"Words of Choice" puts reproductive rights on stage
September/October 2004

"Words of Choice," a play about reproductive freedom, launches its Florida tour with the first of six performances in Coral Gables on Oct. 18, and from there it will move to Tampa, Gainesville and Orlando.

The collection of powerful and passionate stories from the heart - comic and dramatic - on choice issues touches upon many in-the-news topics: emergency contraception, sexual assault, unintended pregnancy, abstinence education and bans on safe abortion procedures.

Words of Choice will be performed Gainesville Friday October 22 and Saturday October 23, 7:30 p.m. at the Acrosstown Repertory Theater, 619 S. Main St. in the Baird Center. Tickets are $10, $7 for students/seniors. Reservations: Omni Books, 99 SW 34th St.

Performances in Florida are part of two multi-state tours to seven states ahead of the Nov. 2 election. The tour of New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Florida is performed by actors from New York. A separate touring company from Minnesota performs in Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota.

A fusion of shorts from journalism, poetry, oral history, comedy and spoken word, Words of Choice projects the rich panorama of modern lives. In it, a father describes his feelings after learning of his daughter's rape, a pregnant teen tries to recall the phone number of her date, a woman learns of severe fetal anomalies during Jewish holidays, two adventurous thirty-somethings spill all in comic confessions, and a deranged publicist announces the release of the 'morning-after burrito'.

Words of Choice was created by playwright and journalist Cindy Cooper, of New York. Suzanne Bennett, former artistic director of the Eureka Theater in San Francisco and former associate artistic director of New York's Women's Project and Productions, co-adapted and directs.

"The play talks about first-hand experiences - serious and humorous - that reflect women's real lives," said Cooper, who is also a lawyer. "People have an opportunity to laugh and cry and reflect. Our stories are often forgotten in the political debate, but this is one area in which the way we vote will affect our lives for years to come. It's time to break open the conversation - perspective is desperately needed."

Writers included are Angela Bonavoglia, Kathy Najimy, Alix Olson, Sherica White, Justice Blackmun, Emilie Townes, The Onion, Judith Arcana, Michael Quinn, Kathleen Tolan, Gloria Feldt, Emily Lyons. Each performance is followed by a discussion with activists and artists.

Words of Choice has previously appeared at theaters, colleges and faith-based venues in New York, Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Virginia, including at HERE, Ensemble Studio Theater and Union Theological Seminary in NY, Planned Parenthood in MA, University of Virginia, George Washington University, and elsewhere.

Student and group discounts are available. For reservations or inquiries, call 866-454-7344 (toll-free); email wordsofchoice@mindspring.com.
Info: http://wordsofchoice.home.mindspring.com

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