Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Women's Bodily Autonomy @ Luna Stage



“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” —Toni Morrison

In the face of this past week’s devastating Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, we feel it is important to share a portion of our Luna Stage response.

Our 2022-2023 season will feature two plays that directly confront challenges to women’s bodily autonomy, looking at racial and economic justice and reproductive rights from the 1840’s to the present day.

TORN ASUNDER (April 6-April 30)

In Nikkole' Salter’s Torn Asunder, Hannah, a relatively contented enslaved woman, has her world rocked when her master dies, and she is separated from her family, new husband, and baby. Just as she begins to lose all hope to ever see her husband and child again, the seceded south falls to the Union, the enslaved are freed with the 13th Amendment, and Hannah has the opportunity to put her family back together...if she can find them. Based on the research of Prof. Heather Andrea Williams, Torn Asunder dramatizes true stories of newly emancipated African Americans trying to overcome the ever-present vestiges of institutional slavery to reconnect with their families.

TWO ELIZAS (May 12-May 21)

In Two Elizas, Jenny Mercein juxtaposes the true story of her ancestor Eliza Mercein Barry's 1847 U.S. Supreme Court case Barry v Mercein regarding the custody of her daughter with Mercein's own complicated journey to motherhood. Though separated by over 150 years, both women experience the pressure on women to marry, the pain of losing a child, and the resilience required of and inspired by motherhood. Two Elizas candidly explores the taboo topics of mental illness and miscarriage, aiming to spark conversation around women's rights and bodily autonomy, intergenerational trauma, and loss.

What You’re Supporting

Luna Stage develops and produces vibrant plays about local and global experiences and is committed to nurturing the next generation of audiences and artists. As Essex County’s only professional regional theatre, Luna brings communities together for artistic events that spark conversations, inspire understanding, and create change.