[Phoenix-eNews] PHOENIX BackstagePASS > Mamahood, alumni updates, events & more

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Wed Oct 10 16:52:34 PDT 2018

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Phoenix Theatre: BackstagePASS
	Fall 2018 • Act 12 Scene 2

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      eNews: Ups and downs of new motherhood

 From Jedi knights and gold-rush explorers to doomed puppets and 
romantic clowns—over the past 15 years Phoenix Theatre’s annual 
Spotlight on Alumni has presented a range of shows as diverse and 
accomplished as the graduates themselves. But this month, Phoenix is 
entering a world as strange and terrifying as any yet imagined: motherhood.

Just ask Theatre alumna Nicolle Nattrass, whose solo show, /Mamahood: 
Bursting Into Light/ 
courageously chronicles the journey of becoming a mother at age 
40—complete with a rock ‘n roll soundtrack.

/“I don’t like to be bound by restrictions like 'comedy’ or 
'drama',"/ Nattrass explains. /“I really believe life is full of both, 
so I’ve always written to connect with the audience, using comedy to 
talk about more serious things.”/

This is the first time /Mamahood/ will be fully mounted in Victoria, 
following a staged reading in 2014./“I’m so glad I get to come back to 
my Alma Mater to perform this,”/ says Nattrass, who graduated in 1991. 
/“UVic has been a big part of my journey as an artist and I’m constantly 
collaborating with other Phoenix alum, including this show’s director, 
TJ Dawe.”/

With nine plays and a busy life as an actress, director, dramaturge, 
certified addiction counselor and parent, Nattrass is a great example of 
how arts alumni can transform life experiences into art. Indeed, with 
/Mamahood/, she’s using her own story to reach out to other moms (and 
dads and grandparents) and deconstruct some prevailing motherhood myths.//

/“Parenting is really an individual experience: the only one who can 
define how you’re going to be as a mother is you,”/ she says. /“We’re 
told it should look like a Pampers commercial—all the right outfits, 
everything is good—but that excludes a lot of moms. It’s okay to not 
have an ideal experience every day of the week—or at all. Whether you’re 
a co-parent, step-parent or foster parent, it’s all about accepting your 
own story.”/

Like so many alumni, Nattrass birthed /Mamahood /through her fusion of 
teaching and creative practice. “/I was asked to teach a course on Mama 
Memoirs at Camosun College and I realized I hadn’t written down my own 
story yet,”/ she says./“There’s this romantic idea that we only write at 
perfect times—four hours with a latte at your favourite coffee shop—but 
the reality of motherhood is getting up at 4:30 in the morning when 
you’re exhausted from breastfeeding and trying to get inspired.”/

Nattrass also doesn’t hesitate to talk about postpartum realities in her 
play, which sets it apart from straight-up comedies like /Mom’s The 
Word/ (recently performed at the Belfry Theatre 
<https://www.belfry.bc.ca/moms-the-word/>./“The postpartum experience 
can be anything from anxiety, fear and sleep deprivation to issues 
surrounding the pregnancy or birth itself.”/

With that in mind, she makes a point of connecting with local birth 
educators and support networks wherever /Mamahood /tours—in Victoria, 
she’s working with Mothering Touch Centre 
<https://www.motheringtouch.ca/>—and builds that into the theatrical 
experience. /“I always do a talkback session at the end of each show, so 
people can not only ask me questions but also connect with resources in 
their community.”/

Ultimately, Mamahood is a comedic story about her own journey . . . so 
far. /“The core message is that motherhood is a rock ‘n roll ride,”/ she 
laughs. /“My son is nine now and the ride is definitely not over! My 
whole journey really has been about bursting into light.”/

*Turn up your volume and watch the space-inspired Mamahood video: 



      Phoenix Phacts: Alumni in our community and afar

Phoenixers have always had a huge presence at the Victoria Fringe 
Festival <http://intrepidtheatre.com/festivals/fringe-festival/>, 
whether behind the scenes or on stage. This summer was no different with 
numerous alumni and students picking up awards 
Alumnus *Ian Case (BFA ’91) *directed /War of 1812 /which won Favourite 
Comedy and Favourite Ensemble. Alumna *Kate Braidwood (BFA ’03)*, 
co-founder of Wonderheads <http://www.wonderheads.com> (the multi-award 
winning physical theatre company specializing in mask performance which 
was our Spotlight on Alumni in our 2015-16 season), won this year’s 
Favourite Visual Theatre/Puppetry, Favourite Show Design and Favourite 
Family Friendly for /The Wilds/! Alumnus*Jeff Leard (BFA ’10) *won 
Favourite Duo and Favourite Original New for his show /Angels and 
Aliens. The Fitting Room, /directed by alumna *Anna Marie Anderson (BFA 
’18) *won for Bravest Show and Overall Favourite Show with a cast 
including alumni *Emma Grabinsky (BFA ’18)*, *Delaney Tesch (BFA ’17)*, 
*Elizabeth Martin (BFA ’18) *along with current theatre students *Aaron 
Smail*, *Ciaran Volke*, *Emma Newton *and *Eva Hocking*. Congratulations 
to all!

