Posted by: nancykenny | July 2, 2009


There’s a well-known feeling that occurs amongst theatre practitioners once a production comes to an end. Some consider it a grieving process, I think of it more like going into withdrawal (mostly because I am a theatre-addict… a theaddict?).

Since I hadn’t been involved in a production for quite some time, I had completely forgotten the withdrawal effect. Symptoms manifest themselves in a variety of ways. In my case, I’ve been feeling lost, cranky, bloated (to the point where I’m almost certain I must have regained all the weight I lost throughout the festival), and incredibly sad… Actually, I guess withdrawal is a lot like PMS. Great. Like I need to go through that twice a month now.

I’m not exactly sure what happened to me over the past four days (has it really been four days?). I know it involved a pool, the mall, a social gathering or two, and my apartment is practically spotless so I guess it also included cleaning… I feel like I’ve been in a daze, as if the past few days happened to someone else.

It is very difficult to combat the effects of withdrawal. Many performers immediately jump into another project in order to avoid or postpone the inevitable. Since I’m not in Winnipeg until late next week, I unfortunately do not have that luxury. I also needed to distance myself a bit from the script in order to be able to tackle it with fresh eyes.

Tonight, after a great evening teaching an adult acting course, was the first time I felt the fog lift a little. I felt artistically productive and it was good. Tomorrow, I’m meeting a friend for breakfast and going to work out. I feel like my body needs to move and be active again. Resting is great every once in a while, but I was meant for the stage.



  1. I suffered performance withdrawal during the festival. There was a couple of days when we didn’t perform and by the second day I was definitely prickly and on edge until we did the show.

    It was a surprising experience for me because I don’t really think of my self as “performance junkie” kind of actor. But there it was! It certainly wasn’t beer withdrawal. 🙂

    Fortunately, I’m rehearsing the next show, so I should be able to hold off the jitters a little longer.

    Good luck in Winnipeg. I look forward to reading about it.

  2. […] one month ago, I talked about actor withdrawal. I mentioned that one way some people deal with the “Withdrawal Effect” is by […]

  3. […] just haven’t been in a good head and body space lately. I’ve talked about show withdrawal twice before. With the Fools show now closed, it hit me so much harder and longer than before that […]

  4. […] production for me to work on both as an artist and as an administrator. I’ve talked about Show Withdrawal before. Since I started feeling sick and slept for almost 24 hours immediately after the show, I […]

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