The Tragedy of OpheIia-devised and written by Jay Vaughan and Jessica Williams Ciemnyjewski.
The play explored through Shakespeare's character Ophelia, the concept and experience of 'madness' as evidenced and witnessed from the company members' clinical experience of working with women in psychiatric hospitals and prisons. This piece evoked considerable interest in the audience and critics as to how the process and experience of dramatherapy influenced the final piece.
'The Theatre Museum is to be congratulated on presenting this innovative work......it is completely believable and deeply moving and should be widely seen'. (John Norman, New York Shakespeare Society Journal.)
'Jessica wonderfully evinces the awakening sexuality of Ophelia in movement and dance'. (Brenda Meldrum, Dramatherapist and Theatre Director.)
Thursday's Child-devised by Louise Larkinson, Marina Jenkyns and Jessica Williams Ciemnyjewski, written by Daphne Thomas. The starting point for this piece was an exploration of the Demeter and Persephone story taken from Greek mythology. The final scripted play presented a woman trapped by her past and how this determined her adult life, with a particular focus on the destructive aspect of mother-daughter attachment and its repercussions.
'The play is paradoxical to the core, from its slow and subtle beginning to its frighteningly concrete fragmentation at the end'. (Dr. Murray Cox, The Shakespeare Institute and Broadmoor Hospital.)
'Jessica Williams is an actress of brilliant talent....the mounting madness is superbly timed and shows her to be a performer of immense depth and emotional reserve. The direction by Marina Jenkyns is excellent...perhaps this is the start of dramatherapy and theatre art being forged into a new relationship. (Dr. Sue Jennings, Journal of The Arts in Psychotherapy.)
When Angels Speak-devised and written by Jessica Williams Ciemnyjewski. Beginning with the archetypal figures of Beauty and Beast, this piece is written in the form of a fairy tale. The story explores the notion of a divided self touching on themes of loyalty and betrayal, passion and shame, love and integration. Central to the piece is the relationship between the spoken and non-verbal narratives and the use of symbolic expression, music and movement in exploring and staging experiences of trauma. Premiered at The Hamburg Sprechwerk theatre, Germany, early performances have led to a greater depth of ongoing exploration and public viewings.
'I was captivated by the narrative-a mesmerising performance'. (Dawn Carman-Staub, Independent Art Director for film.)
Watching When Angels Speak, time stopped for me. I was transported into the sensual, terrifying world of Beauty…being with her breath and her shock and her reverie. At times, I noticed that I too had stopped breathing. Jessica’s performance was ‘all out’. She gave everything and the transfixed audience received it with heartfelt gratitude. (Di Gammage, Author of 'Playful Awakening'.)