Author Archives: Nicolle Nattrass

Nicolle Nattrass

About Nicolle Nattrass

Nicolle Nattrass is a Jessie Award-nominated actress (CAEA/ACTRA) and playwright (PGC). She works as a Dramaturge/Director and Artistic Associate for Theatre One in Nanaimo and has served in various capacities for the Playwrights Guild of Canada, including the Womens’ Caucus. A proud alumna of the University of Victoria, BFA Theatre (Acting Specialization), she recently wrote and performed her one-woman play Mamahood: Bursting into Light, which was selected for the “Spotlight on Alumni" series at the UVIC Phoenix Theatre in 2018. Her first one-woman show,Brownie Points (Boldly Going Where No Brownie Has Gone Before), premiered at the Vancouver Fringe and received nominations for Original Performance and Outstanding New Play at the Jessie Richardson theatre awards, along with an American premiere and an award-winning short film adaptation. For more information about Nicolle see www.nicollenattrass.com or www.playwrightsguild.ca. You can purchase one of her plays at www.canadianplayoutlet.com.

Suddenly You’re 50

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Author’s Note: Suddenly You’re 50 (working title) is currently under development with the Exploration series, Sunset Theatre in Wells, BC.

*

(Lights up. Opening monologue directly to audience)

My mom says,
“You can come and help me take care of dad.
Maybe even have some time to yourself and do some writing.”
Ok.
I will come but—
the last thing I want to do is write
I am done with writing
Out with the writing, in with the sun-tanning
And reading books.
Reading a book from start to finish
No working
No writing
‘Cause the last thing I want to do is write
Nooooooooo.
Not writing
No desire
To write
Not even journal
NO.
And I am definitely not going to write a new show.
GAWD!
The world does not need another show—right?
Another one person fucking show—excuse my language.
I like to swear sometimes
And that’s the truth.
So no, I am going to do my best to not write
ANOTHER UNWANTED show.
I repeat.
I am not writing a new show.
You cannot make me
Seriously.
Couldn’t pay me a million dollars to do it.
Or even ten thousand.
(beat)
Why? you ask? Or maybe you don’t ask.
Doesn’t matter cause I am going tell ya anyway.
Cause writing sucks.
It pays literally nothing and self-producing is tough at the best of times,
without adding being a Mom on top of it.
And do you get it?
It’s a ONE WOMAN SHOW here…
I am the entire circus, the clown, the ring leader, the acrobat, the trapeze artist,
the ticket taker, the bookkeeper, the stage sweeper
and I pick up after the elephant.
Researching where to produce, fundraising, juggling,
paying people, doing the promo, workshopping the script,
re-writing, arranging tickets, comps, contracts, photos,
and, oh, rehearsing—
which god you gotta focus on cause its your ass on the line. Right?!!!
Not to mention the “friends” or folks sitting there waiting to tell you how and why
they could have done it better.
So yeah, do all that and then REPEAT.
Every time you do YOUR stupid solo SHOW.
Then you gotta hear: “Oh my god I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR show!”
But then they don’t come.
They never come.
Cause they don’t mean it,
Then there’s the people that say they ARE going to come and they don’t.
They repeatedly don’t come which is fine
but then also they are the same people who later say
“OH I didn’t know you were doing a show …
when are you going to do it again so I can see it?”
Yeah, really.
This happens and it’s not like my show was just on for two weeks.
No, I’ve been doing it FOR FOUR YEARS!!
So chances are—
If you had wanted to see the SHOW you would have come already!
But you didn’t. Why? Cause what? You didn’t like the title or blah blah blah.
(beat)
Did you know that it’s an “unspoken kind of rule”
that you don’t often do intermissions when you do a one person show?
Only if you are FAMOUS. Know why?
Cause the audience ain’t coming back at intermission that’s why.
Hell, why would they when even the theatre critics don’t stay for the talk-backs?
Critics only stay for the ones that are deemed “hip enough.”
You know those ones, the “we think we’re supposed to do this so we are going to tie it loosely to this theme.”
The theatre critics don’t stay for the “un-hip” or “women’s issues” ones—
the ones that are literally changing the lives of the audience members—
but then go home and write reviews which often are a masterclass in nice, white misogyny.
So NO. Not doing that. Writing another GODDAMN show.
This? Right now? Here?
What I am doing right now is—
Not a show.
It’s not.
It’s a—a story about how suddenly you’re 50
and
You find yourself on an all-inclusive vacation with your aging parents.
It’s a story about that.
A milestone.
50.
(beat)
(Transition. Sounds of seatbelt dings and the lull of the airplane motor and air-conditioning on the plane)
I’m on the plane and I look over at them
Mom with the one good ear
Dad with the one good eye
Between the two of them they make up one full person.
(beat)
Seemed like a good idea at the time
Sun
Pool
Tacos
Can’t really go wrong with tacos
Real, authentic tacos
The perfect vacation right?
I deserve it.
A vacation.
Yeah.
(Deep inhale of breath)
Everyone needs a vacation
Time to get away—
When things get too complicated—
You need to sort things through—
And
My brother lives there
He’s a permanent resident now
So off I go.
My husband says enjoy the time
You never know how long you have with your parents
Both of his gone.
I am going to help my mom who is primary caregiver to take care of my dad.
He had a stroke a few years back, he has a bad leg, a bad foot and is completely—like I said—blind in one eye.
It’s not funny.