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FERTILE Comes to A Virtual Audience via Streamfest at Whitefire Theatre


FERTILE Comes to A Virtual Audience via Streamfest at Whitefire Theatre

Since she debuted her show Fertile last summer, Heather Dowling has earned several awards, played to sold-out houses and won rave reviews.

Now, she will bring Fertile. to a virtual audience via Streamfest at Whitefire Theatre. The venue awarded Dowling "Best of Fest" for her performance at SoloFest in January, the largest solo theatre festival on the West coast. Viewers can tune in Thursday, July 30th and enjoy a three-camera live feed of the show that is nearly as good as being there.

"I was introduced to Whitefire Theatre and Artistic Director Bryan Rasmussen during the two-year run of my first one-woman show, Unemployed. Finally.," Dowling said. "The experience was incredible! The venue is beautiful, incredibly equipped and Bryan is so committed to new and original works - and he works so hard to support solo artists in particular."

Dowling said, "Creating a performance for Streamfest to support the theater and Bryan was just a way to give back to my theatre home and to keep this conversation about the expectations of procreation going."

During the two-year run and tour of Dowling's debut solo show Unemployed. Finally., one of the stories that audiences responded to most was when she shared her personal challenges with fertility. Driven by the heartfelt audience response, Dowling decided to share her story more completely and interviewed dozens of women (and men, too) to discover, uncover and encourage a conversation about procreation as an empowered choice.

"What I went through personally with infertility opened my eyes. I was shocked to discover how many women, how many couples, had been through some version of what I went through...and they weren't talking about it!" she said. "I hoped that writing this show, sharing my story and the stories of the people I interviewed, would support people, encourage them and even give them a chance to laugh about it, and maybe cry a little, too."

In Fertile, we meet "Jenny," a woman with a plan - a plan to get pregnant. Everyone keeps telling her that time is running out; she just turned 35, after all. So, when those urine tests keep coming back negative, Jenny decides to take action and fix the problem. That's when she runs into real problems and real questions about fertility and motherhood. As Jenny faces the world of "mom options" - egg freezing, in-vitro, adoption, and more - the conversation about the expectation of procreation really begins. In a sea of outside opinions from her friends, her doctors, a beloved neighbor, and even God, Jenny must ultimately look within to discover what motherhood means to her, what it means to be fertile.

"I have had so many people come up to me after the show to say thank you," Dowling said. "They say, things like 'This is my story' or, 'I can't tell you how much this helped me. I'm going through this right now.' It's been especially powerful to hear appreciation from women who felt vilified because they never wanted children, and from men who felt like their part in parenthood is so often overlooked. There have been so many beautiful stories that people have shared with me, it's kind of overwhelming."

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