Mamahood: Bursting into Light

Mamahood: Bursting into LIGHT is a witty and profoundly moving ode to motherhood written & performed by Nicolle Nattrass.* A mother, a playwright, and an actress, Jessie Award-nominated Nicolle Nattrass shares her story with humor. She courageously shares her struggle to be the “PERFECT Mom”, facing being thought of as an “Older Parent”, to confronting the endless choices faced by new mothers, Sleep Deprivation, (did I mention the sleep deprivation?) along with her own post partum experience.



“Mamahood: Bursting into Light is a Must-See for health professionals who see women in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Post-partum depression and anxiety are debilitating life-changers that hit women when they expect to be in happy mommy-land. Nattrass’s brilliant one-woman show hits hard and opens the audience to the inner world of deep pain in the midst of heart-aching baby love. As a psychologist who has had clients go through their own post-partum depression journey, I can attest to learning far more from Mamahood than from any textbook I’ve read. I feel better equipped to help my own clients after having seen this excellent theatre piece.”

Dr. Carolyn Nesbitt PHD

“Nattrass is a big-hearted and fearlessly vulnerable performer whose charm is a great strength of this show. Mothers who’ve believed themselves to be alone in falling short of [motherhood] ideals are this show’s natural audience. Nattrass has given them a gift.”

Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“Nicolle Nattrass’s solo show, Mamahood: Bursting Into Light is brilliant. She is a wonderful storyteller and fantastic character actor who nails the serious and comedic characters with ease and gusto. The topic of the realities of being a new mother are rarely talked about on stage or in public and that makes this show not only super entertaining but necessary. You will love the rock n’ roll ride of Mamahood. Do yourself, and everyone mother you know, a favour and go see this show!”

Tracey Erin Smith Artistic Director of Toronto’s SOULO Theatre Festival,

When I first saw this show I was incredibly moved by the courage that Nicolle Nattrass has shown by taking her story to the stage. Not only is she breaking down stigma and barriers, but she is also doing it in an honest, raw, emotional and sometimes hilarious way. I recommend this play to all new moms, dads, parents, grandparents and anyone who has a mom. You will laugh and you will cry!”

Sheila Duffy, Executive Director, Pacific Post Partum Support Society

“For many women, their child birth story is not what they had hoped for or imagined. Viewing Mamahood: Bursting into Light could offer women (and possibly their supporting partners) an opportunity for reflection, dialogue and healing. Childbirth is a life-changing experience. The play offers women an opportunity to access repressed emotions around their own birth stories in a safe and supportive atmosphere. For many women this could prove to be a cathartic experience. “

Kerri Isham – Certified Sexual Health Educator

“The show was amazing! Nicolle’s story is so many of our stories – that often go untold. I’m still thinking about some of her words because they resonated so deeply. Best of luck with future shows! If you get the opportunity to see this performance, grab a ticket fast!”

-Olivia Scobie, Toronto Counselor & Doula,

So impressed with Nicolle Nattrass’s solo performance today of her play Mamahood: Bursting into Light. Her courageous sharing of her journey into motherhood, the challenges for her and her partner in new parent-land, and her emergence into herself as a mother is inspiring. I particularly appreciated the language she used: trauma, postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder. Many women have births they are happy with, many women have births that didn’t go the way they wanted, and some women have births that are experienced as a trauma. WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT– but we should. We should stop telling mothers “all that matters is a healthy baby” and we should start listening to the experiences new mothers are navigating. And we should bring them more casseroles. Thanks for raising your voice Nicolle!”-

Sarah Segal-Prenatal Educator and Family Support


“A beautiful, powerful performance! Thank you to Lesley Clarke and the Nanaimo Women’s Resource Society, Kerri Isham, and to Nicolle Nattrass and her team (because I know a performance like that takes a team). The script and performance were both extremely inspiring and I wish all young women and potential mothers-to-be could see this production as it seems to me to provide such a strong message of prevention. This piece of theatre could save a life.”

“Nicolle Nattrass, your kind, genuine sparkle was so alive in this performance. Though my children are beyond babyhood, sometimes tears came to my eyes as you tenderly reminded me of the fleeting vulnerabilities and joys of pregnancy and early parenting — details that tore me up when I was living them but now, somehow, I’d almost forgotten them. It takes real commitment and passion and inner beauty to do what you do — thank you for bringing your shining light to our community.”

