Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Playwrights in Profile: Jordi Mand

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Jordi Mand

Jordi Mand's debut as a playwright was Between the Sheets (Playwrights Canada Press), staged at Toronto's Nightwood Theatre.

An intense power struggle between two women, the play was met with widespread acclaim. The National Post declared Jordi's work to be "maybe the year's best new script".

Today Jordi speaks with Open Book as part of our Playwrights in Profile series, and tells us about the journey from acting to writing, the first play she really loved and the process of freeing your characters from the restraints of a play.

Open Book:

Can you describe an experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a playwright?

Jordi Mand:

I studied acting at the National Theatre School of Canada. While I was there we had to create a ten-minute solo show. That was my one of the first experiences with writing and self-creation. Having the chance to dictate how I wanted to tell a story cracked something open for me.


What is the first play you remember being affected by?


The Shape of a Girl by Joan McLeod.


What one play, from any time period, do you wish you had written?


The Shape of a Girl.


What has been your most unlikely source of inspiration?


My family. It’s surprising to me because we are all fairly private but some of the experiences that I have had...that we have had as a family...well, I find them quite fascinating.


What do you do with a play in progress or a scene that just isn't working?


If it’s the play or the characters then sometimes I just need to walk away from it for a bit. Lately, I’ve stopped writing that particular scene and put the characters in a completely different situation so they can keep talking to each other without the restraints of the play.


What was the last play that you saw that really knocked your socks off?


Winners and Losers by Marcus Youssef and James Long.


What is the best thing about being a playwright, and what is the worst?


Best thing...having the chance to share a story with an audience. Worst thing...not knowing how that story will be received. The whole thing is a weird, wild, wonderful ride.

Jordi Mand is a Canadian playwright. Her first full-length play, Between the Sheets, premiered in 2012 as part of Nightwood Theatre’s ’12/’13 season in Toronto and has since been produced both nationally and internationally. Ms. Mand is a resident artist of Theatre Passe Muraille and a past member of Tarragon Theatre’s Playwrights Unit. Upcoming projects include new plays with Nightswimming Theatre, Theatre Yes, and UnSpun Theatre. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

For more information about Between the Sheets please visit the Playwrights Canada website.

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