Quote Unquote Collective

Theatre company focussing on women's issues, feminism, physical theatre, and experimental performance forms.

MOUTHPIECE premiered as part of the RISER Project
a collaborative producing model presented by Why Not Theatre
with the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.

For more information and access to archival footage, please contact Kelly Read - Artistic Producer at Why Not Theatre: kelly@theatrewhynot.org or touring agent Michael Rubenfeld at michael@selfconsciousproductions.com




Mouthpiece follows one woman, for one day, as she tries to find her voice. Interweaving a cappella harmony, dissonance, text and physicality, two performers express the inner conflict that exists within a modern woman’s head: the push and the pull, the past and the present, the progress and the regression.

Mouthpiece made it’s world premiere at the Theatre Centre April 17 - May 3, 2015 as part of the Why Not Theatre Residency.

Created and performed by Norah Sadava and Amy Nostbakken

Directed by Amy Nostbakken

Movement direction and dramaturgy by Orian Michaeli

Lighting Design by Andre Du Toit

Sound Design by James Bunton

All music is original composition by Amy Nostbakken

The performance runs 65 minutes.



purchase the book

Published by Coach House Books with an Introduction by Michele Landsberg

previous TOUring

Montreal, QC (French Translation)
May 4, 2019

Zellerbach Playhouse, UC Berkeley
March 22-24, 2019

Royce Hall, UCLA
February 6-9, 2019

Bing Studio, Stanford Live
January 31-February 2, 2019

Campbell Hall, UC Santa Barbara
January 23/24, 2019

Presented by 2b Theatre at Alderney Landing
November 14-18, 2018

Festival of Voice
June 14, 2018

Carlow Arts Festival
June 10, 2018

English Theatre Berlin
June 5-7, 2018

Carriage Works Theatre
June 2, 2018

Take Me Somewhere Festival
May 30/31, 2018

Cambridge Junction
May 26, 2018

Nightwood Theatre at Buddies in Bad Times
April 11-22, 2018

Belfry Theatre as part of Spark Festival
March 13-17, 2018

Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre
March 8/9, 2018

Enable Us Project
March 3, 2018

Public Energy
February 23, 2018

King's Hall - a part of Summerhall's Canada Hub in association with Why Not Theatre & Aurora Nova
August 3-27, 2017

The Odyssey Theatre
June 2-3, 2017

(A special presentation by Jodie Foster & Alex Hedison)

 The Cultch/PuSh Festival
January 31 - Feb 5, 2017

High Performance Rodeo
January 2017

Nightwood Theatre at Buddies in Bad Times
October 21 - Nov 6, 2016

Fem Fest
September 21-23, 2016

 In The Soil Festival
April 29 & 30, 2016

Undercurrents Festival
Feb 10-13, 2016

CANOE Festival
Feb 4-6, 2016

Pivot Festival
Jan 29-31, 2016

Klondike Institute
Jan 23, 2016



Mouthpiece won the Merritt Award for Outstanding Presentation, brought to Nova Scotia by 2bTheatre


Mouthpiece won the Stage Award for Performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Mouthpiece won the Summerhall Jawbone Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Mouthpiece was shortlisted for the Carol Tambor Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Mouthpiece won a Dora Award: Outstanding Sound Design/Composition in the General Theatre Division. 

Mouthpiece was nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards including: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance - Ensemble, and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition in the General Category. See a full list of the nominees here.

Mouthpiece has won the award for 'Best New Canadian Play' at the Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for the 2016/17 season. 


Mouthpiece was nominated for a Capital Critics Circle Award (Ottawa) for Best Professional Production. 

Mouthpiece was nominated for three My Entertainment Awards: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Actress and Outstanding Lighting & Sound Design


Mouthpiece won two Dora Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble, and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition in the Independent Theatre Division. 

Mouthpiece was nominated for six Dora Mavor Moore Awards including: Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Performance -Ensemble, Outstanding Lighting Design and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition.



