Actor and playwright Nicolle Nattrass offers her take on being a mom in Phoenix Theatre’s Mamahood: Bursting Into Light, at the University of Victoria. facebook

Actor and playwright Nicolle Nattrass offers her take on being a mom in Phoenix Theatre’s Mamahood: Bursting Into Light, at the University of Victoria. facebook

Mamahood: Bursting Into Light a personal triumph for writer/actor

Phoenix Theatre one-woman play reveals much of Nicolle Nattrass’ parenting story

Rae Porter

Monday Magazine contributor

Mamahood: Bursting into Light, is an 85-minute telling of the reality – the dog-tired, puke-covered, self-losing reality – of motherhood.

Written and performed by Jessie Award-nominated playwright, actress and mother Nicolle Nattrass, Mamahood, part of the University of Victoria’s Spotlight on Alumni program, is humorous, hilarious and tenderly heartbreaking. Nattrass credits UVic with having a hugely positive impact on her life.

“I am thrilled to be returning to my alma mater,” she says. “It was there that I found my ‘home’ in the theatre.”

This is not her first venture back, but it may be her most powerful. Mamahood has received glowing praise from reviewers, audiences, and health-care professionals alike, who have recognized and responded to how the piece importantly expands the conversation surrounding childbirth, motherhood and all that may come with it. “It feels necessary, exhilarating and sometimes hard,” Nattrass admits.

This is an incredibly personal piece for her. She became a mother at 40 and endured post-partum depression, an experience she says is not often acknowledged.

“The narrative of motherhood has been portrayed in such extremes – the perfect mom in the Pampers commercial, the Hollywood version of mom in labor in the back of a cab and of course, the crazy mom on the edge trying to kill her children. There are so many, and so many are not accessible or examined.”

In a time of Instagram-fuelled expectations of well-lit ideals and #mommygoals, Nattrass and her version of Mamahood allow us to share our own parenting stories, small triumphs, losses, or to just kind of figure it out.

“For me, there are no ideals of parenthood,” she says. “For me, it is about individual story and experience. All story and experience is unique, and instead of succumbing to the pressure of trying to fit into an ideal, I had to turn within, listen and respect my own story.”

Whether you’re a parent or not, Mamahood encourages you to listen to the narratives of your own mothers, grandmothers, sisters and friends. “Hearing others’ stories is incredibly impactful,” Nattrass says, “it can dramatically change how we view, support, and treat women in our world.”

Mamahood: Bursting into Light, directed by T.J. Dawe, runs Oct. 10-20 in UVic’s Chief Dan George Theatre. Discounted ticket packages for the Phoenix season, along with tickets for Mamahood alone as of Oct. 2, are available by calling 250-721-8000 or dropping by the box office.

Phoenix TheatreUVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Dr. John Hooper is the new conductor of Island Voices. Photo supplied
Island Voices welcomes new conductor

Dr. John Hooper to lead mid-Island based choir

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Most Read