Washington, D.C. – Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has announced its final production under the artistic direction of Molly Smith. My Body No Choice will feature monologues from eight American female playwrights, centered around the topic of women’s bodily autonomy.
The limited engagement production will run for eighteen performances in the Kogod Cradle, from October 20 through November 6, with the number of performances chosen as a reference to the US voting age. The performance dates also coincide with the lead up to the mid-term elections.
All tickets are priced at $18. General admission tickets are available now at Arena Stage’s website.
“To say I was devastated when Roe v. Wade was smashed by the Supreme Court is an understatement,” said Smith in a statement. “With the clock being turned back 50 years, women are once again second-class citizens in the United States of America. After reading voraciously about the decision, I knew that I had to quickly make a theater piece that provided a forum for the shared experience of what this decision feels like to lose this important choice.”
My Body No Choice will feature short fiction and non-fiction stories by Lee Cataluna (Home of the Brave), Fatima Dyfan (Woolly Mammoth Theatre New Work Fellow), Lisa Loomer (Roe), Dael Orlandersmith (Stoop Stories), Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play), Mary Hall Surface (Perseus Bayou), V (formerly Eve Ensler) (The Vagina Monologues), and “Anonymous.”
“When Molly reached out to me, I said of course I would be happy to help with this important initiative. I had been thinking along the same lines and hadn’t put pen to paper yet,” said Sarah Ruhl. “This moment in America is an all hands on deck situation; artists, thinkers, activists, providers, patients, politicians—we ALL need to do our part to create visibility around the importance of women’s health and reproductive justice for all people in a post-Roe world. It is a nightmarish situation.”
Arena Stage has invited all women and trans and non-binary individuals from all over the United States to share their stories about choices and their bodies, in videos of up to two minutes in length. Up to eighteen videos will be showcased on Arena Stage’s digital media properties, extending the experience of My Body No Choice long after the lights have come down and the run has ended. Learn more and submit your story here.