Meet the Director of THE WOMEN – Catherine Wenschlag!

What is your role on The Women? What does that entail? I’m the director – a statement that fills me with equal parts joy and anxiety. As the director, I chose the play, put together a design team, auditioned and cast the actors, and am now working with everyone to put it all together.

What is your background in theatre? In Edmonton? At Walterdale? Since getting involved with theatre at the young age of 8, I’ve been an actor, stage manager, lighting operator, production manager, administrator, box office manager, and – most recently – a director. I’ve been with Walterdale since 2009 and am truly thrilled to be directing my second show here, following The Sunset Syndrome in 2016.

Why did you choose this script for Walterdale? There are three main things that led me to choose The Women. First, the sheer number of women involved – I have 17 actors playing 39 characters and it’s been a joy going on this adventure with them. I feel it really serves the Walterdale community to have a large female cast. Second, the humour – it’s biting and witty and dark and physical and so fun to play with!  And third, the chance to tell an 80 year old story and show how it’s still relevant today.

What do you think audiences will take away from the show? Why do you think they should come and see it? My hope is that people will have a wonderful time watching the show, and then, perhaps they will have a conversation with their friends about the characters, their choices, even the role women play in the world today – and how they can grow and change that role in their own circle of influence.

What is the most challenging obstacle that you think women have overcome in the last century? In many ways, I think the biggest obstacles we’ve overcome are the ones we’re still jumping the hurdles of to get even further ahead. To have the vote, birth control, the freedom to leave an abusive partner – these were amazing accomplishments. But we have so far to go – in getting more women voted in to positions of power, stopping men (or anyone) from deciding what a woman can do with her body, and ending all domestic violence are still a ways off – but not impossible. Especially if we can see and treat other women as our allies, not enemies, and work together.

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