“Thank you for your lovely performance. We were on stage with you, being affirmed in some of those moments and feelings of motherhood where we thought we were the only ones to brush off the blues in front of a health nurse or enduring hospital births and feeling marginalized by (some) health care professionals. Thank you for your excellent talent and amazing show! Loved the music clips and lighting effects. Masterful; you have warmed many hearts.”

I did not know what to expect from your show tonight, but I was blown away! Your words spoke to so many different parts of me…Mother, Daughter, Friend….inner child, past and present shames…it was beautiful, and funny, heartfelt and so raw….Thank you.

“Thank you so much for a wonderful show! I felt truly moved and inspired, I also laughed the whole way through. The time flew by and it felt like we could have talked and shared all night.”

So good!!! So grateful I went. What an amazing job Nicole did in talking about a hard subject while keeping it funny. Even though I don’t know her, I felt so proud of her.
Absolutely wonderful performance. Raw, real and exceptionally funny 🙂

“I was invited to the run through yesterday and I can tell you it is everything the reviews say about it, and more. It is an extremely witty, well performed play that, even if you aren’t a parent, will resonate with you. There were also the less “funny” moments that reached right in to my soul. As a mom of four and sharing some of the same experiences throughout my life as “Marie” -not just pregnancy and childbirth – this play obviously spoke to me, but, I have to say, there were people there that don’t even have kids that enjoyed the play as much as I did and also connected with the many messages this evokes. My friend who wrote and performs this was invited to bring this to the Soulo Festival in Toronto and I wanted to let you know, if you can, you should go see it!!”

This show is not suitable for children. Adults only. Strong language and mature content.


Mamahood: Bursting into Light is available for  booking for both non -theatrical events (conferences of all types/special events/small events) as well as theatrical touring.  It is a 85 minute show followed by an optional talk-back with playwright/actor. 85 minutes (no intermission) with minimal technical requirements, other than Sound.

Contact: Nicolle Nattrass directly, for more info, links to video materials etc.

Poster Design: Shawn Wagar

Facebook Page~

If you would like to donate to help me build a TOUR~

Development/Production History~

The very first monologue I wrote was selected to celebrate International Women’s Day in 2013, in a cabaret called ‘Wild Women’ to produced by Sarasvati Productions in Winnipeg, Manitoba. ( Producers of a Femfest) The monologue was called “Mama’s Night Out” and was the starting point for writing what this new 75 minute solo show.

The play was also featured as part of  “the you show” produced by Intrepid Theatre (Victoria Fringe/Unofest) on May 18, 2013 in a staged reading in Victoria BC. Performed by Nicolle Nattrass, Sound Designer, Paul Tedeschini. It also has been read as part of PGC/Canada Council for the Arts Playwrights Reading Programs on May 3, 2014 as part of Kaleidoscope Theatre’s family festival in Victoria and June 12, 2014 at the Nanaimo Theatre Group, Bailey Studio in Nanaimo. Both readings, included Question & Answer periods with audience members.

Mamahood: turn and face the strange (original title) had its’ Canadian premiere production with TheatreOne (PACT theatre on March 17-22/ 2015 at the Malaspina Theatre/ VIU in Nanaimo as part of a “Welcome to Parenthood Festival” directed by David Mann. Sound Designer: Paul Tedeschini and Lighting Designer: Mike Taugher.

Mamahood: turn and face the strange (original title) recently completed a 2 week run at the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver BC Oct. 18- Oct. 28/2016.

LIST OF PERFORMANCES~ (most current- past)

Jan. 21/2018

VIU Malaspina Theatre, Nanaimo BC. I am back again to perform at 4pm! All proceeds go to Nanaimo Women’s Resource Centre, to help women in our community!To purchase tickets ~ eventbrite link~

  • There will be a talk-back after the performance with guest speaker, Sheila Duffy, Executive Director & Counselor from Vancouver’s Pacific Post Partum Society.

Sept 1 & 2/2017

Sunset Theatre, Wells BC. I am pleased that my show is being featured as part of Sunset Theatre’s Presentation Series, to purchase tickets~

May 26/2017

Red Sandcastle Theatre, Toronto ON. I am beyond thrilled to be selected to be part of the 2017 Soulo Festival in TORONTO. I will also be teaching a workshop at the Soulo Festival on “Producing your Solo Show”.

To purchase tickets~

Jan. 22/2017

VIU Malaspina Theatre, Nanaimo BC. This is a benefit performance for the Nanaimo Women’s Resource Centre.To purchase tickets:

 Stay tuned for more 2018 PERFORMANCE DATES-