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SkirtsAfire herArts Festival: The MommyMonologues

January 3rd, 2017

10 women, 10 stories and all the kids, husbands, partners, grandparents and life changing events in between. The Mommy Monologues, written by Edmonton women, is making its world premiere at SkirtsAfire herArts Festival. SkirtsAfire is a multidisciplinary arts festival that features the work of women in theatre, music, film, visual art, spoken word, dance, comedy and cabaret. Running in conjunction with International Women’s Day in March each year, 2017 marks the 5th Anniversary of the festival which takes place on Alberta Avenue (118th Ave), Edmonton’s newest arts and dining district. The main thrust of the festival is theatre and the development of plays by local female playwrights. In 2015, SkirtsAfire premiered The Mothers By Nicole Moeller, a play that had its original development through the playwriting program at The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. Since then, SkirtsAfire has been developing a new play called The Mommy Monologues.

The Mommy Monologues breaks the stereotype of our idea of "mothers", presenting us with 10 women, and all the people between them, each in life changing circumstances; a window into the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary situations, not so different from our own.

As their first commissioned work, The Mommy Monologues is an exciting step for the growing festival. In June 2015, a call went out to 10 local female playwrights and one singer-songwriter to write a monologue/song that is connected to motherhood in some way. It was presented as a wide open topic; a story from a child, a mother, a father, a grandmother, a woman unable to have children, a woman who chooses not to have children, a child having a child, a prostitute who is pregnant, a foster family, a woman in labour, an LGBTQ mother, and on and on – so many possibilities. Out of this, 10 monologues and one song were created with many perspectives, ages, ethnicities and life experiences. After a fall and winter of work-shopping, The Mommy Monologues had its first public read in March 2016, co-presented by the Alberta Playwrights Network with an audience of over 80 enthusiastic supporters.

The final results are funny, tragic, personal, even frightening, and all insightful, moving and entertaining. The writers have delved deep into the subject matter and created pieces that will surprise you and make you think about and feel motherhood in a whole new light. It is not a play only for mothers - it is a play for anyone who has a mother, a father, a grandparent, is considering becoming a parent or choosing not to.

The Mommy Monologues is dramaturged by Tracy Carroll and written by Beth Graham, Andrea House, Katherine Koller, Annette Loiselle, Conni Massing, Nicole Moeller, Mieko Ouchi, Dana Rayment, Glenda Stirling, Michele Vance Hehir and Cat Walsh. The play is being directed by Glenda Stirling, designed by Tessa Stamp, sound design is by Paul Morgan Donald and it features Chantelle Han, Coralie Cairns, and Mary Hulbert. The Mommy Monologues opens ahead of the festival on March 2nd in the festival’s Cabaret Theatre space in the Alberta Avenue Community League and runs until March 12. The final three performances take place during the festival, March 9-12, 2017.  

Mark your calendar, March 3rd and 4th,  SkirtsAfire is hosting a very special Her Night Out. $25 gets you admission, a glass of wine and popcorn for snacking, plus live music before the show to make it an extra special night out for you and your friends! On International Women’s Day (March 8), a special panel discussion hosted by the Edmonton’s Womens’ Initiative will feature discussions about women as leaders in their home, community and politically, and how they draw on what they’ve learned from their mothers.

More information can be found at We hope to see you there!

Tags: eating, Moms, yeg

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