The Omnibus Bill
by Darrah Teitel
Directed by Esther Jun
In Bowmanville, Ontario, 1969 Maria needs an abortion. An underground network of feminists, midwives and doctors who want to help her, come up against the changing laws and politics of Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s first legislative mandate. The Omnibus Bill is about Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 Justice Omnibus Bill (“…the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”) and the negative impact it had on abortion access in Canada. The play begins in Parliament and shuttles back and forth in time looking at the people most deeply affected. From a pregnant immigrant, to a “self-health movement” activist, to a sex worker trying to start a new life, The Omnibus Bill tells an intersectional history about reproductive rights that Canada has forgotten. This play unfortunately becomes more relevant with every passing news cycle as we endure a resurgent political attack on reproductive rights.
MAINSTAGE SERIES world premiere production
May 31 – June 8 at Arts Court Theatre
2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa
Performances Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm
Preview performance May 30
Matinee on June 8 at 2pm
Darrah Teitel – Playwright
Esther Jun – Director
Kristina Watt – Actor
Michael Swatton – Actor
Darcy Gerhart – Actor
Neta J. Rose – Actor
Tayves Fiddis – Actor
Darrah Teitel (playwright) After graduating from the National Theatre School, I had three successful productions of her plays: “You like It” (2006) is a collective creation committed to queering a trans focused adaptation of “As You Like It”. “Marla’s Party” (2008) is a family drama that looks at female depression and religious extremism. With “The Apology” (2010, 2013), Teitel had her first major success when the play was picked up to be produced at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary. “The Apology” is about the Romantic poets and their experiments with polyamory. Her newest play, “Behaviour,” will be produced at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in their 2018/19 Season.
Esther Jun (director) originally trained as an actor in NYC and completed her directing degree at Drama Centre London in 2006. Recent directing credits include The Last Wife for GCTC and the Belfry, Girls Like That (Tarragon Theatre) and Amadeus (Talk is Free). She was Assistant Director on John Gabriel Borkman at the Stratford Festival as part of the 2016 Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction and was the 2015 Neil Munro Intern Director at the Shaw Festival. She is the former Assistant Artistic Director at Tarragon Theatre, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab 2010 and a founding member of Directors Lab North.
Produced by Counterpoint Players
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council in the creation and presentation of The Omnibus Bill.