Canvas Sky Theatre
with CLUNK Puppet Lab
by Sarah Joy Bennett
Ginette Mohr and Shawna Reiter
- MotherCorinne Murray
- PuppeteerGinette Mohr
- PuppeteerSarah Joy Bennett
- DirectorSarah Joy Bennett
- Puppetry DirectorShawna Reiter
- Associate DirectorGinette Mohr
- Guest Puppetry DirectorMike Petersen
- Production DesignShawna Reiter
- DramaturgyAlysse Rich
- Lighting DesignMelissa Joakim
- Music DirectionDavid Atkinson
- Production Stage ManagerStevie Baker
- Stage ManagerEden Patterson
- Puppet ConstructionShawna Reiter
- Jonathan Davis
- Marketing & PublicityDavid Atkinson
I started imaging the objects in my apartment talking to me – some kind, some cruel – and I began writing these conversations down. Months later, when I started talking to other moms about these bizarre encounters, a truly remarkable thing happened: they knew exactly what I was talking about!
I also realized that those strange and dark little characters that peopled those nights, while they had the power to torment me, they could also be turned into ridiculous vehicles of comedy, able to bring humour, understanding, even pathos. It then became my mission to create something that made other mothers feel less alone. I wanted to de-fang all those shame demons and pull the bogeymen out into the daylight.
Puppet Director’s note
I consider the primary characteristic of puppetry to be a belief in the hidden life of the inanimate object; revealed through the design of a character which is then animated with movement and gesture, becoming infused with human-like yet otherworldly qualities. The audience’s investment in the performance becomes more active as the puppet acting as an empty vessel begs the commitment of the observer’s ego. It places them in closer proximity to the action of the story, engaging them on a visceral and empathetic level, causing the resonance and impact of the experience to be more personal.
Night Feed was inspired by stories shared by mothers through community groups. Contribute your story by using the hashtag #ididnightfeeds and help keep the conversation going!
Share your story
Being at home with a new baby can be challenging at the best of times. There are so many things we don’t talk about in early motherhood: postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, psychosis, trauma, difficulties with feeding – the list goes on. If you find you’re struggling, please know you’re not alone. The City of Toronto offers a wide variety of support. For a complete list of helplines and nearby programs, visit the following URL: bit.ly/torontoppd “Asking for support takes courage and is definitely not easy, but this is often the most important step in your recovery.”
Special thanks to: Ann and David Powell, Alexandra Montagnese, Andy Massingham, Emily Pearlman, Ingrid Hansen, Tim Freeman, Ellen Roach, Laura Mae Nason, Mike Barber and Victoria Laberge. Our heartfelt gratitude also to the partners, grandparents, childcare workers, and every member of our community that have supported and assisted us in raising our families and making our art. Thank you all for being our village – we need you!
Night Feed was made possible with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, in partnership with The Toronto Fringe Festival, Theatre Smith-Gilmour, and PuppetMongers Theatre