In Response to Alabama
Little Thief Theatre
Available from April 21, 2023 | Online
Personal and political.
In Response to Alabama is a site-responsive theatre piece where three performers share the stories of their abortions with a small audience in an intimate setting. In doing so, they take on the myth and stigma surrounding abortion and open a door for the audience to inhabit their lived experience. This work confronts one of the most emotionally and rhetorically charged issues of our time with nuance, honesty, and care for our performers, our audience, and their lived experiences.
This piece began in Spring 2019, when the state legislature of Alabama attempted to pass a law that would make Abortion illegal in most cases 8 weeks into the gestation period- otherwise known as a “heartbeat law”. Women and uterus-bearing persons the world over hold their breath as government bodies continually demonstrate their stranglehold power over our reproductive rights. Many states across America continue to try and restrict women’s right to choose, as evidenced with the ongoing situation in Texas, and the ripples of this anti-choice movement are felt keenly here in Canada. And as we see from the situation in our own country- simply having abortion be federally legal is not enough.
There is a huge problem in Canada when it comes to the ability to access reproductive care- and this is an issue which disproportionately affects Indigenous persons, low-income persons, and people of colour. We need to have this conversation, and we need to have it now. Silence allows misinformation and fear to spread, and when it comes to reproductive rights- these things can be deadly.
Thank you all for being here. Thank you for listening, learning, and understanding. We could not do this without you.
—Libby Willoughby & Miranda MacDougall
Co-artistic directors, Little Thief Theatre
Created, written, and performed by: Libby Willoughby, Miranda MacDougall, Mariam Barry
Directed by: Keltie Forsyth
Company: Little Thief Theatre
The Nurse: Montserrat Videla Samper
Stage Manager: Kayleigh Sandomirsk
Production Designer: Kimira Reddy
Lighting Consultant: Hina Nishioka
Dramaturg: Veronique West
Producer: Libby Willoughby
Keltie is a theatre director of settler ancestry based out of the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from UBC and is a graduate of the University of Alberta Department of Drama and participant in the Robbin’s Academy Professional Theatre Program.
Recent directing credits include: The Red Priest (United Players of Vancouver), In Response to Alabama (Little Thief Theatre), Superior Donuts, In the Next Room or the vibrator play (Ensemble Theatre), The Audition (HealthPitch UK), She Kills Monsters, Eurydice, The Dumb Waiter, Marion Bridge (UBC), Juice, All in the Timing, Closer, Bedlam (Junior Jester Cap award), Kafka’s Metamorphosis (K.I.A. Productions), Minding Dad (Sterling Nomination), Love and Death (THEATrePUBLIC), and Passages (Ribbit Republic).
Keltie is so happy to be bringing In Response to Alabama to audiences again. She would like to thank the cast for their honesty and courage and the whole team for realizing this unconventional piece so beautifully.
Libby Willoughby is an actor and producer living and working on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Libby is currently the operations manager/associate producer at Pi Theatre as well as the co-Artistic Director and managing producer of Little Thief Theatre. Her most recent producing credits include: A Beautiful Man (Pi Theatre), Dance Like No One’s Watching and Epidermis Circus (Pi Theatre), Past/Down, (Little Thief Theatre/HIVE Collective), Halloween HIVE (HIVE Collective), and In Response to Alabama (Little Thief Theatre). As an actor, Libby’s most recent credits include; Past/Down and In Response to Alabama (Little Thief Theatre), Three Winters (The Cultch), as well as Theory and Dry Land (Rumble Theatre).
Mariam Barry is a multidisciplinary artist of Norwegian and African descent. Her creative work as an actor, screenwriter, director, filmmaker, theatre artist, and producer, is grounded in her experience as a Third Culture Kid. This multi-lens ignites Mariam’s work as her voice celebrates what it means to be Black around the world. She was a recipient of the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative in 2021 and an alumni of Black Women Film! Canada’s TIFF 2021 Cohort. Mariam holds a BFA in Acting from the University of British Columbia, and is a film editor and youth arts facilitator with Reel Youth where she mentors emerging filmmakers in their productions. Mariam’s filmmaking credits include: Cypher (Short doc, Telus Storyhive), RISE (Short film, Bakau Consulting Inc), Legacy (short film, ETC & Iris Studios), Tiana (short film, upcoming, Harold Greenberg: BC Shorts Program & Creative BC), and a mini-series currently in development.
Miranda MacDougall (she/her) is a multi-disciplinary artist – an actor, singer, dancer, filmmaker, writer and theatre creator. With a BFA in Acting from the University of Windsor, Miranda has trained and performed across Canada and the United States. Selected stage credits include Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol (The Arts Club, Vancouver) Of Mice and Men (Unit 102, Toronto), In Response to Alabama (Little Thief, Pi Theatre) City of Angels (PIT Collective), The Bacchae (workshop -SITI, New York), Dear Evan Hansen (Laughing Matters) and the self-written one woman show Glassjaw (touring). As a film director, Miranda has written and directed a slew of music videos and commercials, most recently co-directing the feature documentary “In The Land of Dreamers” for CBC’s Absolutely Canadian program. Miranda is grateful to be working and living on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations.
