Tuesday's performance of Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign was a huge success. We were nearly sold out and even caught the attention of Anti-choice protesters. Despite repeated invitations, not one single protester wanted to see the show or engage in conversation. They only wanted to yell and scream.
When their threats of hell and damnation didn't draw the response from me that they wanted, they took to shouting "We can't breathe! We can't breathe!" At which, I turned, smiled, and shook my head. Oh, this got them riled up! One of them asked me, "Would you smile over the body of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Medgar Evers?" Their tactics were so obvious, but also ineffective. Did they expect me to cry? Argue? As disappointed as they were in me, I wanted so much more from them too. I found myself laughing at how unproductive it all was. Well, this pushed them right over the edge. One of them screamed, "Would you laugh over a lynched body?" At which point, I just shook my head and went back inside to mix, mingle, and celebrate our work.
I've never been protested. It felt good to stand up not only for these women and reproductive rights, but also for creating space for dialogue and creative expression. And honestly, I should thank the protesters. I learned later that several patrons going to see another play gave donations to Advocates for Youth in support of our work. I'm excited about the next steps for this play and will keep you posted as we make the plays available for production at a conference, college, university or theatre near you.
Show Your Love for the 1 in 3 Campaign
Out of Silence Playwrights
Opening Reception Photos
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!