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Jeanmarie Simpson (born November 20, 1959) is an American peace activist and theatre artist.

Early life

Simpson was born in Ray, Arizona. Her parents are Maria Luisa Jugo, a Venezuelan immigrant, and Donald Leroy Simpson, an American mining engineer. Jeanmarie Simpson was raised in rural Arizona. Her family's move to Toronto, Canada in 1970 led to her theatre training.[1][2]

Career

She was founding artistic director of the Nevada Shakespeare Company, from which she retired in 2008.[3]

Simpson appeared in the American premier of the one-woman play, Shakespeare's Will, by Canadian playwright, Vern Thiessen. The production was presented by Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, California, and was produced by Leonard Nimoy.[4]

In one of his few American directing projects, Tony Award winner, Zakes Mokae cast Simpson as Elsa in Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca in 2003.[5][6] The production was a collaboration between the Nevada Shakespeare Company and the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, based at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

She starred in the film version of her play, A Single Woman, based on the life of first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist, Jeannette Rankin. The film was produced by Heroica Films and directed by Kamala Lopez, a cousin of Simpson's.[7] Though the project includes the voices of many celebrities, including Martin Sheen, Peter Coyote, Judd Nelson and Patricia Arquette and includes in its soundtrack the iconic Joni Mitchell songs Woodstock and Circle Game, the film has not been picked up by a distributor, nor has it had a theatrical release.[8] Simpson was disappointed with the film, and in October 2011 she is quoted in the Huffington Post saying of it, "That's probably the biggest disappointment of my life."[9]
File:Jeanmarie Simpson and Judd Nelson.jpg

In September 2009, Simpson opened in Tucson, Arizona in the one-woman show, Coming In Hot, based on the book Powder: writing by women in the ranks from Vietnam to Iraq. The show subsequently toured extensively, and garnered praise and also a fair amount of criticism by peace activists who thought it glorified war.[10][11][12][13][14]

Activism

Jeanmarie Simpson is a Lifetime Member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and was a board member of the Israeli-Palestinian Confederation, as of January 2012.[15] She has been a pacifist and human rights/peace activist since 1984, when she observed the disparity between the wealthy and socio-economically challenged members of society while working as a Special Projects Coordinator for Consolidated Agencies of Human Service in Hawthorne, Nevada.[16]

After September 11, 2001, Simpson, a "self-described 'artivist'," retreated from traditional theatre and began creating biographical works, political in nature, based on the lives of historical women.[17][18][19]

Several political commentaries by Simpson can be found on Common Dreams.[20][21][22]

Personal life

Simpson has been legally married four times. She was first married at 16, but that lasted only 5 months and was later annulled. From 1995 through January 2007, she was in a relationship with Cameron David Crain, a waiter-turned actor who is now a drama teacher. They had a wedding ceremony in 1996, however they were never legally married. She is now married to artist and entomologist, Gene Hall, a contributor to the Tree of Life Web Project. Simpson is the mother of Domenic Francis Stockton, Donald Paul Stockton and Emily Maria Harbaugh. She is the grandmother of Casey Joel Stockton.[23]

Current activities

Simpson is a founding board member of the Israeli-Palestinian Confederation.[24][25]

As of June 2011, she resided in Tucson, Arizona. On July 4th, 2012, Simpson presented at the University of Rhode Island a reading of Mary's Joy, about the life of Mary Dyer, a Quaker hanged in Boston in 1660. The solo-performance work, written by Simpson, subsequently went into production with a scheduled opening in April 2013.[26]

On September 16, 2012, a story was published in the Arizona Daily Star, featuring quotes by Simpson. The article focused on an art exhibit that was to have been presented at the Quaker Meeting house in Tucson. The artist was Danny Jones, a death-row inmate in Arizona. Among other things, Simpson was quoted saying, "We want to illuminate the fact that he is a human being. He is not his crime... He is an artist. He is a man with the ability to see beauty and to create beauty." The show was subsequently canceled, when it was discovered that it was scheduled on the same day as the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.[27][28]

It was announced in October 2012 that Simpson would appear as Louisa "Ouiser" Boudreaux in the Red Barn Theatre's 2013 production of Steel Magnolias in Tucson.[29] In December 2012, Judd Nelson was quoted saying of her, "Simply put (and nothing about her can be put simply), Jeanmarie Simpson is a bright, enthusiastic, and powerful performer and an even more gifted and inspiring writer. Interestingly, those two tenants living side-by-side within her are not natural brethren. Neither of them are given much to supplication, nor have a natural instinct for compromise. But, amazingly, they are able to co-exist within her, because they are secondary to Jeanmarie's elemental conflict: the struggle between her huge heart and her mighty mind, between impression and fact, between situational ethics and absolute truth. You and I, the outsiders, the spectators watching, we are the lucky ones able to receive her wisdom, and courage, and truth, and hope, and grace. Ultimately, I believe Jeanmarie to be one of humanity's invaluable resources."[30]

References

  1. http://asinglewomanmovie.com/jeanmarie-simpson-crew.html
  2. http://korepress.org/CIHAbout.htm
  3. http://www.onlinenevada.org/nevada_shakespeare_company
  4. http://www.leonardnimoy.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1445:exclusive-interview-with-leonard-nimoy-&catid=23:articles-and-quotes&Itemid=11
  5. http://www.lasvegasmercury.com/2003/MERC-Mar-20-Thu-2003/20907212.html
  6. http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2003/Mar-18-Tue-2003/living/20907032.html
  7. http://www.prlog.org/11512132-civilization-needs-peace-as-bread-needs-yeast-jeannette-rankin-back-in-the-kitchen.html
  8. http://asinglewomanmovie.com
  9. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-brody/jeanmarie-simpson_b_985669.html
  10. http://www.newsreview.com/reno/content?oid=1861571
  11. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-brody/just-the-facts-maam-a-rev_b_761525.html
  12. http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/arts/report/092310_cominginhot
  13. http://wildcat.arizona.edu/wildlife/coming-in-hot-designed-to-spark-discussion-1.1572491?MMode=true
  14. http://www.prlog.org/10866546-boulder-actress-is-coming-in-hot.html
  15. http://aboutipc.org/AboutUs.htm
  16. http://copperarea.com/pages/?p=2887#more-2887
  17. http://www.prlog.org/11271512-interview-with-an-artivist.html
  18. http://ondemand.azpm.org/videoshorts/watch/2009/10/8/kuat-coming-in-hot/
  19. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dylan-brody/jeanmarie-simpson_b_985669.html
  20. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/10/20-3
  21. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/10/28-3
  22. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/10/14-0
  23. http://copperarea.com/pages/?p=3347#more-3347
  24. http://www.aboutipc.org/AboutUs.htm
  25. http://www.timesofisrael.com/new-york-times-ad-seeks-candidates-for-joint-israeli-palestinian-parliament/
  26. http://jeanmariesimpson.wordpress.com/
  27. http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/triple-murderer-s-art-show-has-victims-seething/article_35ea6f2b-de24-5f0a-92c0-cfcf17cfd863.html
  28. http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/death-row-inmate-s-art-show-is-cancelled/article_001a181a-0101-11e2-974c-0019bb2963f4.html
  29. http://www.theredbarntheater.com/pages/News.html
  30. http://tucsoncitizen.com/press-releases/2012/12/07/reclaiming-the-love-jeanmarie-simpson-never-gives-up/

See also

A Single Woman (play)

External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Jeanmarie Simpson, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Johnpacklambert Search for "Jeanmarie Simpson" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Jeanmarie Simpson"
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