On Sunday, January 21st, Mamahood: Bursting into Light, a one-woman show written and performed by playwright Nicolle Nattrass, will run at 4:00 pm in Building 310 on the VIU Nanaimo campus. All proceeds raised from the show will go toward supporting the Nanaimo Women’s Resource Society. Tickets are available for $25 online, and limited supplies of tickets may be available at the door.
Nattrass was inspired to write Mamahood after her own experience of becoming a mother. “There’s a real need for men and women to articulate the stories of birth,” Nattrass said. “I was teaching a course at Camosun College called Mama Memoirs. I was encouraging mothers and grandmothers to write their story as a rite of passage for them, and I realized that I wasn’t writing my own story.”
Nattrass, in her own words, came to motherhood late. She had her first child at age 40. The play shows her experience of isolation as an older parent, as well as trying to live up to the ideals of being the “perfect mom”. Mamahood also touches on themes like mental health, trauma, postpartum depression, and brings men into the conversation around motherhood.
“Some of the best responses have been from men,” Nattrass said. “Guys in their twenties have come to see my show and said, ‘wow, I think of my mom differently now.’ It’s really cool to hear that. The reality of it is that anxiety levels are not going down for our mothers, they’re going up because of the amount of pressure that’s on mothers now.”
The proceeds from Mamahood will be donated to support the Nanaimo Women’s Resource Society, and the Nanaimo Women’s Centre, (NWC). Nattrass says she was deeply moved by the services that the NWC provides to the community. Last year, 3,500 women and children, including seniors accessed NWC services.
The NWC also raises funds with sales of graphic T-shirts that read, “This is what a feminist looks like”. The shirts are available in all sizes, and there are different fits available for men and women. In the spring, the NWC sells the t-shirts as tank tops. They are available for $25 at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The NWC is open 10 am – 12 pm, then 1 pm – 3 pm, from Tuesday to Friday. Women who are not in need of the NWC’s services are welcome to come to the centre to connect with the community. Volunteers are needed at the NWC. Any women looking to volunteer can visit here.