Playwright Judith Thompson directs her own work, Watching Glory Die, produced for Windsor Feminist Theatre by former drama instructor Kelly Daniels, in a special performance Tuesday, July 23, in the Hatch Studio Theatre, Jackman Dramatic Art Centre.
The play was inspired by the 2007 death of 19-year-old Ashley Smith in an isolation cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women.
Thompson has secured the blessing of Coralee Smith to tell her daughter’s story.
“There are many young people in Ashley’s situation all over the world, languishing in solitary confinement, with everything they cherish taken away from them,” says Thompson. “Let us no longer be bystanders.”
Daniels approached Thompson after a staged reading of the play at the School of Dramatic Art in 2017, inviting her to bring the show to Windsor and then to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
This production will hire four emerging artists and offer unpaid internship positions to 13 UWindsor students and recent graduates, but still needs to raise funds for the trip to Edinburgh in August.
Tuesday’s event will start at 6:30 p.m. with a pre-performance panel discussion featuring Thompson; Senator Kim Pate, a former executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies; and representatives of Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services and the Welcome Centre for Women and Families.
Following the play, audience members will join the cast and crew for a reception at Mare Nostrum. The evening is scheduled to last until midnight and tickets are $100, with a receipt for a tax-deductible donation of $50.