Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fringe Festival 2016: "The Abortion Chronicles"

Day: 2

Show: 6

Category: Something Different

By: The Red Letter Society

Created by: Ariel Leaf, Ruth Virkus, Ben Layne

Location: Theatre in the Round

Summary: A collection of real-life stories about women's (and a few men's) experiences with abortion.

Highlights: This is a powerful, moving, important piece giving voice to women's stories that aren't often told. At least not in public, with honesty and no shame. About a dozen stories from health care workers, friends, and the women themselves give a varied picture of the reasons for and effects of abortion. There's the American traveler in 1968 Germany who witnesses her friend's illegal abortion, the couple who made the difficult choice about a baby with severe heath issues, and women who just were not in a place to support a child and made the tough but right choice for themselves. Everyone in the cast beautifully delivers these stories (particularly Dana Lee Thompson as the Planned Parenthood employee who ties the stories together), some of which they wrote themselves and some of which are others' stories, but all emotionally felt. 40+ years after Roe v. Wade it's important to be reminded why legal abortion is a necessity, especially in such a human and relatable way as this. Kudos to Ariel Leaf, Ruth Virkus, Ben Layne for collecting and sharing these stories. I don't know what else to say but go see it, bear witness to these women's stories, and maybe be inspired to share your own story.