Nav­i­gat­ing the tri­als of fam­ily re­struc­tur­ing

Next Stage Con­flict Res­o­lu­tion to host event fea­tur­ing pro­duc­tion of Aus­tralian play, Hon­our.

The Beacon Herald - - NEWS - GALEN SIM­MONS STAFF RE­PORTER gsim­mons@postmedia.com

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.

GALEN SIM­MONS/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

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.

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