The play takes place in the waiting room of a women's clinic in Texas that two days a week performs abortions, but only through the 7th week of pregnancy, per Texas law. The three women who are waiting to be processed and then taken in to see a doctor chat, bond, question, commiserate, and support each other. Each of the women has different reasons for needing an abortion. Lucy (Carolyn Pool) is a 47-year old working mother and wife who has had three miscarriages. Grad student Cass (Julia Valen) recently broke up with her girlfriend and had a fling with a man. Liv (Elena Yazzie) is a 15-year-old girl whose family, friends, and religion tell her that what she's doing is a sin. Volunteer Anne (Kate Beahen) leads each woman through her intake forms and presents the required information, but as each tells her story, she transforms into the devil on their shoulder, taking the opposite viewpoint and arguing against them. But we're reminded that this is June 24, 2022, and things take a turn that lead to a call to action for these women and for all of us.
|Carolyn Pool, Elena Yazzie, Kate Beahen, and Julia Valen|
(photo courtesy of Frank Theatre)
Frank's studio space in the Ivy Building in South Minneapolis has been transformed into a clinic waiting room with false walls and brick columns, filled with uncomfortable chairs, a water cooler, and magazine racks. It's so realistic it's almost immersive as you sit with these women in this space. They're dressed in modern clothing that's specific to each woman's character. The subtle sound design builds towards the end as we reach the climactic conclusion. (Set design by Rick Polenek, lighting design by Tony Stoeri, costume design by Kathy Kohl, sound design by Dan Dukich.)
Frank Theatre consistently does work that means something, while still being entertaining and engaging. I'm so glad they're back to bring their unique voice and style to the table, and they couldn't have picked a better play for their return than this extremely relevant, timely, and important play. Welcome back, Frank!