Kimira is a Set Designer based in BC. She uses virtual reality as a concept tool for set design and creates an immersive VR walk-through of the final product. She is also the Communications Director for Raven Spirit Dance. Originally from South Africa, she holds an MFA in Design from UBC and a Bachelor’s in Performing Arts Technology. Credits: VR Technician for Uninterrupted (Canada Wild Arts Society). Set Design for we the same (Ruby Slippers); Like It Or Not (Greenthumb Theatre); bad eggs (Unladylike Productions); Playthings (Affair of Honor); Zoning Out (Blackout Theater); No Child (The Arts Club); The Turn of the Screw (Aenigma Theatre); Romance, Relationships, Rights (UBC Centre for Inclusion & Citizenship partnering with Community Living Society); Burqa Boutique, The Way You Carry On, Fireflies (Killjoy Theatre); The Crucible (UBC Theatre). Assistant Set Design for Birds and The Bees (The Arts Club); The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love, All’s Well That Ends Well, Coriolanus (Bard on the Beach). Props for Foolish Operations; A Journal of the Plague Year (TomoeArts); Liminal Magic (Rumble Theatre). More at: www.kimirareddy.com
Kayleigh Sandomirsky is a multidisciplinary artist based in the traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. When Kayleigh is not working on independent productions she is finishing her last year with UpintheAir Theatre as their Resident Curator.
Recent Stage and Production Managing credits include: Kwé: A Digital Offering (Jeanette Kotowich, presented by Dance in Vancouver); Ying Yun (Wen Wei Dance); Revelations (UpintheAir Theatre); HIVE: Flight Paths (HIVE Collective); a workshop for Sen Nemuri (Julia Siedlanowska and Kanon Hewitt); Departure (Katie Cassady and Marissa Wong, presented by TWObigsteps Collective); The Array: First Contact and The Array: The Shape of the Galaxy (UpintheAir Theatre); and Holocaust Brunch (Tamara Micner, presented by the Chutzpah! Festival).
Kayleigh is excited to be back in the theatre working on live performances again; and honoured to be part of such an incredible team of artists.
Veronique West (she/they) is a non-binary settler of Polish descent, based on the occupied and unsurrendered lands the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Their work, informed by their lived experience of madness, spans artistic creation and facilitation, as well as mental health peer support and advocacy. Their personal and collaborative creative projects have taken various forms, including performance, sound art, community conversation, virtual reality, and web-based storytelling. They have facilitated programs focused on writing, devising, multimedia performance creation, and Mad Arts. They have also been an eating disorder peer support mentor, a crisis responder, and will be a mental health workshop facilitator at post-secondary campuses next spring.
Montserrat Videla (b. Mexico City) immigrated with her Colombian family to Canada in 2005. As an actor and creator, she works across a wide variety of performance forms, including text-based theatre, dance/physical theatre, performance art, and devised creation. Her collaborations have taken place in both English and Spanish, as well as nationally and internationally. Her work and collaborations have participated in several film and performance festivals across Canada, including Why Not Theatre’s RISER Project, SummerWorks, Kick & Push, rEvolver, In the Soil, and PuSh. montserratvidela.com
We are an emerging theatre company based in the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh first nations. We produce interdisciplinary work that centres female-identifying artists, but is welcoming to all. Little Thief is dedicated to creating work that is intersectional, vibrant, and plays with form and structure. Our inaugural production, Glassjaw , is a one-woman, site-specific show inspired by the life of a female boxer whose life is changed by a devastating diagnosis. Glassjaw toured boxing clubs across Ontario and British Columbia in 2015 and 2016. In Spring 2019 Little Thief participated in HIVE 2019 as part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, where In Response to Alabama premiered in a janitor’s closet. In December of 2019, Pi Theatre presented the next iteration of the production, which expanded the original premise. We are part of the HIVE performance collective- and with that collective have produced and presented work in HIVE 2019, Halloween HIVE, and HIVE 2021: Flight Paths.
The Little Thief team would like to thank: the whole team at the Cultch, Alex Forsyth, Callum Gunn, Progress Lab 1422, Mika Laulainen, UBC department of Counseling Psychology, SFU department of Counseling Psychology, Claire deBruyn, Caileigh Wilson, Peak Resilience Counseling, Jennifer Hollinshead, The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, and Joyce Arthur.
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) protects the legal right to abortion rights and works to improve access to abortion and quality reproductive health care. To achieve equality, we must all have the right to decide for ourselves whether and when we will bear children. Without control of our fertility, we cannot enjoy autonomy over our lives or play a full and equal role in society. Further, we all deserve to access reproductive healthcare services in a timely manner, in an atmosphere of safety, dignity, privacy, trust, and compassion. Please support ARCC.
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