review in the local paper and 10/11 performances were SOLD OUT. When I started the process a year ago my wishes for the show were to have fun, to make a story people remembered, and to connect to people.
The De La Roche women have an annual summer Georgian Bay tradition. Three retired sisters and their three grown daughters spend a week at the cottage drinking wine, reminiscing, and making plans for the future. But this summer is different. Deep-rooted secrets are revealed as the annual festivities become ones that nobody will ever forget. It is a play about family, relationships, work, aging, life, and the validity of ‘happily-ever-after.’
I had forgotten how thrilling it is to be a playwright. Here is an update of the journey so far:
I’m thrilled that Northumberland Players has added my play to their upcoming season. Once Upon a Rocking Chair has been staged once before, having a successful run with StoneCircle Theatre in Pickering Village in 2008. Since then my writing has improved, my life experience has expanded so I am taking this opportunity to update the script, strengthen the play and present an updated, refreshed version of the story that goes deeper into the play’s themes. I’m excited to share this story and these characters with my community.
Monday, February 25, 2008
By Mike Ruta, DurhamRegion.com
AJAX — Jessica Outram’s first full-length play is a family affair in more ways than one. Not only are the six female characters in ‘Once Upon a Rocking Chair’ related, they are drawn from real people the Whitby playwright turns into character archetypes.The play is set at a cottage in the small Ontario town of Britt, located about one hour south of Parry Sound. Three sisters and their daughters are spending a weekend at the cottage preparing a birthday bash for Aunt Flo.
“The idea for this play is actually inspired by a family tradition we have,” Outram says. “Mothers, aunts, cousins go up to the cottage for a girls’ weekend. I remember sitting there (on one of those weekends) thinking, ‘ we have a lot of these strong, wonderful women, archetypes of different types of women.”