Friday, April 24, 2009

Choice Words

I had the pleasure of attending Words of Choice last night. Words of Choice is "dynamic pro-choice theater. Powerful stories of Women (and Men) and the Right to Choose". Creator Cindy Cooper, using three actors, has pieced together strong exposes of the Pro-choice movement to, literally, give voice to important issues such as teen-pregnancy, abortion in the mainstream media, and the risks abortion providers can face in their daily lives.

One of the most significant parts of the evening, for me, was the choice of venue. Performed at Judson Memorial Church, the play payed homage to the incredible history of the Clergy Consultation Service that was begun in that space. This collation of clergy and their founder, Rev. Howard Moody, provided women referrals for safe abortions before Roe v. Wade.

Another thing that I thought about is the recent, sucessful use of theater as tool for grassroots feminist activism. Take the V-Day campign or Birth on Labor Day. I heard a couple of women talk about last night "preaching to the choir". Would this theater pice be more effective if it could enter communitues in a more intimate way, allowing those women to customize the readings and add their own voices to the discussion? Making an annual celebration of the anniversy the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22nd?

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