Past Production History

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Where it began

Shared by Kristina Watt Villegas

Sept 2018 – May 2019

In September 2018, I met 11 young teens (age 13-17). Our goal was to create a piece of devised theatre together. I told them it had to come from the biggest need/hope/ache that they’re currently living. After some writing and physical theatre exploration exercises, they revealed that they are “scared, lost, and confused” with regards to their future on this planet. And that they feel that it is up to them to “build the magic eraser”. [Script episode 8 includes some of this content]. We decided to build a theatrical event that playfully captures what they’re questioning and what they are urgently seeking. We worked two hours/week for 38 weeks. In addition to researching, building the text, creating the staging and rehearsing, this time included our trip to the Anthropocene exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada in Feb 2018. They documented what they learned, and the visceral impact it had on them. [episode 10 contains some of that content]. By the end of May we needed a public to try out what we had built.

June 2019

We had two public presentations by invitation only to “test drive” the project. One, June 8, was in-house in the space we had rehearsed in, and one was on June 15th in a LabO Studio 2201 (with thanks to permission from Fringe and the artists in 2201). The response to both was extremely positive. We committed to taking the project forward. 

Sept – Jan 2019

We get back in the studio and refine, question and polish what we have, both the script and the staging. We will find opportunities for performances in public spaces around Ottawa, such as at City Hall, on Parliament Hill on one of the “Fridays for Future”, and within the National Art Gallery. Specifics available upon request. This fall into early winter is when COP25 happens in Chile. It also the time when CCTA (Climate Change Theatre Action) is happening across North America. These both make the timing ripe to share 12 across Ottawa.

youth sit pretending to type at a computer.
Characters in the “Chatoom” 12 2019 (Photo: Catherine Robson) [Image Description: four youths sit on stools and type on an imaginary keyboard. They wear casual clothing in bright colours]

Production Path Of 12

  • June 11, 2019

    Carleton-Dominion Chalmers Studio: Invited Audience

  • June 17, 2019

    LabO Studio: Public Presentation

  • Nov 20, 2019

    OPENING: United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Youth, Writer’s Festival Event; audience of 700

  • Jan 25, 2020

    Great Canadian Theatre Co Studio (donations for aid to evacuated families due to the Australian Wildfires)

  • Feb 20, 2020

     Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), to a board room full of employees

  • POSTPONED due to the global pandemic

  • Mar 29, 2020

    Southminster United Church, part of the church’s commitment to a “Green Lent” 

  • May 9, 2020

    Conflux Canada Conference at the Shaw Centre; one of the nation’s largest sustainability conferences

  • June 2020

    While We Wait: the 12 team created their digital/video response to a global pandemic, their voice-as-theatre on hold, and how to take action when an ongoing climate crisis coincides with a global health crisis. To view this digital creation click here.

  • Nov 19-21 2021

     Ottawa Children’s Festival

  • May 4-6 2023 

    12 will perform as part of the Great Canadian Theatre Company‘s season, Ottawa!

Past Creative Team Members

2021 Performers & Collaborators

Cast: 11 youth, ages 13 – 18

Sofia Henson Preibisch as #1
Sebastien Cimpaye as #2
Olivia S. Smith as #3
Ethan Whidden as #4
Anna Wiebe as #5
Quinn Lesaux as #6
Sophie Dean as #7
Raluca Voina as #8
Jax Young as #9
Natasha Knight as #10
Ines Leokadia Fenton-Blazeka as #11
Ana Clara Bouffard Lima as Understudy

Creative Team

Kristina Watt Villegas | Creator/Writer/Director:
Drea | Stage Manager and Disability Consultant 
Angelica Haggert | ASM & Media Assistant
Kristina Watt | Sound Concept, Set & Costume Design
Jon Carter | Sound Design
Brigitte Pellerin & Catherine Robson | Videographer/Photographer
Jennifer Robson | Sketch Artist
142_azure | Youth Music Composer
Carmelle Cachero and Jo-Anne Bryan | ASL Interperters

Chats with the Cast & Creative Team

The following list contains links to mini-interviews with past members:

  • Quinn Lesaux (link)
  • Raluca Voina (link)
  • Ines Leokadia Fenton-Blazeka (link)

Past Cast Members and Collaborators

Jaya Matiation as #1
Anna Carsley-Jones as #5
Savva Boguslavskiy as #10
Kaatje Yates as #8

Enormous thanks to the organization that allowed an ensemble of youth to begin growing in 2018: Ottawa Children’s Theatre

Audience Responses to 12

“I was so pleased to experience the youth-powered 100 Watt Productions show “12” this afternoon. Telling it straight about our climate! Well done @KristinaWatt1 and all the “kids” demonstrating courage in the face of a vast unknown. If in Ottawa, check out “12” when you have a chance. Better yet, host “12” for your colleagues. Esp if they have degrees in economics!”
David Chernushenko, former MP; author of Burning Souls

