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Spidell, Jane

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Jane Spidell

Accomplished actress, born in Fredericton New Brunswick, raised in Edmonton Alberta, and currently based in Stratford Ontario. Jane Spidell has acted in theatres across the country, including Volcano Theatre (The Africa Trilogy 2010); Soulpepper Theatre Company (Doc 2010, Leaving Home 2009, for which she won a Dora Award, Our Town 2006 and 2007, The Government Inspector, The Time of Your Life, Miss Julie, and The Price 2011); Tarragon Theatre (Rune Arlidge, Motel Helene, Lion in the Streets, The Last Bus, The Real World? 2012); Factory Theatre (Adult Entertainment, Escape from Happiness); Theatre Passe Muraille (Blood by Tom Walmsley 2003); Citadel Theatre (A Streetcar Named Desire, Suddenly Last Summer, Othello, How I Learned to Drive, Speed-the-Plow); Centaur Theatre (A Moon for the Misbegotten); National Arts Centre (Macbeth, Othello); Crow’s Theatre (A Short History of Night, Body and Soul); Canadian Stage (My Mother’s Feet); Stratford Festival for nine seasons (The Trojan Women, Palmer Park, The Swanne Part III, Good Mother, Hamlet); Blyth Festival (Test Drive by Dave Carley 2004).

In 2015, she performed with David Ferry in The River by Jez Butterworth for Coal Mine Theatre (dir. Ted Dykstra. She inherited the role of the mother-of-the-bride from playwright Kristen Thomson for a production of the uproarious farce, The Wedding Party at Streetcar Crowsnest (Crow’s Theatre in 2018. For a radical change of scene, Spidell appeared as a distraught family member in In the Wake of Wettlaufer at Blyth Festival (2019).

Spidell has acted in twenty television series, including This is Wonderland, Slings and Arrows 2003); and in film (Men with Brooms 2002).

Her acting is notable for its absolute emotional engagement, and complete absorption in the role. Her portrayal of the physical and emotional decline of Bob in the Soulpepper production of Doc was particularly compelling. In his review for EyeWeekly (27 Aug 2010), Christopher Hoile notes that “Jane Spidell gives the performance of the year in Doc. As a woman driven to alcoholism and mental instability by her husband’s neglect, Spidell conveys the mixed emotions of rage, shame and yearning with a raw power one seldom sees on a Canadian stage. Her descent from a smart professional woman to a pathetic ghost of herself is truly harrowing.”

Profile by Gatien Charlebois and Anne Nothof

Last updated 2021-10-28