Arts

a period piece
The scene designed by Spicy Day. Photo: Shailee Shah/Fulcrum
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A “period piece” for the 21st century

In a night of facts, science, storytelling, and song and dance, A Period Piece, performed by Spicy Day, an award-winning theatre company from Ottawa, left no stone unturned in their mission: to encourage conversation, destigmatize and increase comfort level surrounding periods and menstruation. 

Opening on Friday, Nov. 5, the troupe Spicy Day, made up of Monica Bradford-Lea and Lauren Welchner, performed live at the Arts Court Theatre. 

The show began in a much more intense manner than the rest of the experience, with the performers passionately smearing fake blood on their faces. Initially, you could tell audience members were not nearly as comfortable with the spectacle as the members of the production. 

But this thought-provoking artistic decision — to begin the show in a shocking way — was key to establishing the theme for the night. Bradford-Lea and Welchner worked hard to establish a safe space for audience members while continuing to shed light on the severity of the societal issues related to menstruation. I could feel my comfort, and that of those around me, gradually increasing throughout the 60-minute show.

In a celebration of menstruation, the actors in Spicy Day became a fake band, “The Fallopian Tunes,” and musically explained the ins and outs of menstruation.

Members of the audience were encouraged to participate in games and storytelling, and at times it felt as though they were a part of the show itself.

Bradford-Lea and Welchner did not stray away from significant topics such as period poverty, and case studies about laws surrounding periods and the way they affect women, but managed to keep the experience entertaining and witty as well.

Spicy Day also had a station before the show to donate to Period Packs, an organization that helps provide access to period products, to help combat the issue of period poverty. 

For more information on Spicy Day, you can visit their website here.