WIVES’ TALE an epithet used to indicate that a supposed truth is actually a superstition or something untrue, to be ridiculed. A type of urban legend, said to be passed down by older women to a younger generation

Wives Tales

Wild Swans + Wives Tales Verbatim

We began development on Wives Tales in June of 2016. The project was created as both an exploration of marriage and an experiment in collaboration.

Over the course of 6 weekly meetings, a diverse group of female strangers from various backgrounds in marriage, age, profession, culture, etc. gathered together to chat. Each 3-hour long discussion was led by Nicole Smith and Lara Gordon and centred on a different theme (Firsts, What If, Moments of Transformation, Show & Tell and Lasts). It was a fun and open dialogue between a small group of women, and everyone involved was encouraged to ask questions and contribute in any way they felt inspired to.


✨ Wild Swans (in development)

During our meetings, weekly notes and any material created with the Wives was collected and anonymously compiled for Sarah Dennison, who, based on the stories and experiences of the women, is in the process of writing a script. This script is not verbatim or devised. The plot and the characters are cohesive and fictional.  Sarah was never in the room during any of the meetings, so all notes and perspectives she received were second hand. She had no way of knowing who said what. Given this, no character is based off of any wife specifically. Wild Swans by Sarah Dennison is a new Canadian play-in-progress, created from and inspired by the essence of the Wives.

Supported by the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund and Dramaturged by Pat the Dog Theatre Creation’s Lisa O’Connell.

✨ Wives Tales Verbatim

Through our work on Wives Tales and the development of Wild Swans, a second project emerged.

Wives Tales Verbatim is a short performance piece created from the real life experiences, stories and opinions of our five original Wives, as well as interviews conducted cross-culturally with approximately 50 others.

Hannah Briggs McNeill
Sarah Dennison
Lara Gordon
Nicole Smith