Women’s issues highlighted in ‘choice’ production

Date: March 14, 2004
Author: Amber Hyland
Source: Daily Kent Stater

Imagine taking a bite out of a burrito that works like the morning after pill.

The contraceptive burrito will not be the newest menu item at Taco Bell any time soon, but performers from Queen Bee Productions acted out the fictitious account from The Onion, a satirical magazine, in Words of Choice, a compilation of abortion rights theater pieces Saturday.

….The play included several works from oral history, theater, comedy and journalism. Besides including a piece from The Onion, performers depicted a father’s feelings after his daughter was raped and a woman’s confession after 14 years of sin.

“Theater, all art really, is our culture’s most accurate way to hold up a mirror to society and say, ‘Look, here is who we are, what we do to ourselves and what we do to each other. What will you do now?’” said Deb Lemire, the director of Words of Choice and founder of Queen Bee Productions.

The play gave the audience the opportunity to hold this mirror up to themselves, seeing how they view reproductive rights.

“It is important because college students have the most risk if their ability to control their fertility and make personal decisions about their reproductive health is limited by political and legislative agendas,” said Don Brighenti, director of development for Planned Parenthood….

“As each generation moves away from landmark decisions about contraception, family planning and abortion rights, the risk of losing those rights looms larger,” Brighenti said. “In the majority of young people, the ignorance about reproductive rights comes simply from the fact that they have always had those rights.”

[The money raised supports discounted rates for students to go to the March for Women’s Lives.]

“Hearing the stories of real people always brings the humanity to an issue. It is a personal issue, and the current media climate doesn’t really allow for all perspectives to be heard,” Lemire said.

The audience had the opportunity to ask questions about the issues, the march or the play itself in a “talk back” following the play.

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