Available March 20-28: Listen on your own time
The piece takes audience members on an audio walk where hopes come up against the reality of experience on a trip into the unknown – don’t worry, we’re holding your hand!
With themes of identity, border crossing and migration at the heart of the work, the piece deals with the ‘long moment’ created through the act of travelling, in which hope meets reality, the place where we simultaneously look towards the future and back at what we have just left.
In gently questioning what home is, the piece reflects on all things that make our home- family, friends, environments and possessions- the physical things which support, reinforce and bound our identity.
The piece is based on an autobiographical experience of a girl’s first travel to the UK and her settlement into the new culture. It specifically follows her steps from Sofia airport (in Bulgaria) to taking the plane to London Heathrow and the experience of first encountering the new, the known, the exciting and the intimidating at the arrivals gate before continuing on.
The main narrative of the girl’s journey to the UK is fragmented by a second voice who questions and reminisces on ideas of travel and its availability, home, language, time and what it might feel to be one of the many at the long queue before passport control.
“unflinchingly honest”—The Guardian
“We leave, changed. That is what theater is about.”—Glam Adelaide
In June 2016, playwright Emily Steel had a termination at 19 weeks after her baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. When she told people about it afterwards she expected them to judge her, but instead they told her stories in return—about abortions they’d had to keep secret, miscarriages they couldn’t really talk about, struggles with IVF. This was the inspiration for 19 weeks—telling her story publicly to encourage more openness and understanding. It’s sad and funny, familiar and surprising, not self-righteous or guilt-ridden but complex and truthful. Come sit by the (virtual) pool, put your feet in the water, and listen.
Some (perhaps surprising) statistics: 18% of US pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) in 2017 ended in abortion. The abortion rate in the US in 2017 was 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44. 13% of couples in the US struggle to get pregnant at all. These experiences are common, but they can make you feel very alone.
In the US, there are projects like the 1 in 3 Campaign and the Sea Change Program that work to end the stigma around experiences like abortion, pregnancy loss and infertility by sharing women’s personal stories.
Our hope is that, with 19 weeks, we can help open up this conversation.
Performed by Tiffany Lyndall Knight. 2018 tour directed by Nescha Jelk, with music by Josh Belperio.
Original 2017 production directed by Daisy Brown, with music by Mario Späte.