The Tale of Jemima Canard

Written by Brandon J. Simmons
Directed by Carys Kresny

Fri-Sat at 8 pm, April 22-May 21
$15 general / $10 TPS, senior, military / $5 student
PWYC Industry Night: Monday, May 9

There’s something odd about Kilkin Farm. The ducks parade about in skirts and bonnets and carry on forbidden love affairs with the hounds. Badgers and foxes negotiate their bloody deals behind the henhouse, bartering for flesh by day, and stealing it by night. And Miss Potter, the farm’s indomitable mistress, is driven nearly to madness.

Only Potter can unlock the mysteries of this world. As she examines the hidden corners of her own past, layers of passion and regret weave themselves into a tale that blurs the lines between love and violence, food and sex, and ultimately, the artist and the art she creates.

Love! Whimsy! Terror!

The underbelly of Beatrix Potter comes to life in The Tale of Jemima Canard. A young innocent, capricious but willful, falls under the romantic sway of a predatory cad—but the characters are not Edwardian ladies and gentlemen; they are ducks, hounds, badgers, and foxes. As the author is interrogated by one of her own characters, layers of love, envy, jealousy, and much worse become revealed as the play delves into the deceptively whimsical lives of Jemima, her hard-as-nails sister Rebecca, the rugged but earnest St. Hubert brothers, the degenerate Tommy Brock, Miss Potter herself, and the elegant and alarming Tawny Whiskered Gentleman. Seattle actor Brandon J. Simmons makes his playwriting debut with this anthropomorphic dream-play, using Potterʼs The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck as a springboard to explore the nature of fate and time, blurring the lines between animal/human, love/violence, food/sex, and the artist and the art she creates. Directed by Carys Kresny, who previously dug her directorial fingers into dark and roiling emotions in The Changeling and Penetralia at Annex.

Mary Murfin Bayley Potter
Truman Buffett TWG
Danielle Daggerty Rebecca
James James Leroy/Brock
Martyn G. Krouse Roland
Jillian Vashro Jemima
Production Director Meaghan Darling
Stage Manager Katie Driscoll
Set Design Emily Reitman
Light Design Tess Malone
Costume Design Hannah Schnabel
Mask Maker/Props Design Cole Hornaday
Sound Design Erin Paige
Fight Choreographer Ryan Spickard
Dialect Coach Pamala Mijatov
Dramaturg Bret Fetzer
Technical Director Ian Johnston
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  1. The playwrite was wonderful. Captivating acting by all. Never a slow beat, the play was moving so fast that it seemed to come to end so quickly.

    I love the interwine of Jemima’s and Ms. Potter’s stories.

    Great production.

  2. This production’s got a lot of narrative pull despite the fact that we all think we know where the story’s going (watch the fox). Fantastic acting, and a dark– but manageably so — script. Exquisite directorial touches. Bravo, Annex!

  3. Gerhardt Morrison

    The whole cast of this play was terrific but Mary Murfin Bayley was superb as Beatrix. Thanks Annex for putting this facinating play on.

  4. I am a fan of fairy tales and childrens’ stories, and especially when they are re-imagined for adult. I thought ‘The Tale of Jemima Canard’ was beautiful and moving and sweet. But tapped into the dark, scary and utterly terrifying journey from childhood to adult hood. Truly, the whole cast was lovely, but I must give special props to Jillian Vashro, for her emotions laid bare. She is lovely and tragic to behold.

  5. I loved this show. The acting was superb. My husband and I talked all the way home about the piece and it’s a long drive back to Kent!

  6. Pingback: Reviews: Naughty ducks and Tori Spelling take the stage at Annex.

  7. I thought the acting was good, but the general writing lacked character development, a good plot or depth. It seemed to use sex as an out for creativity. I’d expected something more insightful or meaningful, but instead got another formulaic selling of sex & violence – might as well watched an episode of cops, or any other version of trash tv.

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