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first hand woman time outGREAT READS:

Check out this interview with Downtown Magazine NYC.

Dive into the inspiration for this play by checking out this GOTHAM Magazine article.



A jubilant celebration of the journey the spirit takes out of darkness.  It’s a journey worth taking.  It’s show worth catching.”
Richard Hinojosa,

A familiar story is told in a unique way in this powerful, emotionally charged show.
– Adrienne Urbanski, Theatre Is Easy, NYC

Used up like a pair of jeans from the Salvation Army, second hand women feel they’re stuck playing second fiddle to everything.  However, the women of this production embody its title. They are first hand women and this is a first rate show.
– Richard Hinojosa,

Through movement and music the women cathartically express the emotions one goes through when trying to find their way out of an especially terrible break up, and in one scene show themselves laying on the stage in despair only to swim their way up and back to their lives.
– Adrienne Urbanski, Theatre Is Easy, NYC

Brown’s script is filled with emotional peaks and valleys.  Just when things are getting a little too serious or sad she turns it around and makes us laugh despite ourselves.”
– Richard Hinojosa,

This five-woman show is a breath of fresh reality-filled air. It’s not just the alternative to the Sex and the City movie; it’s the real thing. It’s in-your-face raw emotions and you will laugh with them and cry with them The use of dance and movement, allegory and humour, and tears and rage all feels natural and real and yet incredibly entertaining. Nothing feels affected or fake with these extraordinary five actors.”
– The Montreal Gazette

Director Nicole Stamp presents a passionate vision for the physical expression of these characters. The movement and postures tell their own story.”
– Richard Hinojosa,

First Hand Woman covers familiar territory, but through its unique approach makes an old story seem new.
– Adrienne Urbanski, Theatre Is Easy, NYC

The music is subtle at times and evocative at others.  Performed by Alejandra Nuñez and Talibah, the score really strikes a powerful chord and brings it all together.”
– Richard Hinojosa,

A sparkling and witty script by Sarah Michelle Brown, dynamic staging and pitch-perfect performances transform FIRST HAND WOMAN into Self-Esteem and the City. Who knew that Denial (Kiran Friesen) was such a wide-eyed optimist, Anger (Patrice Goodman) so sexy and Acceptance (Allana Harkin), for all her good intentions, such a buzz-kill at the pity party? Therapy was never so entertaining.
– Eye Weekly

The cast, Brown, Patrice Goodman, Allana Harkin, Nicole Maroon and Victoria Murdoch, are as cohesive as can be.  They work so well together. Murdoch’s Denial is very funny and unforgettable.  I think I felt for her the most. Goodman plays Anger with a clenched jaw smile and so many contradictions. All the characters have their contradictions.  Brown’s Depression is a little hopeful and Maroon’s Bargaining is aware of her double-dealing. Last but not least, Harkin plays a wonderfully centered Acceptance.”
– Richard Hinojosa,

The runaway hit at the Next Stage Festival is Sarah Michelle Brown’s FIRST HAND WOMAN.”
– Classical 96.3 fm

The cast is uniformly electric; each woman is a fantastic, captivating performer, and the energy they generate on stage is phenomenal. Each of them deserves to be a star. The direction and design are both spot on, the choreography (oh, you know there’s choreography!) is fluid and graceful, and the sound and music design are beautifully incorporated into the whole. The script, by Sarah Michelle Brown who also plays “Depression,” is often funny and engaging.”

This show wades through the raw emotions of a woman who has loved and lost. Each of the five top-notch actors represents an emotion: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. Through the use of a fable,the layers of loss experienced by the fragmented woman is revealed with gritty authenticity… and the belly-dancing and orgasm scenes keep the show entertaining and light-hearted.”
– The Montreal Gazette

I’m always a little uneasy when it come to going to see anything that’s specifically geared towards a women audience. Maybe it’s the eternal cynic in me, but I usually have a pretty hard time really getting into those things. I find they easily fall into preachiness or unrealistic hopefulness, which is something I like to stay away from. FIRST HAND WOMAN took me by surprise and totally drew me in from all sidesThe idea is original and the writing makes it work in a way that seems effortless (but certainly isn’t – there’s clearly a lot of work that’s been put into this). As far as the writing goes, playwright Sarah Michelle Brown (also acting in the play) shows tremendous talent. Using a formula not unlike Sex and the City, this play features five extremely different characters that all make up different parts of ourselves, which I think inevitably connects us in some way or another to at least one of them. The play does lead you into reflection, but also knows how to make you laugh. Though the girls beside me were crying by the end… I didn’t find it sad as much as I felt so tall and great when I came out. Arrive early: the room fills up quickly.”
– Midnight Poutine

Sexy, smart.”
– The Montreal Gazette




Your work moved me deeply, and frankly, left me feeling a lot less alone.”
– Jeff, Toronto audience member

Superb Show Leaves Us Wanting More: I’m not theatre elite, or even a regular theatre goer, but I have been to a show or two in my time. FIRST HAND WOMAN is absolutely one of the best plays I have seen. Five women eloquently encapsulate the 5 stages of grieving after the loss of a serious relationship, and the audience laughs, sighs, sobs, and rages right along with them. Funny, uplifting, earth-shatteringly sad at times, this is mandatory fringing for any woman who’s survived a bad breakup, or any person who has ever loved, and lost either someone else, or themselves.”
– Sara, Montreal audience member

I freakin’ cried! Great performances, great direction, great play. Every single woman should see this show. Wow.”
– Lina, Toronto audience member

I watched FIRST HAND WOMAN last night and sat there smiling, laughing, and… weird this… there must have been onions being chopped somewhere because my eyes kept on tearing… So I kept looking through misty eyes for this cook in the theatre, but the pace of the show and the dynamic, intelligent and unexpected character interchanges would suddenly have me laughing again, so I would forget about this ‘onion’ thing. Great combinations of singing and dance-type sequences along with the incredibly moving vocals of the sensational Saidah Baba Talibah, made this an outstanding life experience, not just theatre.”
– Rhett Morita, Filmmaker/Cinematographer, Toronto audience member


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Sarah Michelle Brown

~ Sarah Michelle Brown
FIRST HAND WOMAN Playwright + Producer