Front Lines: Political Plays by American Women, edited by Alexis Greene and Shirley Lauro, includes the original script of Words of Choice and six other plays by American women.
Front Lines is a pathbreaking collection of the most important, critically acclaimed plays written by the country’s leading contemporary female playwrights. Including seven full scripts and accompanying materials, Front Lines provides both major examples of the playwright’s craft and an essential introduction to the politically inspired work of female dramatists of the twenty-first century.
From RH Reality Check: Front Lines: “Words of Choice” (The New Press)
Writer and RH Reality Check blogger Cindy Cooper’s “Words of Choice” weaves together humor, pathos, and politics to paint a picture of reproductive rights in America. She juxtaposes excerpts from a variety of different sources, personal and political, public and private, that all illustrate the state of reproductive freedom in our country. Some of the most notable moments come right from the Roe vs. Wade decision, congressional testimony about so-called partial birth abortion, an Onion parody, the word of a nurse injured in a clinic bombing, poetry, songs and more. The tapestry woven by these disparate excerpts is surprisingly complete, and may leave the reader or viewer with a good deal of righteous anger towards anyone who would use blanket laws to restrict something so personal and intense as reproduction. In this way, it’s reminiscent of the 2007 anthology Choice, except Cooper’s intentions are more defiantly (and refreshingly) political. “Words of Choice” as worthwhile a play to read as it must be to watch.
From The Library Journal:
Plays tell stories, and the best ones stay with us. Compiled by theater critic Greene (Women Who Write Plays) and playwright Lauro (Open Admissions), the stories in this collection of critically acclaimed works by seven leading female playwrights address some of the most contentious of contemporary issues, and they will stick in readers’ minds for a long time. Cindy Cooper’s Words of Choice looks at the issue of reproductive choice in first-person accounts, poems, and satire. In Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, Quiara Alegría Hudes deftly interweaves the tales of three generations of Latino men who served in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. The Exonerated, by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, is based on interviews with men and women on death row for crimes they did not commit. Also included are plays by Paula Vogel, Emily Mann, Lauro, and Nilaja Sun. Recommended for all academic and public drama collections.—Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.