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Erin Germaine Mahoney’s Playwriting Debut Makes Headlines

Erin Mahoney and Jordan Cutbill star in The Selkie Wife

After a successful run at the Budding Playwrights One Act Festival hosted by Alberta’s Rosebud School of the Arts, SAMC Theatre alumna Erin Germaine Mahoney brought her new play, The Selkie Wife, to the 2011 Vancouver Fringe Festival in September. But no traditional theatre building could contain Erin’s imagination – she staged it outdoors along Granville Island’s False Creek seawall. In case the sun setting over the water didn’t provide enough atmospheric delight, the show was underscored by live music from a traditional Irish fiddler. With Erin starring opposite actor Jordan Cutbill, the production was an immense success critically and at the Box Office.

The Selkie Wife is a modern-day fairy tale inspired by the ancient Irish folklore of the Selkie, a mystical creature with the power to shape-shift from seal to human. The play follows Driscoll Murphy, an Irish-Canadian fisherman living in Newfoundland with his wife who is haunted by the ocean. Driscoll is faced with an impossible question and eventually a choice that leads him down a path he never wished to take.

Mahoney’s fellow grad Kyla Ferrier pitched in to help produce and stage manage the show, bringing a stellar production team along for the ride. Internationally produced and award-winning playwright Lucia Frangione provided dramaturgy for the script, hailing Erin as “one of the most textured and soulful emerging Canadian playwrights I’ve come across.” SAMC Theatre professor Kerry Van Der Griend directed and 2011 graduate Crystal Dodding was Kyla’s trusty ASM.

Plank Magazine, the Fringe’s official reviewer, offered up glowing praise for the production:

“Brilliant acting…[the story’s] tension is held by two great performers with Mahoney, especially, bringing depth and meaning to her characterization. Many in the audience were moved to tears as the story unfolded. Lovely and deeply moving – true magic!”  --Kyira Korrigan, Plank reviewer

A spectacular start for Erin’s playwriting career…SAMC looks forward to seeing more of her work onstage.

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