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IN A NUTSHELL
Written by David Ferguson
Starring Lynda Raino
Sound: Miles Lowry
Length of work: 90 mins
IN A NUTSHELL (in development)
A NEW PLAY BY DAVID FERGUSON
Starring LYNDA RAINO
Suddenly Dance Theatre's DAVID FERGUSON has been commissioned by the Belfry Theatre (Victoria, BC) to write 'In a Nutshell', a new play starring LYNDA RAINO.
‘In a Nutshell’ is inspired by Frances Glessner Lee, who in the 1940’s used her inheritance to make the ‘Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’ - a series of dollhouse-sized death-scenes to teach the police how to conduct themselves in real-life crime scenes. Used to this day, each maquette is a teaching tool, requiring detectives to canvas a crime methodically and to use reasonable observation to determine if the scene is an accident, suicide or murder. On a 1 inch to 1 foot (1:12) scale, ‘Captain Lee’ created virtual realities of the time - working obsessively in a miniature world, using accurate states of decomposition, expertly sprayed blood patterns, and custom furniture design. Through her craft, her aim was to standardize forensic education and to be true to the code of law: to convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell.
More historical information about Frances Glessner Lee can be found here.
Details about this new work will emerge over the course of the year, with an expected work-in-progress reading and sharing opportunities ahead.
IMAGE by Miles Lowry: Writer/Director David Ferguson looks at one of Frances Glessner Lee's Nutshells at the Redwick Gallery show 'Murder is Her Hobby', Washington, DC.
Lynda Raino received a lifetime achievement award for her work in dance, though she is currently crossing the floor more and more into theatre. She first appeared at the Belfry in ‘A Guide to Mourning’. She also worked with Puente Theatre’s ‘Letters for Thomas; Langham Court’s ‘Waiting in the Wings’; and the Belfry’s spectacular ‘Urinetown, The Musical’. Lynda ran her dance school Lynda Raino Dance for thirty-four years, where she has had hundreds of students.
For Ferguson, Raino is an early mentor that became a muse. The duo have collaborated together in numerous performances, fundraisers, and experiments over 25 years - with Lynda the star of Ferguson's AGNES B (2010) currently set for a touring revival. Lynda also choreographed the recently released WITS IN MOTION (2017) co-Directed by Ferguson with Miles Lowry.
IN A NUTSHELL is being developed and commissioned by The Belfry Theatre, Victoria, BC. Created with the support of Suddenly Dance Theatre, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland; Dance Victoria’s residency program; BC Arts Council; CRD Arts Development; Lynda Raino; Debi O'Hehir; Mauricio A. Garcia Barrera; Valerie Lannon; Allana Lindgren; Lynda Raino; Helen Tuele; and Jennifer Wise. With thanks to: Sandy and Bob Brunham. Special Thanks to William Tyre, Glessner House Museum, Chicago.
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