Category Archives: Performer

actor, musician, singer

What Is Important Right Now?

I’m a juggler, usually with at least three or more balls in the air at once. I’m speaking figuratively, of course. I’m hopeless at real juggling, just like I am at running, though I did improve as a runner when I became a mother. Perhaps from chasing little people around! And of course, that’s how I learned my figurative juggling skills as well.

Because I’m always juggling (and you might be too), I have to keep focusing and refocusing on what is really important to read more

Raising a Band of Percussionists

Two thirds of our grandchildren—the six who are seven and under—brought their parents, another grandmother, an uncle and his girlfriend along for a Thanksgiving gathering at our house yesterday afternoon. And the first thing they did was start to play with my percussion instruments. I play with a band called the 8 Enders—three ukulele players, one guitarist, one percussionist, and all of us singers. I guess you could say we are the resident band at the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club. 20140717_8Enders_small_3 Off went the rainstick, the clappers, the wooden spoons, maracas, bells, shakers, and a drum in small hands to be marched around with and shaken and struck. It raised the decibel level in the house, but it also increased the level of joy. I love playing with my noisemakers too. Sandra Trehub, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, described our innate musicality to Bob McDonald on the Annual Quirks and Quarks Question Roadshow at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on June 21, 2014.

First of all we have this capacity for music, what you’d call musicality, which is a naturally occurring human trait, which enables us to perceive music and to make music, at least with our own body, our built-in instrument, our voice…. When people listen to music together, it seems to enhance social bonds. It does that even better when they participate actively in music … whether [that’s] clapping, dancing, singing together, playing instruments together. And a very important aspect read more

I’m “Featured”!

Joan Bryans of Vital Sparks Theatre Company wrote this yesterday on Vital Sparks’ Facebook page,Fanny_B-K_small

Featured REBEL WOMEN actor of the day: Nina Shoroplova who plays the delightfully dotty Fanny Bovvington-Keye, as well as the East End toughy Mrs. Payne, housewife and bootmaker.

Our show is Rebel Women, a play about the Suffragette Movement in England and the incredible hardships those women suffered to ensure we are able to vote and have a say in the happenings of our lives. Our director and the playwright Joan Bryans puts a book in the lobby for audience members to write in what they think about the play. Here is a comment from last night’s performance:

“The powerful subject matter was brilliantly portrayed by talented actors, supported by authentic costuming, fabulous choreography, awesome lighting, and amazing direction. Be proud, be very proud all. Well done.”

We are in Presentation House in North Vancouver for the rest of the week, including a matinee on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. And then we’ll be in Metro Theatre in Marpole in South Vancouver until November 1. Do come and see us!

Rebel Women Opens Tonight


Rebel Women, a verbatim play about the Suffragette Movement in Great Britain, created and directed by Joan Bryans, previewed last night to great accolades at Presentation House. The audience was quiet as a mouse during the performance, not missing one nuance, and then they erupted with enthusiasm at the curtain. The image shows Emily Pankhurst, leader of the Suffragette Movement in Great Britain. Come to Presentation House tonight at 8 p.m. and you’ll be with us for our opening. We run there until October 12 and then we move to Metro Theatre for another two-week run.


I was delighted to hear Mother Jessica Schaap’s sermon in church on Sunday. Here’s a link to it. Delighted, because, although Christianity includes angels in its doctrine, there’s seldom a discussion about them. Many world religions refer to angels: Judaism, Christianity, Eastern Orthodoxy, Islam, Bahá’í Faith, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism. Icons and paintings are everywhere, but these days it seems that angels have moved into the secular realm. I used to love singing this gorgeous duet about angels with my friend Danièle Walker. It’s from the operetta Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck (whose name was co-opted in the mid-1960s by a pop singer).

When at night I go to sleep
Fourteen angels watch do keep
Two my head are guarding
Two my feet are guiding
Two are on my right hand
Two are on my left hand
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to Heaven.

Rebel Women

I do a lot of community theatre. My latest show is Rebel Women, a play about the Suffragette Movement in England about a hundred years ago. Its creator is Joan Bryans, Vancouver historian, playwright, actor, and director. I have several roles, the most interesting being Mrs. Jessie Payne, an East London housewife, landlady to Sylvia Pankhurst, and hard worker. In this photo of a Suffragette deputation to visit Prime Minister Asquith in June 1914, she’s fourth from the left.Deputation-to-Asquith London Town Walks shares this information about this East Londoner:

Jessie Payne then told of her terrible life as a sweated worker; a cigarette packer in a factory where she had earned less than a shilling a day. Men had been allowed time for lunch but women were not, and had nowhere to eat so had to to consume their food in the lavatory. She emphasised trade unions would not tolerate such conditions. She went on to tell of her life with her mentally retarded daughter. Having a conscientious objection to her little girl being vaccinated she had gone to the local read more