By Our Side

Un texte de Andrea Conway

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Publié le : 25 février 2024

Dernière mise à jour : 25 février 2024


In By Our Side, Andrea Conway and Wayne Doba mix a story about kidney failure and organ donation with tap-dance, comedy, and digital technology.

By Our Side kidney failure and organ donation

In the spring of 2023, I received an exploration creation grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to develop a script about kidney failure, organ donation and the deep gratitude I feel towards my donor. This summer my husband, Wayne Doba, and I successfully explored mixing this serious, beautiful story with tap-dance, comedy, and digital technology. We have applied for a second grant to explore the musical side of the production for which our own Michael Hynes will hopefully be a part of, fingers crossed! 

To keep the project moving forward, Wayne and I decided to throw our names into the hat for the Montreal Fringe Festival in June. To our surprise we were drawn! Instead of hiring a director, we decided to call upon several talented Sutton artists to act as our outside eyes.

Outside Eyes

We called upon Mary Harvey, Cambridge graduate, currently teaching Theatre at Bishops University. I originally met Mary in 2000, performing in a play in Montreal. Mary had a starring role, I had a small role – one of three weasels. This was right before meeting my husband Wayne, when I was cast in San Fransisco’s Teatro Zinzanni. It was a huge surprise when in 2002, I bumped into Mary just after Wayne and I had arrived in Sutton. Mary went on to direct our very first Dik and Mitzi show in 2007.

We have also asked singer/artist Sharon Gozzo, who has a BA in Fine Arts Theatre from the University of Connecticut. She was also smack in the middle of the clown renaissance movement in the seventies where she attended the Jacques Lecoq school in Paris. Sharon has a lot of knowledge about movement, mask, and clown. Having met Sharon at a Sutton Junction party, we realized we had a friend in common – a clown mentor of mine, René Bazinet, with whom I had toured for Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco

Then there is Doloreze Léonard, our go-to gal for the clown/bouffon comedy portions of our show. Dolo is a pioneer Québécoise female clown. So much so, that when I studied clown with Philippe Gaulier in London, knowing I was from Quebec, he actually referred to her! Interestingly, Wayne met Dolo first at Teatro Zinzanni. It is fascinating to me that somehow all of us ended up in Sutton.

Finally, a very important outside eye is Carol Halls. She is an artist, editor and computer whiz with a major funny bone. I first met Carol years ago when she helped us convert our European performance videos into a visible format. Little did we know, we’d both be filled with gratitude from organ donations. Carol received a kidney from an anonymous donor this summer.

Public Reading in Sutton

Creating a new show is often compared to giving birth to a baby. And as the old saying goes, “It takes a village”. I feel so fortunate to be in this village! 

We will present a public reading of the script with some comedy, tap-dance, and projections at the Sutton Junction Community Centre on Friday and Saturday April 12th & 13th at 8pm, and on Sunday the 14th at 3pm. Voluntary pay what you can – Limited seating. Info & R.S.V.P. at or 450-538-1816.

Andrea Conway a grateful organ recipient