9 February 2018
Ghislaine Kenyon, alumna of Mayfield school, has been recognized for her work as creative and research consultant on Waltz With Me, a new play inspired by the life of Cornelia Connelly, foundress of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.
Nominated by playwright Diane Samuels, Kenyon was a recipient this year of a Olwen Wymark Award for her support with the play, which spans two centuries, two marriages, acts of devotion and leaps of faith in pursuit of spiritual and creative calling.
Organized through The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, the awards are an expression of public gratitude by the guild’s members to those who supported their new writing during the previous year.
Kenyon, a freelance trainer, curator and author in the area of visual arts and education, is an alumna of Mayfield School in Mayfield, England, which was founded by the Society.
Samuels said: “From the moment of generously giving me this story, personal to her, Ghislaine has unstintingly supported me: helping raise funds, introducing nuns from Cornelia’s order, exploring archives, organizing research trips, guiding me through Catholic practice (my background is Jewish), reading every draft of the script, helping find actors and a wonderful pianist to play the reams of music included in the piece, setting up a website, networking with producers, and – most remarkably – seeking out lost descendants of Cornelia’s.
“As a result, the play has brought together Cornelia’s fractured family line and so the themes of reconciliation are being played out not only in the drama, in life too. Ghislaine has been my creative guardian angel. Giving birth to a new work, I am blessed to have had such a kind, adventurous, open-hearted doula beside me, giving me courage to work with such powerful material.”
Watch Kenyon and Samuels give a presentation to members of the Holy Child community last year: