A look at the Abortion Monologues
The Abortion Monologues...I mean the name kind of says it all, with the quite the self-explanatory title. The play written by Jane Cawthorne details the lives of twenty-three women as they tell the stories of their abortions. At different moments this show will break your heart, make you laugh, and challenge your perspective. Even as a person who would describe themselves as quite aware of the issues related to abortion I found myself learning about things I never knew before this play.
The Abortion Monologues premiered a decade ago in Portland, Oregon April 2009 yet the stigma around abortion remains even decades after its legalization. With this local production of the show, there is a hope that open conversations around this topic can happen freely without fear of judgment.
I spoke with some of the performers about what the show means to them and why it was important for them to be a part of it. In speaking with Bronwyn Keough she said that the play can be used to create “radical political change” and by performing this show “we are letting our community know that people all over the province are standing in solidarity with them during fearful times.”
Another performer I spoke with was Tina Lynnette Baird who said in reference to her specific monologue that she felt that she “had to tell this story openly because so many Indigenous women have lived it, and when I walked with my Ojibway brothers and sisters this scenario touched home.” She when on to say “I shall read this monologue with spirit and a broken heart filled with gratitude because I am a survivor of this story and I speak for my sisters who cannot. I speak to break the shame of silence ... taking a small step forward for our healing this generation and for the generations to come.” From speaking with these women it is evident that this will be both a powerful and meaningful show.
The play is being produced by PerSIStence Theatre Company, a feminist non-profit organization. It will be happening Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14 at 8 PM at the SPACE, 72 Harbour Drive, St. John’s. While tickets for night one of the show have sold out there is still a limited number of tickets available for the Wednesday night performance. You can purchase tickets to that show here. To keep up with everything PerSIStence Theatre Company you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As well, you can listen to the PerSIStent podcast here.
*Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity