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Why Worry About Their Futures


Featuring “The Sky It Falls,” “The Auden Test” and “Expecting”
Shorts by Keith Barker, Lawrence Aronovitch and Sanita Fejzić
A Blissful State Production

Ottawa, ON | 60 mins

For content notes please click here.

Why Worry About Their Futures presents three short plays: the world premiere of “The Sky It Falls” by Keith Barker, “The Auden Test” by Lawrence Aronovitch, and the world premiere of “Expecting” by Sanita Fejzić. They have in common a shared concern for the kinds of multispecies futures we are cultivating. They worry about the future from the point of view of compromised pasts and presents. The frame for these plays is imbedded in a feminist politics of care in which the personal is political. Taken together, the short plays consider how structures of power shape private lives, and how private lives perpetuate structures of power through and because of intergenerational poverty, heteropatriarchy, speciesism, and anthropocentrism. A short play is like a first kiss or a sudden heartbreak—it has the potential to change us forever. “The Sky It Falls,” “The Auden Test” and “Expecting” promise to puncture the status quo and cross anxiety with hope, tragedy with beauty.

Sanita Fejzić (she/they)– Producer & Playwright
Sanita Fejzić escaped the genocide of her Muslim Bosniak people during the Balkan Wars and was a refugee across three countries before immigrating to Canada in 1997. Her first play, Blissful State of Surrender, was staged at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in 2022 and was nominated for five Prix Rideau Awards. Fejzić is also an award-winning poet, novelist, and essayist.

Keith Barker (he/him) – Playwright
Keith Barker is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. He is a playwright, actor, and theatre director from Northwestern Ontario, and the Director of the Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program Artistic Director at Stratford Festival. His plays have received several national awards. He was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English Drama in 2018 for his play, This Is How We Got Here.

Lawrence Aronovitch (he/him) – Playwright
Lawrence’s art is rooted in his biography: a former rocket scientist, a gay man of a certain generation, a descendant of medieval rabbis fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. As an artist he tries to reach into people’s hearts and heads alike, to make them think and feel and, perhaps, help change the world, heal it, make it a better place. His most recent play, “Firstborn,” portrays a conversation between Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Joël Beddows (he/him) – Director
Director and dramaturg, Joël Beddows has pursued creative projects that lie at the crux of social critique, poetry, and symbolism. Whether in the field of creation, classical theatre or theatre for young audiences, Beddows considers every project an opportunity for questioning our contemporary world and its rapport with imagination, history, and collective memory. He is professor at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Theatre since 2002, where he instigated and helped launch the construction of the LabO and the creation of a conservatory acting programme (BFA).

David Warburton – Actor
The Importance of Being Earnest, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Stuff Happens, Shakespeare’s DogThe Stone Angel (NAC); Arms and the Man, Lysistrata (Odyssey Theatre); Feelgood (GCTC); August: Osage County,The Tempest, My Fair Lady (RMTC); Oliver Twist (ATP); Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (PTE ); Lips Together Teeth Apart (The Belfry);  Pride and Prejudice, Calendar Girls (The Grand Theatre London ); Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry 1V parts 1&2 (Shakespeare In The Ruins) The Merchant Of VeniceAlice Through the Looking-Glass  ( The Stratford Festival )   

Danielle Savoie (she/her) – Actor
Danielle is an Ottawa-based performer and graduate of the Theatre program at the University of Ottawa. Some of her acting credits include Blissful State of Surrender at the GCTC, 2084 at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, Listen to me at the Undercurrents Festival, Joseph and Amarise at the Fresh Meat Theatre Festival, and As You Like It with Bear & Co.

Cara Tierney (they/them) – Actor
Cara Tierney (they/them) is a white transdisciplinary artist, educator, and researcher who lives and works on the traditional unceded land of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.  With a background in performance art, teaching and activism, and working across multiple media and modes of production, their current work tackles issues of justice regarding gender, power and public space.

Alana Malanga (she/her) – Stage Manager
Alana is an actor, singer, and stage manager in the Ottawa-area. She is currently in her final year at uOttawa studying Theatre and Psychology, in French Immersion. She has stage managed a variety of productions such as, Mother Medea and Les Belles Sœurs, performed at uOttawa, Lost Baggage’s Forbidden Love, and @TheMayor, performed at the Ottawa Fringe.

Vanessa Imerson (she/her) – Costume Designer
Vanessa Imeson is an award-winning Theatre Artist holding a combined BA Honours degree in Dramatic Art and English from the University of Windsor, MFA in Theatre Design from the UBC and diploma for Makeup Design for Film and Television from VFS.  She designs costumes, make-up, wigs and puppets for a variety of collegiate programs and professional theatre companies across Canada while simultaneously acting as Head of Wardrobe for the GCTC.

Claude Schryer (he/him) – Sound Designer
Claude Schryer (Ottawa, 1959, he/him) is a franco-ontarian sound and media artist and arts administrator who produces the conscient podcast on art and the ecological crisis and is chair of the board and member of the Mission Circle of the Sectoral Climate Art Leadership for the Emergency (SCALE). He worked in management at the Canada Council for the Arts for 21 years.

Martin Conboy (he/him) – Lighting Designer
Is a designer who has worked across Canada, in the US and Europe. As theatre/Lighting consultant he is responsible for designing many theatres; GCTC Ottawa, Canadian Aviation Museum’s theatre, Algonquin College 700 seat theatre, Arts Court –University of Ottawa development in Ottawa Aurora Arts Centre, Roxy Theatre Edmonton. Recent architectural lighting – Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto, Canadian Embassy Paris. Martin is the co-creator of a WW1 a projection Vigil 1914-1918 in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Fredericton, Edmonton, Calgary, Canada House, Trafalgar Square London, and Cloth Hall in Ieper, Belgium. Martin is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCAA).

Valérie Despax (she/her) – Cellist
Valérie Despax (cello) is member of the Quatuor Despax. Her chamber music career has led her to play in several festivals and concert series in Canada, Europe and South America. From 2011 to 2013, the Quatuor Despax was the quartet in residence at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church in Montreal. Since September 2013, the quartet has maintained their residence at the Notre-Dame-de-la-Guadeloupe Church in Gatineau with their own concert series. She is also member of the Sabayon Quartet and the Ensemble Obiora. She works in Outaouais’s artistic scene through several styles and formations, such as orchestral (Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau), pop, and others. Valérie Despax is the co-founder with her sister Cendrine Despax of the festival “L’Art de la Musique | The Art of Music” which takes place in Gatineau during the summer in July.

Claude Schryer (he/him) – Sound Designer
Claude Schryer (Ottawa, 1959, he/him) is a franco-ontarian sound and media artist and arts administrator who produces the conscient podcast on art and the ecological crisis and is chair of the board and member of the Mission Circle of the Sectoral Climate Art Leadership for the Emergency (SCALE). He worked in management at the Canada Council for the Arts for 21 years.