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How does a WOMAN play a DOG?

by Kelsey Pigg

Excellent question, Smithers! In QCT’s upcoming production of Sylvia, I look like a woman…I talk like a woman…so what makes me so dog-like? 

The answer? Behavior! It’s all about capturing the essence of the doggy demeanor. The tail-wagging, the sniffing, the rolling, the licking. Everything a dog does, everything a dog feels. So, after shadowing my dog for weeks (and making him feel rather uncomfortable in the process), I’ve compiled “A Guide to Dogdom: A Pooches Pal.” Let’s begin with the basics…

LESSON ONE: Tail Wagging
Why do dogs wag their tails? To express their emotions! The next time you look at a dog, watch its tail closely. The position of the tail can tell you a lot about what the dog is feeling. If it’s lifted and waving back and forth excitedly, your pup is “pawfectly” happy. If it’s tucked in between the dog’s legs, that dog is submissive…or afraid. Still wagging, but low to the ground? That is one worried pooch.

Let’s try it! Stand up and imagine that there is a tail extending from your tailbone. Imagine waving your tail back and forth…and ignore that person who is now staring at you! Good. Wave it faster. Try it slower. Get your entire body into it. Now, why is it moving? Are you happy because you’re super good at tail-wagging? Are you insecure because that person is still staring at you? Use your emotions to make your tail wag real!

Why, you’ll be a puppy pro in no time! Keep working on that tail wag and check back soon for your next lesson.

And don’t miss Sylvia (September 12-15 & 19-22)! Tickets are $18, on sale now. For tickets or more information, call the QCT Box Office at (217) 222-3209 or visit
NOTE: Sylvia contains strong language necessary to the plot and some mature themes. 

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