FERTILE: A Conversation About the Expectation of Procreation

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 6

Sat Jun 29, 6:00pm

Jenny has a plan. A plan to get pregnant. Everyone says, time is running out - she just turned 35, after all. So, when those pesky urine tests keep coming back negative, Jenny decides to take action to 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 heats up. Taking into account a whirlwind 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.

Heather Dowling (Playwright & Performer) is an actress and writer who impersonated someone who wanted a “real job” since the age of 14. In her first award-winning solo-show UNEMPLOYED. FINALLY, she brought 39 characters to life and made it all the way to 42nd Street, New York City for United Solo – the largest solo theatre festival in the world. It was during the two-year run of UNEMPLOYED. FINALLY. on stages all over Los Angeles that her second show, FERTILE, started to percolate. One of the moments people responded to most from UNEMPLOYED. was Dowling's personal story of 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. HeatherDowling.com

Jessica Lynn Johnson (Director & Developer) is a published playwright, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, Board Member of the LA Women's Theatre Festival, Director for Whitefire Theatre's SOLOFEST, and Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo LLC. Jessica works as a full time Director & Developer of solo theatre having aided in the development of over 75 solo shows (and still going strong)! As a performer, Jessica has edu-tained international audiences touring her own 25 character one person shows ZE and OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYONE for over 13 years. Over the years, Jessica's projects have taken home awards such as TOP OF FRINGE, HFF ENCORE PRODUCER AWARDS, TVOLUTION BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE, LARRY CORNWALL AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE & several other accolades! Jessica was most recently nominated Female Director of Distinction in Theatre by Girl Trip LLC at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival. She is honored to be a Guide on Heather's solo journey for the 2nd time around! JessicaLynnJohnson.com.

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Reviews

"So many of us have always taken having children for granted. Thanks to the comic genius of Heather Dowling, we will never think of that topic in the same way we have before. Dowling delivered a gem in her last Fringe show back in 2015, the only year we did not attend, so we were determined to catch her latest show, and we’re so glad we did. She walked us through all the nuances of the assisted fertility industry, keeping this serious subject light-hearted and full of memorable moments."

sweet - Bob Leggett - LA Music Critic - ...read full review


"Simply good writing right out of the gate and truly masterful character work. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


"So so sweet! Once again Heather has knocked one out of the park in this touching, funny and very informative, I must say, solo show about a couple's struggle with becoming parents. Heather's characterizations of the couple, her friends and the medical, and dare I say spiritual advisors, were spot on. Heather also was brutally honest, not fearing to say or explore the things we often don't want to say out loud. My highest recommendation."

sweet - Margaret Mendenhall


"Highly-recommended! I loved Heather’s first solo show, UNEMPLOYED. FINALLY. and I was excited to fall in love with this show too. And I did. Heather is a wonderful, endearing performer and she bravely puts herself in the middle of a complicated and personal examination of what it means to be “fertile” — or not — in our society. This is a funny, sincere, heart-warming exploration of one woman’s attempts to navigate trying to get pregnant, friends who are/have been/don’t want to be and all of the opinions, advice and medical treatments she encounters in-between. This is a timely topic as so many women are facing similar struggles and trying to figure out whether they REALLY want to have children, or they’ve just been indoctrinated into believing they should to live a full life. Go see this show! :)"

sweet - K Walker


"In this sparkling one-woman show, Heather Dowling allows us to tag along on her personal journey of non-momhood. She deftly weaves together humor and grit as she tackles the conversation everyone is nervous to broach: fertility. Dowling is vulnerable, charming, and accessible; the show feels like having a chat with a best friend. Be you a parent or childfree, it’s an honest peek behind the curtain of a taboo subject, with warmth, humor, and a refreshing cast of original characters, all played by Dowling herself. Everyone, get Fertile!"

sweet - Elizabeth Hackett


"Heather takes an often taboo subject that no one ever talks about and places it front and center. She is at ease on the stage and has no problem switching between characters. Heather has this maternal nature that makes you wanna run on stage and give her a big ol’ hug! Also, I’ve never seen a solo show without a narrator that appears throughout the show and so I thought Heather’s decision to not have one was really cool, unique, and makes her show stand out."