GUARDIAN Pick of Fringe 2017

THE STAGE Critic’s pick 2017

THE SKINNY top shows of the Edinburgh Fringe 2017

THE LIST Hit List of Edinburgh Fringe 2017

*****5 STARS "Truly astounding stuff"

-The Stage

***** 5 STARS “An extraordinarily well considered, deeply thought insight into the essence of femaleness. Ambitious and unique, it’s an education of the self.”

-Edinburgh Festival Magazine

*****5 STARS “one of the most informed, empathetic, complex articulations of female selfhood and female voices that I have ever seen”

-Broadway Baby

***** 5 STARS “This constantly compelling show is one of the most accurate and insightful portrayals of womanhood you are likely to see at the Fringe this year.”

-The Skinny

***** 5 STARS "The show is brutally honest and sharp in its presentation of womanhood"

-The Panoptic

*****5 STARS "What makes Mouthpiece extraordinary, aside from the utterly fearless performances and phenomenal choreography, is how much is contained within it. It is also relevant, vital, and may leave you, too, speechless."

-FEST Magazine

*****5 STARS "There are no weak moments. Nostbakken and Sadava are powerhouses of performers: the standing ovation at the end is the topping on the cake, a well-deserved accolade to the formidable strength of this piece."

-Edinburgh Spotlight

**** 4 STARS “A smart show, beautifully put together and performed, and one that speaks up for all the women who daily bite their tongues.”


**** 4 STARS “The combination of movement and brilliant voice work produced by Nostbakken and Sadava can be unforgettable; and at its best, seems to speak for a generation.”

-The Scotsman

**** 4 STARS "Mouthpiece is an excoriating performance piece; an evisceration of the way women are gagged and voiceless. It's a gauntlet of a show: Speak Up! Listen In!"

-What’s On Stage (Matt Trueman)

****4 STARS "The cream of the crop is Mouthpiece"”


**** 4 STARS "This was a quietly spectacular show, with original, insightful material supported by incredible vocal proficiency. Cassandra’s voice, channelled through the outstanding performances of Sadava and Nostbakken, was one that could not fail to resonate, and which deserved to be heard by a larger audience."

-Theatre Bubble

**** 4 STARS “Mouthpiece is infused with a raw power that is unnerving to watch.”

-The Wee Review

**** 4 STARS “fast acquiring the Fringe’s ephemeral version of cult status, breathed on many lips as one to see.”

-British Theatre Guide

**** 4 STARS “a ferocious and slick piece of performance art.”

-Review Hub

**** 4 STARS  “A searing piece of feminist theatre, exceptional in its creative delivery of so many ideas.”

-The List

“It is an exploration of language, voice and the social constructs behind it, however the presentation which is both mesmerising and unsettling, is something which must be experienced first-hand.”

-Common Space

"The piece deftly captures the inner conflicts Cassandra feels as a woman, and the social forces involved in the production of gender"


“Mouthpiece is cathartic, disturbing, unnerving”

-Total Theatre Magazine



Mouthpiece was named one of the Top Productions of 2016 in the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star as well as being listed in The Dance Current. Stage Door, and Life with More Cowbell  

“If the Olympics had an event for synchronized swimming minus the pool, Norah Sadava and Amy Nostbakken would be contenders for a gold medal.”

- Globe and Mail  (Kelly Nestruck 4/4 Stars)

“It’s an engrossing and virtuosic performance, layered with meaning and culminating in a silent scream that any woke person — male, female or undefined by arbitrary binaries — will recognize from their own confused, complicated and conflicting mind.”

- Toronto Star (Carly Maga 3.5/4 Stars)

“Utilizing creative movement and snippets of songs, the duo evoke a unique yet familiar world using nothing more than their bodies, voices and a large bathtub”

- NOW Magazine (Jordan Bimm 4N's)

“It may be only an hour long, but Mouthpiece not only tells a humorous story but formulates essential questions about the struggle any individual has to find a means of authentic self-expression amidst the plethora of pre-existing models of expression.  Mouthpiece is a gift to lovers of boundary-breaking theatre.”

- Stage Door (Chris Hoile 5/5 Stars)

“I can honestly say that this piece of theatre is one of the most exciting things that I have seen in years. The show tells the story not just in a creative and unique way but, more than this, every detail is thought out and has a purpose. There is no extraneous moment in the entire piece.”

