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Mouthpiece’s brain matter 

In the award-winning drama, two actors get inside one woman’s head.

JOEL CLIFTON
  • Joel Clifton

Mouthpiece
To Nov 18, 8pm (2pm Sun mat)
Alderney Landing, 2 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth
$35 ($25 underwaged)

In Mouthpiece, Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava climb out of a bathtub to play both sides of one woman's brain. They began creating her in 2013, put her on a Toronto stage in 2015, won two Dora Awards then headed off around the world.

In the summer of 2017 they shared a space with 2b theatre's Old Stock at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; the Halifax company is presenting this week's production of Mouthpiece at Alderney Landing.

"It was a three-year process and during the process both Norah and I had an a-ha feminist awakening and realized we were both giant hypocrites—this was 2013, pre-hashtag feminism, pre-MeToo," says Nostbakken, who runs the company Quote Unquote Collective with Sadava. "We could only speak from our own experience. We decided to express that: If we express the deepest, darkest, most truthful parts of ourselves than others will be able to relate to it. And also recognize that they haven't heard these stories before, and how fucked up that is."

"We're just telling the truth," says Sadava, dismissing the idea that Mouthpiece happened to capture the zeitgeist. "I think that people respond to the truth. Regardless of what's happening outside in the world...This piece of art has travelled and done a lot of things because of the desire for these voices. The response isn't because the world is listening, it's because individuals are listening."

Those individuals include Jodie Foster, who brought the pair to Los Angeles to perform, and Patricia Rozema, who directed the film adaptation that played the fall festival circuit with an eye on release next year.

This will be, however, the last Canadian performance of the play, a dense, physical, emotional hour for its creators. "It's short but it's dense and it's full-on for us," says Sadava. "We just are so pulled to create new things," says Nostbakken. "We have other shit to say."

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