Regina, Treaty 4: Judy Wensel
I really don’t know how she does it. Last summer, over what felt like only a couple of months, I saw Judy perform in a fantastic one woman fringe show which she wrote (I literally laughed and cried), act in an improv show, sing with her band Wolf Willow, and if I remember correctly she was the dj at a record hop that she maaaay have even organized.
KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?
Well, I’ve been working with an independent theatre company in Regina called Curtain Razors since September. We just finished a big ol’ project called the Moveable Feast that was presented as part of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival in the form of a loud, outrageous, parade-style performance. A piece I co-created with the FadaDance Senior Youth Company premieres this week as part of a full Fada Youth Company show at the U of R. And, I’m doing a few improv shows as part of three night Festival here in Regina (also this week.)
Other than that, I’m prepping for a couple of shows I’ll be directing next year, dreaming up a couple more and working with my band Wolf Willow in preparation for a few festivals this summer.
KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?
I’m currently working as the Interim Theatre School Director at Globe Theatre and we’ve got some really exciting projects in the works. We’re currently developing an improv program for adults with Autism in partnership with the Autism Resource Centre and launching a drop-in improv program for Teens in Junes and Adults in the fall.
And, then there’s the fact that I think children are magical. They’re like these wee little elves who remind us what play and pretend are. Play and pretend are amazing gifts and the most useful tools. They wake us up. Give us ideas. They open us up to possibilities. They’re the greatest teachers.
The directorship is a year-long position that I began in January. I’ve been finding it challenging balancing my regular job with other projects I’ve committed to, am excited about and want to pursue. And truthfully, I’ve been a little unsuccessful in my pursuit of balance these last few months… It’s rare I’ve found time to like, make dinner with my boyfriend and I dunno… tell jokes to each other, or take my 9 year old nephew record shopping for his birthday THAT WAS IN JANUARY. BAD AUNTIE. But, let it be known: We ARE going on Thursday, so I’m slowly pulling it together.
KC: What’s important to you?
Family. Community. Time + space. To think. To dream. To plan. To sleep. To run.
KC: What do you like most/least about Regina?
It all feels possible in Regina. Regina is like a wee volcano on the prairie where great things are constantly happening, either bubbling beneath the surface (small secrets only a select few are privy to), spewing in mid-sized eruptions (inspiring certain communities of people to be active, to move, to be involved, to create) or busting out like a flowing, glowing full-on river of glorious fire. It feels like we’re on to something. There is a pride here, an optimism, an electricity. I dig it. I really do.
KC: What is your impression of Saskatoon?
That river and those pretty bridges! I love them. Paris of the Prairies, man.
(from the Proust Questionnaire): What is your most treasured possession?
I’ve got this black and white photo of my parents dancing at their high school dance in about 1963. It’s perfect. They both have great hair and rad outfits. It perfectly captures a wee moment in time when they had no idea what was to come. I love those two. I also love dancing and the sixties in general, soooo…