Seven years ago we pitched a residency to the Theatre Centre to develop a show about modern motherhood. We weren’t buying it, none of it, anything we saw or read felt like lies, but we weren’t mums and we didn’t know the truth. So we wanted to go spelunking in this womaney cave of experience and we wanted to take a nice long time to do it so the residency seemed perfect.
We also had a hypothesis we wanted to test: that our already existing intimate friendship would enable or ideally force us to be more honest, to take more risks, to make art that was personal and had our history woven right into the work.
I was secretly pregnant when we pitched it. We researched a LOT. We read books and articles, and watched with a sense of camaraderie the growing number of works of television and literature that were looking at maternity, working mothers, post-partum, fertility. We interviewed dozens of mothers and fathers (thank you to every person who shared their personal, harrowing, gothic, hilarious, stories with us). The two year residency became five years. And all the while, we engaged in a very real, immersive, ongoing research: Elijah, Esmé, Sophia, Anja and Frances. And we each made a whole bunch of other shows between then and now. But we came back and back and back together for this. We prioritized this. We nurtured this, even when we were terrified of this. We wrote grants, we Skyped, we flew between provinces for this, we weathered this piece’s tantrums and kept reengaging. We asked many brilliant artists to join us and help us. This womaney cave is now our home and this show has grown alongside our children and it has grown alongside us. It is us.
Artist Statement from the Theatre Centre Program Notes, 2018.
“Maev Beaty is devastatingly good in Secret Life Of A Mother...There’s no better way to spend time in a theatre than with the incandescent Maev Beaty.”
“Engrossing and necessary work of theatre.”
“Beaty is known for her compelling performances, but this show lays bare her ability to perform for a crowd of hundreds while giving you the impression she is speaking to each of us personally.”