'My Body No Choice'
July 2, 2022
Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.
The Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts presents a free reading of "My Body No Choice" at the Lyric Theatre.
In June 2022, reproductive rights took a giant leap backwards when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. In the United States, we can drive when we turn 16, and vote when we turn 18. But women no longer have the bodily autonomy to make the choices that will impact them the most.
"My Body No Choice," commissioned by Arena’s Artistic Director Molly Smith, is a series of monologues from eight of America’s most dynamic female — identifying playwrights on women’s choices and bodily autonomy; from the ability to choose—or not—to have an abortion, to the freedom to choose one’s body size, to making a decision around when to end one’s life. Virginia Tech has been offered a special opportunity to present these new works by some of the most prominent voices in American theatre for our local community. An artistic team of professional actors, professors, undergrads, grad students, and post-MFA fellows from the School of Performing Arts and beyond will prepare and perform these pieces.
These short stories are both fiction and non-fiction by eight of America’s most exciting female writers: 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.” These tremendous artists and their monologues represent a rich diversity of theatrical storytelling and personal experiences.
The company of "My Body No Choice" are working with Virginia Tech & NRV partners and advocates to tie this production to local strategies for the rights of those with reproductive bodies, using the play as a forum to amplify local action. The New River Abortion Access Fund, the local chapter of Planned Parenthood, and the local chapter of the National Organization for Women will be at the event to speak about their work and direct interested attendees to action steps they can take.
From Molly Smith: “To say I was devastated when Roe v. Wade was smashed by the Supreme Court is an understatement. 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 how this makes women feel.”