Cyber:\womb is a contemporary, domestic speculative fiction drama in two-acts. Set in the last decade of the last century, Oneida desperately wants a baby. After her third and final failed attempt at invitro-fertilization, her husband leaves her for another woman he has impregnated. Driven by science-based speculations and novel pre-natal discoveries, Oneida sets out on a journey to conceive and self-regulate a cybernetic pregnancy within a dangerous new world order where only “perfect” babies are granted Liveability Licenses.
In 2007, Cyber:\womb was described in Canadian Theatre Review as “arguably the most original in its approach to its particular subject matter and arguably one of the most remarkable works in recent Canadian drama.”
ONEIDA KILBORN (pronounced “O-nye’-da”), 34 years old. Works in an office. She is not very concerned about her appearance – she likes to be comfortable. Leggings and loose tops are her clothes of choice. She and Robert have been married for seven years, and have been actively trying to conceive a baby for the past four years. They began in-vitro fertilization cycles almost a year ago. So far, two attempts have failed. The year has been extremely draining to her both emotionally and physically.
ROBERT KILBORN, 40 years old. Works in a managerial position for a small software company. He appears to be making every attempt to cope responsibly with their situation – to supply Oneida with the proper support and encouragement. He and Oneida have struggled through the economic reality of the times, and still reside in the garden-home which was only to be temporary after they married.
SISTER, appears to be about the same age as Oneida. When Oneida was a child, she created an imaginary Sister for companionship, but upon learning that her mother aborted a pregnancy prior to Oneida’s conception, Sister became for her the spiritual manifestation of that potential life. Sister is an obvious physical contrast to Oneida both in the way she carries herself and dresses. She exudes sexuality and confidence. Their physical and mental comfort when together is overt and familiar. There is no such thing as “personal space” between them.
Note: nobody is aware of Oneida’s relationship with her Sister. When they appear together on the stage when others are around, their interaction is not noticeable to the other players.
MAUREEN, late fifties. Oneida’s mother. In her youth, she was an Olympic bronze medallist skier. Although she loves Oneida, she has never been particularly comfortable or happy in the Mother role. Dr. Krumm An obstetrician and infertility specialist. His services are in high demand.
CLERK (of a children’s clothing store, visibly pregnant)
PRIME MINISTER (a woman – late forties, due any minute)
DR. EPSON (a psychiatrist, pregnant)
CINDY (Oneida’s co-worker, a new mother)
DIANE (a female executive, pregnant)
RECEPTIONIST (in Krumm’s office – pregnant)
MARTY MINKO (teen football jock), BODYGUARD (to the Prime Minister), TWO NURSES (pregnant)
National Arts Centre, Ottawa, 1994
Cyber:\womb is available through the Canadian Play Outlet.
To view other works by this playwright, click here.