19 weeks, by Emily Steel

19 weeks (Canadian Premiere)
By Emily Steel
Co-production with Northern Light Theatre
Featuring Vanessa Sabourin



March 28 – April 13, 2019
The Studio Theatre in the ATB Financial Arts Barns
10330 84 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB

The words are rattling because the story is real. Everyone knows someone who has had an abortion or lost a pregnancy – even if they don’t talk about it. In 2016, playwright Emily Steel had a termination after her baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. This is her story, told honestly and publicly, because there are so many more stories out there. We want 19 weeks to be part of a bigger conversation about reproductive rights- which may include access to abortion, bioethics, eugenics, and advocacy for people and families living with disability.

“I made the decision that I was going to tell people the truth about what happened because keeping quiet about such a traumatic experience would have felt like even more of a burden. My fear was that people would think I was a horrible, heartless person, and I had to process those feelings myself, but how people are going to perceive you cannot alter your decisions about the course of your life. For the most part, my fears did not come true. The response of so many women was to tell me stories of their own abortions or miscarriages, and that was a huge part of the inspiration for the play. There is a lot of controversy about late abortions, but it’s not until you go through that process that you realize how much time it can take to do what you think is the most responsible thing.” – Emily Steel

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