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Monday, December 19, 2011

More New Shtuff!

We're excited to have a new stage manager, Christine Hecker, who will also do our lighting design for the Natalie Stern Studio Theatre. And we welcome another new cast member! Nadia Gandhi, who performed in every iteration of The Walk (staged readings and productions) sadly had to withdraw because of family commitments. Tears all round. But auditions yielded the lovely Shirley Manh, who will play various TRAFFICKED WOMEN.  Here is one of Shirley's headshots:

We had a fantastic full-cast read-through of the script a few weeks ago, during which our director Natalie actually got the thing on its feet. It was a good chance to see how one new scene will fit in the mix and also to hear our new song. It's called "No Explanation," by the very talented Kevin Gillespie. Thank you for this gift, Kevin!

Tickets for the show are printed and ON SALE! They are $20 in advance ($22 at the door). But we also have discount prices for groups. (Check out our Sponsorship Package.) You can order your tickets at or 613 733 0776.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Remount of THE WALK!

Yes, it's true! Our Fringe show was such a success that we got invited to produce it at the Natalie Stern Studio Theatre, in Ottawa (Westboro), on the first two weekends of February 2012. A run of six shows: Feb. 3-5 and Feb. 10-12.

We have recast three roles because some cast members were sadly unavailable for the remount. Brie Barker has stepped in to play Peter. Rachel Eugster will be Sister Catherine Anne, and Lori Jean Hodge will be Stephanie. All three are seasoned actors, and our passionate director, Natalie, is excited to be working with them.

Having a few Equity actors on board will definitely challenge our budget. But we're gearing up our fundraising efforts, and opening to the bounty of the universe. We welcome your ideas and suggestions.

Our amazing graphic designer, Sergio Diaz, is back and full of enthusiasm. He did a fantastic job on our Fringe program and handbills. Sergio moved to Canada from Colombia only a few months ago with his young family. He's working hard on his English, but he's bursting with marketing ideas and is such a delight to work with.

Great things are coming. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An important documentary film-maker

In her blog, film-maker Mimi Chakarova describes the toll that a decade of research about global sex trafficking has taken on her. Her honesty is gut-wrenching.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gearing up for the Ottawa Fringe Festival - June 16 -26, 2011

Wow, there is so much excitement in the air about our upcoming production at the Fringe. Our choreographer, Sonia Awad, has been working out amazing moves for the actors, and we have a new drummer, Mike Berrigan.. Our posters and handbills are maganificent. All our printing was done PRO BONO, thanks to the wonderful Fred Schubert. There is passion and generosity everywhere! We're on Facebook, and people can answer and share the invitation to attend directly:!/event.php?eid=217928228231872

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Check out our website!

Moon Dog Theatre, which will be producing The Walk, in association with PACT-Ottawa, now has a website: Kudos to our Web Meister, the inimitable Jerry Golland!

Please visit the new site to see our performance schedule for the Ottawa Fringe Festival, June 16-26, as well as images for the show.

You can also find out more about PACT-Ottawa (Persons Against the Crirme of Trafficking in humans) on their website:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gold and child sex slaves

One of the characters in "The Walk," is Panadda, a petite 15-year-old Thai girl, who tells a john about her life as a sex slave. She is child-like and sweet, despite the daily indignity and horror she faces. Teri Loretto, who plays the neurotic writer in the play, told me she "still chokes up" at Panadda's story. I choke up too. I think of myself at 15 or 12, Panadda's age when she was sold by her parents to a brothel. Robbed of her childhood and hope for a future. "To have a daughter is like have toilet in your front yard," she tells her client.

That is the reality for many children around the world whose value is measured in monetary terms. Kids become peripheral victims to blind greed. One reporter in South America throws light on the child sex trade and its relation to gold mining in Peru. Here is the link to his blog:

Friday, January 21, 2011


This is a little video done from a few scenes of "The Walk" that were read at End Slavery Day on December 2. It's revised at the end to show who our fabulous director for the Ottawa Fringe Festival will be!

Just a teaser, folks. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MOVING AHEAD! (Please tell all your contacts.)

THE WALK         (a play about sex trafficking)
By Catherine Cunningham-Huston
Directed by Natalie Fraser-Purdy
The play will be performed at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in June. There will also be a staged reading at Ottawa School of Speech and Drama on Saturday, March 12.

Sunday, January 23 –
Wednesday, January 26 –

LOCATION: Ottawa School of Speech and Drama (OSSD),
294 Picton Ave.


Sister Catherine Anne (sixties)
Stephanie (forties)
Peter (mid-thirties)
Celestine, Nigerian (early thirties)
Three Trafficked Women (teens to early twenties)
Man (mid-thirties)
Please prepare a serious monologue. Celestine and Trafficked Women will also be asked to present a short movement piece (about 30 seconds)--you are welcome to bring music.

Please indicate AUDITIONS on the subject line.
For more information, visit THE WALK blog:

Behind the Mask

The trafficked women in "The Walk" tell their stories from behind masks. So this eerie image resonates with me. It's from a National Post article exposing the horrors of abuse against women in Afghanistan. An Afghan TV show documented this fearful 16-year-old's story from behind a mask:
"Niqab, or The Mask, is the first show of its kind in Afghanistan. The participants hail from across the country, and over the course of 60 minutes peel back the layers of violence and indifference they have suffered in a society that often casts women as second-class citizens."
You can read the whole article at:

(Thanks to Michael Davidson for this link!)

This is Global Sex Trafficking Awareness Week. A lot of the initiatives are focused not just on awareness, but prevention. Of course, they go hand in hand. Changing abusive behaviours means changing distorted attitudes. (Don't plant ragweed and hold your breath for roses.)

Here's a link to an article from an Asian women's magazine about educating the most susceptible populations:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Nigerian Connection

Nigeria is a hub country for trafficking: it's "a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation." (Trafficking in Person Report, June 2009, U.S. Dept. of State)

There is a Nigerian character in "The Walk" who was trafficked for eight years in Italy and who is trying to build a life for herself and her infant son in Canada. Her name is CELESTINE. She is based on a real person who is now my friend. "The Walk" tries to honour the journey of this woman, who relives her trauma virtually every day.

So stories about Nigerian trafficking hit a nerve with me. Here's the link to one such story from the BBC:

Below the article, you'll see a link to an article about Nigerians trafficked to Italy. There are more sex slaves from Nigeria in Italy than from any other country!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Men Turning the Tide

Here's the link to an article on the Ms. Magazine blog about what men and boys can do to help end sex trafficking:

Thanks to my pal Jerry Golland for sending this and other info on trafficking. Jerry supports "The Walk" in so many ways--including launching this blog! It's heartening to know there are men like him standing up against this modern-day slavery.

After the staged reading of "The Walk" at Ottawa Little Theatre (directed by the inimitable Jim McNabb!) on Nov. 6, most of the initial feedback and commentary was from male audience members, as well as the two male cast members. The stories touched a chord. Here's hoping for a ripple effect...