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Maryse Fernandes (left) as Suzanne and Margo MacDonald (right) as Claude in Heartlines. Photo by Andrew Alexander.

TACTICS partnering with GCTC to bring Blissful State of Surrender and Heartlines to the stage

By Shireen Agharazi-Dormani on February 8, 2022

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Okay, so maybe we didn’t get to start the year the way we would’ve liked. (Looking at you, Omicron. Looking at you.) That said, assuming everyone is willing to get vaccinated and keep their distance, there’s a good chance we can go back to enjoying what we once took for granted. Here’s a much-delayed treat for any and all to enjoy as we wait for normalcy to return.

In association with GCTC, the Theatre Artists’ Co-operative: the Independent Collective Series (TACTICS) presents two performances for an optimistic start to this new year in their 2022 Mainstage Series: Blissful State of Surrender and Heartlines.

“The opportunity to fully develop and bring local works into Ottawa’s largest local theatre is one of the reasons TACTICS was created in the first place,” says Ludmylla Reis, co-artistic producer of TACTICS, in a press release. “After a hard pandemic year, this unique partnership encourages local artists to keep dreaming big with their art.”

Photo of Dana Užarević and John Koensgen in Blissful State of Surrender. Photo: Tiny Marvels Photography.

Blissful State of Surrender by Sanita Fejzić is about the cultural clashes between parents and their three adult daughters as a Bosnian-Canadian family. This is a dramatic comedy that also explores the experience of a Muslim refugee family as well as PTSD, family secrets, and much more.

Heartlines by Sarah Waisvisz (A Calalou/RAFT Theatre Projects Production) takes place in the French Resistance during the Second World War. We follow the lives of a Jewish lesbian couple, artists Lucy Schwob (AKA: Claude Cahune) and Suzanne Malherbe (AKA: Marcel Moore), played by Margo MacDonald and Maryse Fernandes, respectively.

These two shows have accessibility dates (Relaxed Performance, Pay-What-You-Decide, and ASL performance) along with their regular showtimes: on these days, the shows will welcome those who may need breaks or quiet times as well as those who may not be able to afford the tickets.

Margo MacDonald (left) as Claude and Maryse Fernandes (right) as Suzanne in Heartlines by Sarah Waisvisz. Photo: Andrew Alexander.

During the Relaxed Performance, you can get up, move, stretch, leave and re-enter the theatre whenever necessary during the show. These performances have a quiet room in the lobby with pieces from the show for you to use if you need a calmer space. They also feature a pre-show introduction to the play with the audience lights left on. You’ll be sent a digital access guide to use before you come when you buy a ticket for these shows.

Pay-What-You-Decide allows you to choose the price that works best with your budget. Think of it as a way to clear away financial obstacles to allow as many people as possible to attend these productions.

As for the ASL Performance, ASL interpreters will be onstage during the performance of Blissful State of Surrender.

Maryse Fernandes (left) as Suzanne and Margo MacDonald (right) as Claude in Heartlines. Photo by Andrew Alexander.

The showtimes for both performances are 8pm from Tuesdays to Fridays, 4pm and 8:30pm on Saturdays, and 2pm on Sundays.

Blissful State of Surrender is showing from Feb. 22 to March 6. Its Accessibility Dates are Sunday, Feb. 27 at 2pm for Pay-What-You-Decide; Tuesday, March 1 at 8pm for the Relaxed Performance; and Friday, March 4 at 8pm for the ASL Performance.

The dates for Heartlines are from March 22 to April 3. In terms of Accessibility Dates, the Pay-What-You-Decide is on Sunday, March 27 at 2pm; the Relaxed Performance on Tuesday, March 29 at 8pm.

Okay, now for the COVID-19 protocols (I know, ew). For everyone’s safety, the GCTC has set up some regulations for these performances. These rules include wearing a mask at all times, food and drinks other than water not being allowed in the theatre during the shows, and limiting the mainstage capacity to 50% with the appropriate distance kept between guests.

Of course, there are more protocols than the ones mentioned above, and there’s always a possibility that they’ll change by the time the upcoming performances take place. Check out their website to keep yourself updated.


For more information about these plays, visit www.gctc.ca. You can get your Blissful State of Surrender tickets here, and Heartlines tickets will be on sale soon!

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