Women's rights on Ottawa stages this weekend

A female drone pilot on the front line of modern warfare in Grounded at the Gladstone. A woman's right to decide about her own body in What A Young Wife Ought to Know at GCTC. Music to comfort the soul at City Hall.

You can also take in a unique audio art installation at City Hall

Alexis Scott is a fighter pilot in Bear & Co.'s production of 'Grounded' at the Gladstone Theatre. 0:51

Two plays and an audio art installation on the arts agenda for this weekend.

Grounded takes flight

Alexis Scott stars as an ace U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who flies bombing missions over Iraq. When she becomes pregnant she's grounded and reassigned to "the chair force" as a drone pilot, where she dispenses death by remote control.

Director Eleanor Crowder saw a production of playwright George Brant's​ Grounded two years ago in New York City, and was determined to bring it to Ottawa.

"It takes you on a journey inside the reality of flying a drone," said Crowder. "You empathize with the character, she's funny, she's brave and then she's forced to sit in the bunker and fly drones. And you understand at the end why people with this kind of job come out of it with PTSD."

  • WHERE: The Gladstone Theatre, 910 Gladstone Ave.
  • WHEN: The play runs until Jan. 27. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. with additional weekend matinees taking place at 2:30 p.m.
  • COST: Tickets are $39 for adults, $35 for seniors and $23 for students, and can be purchased here.

Hannah Moscovitch returns

Liisa Repo-Martell and David Patrick Fleming star as married couple in What A Young Wife Ought to Know at GCTC. (Timothy Richard Photography)

Ottawa playwright Hannah Moscovitch tackles uncomfortable issues head on, and in What A Young Wife Ought To Know at the GCTC, she shines a glaring light on the desperate plight of women to gain control over their bodies. The award-winning playwright reaches into the the not-so-distant past, when young women were denied information about birth control and other female health issues, because discussion of sex was considered taboo. 

"There was this incredible collection of letters that Hannah came across " said director Christian Barry, who is also Moscovitch's husband, adding the letters were addressed to a prominent doctor by wives and mothers.

"These were women in the 1920s and 30s looking for help. They really had no knowledge of birth control and really no knowledge of their bodies, or what was going on when they were pregnant," said Barry.

Although the play is set in the past, Barry said the issues raised about women's rights, coupled with the threats to reproductive rights currently going on in the U.S., make it urgently contemporary.

  • WHERE: GCTC, 1233 Wellington St W.
  • WHEN:  The play runs until Feb. 4.
  • COST: Tickets run from $38 to $54 and can be purchased here.

Call to Prayer

Ben Globerman setting up sound installation at City Hall Art Gallery. (Sandra Abma/CBC)

Local musician and installation artist Ben Globerman is fascinated with religious music from all faiths and parts of the world. He has blended the musical traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to create an immersive soundscape, featuring the voices Ottawa vocalists Daniel Benlolo, Terri-Lynn Mitchell and Mona Bahumaid.

Globerman has set up a series of speakers at the City Hall Art Gallery, creating a contemplative space for listening and meditation, as Hebrew, Latin and Arabic voices mingle in harmony.

  • WHERE:  City Hall Art Gallery at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W.
  • WHEN:  Call to Prayer runs until March 14.
  • COST:  Free.

About the Author

Sandra Abma


Sandra Abma is a veteran CBC arts journalist. If you have an event or idea you want to share, please do at sandra.abma@cbc.ca.