Blue Bridge Theatre <http://bluebridgetheatre.ca> finished their summer 
season with /Sweeney Todd*, */featuring *Lindsay Robinson (BFA ’18), 
Rielle Braid (BFA ’09), *and*Kholby Wardell (BFA ’08) *in the cast, with 
Set and Lighting Designer *Patrick Du Wors (BFA ’02 & Faculty) *and 
Costume Designer *Graham McMonagle (MFA ’17 & PhD Candidate). *Current 
students involved included Projection Content Creator *Victoria Timmis*, 
Puppet Builder *Sasha Lazin*, Front of House Manager *Corina Fischer* 
and crew members *Jaxun Maron* and *Siena Shepard*. /Sweeney Todd /has 
become a popular show with our alumni; *Chris Adams (BFA ’10) *is 
producing a site-specific version in Vancouver October 10 -31.

This summer, alumnus *Nathan Medd* *(BFA ’01) *was announced as the new 
Managing Director of Performing Arts at the Banff Centre for Arts and 
Creativity <https://www.banffcentre.ca>overseeing educational programs 
for theatre, dance, opera, classical music, jazz, and contemporary 
music. Most recently, Nathan was the Managing Director of English 
Theatre at the National Arts Centre <https://nac-cna.ca/en/> and this 
summer, he completed a Management graduate degree and a graduate 
certificate in Non-Profit Management from Harvard University. Also 
announced this summer, alumna *Kate Stadel (BFA ’04)* is the new General 
Manager of Ghost River Theatre <https://www.ghostrivertheatre.com>, 
Calgary Alberta.

Locally this fall, the Belfry Theatre’ <https://www.belfry.bc.ca>s 
production of /A Doll’s House, Part 2 /features alumna *Jennifer Swan 
(BFA ‘99)* as the stage manager. In addition to being a freelance stage 
manager, Jennifer is also currently the Company and Financial Manager of 
Electric Theatre Company <https://www.electriccompanytheatre.com> in 
Vancouver. *Britt Small (MFA ’04) *is directing Atomic Vaudeville’s 
<http://atomicvaudeville.wixsite.com/atomic-vaudeville> remount of the 
Halloween favourite, /The Rocky Horror Picture Show,/ from October 17 – 
28. Continuing in the spooky theme, *Ian Case (BFA ’91)* directed David 
Elendune’s adaptation of /Frankenstein/ running until October 13 at 
Theatre Inconnu, <http://www.theatreinconnu.com> as well as designing 
costumes, lighting and sound. Running atWilliam Head on Stage 
<https://whonstage.weebly.com> until November 3, /Crossroads/ is 
inspired by classic musicals like Cabaret, and West Side Story and Tim 
Burton’s film Corpse Bride and features the men of William Head Prison 
Theatre company. They have joined with the creative forces of alumni 
*Ingrid Hansen (BFA '09) *and*Kathleen Greenfield (BFA '05)* of SNAFU 
Dance Theatre <https://www.snafudance.com> and director Kate Rubin.

At the Intrepid Theatre's You Show, fourth-year student *Hannah Bell *is 
presenting /Kansha <http://intrepidtheatre.com/shows/kansha/>/, an 
exploration of cultural appreciation through the lens of Japanese 
culture, specifically, the history of the iconic Japanese clothing, the 
Kimono, running the Intrepid Club November 2-3, 2018. Also at the You 
Show, fourth-year student *Megan Chandler *presents /Running From and To 
<http://intrepidtheatre.com/shows/running-from-and-to/>/, about a 
Chinese immigrant who struggles to find acceptance in Canada as he faces 
new challenges in English and comes to terms with the life from which he 
ran away.

*Cameron Anderson (BFA ’07) *and *Annette Reilly (BFA ‘03) *worked 
together on the documentary“For My Daughter 
<https://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/3944>” which profiled through 
Telus’ Storyhive funding program. The film looks at the diverging 
experiences of two young mothers diagnosed with cancer and their 
relationships with their daughters. *Leslie Bland’s (MFA ’98)* 
documentary “Dust n’ Bones” 
<https://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/2465>  is about the legal, 
political and historical issues around First Nations’ artifacts and 
burial sites. Created in collaboration with First Nations filmmaker 
Harold C. Joe, the film launched on Storyhive’s YouTube channel this 
fall and is schedule to broadcast on APTN in the future.

