Updated: Nov 10, 2019
On Friday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m., the Extra Theatre Company presented 1 in 3: a staged presentation of true abortion stories from women across the US, directed by Grace Bolton. Abortion is a socially charged topic and can be triggering. However, the production presented the facts and the importance of the often-traumatic experiences in a way that focused less on the political aspect, though the liberal lens was still present. The stage was converted to a courtroom and the actresses would attempt to explain and validate her decision to a jury. There were many trigger warnings prior to the show and the actress would flip an orange cloth over the front of the podium prior to scenes containing triggering topics such as sexual assault, eating disorders, domestic abuse, miscarriages, drug addiction or suicide. Overall, the presentation of women’s reasons for abortions covered the most debated and referenced reasons in the abortion and reproductive justice debate and did so accurately. The information was presented as it would be in court cases which was essential in the tone of the production, well done all.
NARAL Pro-Choice America (the National Association to Repeal Abortion Laws) supported the performance. Around one third of the audience was male and in their late teens and early twenties. Some were accompanying their girlfriends and others came on their own accord; this could have been because NARAL sponsored the performance, but, regardless, having a more diverse audience changed the atmosphere to be an appropriate dose of uncomfortableness.
More male presence in the audience for this production added a tension between the gendered understanding of abortion to the already present differing political views and stances. The heightened sense of uncomfortableness was due to the men not having to have or need an abortion for themselves, which created a power dynamic because the issue was less personal for the male audience members.
By Kaylee Kalaf, Contributing Writer