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The last few weeks have been a series of relentless waves of shock and awe political warfare against women, running the gamut between tasteless jokes to short-sighted, dangerous and insulting legislation mandating unnecessary and invasive procedures all to create hurdles to obtaining legal abortions. Perhaps the most disgusting of these actions occurred when women were barred from testifying in a congressional hearing about women’s health.
Conservatives have done a phenomenal job of turning an issue that should be non-partisan into one of the most divisive conversations in our society. Access to health care that can save, change or improve a person’s quality of life, should be a non issue. Women should be treated as autonomous agents, just as men are, when it comes to matters of health care. Legislatures do not have the right to categorize women’s health care into “reproductive” and “other” and set themselves up to dictate thereby. She should make decisions about her health with the assistance of her doctor, and, if appropriate, with her spiritual advisor. We do not ask men to justify to the legislature when they seek health care–reproductive or otherwise–from their physicians. The fight that has emerged is one where we are demanding equal protection under the law.
Frustrated by the political retrogression and hurt by the misogyny, we have come together in order to channel our energy into what we hope will be a productive and creative dialogue. With all this said, we would like to commission a modern Lysistrata incorporating the voices of many coming together for a single cause. We want YOU to join us.
We read a great article by Sara Robinson this week that aimed to put the debate into perspective with oh, all of human history. The article can be seen here:
Sara has joined our ranks and agreed to let us use some text from this article in the play. To that end, we would like to ask YOU to write something that addresses this. It can be a few lines, it can be a few pages, a whole scene, a monologue, a diatribe, a piece of movement set to music; it can be a fresh response to the past month or it can be the gem moment of a bigger play you have long abandoned; or it can be a scholarly paper: it can be anything. Just as long as it in someway addresses women, and who they are today. Some have likened the advent of the “pill,” and the sexual revolution that gave women power over their own bodies to Pandora’s Box. Well, Pandora’s Box has been opened, and some view the progress with fear and anger, and want to put what spilled out back into the box–and women along with it. Mythology shows us the folly in that. How do we counter the foolishness?
Our plan of attack is to build a play–not a variety show, not a series of scenes–a play wherein what you write will be juxtaposed against what others write. We are aiming for a collage that examines, elucidates, and honors this complex interchange of women, reproduction, subjugation, sex, power, and politics in Western thought. We are going to weave our combined words together and speak to a larger story. We may put Pandora, Salome, Hedda and whoever else we feel needs to speak in the same room together. If there is a piece of expository text that you think we should use, send it to us. The point is to really dig into the issues, and to do so from as many perspectives as possible.
We may not use everything you send us. On the other hand, we may appropriate a line or two and adapt it so that it is spoken by another character, in which case, we will get your permission, because we do respect the integrity of the story you are trying to tell.
To that end, please don’t send us anything you don’t want us to use in some altered way, because if we use something you send us, it may be impossible to untangle later. You will be credited as a contributing writer in all printed material. Where any single writer is credited, all writers will be credited equally. Any profits of the initial productions will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Should it reach the point that this is an issue, any royalty payment for subsequent productions normally given to a writer will be donated to Planned Parenthood or similar organization.
Please send your text to email@example.com prior to May 1, 2012. If you would like to submit something but will need to do so at a later date, please let us know so we can work with you. Our current production timeline is to have a reading in early September working towards a production as early as November. We are in communication with companies both in Seattle and New York about producing.
We want your voice to be a part of this conversation.
Please let us know if you know someone who might want to write something. We would love to get in touch with them.
Dante Olivia Smith- Producing Director/ Designer
Jess Smith- Director
Debra Lynn Smith- Editor/Arranger