*Want more alumni stories?* Check out our Alumni Profiles 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/> area of our website. Recognize 
anyone? If you're alumni, please tell us what you've been up to. Submit 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/forms/phoenixalumnisurvey/biography//> your 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/> bio online 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/> and yours could be the next 
alumni profile on our website!


      Upcoming Phoenix Events:


*October 10 – 20, 2018
**Mamahood: Bursting into Light
Nicolle Nattrass (BFA91) | Directed by TJ Dawe (BFA'97)
<https://histrionicstheatre.co>/A Spotlight on Alumni presentation./

/Presented by:/
Jessie Award-nominated playwright and actress – and mother – Nicolle 
Nattrass, courageously shares her ode to motherhood in this witty and 
profoundly moving one-woman play. In turns both hilarious and 
heart-breaking, she chronicles her journey of becoming a new mother at 
the age of 40. From initial idyllic dreams of motherhood and the 
pressure to choose a stylish diaper bag, to her real struggle to become 
the “perfect mom,” her years of sleep deprivation, and her own 
postpartum experience, Nicolle uses humour (and ’80s music) to present 
important realities that are rarely discussed. /“Nattrass is a 
big-hearted and fearlessly vulnerable performer” //(Georgia Straight)/

*BOX OFFICE*: Tickets $16 to $26. Subscription packages 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/mainstage/tickets/subscriptions/> for 
3 or 4 shows start at only $40.50. Call 250-721-8000

*Friday, October 12, 2018
at 7:00pm **
LECTURE: Motherhood Out Loud
Free preshow public lecture 
With: Dr. Sheila Rabillard 
Associate Professor of English
Maternal figures have spoken from the stage in the past: Euripides’ 
Medea, Shakespeare’s Gertrude, Ibsen’s Nora. Women playwrights, too, 
since the days of the suffrage movement, have written significant roles 
for mothers — although often from a daughter’s perspective, and often 
cautiously. What happens when mothers now speak in their own voices, out 
and loud? Our Friday night lecture series is recorded on the day and the 
audio file will be posted on our website the following week.

*//November 8 – 24, 2018*
Book by Bob Martin
& Don McKellar
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert
& Greg Morrison
Guest Director Jacques Lemay

Winner of five Tony Awards, this original Canadian play is a fun-loving 
send-up of the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping 
song-and-dance number after another! The play gently pokes fun at a 
myriad of musical theatre tropes, brought to us through the droll 
narration of a theatre fan who spends the evening alone, curled up in a 
chair in a one-bedroom apartment, playing the original cast recording of 
the 1928 musical, /The Drowsy Chaperone./ As the vinyl spins, colourful 
and chaotic characters spring to life, filling the living room with 
everyone from pastry chef gangsters to glamorous movie starlets. A 
parody wrapped in a love letter, this is a must-see for all musical fans.

*BOX OFFICE* opens for this show opens on October 30. Subscription 
<https://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/mainstage/tickets/subscriptions/> for 
3 or 4 shows are available now and start at $40.50. Call 250-721-8000


//more alumni updates? /*Check out the Alumni Profiles 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/alumni/>area of our website. Email your 
updates to us to be posted here in future eNews.

*<https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*Follow the most recent department and 
alumni stories by liking us on*Facebook* 
or following us on *Twitter <https://twitter.com/UVicPhoenix>*. Use 
*#phoenixalumni* to stream on our alumni website or tag *@UVicPhoenix* 
for us to retweet your event!


      Sponsor Kudos:

Thank you to the Phoenix Theatre's many individual donors 
<http://finearts.uvic.ca/theatre/donations/> and corporate sponsors for 
their support of our programs and talented students!

Thanks also to our supporters over the past year from the *Cadboro Bay 
Village Business Association* <http://www.cadborobayvillage.com> 
including: *For Good Measure <http://www.forgoodmeasure.ca/>, Pepper's 
Foods <http://peppers-foods.com/>, Smugglers' Cove Pub, 
<http://www.smugglerscovepub.com/> Caddy Bay Liquor Store 
<http://www.caddybayliquor.com>, and* *Heart Pharmacy 

Find out how your company can reach our 10,000 audience members and UVic 
community of over 25,000.Contact us <mailto:aholierh at uvic.ca> to discuss 
a customized sponsorship package to meet your goals.


Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the 
Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of 
Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, 
V8W 2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. 
Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

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	© University of Victoria 2018 	

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