The Vintage Project

Created by Rachel Behling, Catherine Frid, Susan Grise, Irena Huljak, and Zehra Nawab (members of the 2020 Women’s Room) with dramaturgy by Lisa O’Connell. Designed in Gather by Rebecca Ballarin.

Welcome to Auburn Vintage, where notes are hidden in dress pockets, garments become characters, and the secrets of the people who wore them are revealed. Travel through time, weave through clothing racks, and leave your own stories behind.

A site-specific theatrical experience that welcomes audiences into Auburn Vintage Clothiers. This is a collaboration between six creators in Pat the Dog’s 2020 Women’s Room that explores the connection between women’s stories, women’s clothing, and the ethos behind buying vintage, while piloting a collaborative model that sees femme-identifying creators animating femme-owned businesses in Waterloo region. For Femme Folks Fest 2021 we are excited to present this piece virtually in Gather.Town as a bespoke, multisensory, choose-your-own-adventure!

You’re invited to visit Auburn Vintage as an Avatar in Gather; traversing through different departments of the store, each imagined as playful opportunities for discovery. See the store from a new perspective as you search through bridal wear, jewelry, shoes, and accessories, and uncover storied vintage gems. Store staff will be your guides along the way!

The Vintage Project will be open to a maximum of 20 visitors on:

Tuesday, March 16th from 7-9pm  PREVIEW
Friday, March 19th from 7-9pm
Saturday, March 20th from 1-3pm

Note that an All Access Pass does NOT grant entry to the Vintage Project. You need to book a ticket separately.

When you book a ticket you are reserving a spot to attend on that date, during that timeframe; the experience is not a full two hours. A member of the team will be in touch at a later date with more information about when and how to enter the virtual space!

If you are able during these unprecedented times, we kindly suggest a donation of $50.
All Femme Folks Fest donations will be directed to local artists.

Dressing Room Portal: Rachel Behling
Jewelry Portal: Catherine Frid
Bridal Portal: Susan Grise
Accessories Portal: Irena Huljak
Shoes Portal: Zehra Nawab

Concept and Creative Team:
Digital Concept:  Rebecca Ballarin
Digital Design and Construction: Rebecca Ballarin and Laurel Green
Dramaturgy:  Lisa O’Connell, Laurel Green, Rebecca Ballarin
Original Concept: Lisa O’Connell

Rachel Behling is the Proprietress of Auburn Vintage Clothiers in the little town of Conestogo. She has worn and loved vintage clothing all her life. ‘Dressing up’ has carried into her everyday life, not only professionally but as a hobby as well. She has been involved in local theatre as actor, producer, director and most recently, playwright. When Rachel isn’t in the shop or knee-deep in laundry, she’s busy collecting stories to share.

Catherine Frid is a Guelph-based playwright whose full-length works have been produced at the Toronto Fringe, Guelph Museums, Mixed Company Theatre, Kitchener’s Unhinged Festival, Alumnae Theatre, SummerWorks and others. She also co-creates community-engaged plays in our area. Her publications include Our Voices: Senior Selfies (Art Age Publications) and This Isn’t Toronto in Long Story Short, a Playwrights Canada Press 10-minute play anthology. Catherine has taught dramaturgy at Ryerson University’s Chang School, and been Playwright in Residence at Mixed Company Theatre and Artist in Residence at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Susan Grise: I am a middle-aged (assuming I live to 100) Teacher Librarian who works in a secondary school with throngs of teenagers, whom I credit with keeping me sharp and a little nuts. I have four children who make me proud every day and have taught me far more than I could ever teach them. I have a mutt named Dory, who tries every day to be a little bit more human–while I try to be more like her. Her anxious personality (likely owing to her identity crisis) gave me the idea to call my future writing production company “Awkward Dog Productions”. I have a boyfriend who always tells me well-intentioned lies about how good my chances are for achieving my latest, greatest aspiration, so any level of belief in my writing can be credited to his unflagging poor judgment and my desire to prove him right.

I started writing plays for what I think is a fairly common reason; I felt like there were characters occupying my mind and wanting their stories to be told. I have written two full-length plays and hope to continue writing for live acting on a stage. When I write, I feel like I am sharing consciousness with the characters in my plays, as if they are real people who live because their stories are told. I have a careful confidence about the potential of my plays; with the right community support, I believe that my writing could do justice to the characters I have imagined.

As a theatre artist, Irena Huljak gravitates to outrageous work. Her artistic and commercial projects have been performed at the Toronto, Vancouver and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, as well as at Toronto Island Theatre. Irena is a professional actor working in both theatre and film. Her achievements include a Best Actor Award for Vancouver’s Vertigo Theatre (2002), a nomination for Best Short Script for The Sweeter Half at the Wildcard Script Festival (2003), and producing credits for the theatre production of Finding Nemo and Look Back in Anger as well as the Open:The Web Series. Huljak has also appeared in television series and films such as Warehouse 13, Killing Ruth, Mayday and the upcoming The Boys. Huljak began her theatre training in her teens at the Oxford School of Drama in the U.K., rated one of the top 5 best acting schools in the world. She attended the summer conservatories at the London Academy of Movement and Dramatic Arts and London’s National Theatre School. Irena holds a B.F.A. in Acting from York University and completed a rigorous two-year program in acting and directing at the Tom Todoroff Conservatory in New York City

Zehra Nawab is a multidisciplinary artist, working as a journalist, a writer, a director and an actor of stage and screen. Her work garnered critical acclaim and awards during her time in Pakistan. Today, she continues this passion by engaging with the theatre and journalistic community in Canada. The latest chapter in her journey as an actor was Dear Baby, at the Playground New Works Festival 2019. She acted in the adaptation of the Bald Soprano staged at the University of Waterloo and did dramaturgy and stage management for the original musical You Smile. She has been selected for the X Page Storytelling 2020 fellowship on script-writing and performance and will next be seen in the play 1989, Toronto. She is the writer and co-director of the documentary Home Truths, exhibited as part of the travelling Making Heimet exhibit from the Venice Biennale.  Zehra is the recipient of the Agahi Award, Journalist of the Year 2016: Reporting on Culture, for the Herald cover story Seeking Paradise. She has also co-directed the documentary Mad Mad Mad Mad Film World which was funded by, and is now part of the collection at, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Her most current illustration project has been the book cover for New-York based journalist Annie Ali Khan’s posthumously published work, Sita Under the Crescent Moon, published by Simon & Schuster In. She posts about her work most regularly on Instagram @zehra_nawab and on Twitter @zehra_nawab.