Out of the Shadows: Toni Wolff and Emma Jung
A Dramatic Reading
In September of 2019, we held a Members Appreciation Night. At that time, a call went out for auditions to participate in a dramatic reading of Elizabeth Clark-Stern’s play script “Out of the Shadows: A Story of Toni Wolff and Emma Jung.” Rehearsals began shortly afterwards. The staged reading followed the AGM on January 24, 2020.
Initiated and produced by local analyst Peggy Voth and directed by Val Campbell, Adjunct Professor of Drama at the University of Calgary, the reading featured six readers. Three portrayed Emma and three depicted Toni as the women moved through life. Marisa Roggeveen and Megan Stephan read as the young Emma and Toni, Monique Gibeau and Brenda Lane as Emma and Toni in midlife. Gabriela Ostendorfer and Jeri Lynne Erickson represented the women in their later years.
Born of aristocratic Swiss families, Toni and Emma were both bright women denied a university education. They longed to establish themselves as analysts in their own right. Passionate and self-educated, they hungered for another intellectual woman with whom to explore the complexities of the soul, the role of women in society, and the archetypal feminine in the affairs of nations.
In the dramatic reading, the interactions between Emma and Toni revealed the Eros – the involvement of heart – that accompanied the development of Carl Jung’s psychological theory. Through the imagined dialogues between these two women closely involved with Jung, we gained a glimpse of Carl’s personality, the evolving nature of his ground-breaking concepts, Emma and Toni’s contributions to those ideas, and the courage demanded by the process of individuation.
The reading was well-received by the forty-plus people who attended. One person in the audience said, “I had no idea that reading a script could be so energetic and intense and moving.” Several people suggested that it be done again; such a possibility is under consideration.