Queer love, marriage, friendship and modern motherhood

Written by emerging Vancouver playwright Bronwyn Carradine and directed by Zee Zee Theatre’s artistic and executive director Cameron Mackenzie, Unexpecting is a fully staged female-led comedy, will have its world premiere and run from May 5–21, 2023 at Studio 16. Set design is by Lachlan Johnston, costume design by Carmen Alatorre, lighting design by Sophie Tang, sound design by Shawn Sorensen and props design by Carol MacDonald.

Photo by Tina Krueger Kulic

Inspired by Carradine’s adolescent affection for romantic comedies, Unexpecting is a love letter to female relationships in our modern world with relatable characters, a familiar setting and an uplifting message about the courage and vulnerability it takes to hold on to your loved ones.

The earnest play explores the challenges and successes of modern day female relationships, as queer partners – with the support of a lifelong best friend – while navigating careers, finances and the desire to build a family with love, ambition and compassion.

Parenthood first

Cameron Mackenzie | Photo by Tina Krueger Kulic

Set in East Vancouver, the play tells the story of married couple Annie and Josephine who have been trying to start a family for the past five years. Annie is a struggling writer with a decade-old bestseller to her name. Jo is a painter who longs for motherhood. By now, both start to second-guess themselves and their relationship as their patience and finances reach rock-bottom. Complicated by the presence of Annie’s brash lifelong best friend, Pam, the couple is tested when presented with the sudden opportunity to adopt a baby.

“While Unexpecting is a joyful and insightful celebration of queer love and the intricacies of relationships, this play is truly for anyone who has struggled with their decision to become parents,” says Mackenzie. “Written by one of Vancouver’s most compelling new playwrights and full of quick-witted humour and enormous heart, Unexpecting offers Vancouver audiences a fresh perspective on love, loss, commitment and the unpredictable journey towards modern motherhood.”

Initially developed as part of the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Listen to This Series and first presented as an audio play in February 2021, Unexpecting was praised for its “humour, warmth, and fast-moving dialogue” (Stir Vancouver). Zee Zee Theatre’s production of Unexpecting is the first time this play will be performed in front of a live audience.

About Zee Zee Theatre

Founded in 2008 by Cameron Mackenzie, Zee Zee Theatre has shared individual stories that provoke, inspire and foster common understanding and empathy across our diverse human experiences. For 15 years, Zee Zee Theatre has been devoted to telling diverse stories and amplifying the voices of those on the margins with a focus on LGBTQ2SI+ communities. They explore intimate moments through which the infinite complexity of human character can be revealed.

From their first production, Whale Riding Weather, to this season’s hits In My Day and My Little Tomato, Zee Zee continues to drive unique and provocative conversations with audiences on stages across Vancouver. They believe that theatre is for everyone and that performance can encompass more than mainstream voices on large stages.

In honour of their 15th anniversary, Zee Zee Theatre is offering an accessible pricing option. Each performance of Unexpecting will have 15 reduced barrier tickets options, available at $15 each, excluding the May 5 preview performance.

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