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Mary Granfors

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Our family moved from the US to New Zealand in 200, so I am a recent immigrant myself. After many years involvement in community theatre outside Seattle, directing an assortment of plays including my favourites The Vagina Monologues, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Getting Out, it was big fun to move to New Zealand, jump into the thriving Dolphin Theatre and direct We’ll Always Have Paris. Next step for me was casting Ellerslie Theatre’s production of I Hate Hamlet, and now here I am, directing my own little one-act play and thrilled to be a “budding playwright” (a dream come true for me!). I love combining humour and drama – shows that have you giggling through the tears, that are funny but at the same time deeply thought provoking. My biggest wish is for Her Story to achieve all that and more for you. Enjoy!

My play is based on my grandmother’s life, that swirled around in my head for about 10 years. I was always fascinated how different my grandmother’s childhood was from my own. Her tales of adversity; emigrating to a new country, being pulled from school at a young age to work in the sewing mill, marrying a Muslim at 16, defying her Catholic family’s wishes, and on and on. I loved these stories and wanted to keep them alive. Her Story began with this premise, but as the dialogue flowed, the play took on a life of its own. It focuses on issues that are deeply personal to me including how Western cultures mistreat their elderly, and the rights of individuals to make choices about their destinies. Ultimately, though, it is about love, friendship and the deep connection between human beings, who each have their own unique stories to share. I pray these stories continue to be passed down from generation to generation and are not lost in this fast-paced, electronic-based world. A world that diminishes that special and exquisite bond that only comes with face-to-face human interaction.


For ETSHer Story (2017) writer
director