About Night Feed

“My breast pump started speaking to me.  That’s how it all began.”

Photo by Dahlia Katz

Voices In The Night

My baby was three weeks old, and I was entirely unprepared for the level of loneliness and isolation I felt. My husband had to go back to work immediately, my family lived far away, my friends were busy with their jobs and their own children. My baby was weak, and each feed took at least 90 minutes, 10 times a day; my world had shrunk to the size of the living room couch.

Then one night I noticed that if you looked at it the right way, the breast pump kind of had a face. I started wondering what it would say to me if it could speak. It was all too easy to imagine…and it was not pretty! As I looked around the room, I found that every object around me was just dying to get in on the conversation. The dust bunnies on my floor were laughing at my slovenly habits, a stack of parenting books were all loudly disagreeing with each other, my darling bicycle was singing to me of my lost liberty. I started keeping a pad of paper on the couch so I could scribble ideas mid-feed. It made me laugh, when I desperately needed a laugh.

Singing Together

Three years later the loneliness is gone, because I am a part of a remarkable team of artists and parents, working together to bring this piece to life. Over the years, different combinations of us had formed artistic partnerships rooted in shared passions for unconventional and intimate story-telling methods that actively stimulate the imaginations of audiences. Since our first early collaborations, many of us had become parents, and quickly found traditional methods of theatre creation incompatible with the demands of child rearing. At the same time, we found an startling absence of relatable stories, or representations, of early motherhood. So we built our own theatre company and wrote our own story – and while we were at it, we built our own latex breast puppets, and hideous dust demons made of dryer lint!

Add Your Voice

“Night Feed” was initially built on a series of story-sharing sessions and interviews with a large network of new mothers. We found again and again that the stories we collected were rife with isolation, self-doubt, anxiety, and, above all, shame for not being able to identify with our culture’s representation of motherhood.

We came together specifically to address this gap, and to tell stories of the darker sides of motherhood using the tools we know best: puppetry, comedy, music and movement. With humour, tenderness, and a sense of the bizarre, we want to stimulate honest conversation about the emotional underworld of modern motherhood. To gleefully take the piss out of the expectations society puts on mothers, and that we put on ourselves. To honour and mourn what a woman loses when she becomes a mother; and to celebrate what she gains and builds.