sweet - Lara Repko


"Fertility and sex and related struggles, questions, and fears are all a real part of our lives that most of us don’t talk about, and these are depicted authentically through Heather’s semi-autobiographical performance in FERTILE. The story stays true to Jenny's path without getting sappy or depressing. There is no prescribed single "right answer" for people with (or without) fertility challenges, but rather a thoughtful glimpse into one woman's journey – with great comedic timing and moments of reflection. I also love that Heather was able to bring so many different characters to life while centering this story on one woman's experience, making it clear that this isn't the definitive Woman's Experience or imposing any part of it on anyone else."

sweet - Kylee Pena


"Fantastic show - Heather's performance is outstanding as she gives each of the multiple characters depth and dimension in this funny, yet deep and emotional show on a subject matter that is rarely touched on. No matter what your own experience or perspective is on the matter, there is something here for everyone without settling to make it for everyone - whether you have kids, don't have kids, want kids or not. Highly recommended."

sweet - Ron Richman


"So many of us have always taken having children for granted. Thanks to the comic genius of Heather Dowling, we will never think of that topic in the same way we have before. Dowling delivered a gem in her last Fringe show back in 2015, the only year we did not attend, so we were determined to catch her latest show, and we’re so glad we did. She walked us through all the nuances of the assisted fertility industry, keeping this serious subject light-hearted and full of memorable moments."

sweet - Bob Leggett - LA Music Critic - ...read full review


"Simply good writing right out of the gate and truly masterful character work. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Tracey Paleo - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


"So so sweet! Once again Heather has knocked one out of the park in this touching, funny and very informative, I must say, solo show about a couple's struggle with becoming parents. Heather's characterizations of the couple, her friends and the medical, and dare I say spiritual advisors, were spot on. Heather also was brutally honest, not fearing to say or explore the things we often don't want to say out loud. My highest recommendation."

sweet - Margaret Mendenhall


"Highly-recommended! I loved Heather’s first solo show, UNEMPLOYED. FINALLY. and I was excited to fall in love with this show too. And I did. Heather is a wonderful, endearing performer and she bravely puts herself in the middle of a complicated and personal examination of what it means to be “fertile” — or not — in our society. This is a funny, sincere, heart-warming exploration of one woman’s attempts to navigate trying to get pregnant, friends who are/have been/don’t want to be and all of the opinions, advice and medical treatments she encounters in-between. This is a timely topic as so many women are facing similar struggles and trying to figure out whether they REALLY want to have children, or they’ve just been indoctrinated into believing they should to live a full life. Go see this show! :)"

sweet - K Walker


"In this sparkling one-woman show, Heather Dowling allows us to tag along on her personal journey of non-momhood. She deftly weaves together humor and grit as she tackles the conversation everyone is nervous to broach: fertility. Dowling is vulnerable, charming, and accessible; the show feels like having a chat with a best friend. Be you a parent or childfree, it’s an honest peek behind the curtain of a taboo subject, with warmth, humor, and a refreshing cast of original characters, all played by Dowling herself. Everyone, get Fertile!"

sweet - Elizabeth Hackett


"Heather takes an often taboo subject that no one ever talks about and places it front and center. She is at ease on the stage and has no problem switching between characters. Heather has this maternal nature that makes you wanna run on stage and give her a big ol’ hug! Also, I’ve never seen a solo show without a narrator that appears throughout the show and so I thought Heather’s decision to not have one was really cool, unique, and makes her show stand out."

sweet - Lara Repko


"Fertility and sex and related struggles, questions, and fears are all a real part of our lives that most of us don’t talk about, and these are depicted authentically through Heather’s semi-autobiographical performance in FERTILE. The story stays true to Jenny's path without getting sappy or depressing. There is no prescribed single "right answer" for people with (or without) fertility challenges, but rather a thoughtful glimpse into one woman's journey – with great comedic timing and moments of reflection. I also love that Heather was able to bring so many different characters to life while centering this story on one woman's experience, making it clear that this isn't the definitive Woman's Experience or imposing any part of it on anyone else."

sweet - Kylee Pena


"Fantastic show - Heather's performance is outstanding as she gives each of the multiple characters depth and dimension in this funny, yet deep and emotional show on a subject matter that is rarely touched on. No matter what your own experience or perspective is on the matter, there is something here for everyone without settling to make it for everyone - whether you have kids, don't have kids, want kids or not. Highly recommended."

sweet - Ron Richman