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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...