Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hitting the Motherlode

So, this post is a shameless rip-off of the post that I (Her Bad Mother) did the other day for, and hits the same theme as my HBM post of Tuesday, but whatever. I can plagiarize myself. I have given myself permission (permission that I have not, as it goes, given Bitacle, so if you are reading this on Bitacle, be aware that you are supporting a total tard and that you should click HERE to read this on ethically sound terms.)

Anyway, in case you haven't heard, there this thing called the Motherlode going on right now... it's a whole conference that is exclusively devoted to the subject of motherhood. It's hosted by York University's Association for Research on Mothering, and it's going to be great. Academics, artists, writers and all sort of creative and intelligent persons are gathering together to discuss all aspects of the amazing, frustrating, joyous, life-changing, world-changing thing that we mothers do. They're going to be talking history, politics, art, environment, culture, health, policy, academe - everything in the whole wide world, and how it relates to motherhood.

Actually, I should say we - we're going to be discussing those things. I'll be there: on Friday afternoon I'm presenting a paper, entitled "The Public Mother," on motherhood and citizenship, and what it means, or might mean, to mother publicly. It's an extension of my academic work in political philosophy, but I promise - if you are at all interested in coming to hear it - that I won't be too political scientist-y or philosopher-y about it: I'll be talking about mom-lit and mom-blogging and representations of moms in film as much as I will about Aristotle and Rousseau.

Mother2And it won't just be me there, either: Ann Douglas, who you probably know as the author of the fantastic 'Mother Of All (Pregnancy) (Toddler) (Etc) Books' series will be speaking, and some fantabulous local and local-ish bloggers and mother-writer types - Jen of MUBAR, Andrea of Beanie Baby, Dani of Postcards from the Mothership and Marla of Hello Josephine, to name a few - will be there as well. And too many other amazing and inspiring women to mention. (Oh, okay, just one more: my friends Devra and Aviva from Parentopia! Oh, and Andrea Buchanan of MotherShock and Literary Mama! And, and... I'll stop now).

If you're in Toronto, there are day passes and session passes and event passes to the conference, so it's worth having a look: you can find details HERE (I'm Session D3, if you're interested. 5 - 7pm. Very inconveniently opposite Ann and Jen, et. al., who I wanted to hear.) At the least, you might loiter around Courtyard Marriott downtown and soak up all of the mother-love (and maybe do a little blogger spotting!) before hitting H&M in the Eaton Centre.

If you do, be sure to say hi!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Play's The Thing

So, we are slowly but surely wending our way toward the reconstruction and re-launch (which will officially take place at the end of this month) of MamaBlogsToronto, which has become, you may have noticed, MommyBlogsToronto. More on that at a later date; right now, we have our first 'Whassup 'Round Toronto, Culture-Wise, And How Do I Get Me Some?', written by MetroMama...

Catherine and I recently attended the launch of the Stratford Festival’s 2007 season—I’m pleased to report, it looks fabulous.

Artistic Director Richard Monette announced the new season themed ‘The Outsider’. The season marks the end Monette’s fourteen-season tenure as Artistic Director. Monette said, “Artists by definition are outsiders in society and this is my tribute to all artists. Characters such as Lennie Small, Shylock, Othello and Atticus Finch are all struggling either to be accepted by society or to change it”.

A tribute it will be—highlights of the playbill include: King Lear (yay!) featuring and directed by Brian Bedford; The Merchant of Venice featuring Graham Greene as Shylock in his Stratford debut; Of Mice and Men, also featuring Graham Greene; To Kill a Mockingbird; Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!; The Odyssey, directed by Peter Hinton; Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, directed by Monette himself.

Other plays include: My One and Only; The Comedy of Errors; Othello; A Delicate Balance; Shakespeare’s Will; The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead; and Pentecost, a Canadian premiere.

Great playbill isn’t it! It will be hard to choose—I hope I can see more than one. I’ll definitely see King Lear, arguably Shakespeare's greatest play. I saw the 2002 production starring Christopher Plummer, who was a spellbinding Lear. His performance will be a tough act to follow.

After the announcement, we had the opportunity to meet the actors who had made the trip to Toronto, some having to be back in Stratford in time for matinees:

We chatted with Cynthia Dale about balancing her performances with motherhood and took pictures of her trying to eat breakfast. She was a good sport:

And here's the coolest thing - we met someone from Stratford’s PR who talked to us about their aim to make the festival a destination for families. Some of the musicals have a lot of appeal for the smaller set—what a wonderful alternative to your typical kiddie fare. Stratford also plans to have programs available for kids whose parents would prefer to see the adult plays. They are going to keep us informed about what they’re offering, and we hope to organize a field trip in the spring. Stay tuned for details!

So... who out there'd be interested in a field trip?

Check back for our re-launch towards the end of the month. A bunch of really cool TO mommy-bloggers are going to be posting regularly on a variety of topics - it's going to be a fun round-robin kind of community blog. And if you have any ideas for posts (or activities or whatever) yourself, drop a line or a comment and join the party...