"It actually began as an assignment. I read The Birth of Merlin and the way he wrote the mom was I guess appropriate to the time period, but it was really misogynistic," says playwright Sarah Higgins of So ho, by so. "So I got angry and wrote the play in response." All students not writing plays in their free time between assignments should be feeling lazy right now.
In William Rowley's The Birth of Merlin, Merlin's mother is given the short end of the stick—pregnant, abandoned and consequently judged by her son, Higgins was struck by the fact that her character was so minimized in the play. "She's really sidelined, she doesn't have a voice," Higgins says. "My play is from her perspective. In the play she's a sex worker who chose the profession. She gets pregnant and juggles that responsibility, her child grows up and judges her for her choice."
Clocking in at 15 minutes, So ho, by so delivers a dose of reality. "It's kind of heavy, at 15 minutes long it's kind like a punch," says Higgins. "I've written a few other plays but shorter plays have an impact that others don't have."
First produced in 2010 with director Dorian Lang, the remount—featuring Robin Hebb, Jonny Thompson, Jonathan Kornelsen and Holly Arsenault and Lise Renault on cello—has "met and exceeded my expectations. Dorian had more room to play with movement—maybe because I wasn't there to say 'No it has to be this way," Higgins says, laughing. "I think it's better for the writer to write and go away."
Saturday September 6 at 12:15pm
Sunday September 7 at 7:15pm
The Bus Stop Theatre