WHAT EXACTLY IS PREGNANT PAUSE? WHO’S IT FOR? SPOILERS
Hello folks! Amie and I have been getting some questions about Pregnant Pause, mostly from concerned citizens on both sides of the debate. Is this some sneaky pro-life thing? say proud pro-choice friends. Are you saying there isn’t a right and wrong when it comes to abortion? say pro-lifers. What’s your stance? says everybody.
So, here’s the blog post for those of you who love spoilers. Don’t read on if you don’t want to know. Pregnant Pause is not a play about abortion. It’s a play about one woman, Essie. Essie is facing a difficult crossroads: she has been cast in a lead on Broadway at the same time she learns that the baby she’s pregnant with has a severe disability. Oh, and opening night is her due date, so she can’t do both. Essie had an abortion in college and throughout the course of the play, rediscovers and processes feelings from that first abortion, and other phases in her life, as she considers what she will do with this pregnancy. We don’t find out what Essie chooses.
Then the play ends. A pregnant woman with a great career has a lot of feelings about the thought of losing either; she does not want to lose her pregnancy, as she and her husband struggled with infertility for a long time and this is likely her last shot. She also doesn’t want to give up her acting career, which will most likely have to play second fiddle to her disabled child for the rest of her life. She’s sad. She grieves the loss of both. She weighs pros and cons. She goes on some adventures to help her decide. And then we don’t find out what she decides.
NOBODY TELLS ESSIE WHAT TO DO, AND THERE ISN’T SOME SNEAKY HIDDEN AGENDA.
I wrote the play because I wanted, in a concrete way, to walk with women facing hard times. Many of my friends know that I feel a particular way about abortion (who doesn’t? As Essie says, “When it comes to abortion, everyone’s judgey.”). But I’ve done my best to just write the story. The play is an opportunity for us, the audience, to listen and witness to a woman’s pain. Because one thing we can all agree on, right, is that if a woman is considering an abortion, there’s something to listen to there. There’s always something worth listening to.
THEN WE’RE GONNA GET A BUNCH OF PEOPLE TOGETHER WHO DISAGREE ABOUT ABORTION. KNOW ANY?
After the New York production, we plan to take this show on tour to colleges, theatres, churches and women’s groups; anywhere that will gather a great diversity of opinion and experience. We’ll have a way for the audience to “contact Essie” and tell her their thoughts, maybe tell her their own story, send her encouragement, give her advice… The point is to craft a safe experience for all to interact with their own thoughts about abortion without using a real woman as a guinea pig (Essie is very fictional). We hope audiences will put themselves in Essie’s shoes and think about what they would do in her situation; what kind of care they’d hope to receive; what they would want to hear from family and friends.
SO THERE REALLY ISN’T AN AGENDA. MAYBE I’M DOTH PROTESTING TOO MUCH, BUT IT’S A STORY ABOUT A WOMAN’S FEELINGS, THAT’S IT, REALLY TRULY.
I wrote it because I’m sick of articles that only circulate among those who agree; because the political rhetoric around abortion gets tiring; because I want to get better at listening; because I want to practice compassion.
WE’RE ALMOST HALFWAY TO OUR GOAL.
I really hope you’ll join us. Essie would love to have you.