Navigating the trials of family restructuring
Next Stage Conflict Resolution to host event featuring production of Australian play, Honour.
A man announces to his wife that he is leaving her for a much younger woman.
That’s the story told in the play, Honour, by Australian playwright Joanna Murrary-Smith. It’s also a story similar to those which have unfolded time and again in the homes of families around the world.
To help lawyers, mediators, and mental health professionals help families in Stratford and the surrounding area better navigate the emotional and legal pitfalls of family restructuring, Next Stage Conflict Resolution in Stratford is hosing The Honour Symposium at the Stratford Masonic Concert Hall on April 20. The event will feature a production of Honour, educational workshops, an expert panel discussion, and a keynote address by former Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, who will speak about alternative conflict resolution from a First Nations perspective.
“The Honour Symposium if for people involved with supporting people who are going through family restructuring,” said Katharine Rajczak, a mediator and collaborative lawyer with Next Step Conflict Resolution and the actor playing the role of the wife in Honour.
“So, we’re doing a series of presentations and workshops for the people who support those people to look at alternative ways of resolving conflict – more positive, constructive ways.”
The play itself centres around the break-up of a 32-year marriage, depicting how the husband George (portrayed by David Keeley), the wife Honor (played by Rajczak), Claudia, the younger woman, (played by Laura Larson), and the couple’s daughter Sophie (played by Emma Rudy) each navigate this traumatic event. In a series of compelling confrontations, wife, husband, daughter and lover negotiate the forces of passion, love, history, responsibility and honour.
“Ultimately, as in theatre and in the arts generally, it’s about communication, it’s about sharing, it’s about opening up and enlightening people to other people’s perspectives,” Keeley said. “So, the play will help facilitate the conversation about family restructuring and alternative conflict resolution.”
“Like any play, you want people to have a visceral reaction,” said director Valerie Hawkins. “The audience is probably going to relate to one of those four characters up there in some way, in regards to their own lives, so I want them to have this experience. They’re going to be on this journey in this incredibly volatile moment in all of these characters’ lives. So hopefully it will have some impact.”
While the workshops, panel discussion, and keynote address will only take place on April 20 starting at 3:30 p.m. and is only for professionals who that people navigate family restructuring, additional performances of the play will be staged on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 2 p.m. for the general public.
Participants may register for the full day, half day, or buy tickets for the play and panel only. Tickets for the play are $25 each, and they can be purchased at Fanfare Books, online through the Stratford Masonic Concert Hall website, or by calling 519-271-9600.
Laura Larson, David Keeley and Katharine Rajczak rehearse for Next Step Conflict ResolutionÕs production of Honour, which will be staged as part of The Honour Symposium at the Stratford Masonic Concert Hall on April 20, and then again on April 21 and 22.