“The brilliant play called “12” launched the Writers’ Festival Republic of Childhood youth forum last November. Listen and LEARN from our children and youth.”
–Neil Wilson, Development Director of the Ottawa International Writers Festival

“Young people have a right to be worried about the future, and that very much includes the climate. Why not listen…”

The Ottawa Citizen, Feb 13 2020; writer Brigitte Pellerin

“I sat near the back of our sold out 700 seat auditorium and was, on several occasions, emotionally moved by the performance. I will also point out that I was surrounded by 11 – 13 year olds, who were captivated by the performance. You and your team of youth performers crafted and shared something very special.”
–David Farley, Educator Summit Alternative High School

“It is such a pleasure to see kids parsing the grown-up’s world and evolving into somebody more meaningful than most of us.”
–Dr Andrey Boguslavskiy, National Research Council

“It was a very moving show.”

–John Koensgen, professional actor & director

“Young people have a right to be worried about the future, and that very much includes the climate. Why not listen to what they have to say and engage them in genuine discussion? Here in Ottawa, there’s a group of actors ages 12 to 17 trying to do just that. And their play, a 100-Watt Production, 12, is starting to create some buzz, which thrills me no end. 12 is not a rant. Director Kristina Watt calls it “a love story between the generations. David Chernushenko, the former municipal politician and author…was at the GCTC to see 12 in action. “Kids are the ones who see things most clearly,” he told me. “Their priorities are not clouded by how bold and necessary action might supposedly have negative impacts on stock prices or GDP or getting re-elected.”
The Ottawa Citizen, Feb 13 2020; writer Brigitte Pellerin

“That was such an impressive play. You had the audience completely involved and determined to change. I hope you play all over the city. The youth were inspiring thanks to your creativity and spirit.”
–Diana Kirkwood, Arts Advocate, Ottawa Realtor

“I wanted to reiterate how moved I was and how meaningful your work [12] is to me.”

–Jonah Lerner, Head of Carpentry & Assistant Technical Director, Great Canadian Theatre Company

“Congrats again for your outstanding work. It was great to know much more about the intelligence and reality of teenagers.”

–Françoise; Les soeurs kif-kif, cirque tendre et théâtre de rue

“Wonderful performance. The standing-o was well deserved, and I’m happy to have been a part of it.”

–Matt Venner, MA Candidate, University of Ottawa

“Congratulations for the wonderful performances.  Many of our family and friends all thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very thought provoking and many of them said that they would make some changes to their day to day lifestyles.  It certainly made an impact.”

–Janet Britnell, Clinical Manager, the Ottawa Hospital

“I loved the show so much. It made me cry at points, (and laugh!).  It’s a wonderful script, super compelling.”

–Dr Janice Shroeder, Dept of English at Carleton University

“Beautiful project.”

–Eric Booth, ITAC

“What a treat that was.  To see meaningful, impactful live in space theatre again.  I loved the piece, the concept, the process, the work.  Bravo! Thank you for a very memorable afternoon. One I won’t soon forget.”

–Nick Miller, Drama Teacher

“It was great. It started a good discussion at home on how to do better for the planet. Kudos to the cast!”

–Evelyn Marin Fornez

“Loved the show – what a treat it was. The performance is definitely one of the best. So much to think about and so many points to discuss. It should be performed in every boardroom.”

–Atiya Hussein

A long and thoughtful process in action.”

–Emily Pearlman, MiCasa Theatre

“I found it a bit chilling to see 12 again since I am so aware of the world marching on and the arguments still needing to be made.”

Amanda Lewis, Author, Calligrapher, Drama School Teacher

“Bravo! I was moved by today’s production of 12. I would love for my students to see the show (we just spent last week talking about COP26 and Greta Thunberg).”

–Michelle Richardson, Elementary School teacher, Ottawa

“Great show! Great to see how it’s developed.”

–Judi Pearl, National Arts Centre

After Performances in 2018/19 (without names included)

“After seeing 12, I thought: never underestimate the power of theatre.”

“Very interesting, well put together, and very thought-provoking.”

“Absolutely loved 12…very moved.”

“I’ve been thinking about the play non stop since seeing it. I think it’s really important that we acknowledge the concerns of the youngest generation… A play by early teens about their anxieties and concerns about the climate crisis and their disgust at the climate inaction of their elders, leaders and corporations. I saw it; it was very good.”

“I feel unnerved. It was jarring.”

“The performance [12] made me think more about the environment issues. Helped me to see and realize that the issue is real and we have to act. Mostly I liked to see that the young people are aware of it, concerned and ready to react.”

“Poignant and really well done.”

“A wonderful piece and strong company.”

“I feel like a hypocrite.”

“It is great to see engagement on such an important topic.”