Spicy Day, Lauren Welchner and Monica Bradford-Lea’s award-winning theatre company, returns to the stage with their 2019 Ottawa Fringe Festival hit production, A Period Piece. The play is presented as part of the TACTICS Mainstage series, a local theatre series that provides support for independent theatre artists.
Since premiering the piece two years ago, the duo has been busy working on a new and improved version of the play, which they are thrilled to present again in front of a live audience. Under the guidance of musical director Shanoa Phillips, Lauren and Monica have fine-tuned their original songs, and the play’s mise-en-scène received an overhaul with a fresh and elaborate set created by Andrea Steinwand, complemented by the lighting design of Kyle Ahluwalia.
And yet, despite several new stories, jokes and segments, Lauren and Monica did not diverge from the heart and soul of the original play. A Period Piece, while primarily a comedy sketch packed with humour, song and dance, and amusing costumes, was developed from the creators’ own lived experiences as women, their reflections around feminism, the patriarchy and women’s issues, and the sometimes embarrassing but mostly hilarious stories that result from getting your period.
The play emerged from the realization that the conversation around menstruation, which affects half the population, is missing from social discourse, television, theatre, and pop culture. This lack of awareness and dialogue around menstruation and women’s well-being can pose significant health risks for some individuals. For example, one in 10 women are affected by endometriosis, a painful condition that can impact fertility, yet many women are unaware of its existence or how it can affect them.
A Period Piece is a play that cleverly delivers important information in a joyful and exciting format meant to appeal to people of all genders, ages, and walks of life. During its first run in 2019, the play strongly resonated with its audience, which fostered a space of understanding and helped lift the taboo surrounding menstruation while encouraging folks to embrace this natural, everyday reality of life.
On a more serious note, A Period Piece also touches upon the issue of period poverty: the lack of access to feminine hygiene products. Since one in three women has difficulty accessing period products, Spicy Day has once again partnered with Period Packs, a local organization that helps women access feminine hygiene products, and are donating 10% of merch proceeds to the organization. Monetary donations for Period Packs can also be made at all performances.
Coming up next for Spicy Day is the release of a 10-part online video series inspired by the play. The new series, which will be available on YouTube later this month, features new and old content that extends the conversation about menstruation from the theatre stage into the digital space. Through this free and accessible platform, Lauren and Monica hope to foster an educational hub for schools, community groups, and educators and offer a broader audience an opportunity to engage in conversations around menstruation and women’s health.
A Period Piece is presented by the TACTICS Mainstage Series. It plays at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Ave) from November 5–13. An ASL-assisted performance will take place on November 12. Single tickets range from $15 to $25. Due to public health guidelines, ticket availability is limited to 60% capacity. Proof of vaccination and ID are required to enter the building. The performance runs approximately 55 minutes.