- My Entertainment World

“What makes the performance so refreshing is how it so accurately captures modern life from a female perspective, without limiting it to the female experience. Mouthpiece devastates, and yet the message isn’t being yelled through a megaphone, it makes one question one’s own actions by seeing how they affect others. It’s a true lesson in empathy and respect — for women, for everyone. It’s exhausting, not only to watch the performance but to think that this fight is not new.”

- The Creators Project

“Sadava and Nostbakken give compelling and entertaining performances. Shifting seamlessly from moment to moment, they execute gorgeous, fluid a cappella harmonies, unison spoken word and expressive movements. Conveying tenderness and ferocity, their work makes for a truly engaging and evocative piece.”

- Life with More Cowbell

“Despite my best efforts, I cannot think of anything critical to say about this play. For me, Mouthpiece was, from beginning to end, simply a virtuosic piece of theatre.”

- Mooney on Theatre

"Sadava and Nostbakken pack so much power and detail in the one hour of the show, it’s breathtaking. Productions as good as this are why we go to the theatre."

- The Slotkin Letter

"It is superbly written and performed and cuts to the heart of the confusions inherent in being. It is an exploration of the mind, and of what “being a woman” means in our current context. It is entertaining and provocative. It deserves attention."

- Apt 613

"...Wrenchingly beautiful and painful...This show says important things."

- Ottawa Citizen

"Mouthpiece a Masterpiece. Provocative and relevant, funny and horrifying, universal yet highly individualized, and deals beautifully with ugly issues. One of the strongest performances I’ve seen in Ottawa."

- New Ottawa Critics (Ian Huffman)

"A sophisticated, nuanced, complex portrait of the woman's voice. It offers an incisive, humorous, thoughtful, afflictive telling of a narrative that is undeniably true, yet criminally underrepresented."

- Espace Musique

"It hurtled along lightly at top speed, and never stopped being engaging, skeptical, self-critical."

- Edmonton Journal

"Mouthpiece is a tapestry of music, dance and the spoken word on the importance of finding your own voice, the person you are that lives in the here and now, in your own soul and body. Mouthpiece holds you transfixed until the very end."

- Scene Changes

"I loved this piece. I loved the creativity of it; the emotional power of it and the movement that spoke volumes in silence. With simple story-telling, Sadava and Nostbakken tackled weighty questions of mother-daughter relationships, love; frustration etc."

- Lynn Slotkin

"Nostbakken and Sadava astounded me."

- Mooney on Theatre

 "There were some harmonies made by both women that just left me in awe, but the general theme left me feeling somewhat uncomfortable being in the same room as such strong opinions."

- Ontario Arts Review

"A deceptively simple revelation about a daughter’s relationship to french fries as it relates to her mother’s relationship to french fries is one of the most incisive comments about contemporary womanhood that I’ve ever heard."

- My Entertainment World


The List: https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/article/94713-festival-city-8-are-you-surprised-theres-feminist-theatre-at-the-fringe/

Backstage on the Fringe: https://soundcloud.com/user-424063379/fringe-2017-episode-8-quote-unquote-collectives-mouthpiece?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=twitter

Common Space: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOn-w6R-uWg

Summerhall TV: http://www.summerhall.tv/2017/amy-nostbakken-norah-sadava-mouthpiece/

The Creators Project: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/two-headed-feminist-play-canada-mouthpiece

In The Green Room: https://inthegreenroom.ca/2016/10/26/mouthpiece/

Intermission Magazine: http://intermissionmagazine.ca/artist-perspective/fun-girl-funeral/

GUTS:  http://gutsmagazine.ca/blog/where-is-my-voice-and-what-does-it-sound-like

She does the City: http://www.shedoesthecity.com/qa-mouthpiece-riserproject

CBC Yukon: http://bit.ly/1SdEtzP

Toronto Social Review: http://bit.ly/26gR3Vf

Evi-Dance Radio CIUT 89.5FM: http://www.evidanceradio.com/home/podcasts/1 

Cinematography by Mike McLaughlin

Sound Recording by Ben Fox

Editing by Jared Raab 

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