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heterophobia feedback

"heterophobia has been more than a turning point in my career, it has been a turning point in my life. Looking back I see that my 'liberal' stand point on the GLBTTQ community was more laissez-faire than anything. Ignorant is another way to put it, a better way to put it. How could I put a political slang on a HUMAN issue? Because I didn't know any better. [Playing the role of] Grant gave me fear, hurt, love and lust, she gave me a perspective on how it feels to grow up with a secret that holds enough power to rip a family apart. Enough power to have a community be ashamed. Ignorance is NOT bliss...and I have heterophobia to thank for that lesson."

- Whitney Richter, Actress


 “People laughed, they cried, they were riveted. Pam provoked her audience without alienating them: a great feat.”
- Lucia Frangione, Internationally Produced Playwright and Actress


"What a great show all around. I love it when I see something and the whole walk home my brain is going a million miles a minute. Really good theatre."

-Juliet Burgess


"This was my first experience with a show like this. It was awesome! The lead actress was unbelieveable. The story line was eye opening. It was nice to be on the 'other' side for once."

-Kim Caine

“I see this play as a call to everyone, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, to seriously think through the barriers that 'phobias' put in our way. Homophobia, xenophobia, erotophobia, have been facts of life for so many of us, for so long, that we have forgotten that it is often a very healthy thing to laugh at them.

While presenting such phobias in a humourous manner, heterophobia also urges us to look at whether or not we are subtly strengthening our phobias by avoiding healthy examination of them; and whether or not we are even capable of loving others when in the grip of these fears.”
- Harvey Tilden


"For me, as a person of faith and out for many years, I was astounded about how I was feeling at the end of the play. I was almost numb as many coming out memories came flashing back. In addition, I reflected on my truth and the many ‘half-truths’ that I had believed to survive. I realized that coming out is a life-long process, not just a one-time deal, which has been at times exhausting and exhilarating. I am also grateful for the trials that I went though to be the person that I have become. Seeing heterophobia reminds us all of our journey towards authenticity and that we need to pay attention and encourage each other to be whole along the way."                                       -Sharlene Hamilton


"I was entranced by the way the story turned my mind inside out. Though the plays’ setting is in a homosexual world, I see the theme going far beyond any specific controversial socio/political/ 'issue'. It’s a look into the core of ourselves, to what’s really at the heart of our person and the need to let that passion live."
- Diana-Marie Stolz, Playwright and Actress

“I think one of the most important moments for me in the play was trying to understand the difficulty having to tell someone you’re 'straight'. Because I am straight, that really hit me.”
- Marilyn Blackall, Affirming Committee, Mill Woods United Church


"I worked on a one act version of heterophobia as part of the 2009 Ignite Festival. What struck me about the play was the honesty of the characters and the reality of the situation, even though she has turned the world on it's head. Pam has an interesting voice as a playwright and I expect great success for her in the future."
- Trevor Rueger, Executive Director, Alberta Playwrights' Network

“In heterophobia, Pam Rocker has created characters with such depth and amusing contradiction that as an actor, they are a delight to perform. My involvement in this project opened my eyes to the acceptance I have inherently been granted by society as a straight female. The story made me realize what a huge struggle it is
to have a sexual orientation other than the societally dictated 'norm' (even still in 2010) and what an ordeal it would be for a family to be torn apart by it.

After performing in heterophobia, my capacity for compassion grew exponentially. heterophobia is strikingly intelligent. It avoids all the cliché’s of ‘issue’ theatre by telling an honest story about real people. Mothers, daughters, lovers and friends all just struggling to love each other and be true to themselves- the ultimate human quest.

Pam's script allows her audience to be affected by the truth of the situation without preaching or pointing fingers of blame. She explores her topic with great humour, which allows her audience to experience the play on a personal level. heterophobia is brilliantly accessible theatre.
- Jacqueline Russell, Actress and Playwright


“You start with a terrific satiric premise, then very thoroughly explore the ramifications of it, which makes for wonderful humour and a pointed but delightful attack on prejudice. A real pleasure.”
- Kathleen Oliver, Playwright and Theatre Critic for The Georgia Straight in Vancouver    

“heterophobia was amazing, it took me right back to very similar feelings I experienced when I was dealing with my emotions with my first love. Some of the things said could have actually been taken right out of my diary at the time!

I also loved how it stirred up so much emotion in so many of the people there. You're giving some people something to relate to, so they don't feel alone, and at the same time something to make others think, feel,
and see in a way they have never before - and that's a beautiful gift.”
- Sue Bossley

“The theme that resonates for me is that of how someone faces (or can't face) not being able to live up to the expectations of others - others who may love you very much but who cannot or will not accept that your life is taking a different path than the one they planned/hoped for you. No matter the specific circumstances, it's difficult to say 'no, I have to live this other way - it's not about you or your choices' and then to cope with what comes after. It's also difficult if you don't say it and end up living the life you didn't want, but have inherited by default.”
- Anonymous


"It's always good to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. heterophobia gave me that chance.  I consider myself GLBTQ friendly, but Pam's play gave me a new perspective by portraying people like me as closeted and careful, and gay people as the judgmental majority.  And...she did it in a non-preachy, funny, moving way."

- Joanne Anquist

“Almost a magic slight of hand trick in how it delivers a message that hits you when it’s done. The deep struggle and sometimes difficult path that some mistakenly call ‘chosen’, is presented in a way that makes it easier to bare. Having struggled most of my adult life with the realization that I’m gay, and being in a deeply religious family who are not afraid to speak their minds, I’ve borne witness to statements from my own family that frightened me from making that last step out of the closet with them.

While I found heterophobia laced with a great sense of humour, its undertones of the struggle that many of us live through, feels like it’s taking part of the burden we carry off of our shoulders, and assured me that others do know what I’m going through and how I feel.”

- Kara Swanson

“heterophobia takes us on a journey of self discovery and the pain of verbalizing it to the ones we love. Angst is beautifully written from a personal perspective and offset by humour. The most moving part of this production is seeing people's reactions. I've witnessed (and also experienced) first-hand how people have watched their own story be portrayed through Rocker's characters.

Even more moving than that is the audience members who share their stories with Pam. Those who haven't had the courage to come out, those who have started on their coming out journey, and those who are out. People's thinking has been shifted after watching this show and having a chance to participate in the talk back sessions. Thanks for your bravery and passion.”
- Morgan Worth

“heterophobia was a vehicle to come together with gays and straights to laugh and cry and share. Those of us working on homophobia over the years were given an opportunity to have this production as part of the Affirming Congregation conference in Calgary, and were able to form new friendships as we work on this issue of social justice.”

- Pat Brownlee, Board Member, Affirm United