Plays like Abortion Road Trip use theatre as a means to start conversations about these complex issues. In my eyes, theatre as a platform is most successful when reflective of the greater issues affecting our society, bringing to life these human stories and driving them further into our collective consciousness. As artists, we have a responsibility to imbue our work with truth and relevancy that can resonate with a range of audiences—that is the power of theatre. And that is the power of Abortion Road Trip.
Felt compelled to share this excellently-written piece by my friend Kaiya Lyons on her new blog about the intersection of art and law.
Although it’s entirely legal, the corporations’ readiness to pull out their funding evokes an ominous vision of the theatre community’s future. Especially considering the Trump administration’s proposed elimination of the NEA, corporate sponsorship of the arts in the Trump era is likely to be paramount to sustaining our country’s strong commitment to artistic freedom and, ultimately, free speech. Without active public funds going to the arts, it will fall upon corporations and individuals to prevent the chilling of artistic expression and political speech, which is “indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth” and essential to thwart tyranny and corruption.
The house is quiet
the door cracked open
hum of the fridge and
soft glow of the bedside lamp and
pictures glisten in their frames of
happier times before you left.
You left, while your body stayed
arms around me in the morning, frayed
and I held your hapless shell, hoping
empty plastic water bottles littering the nightstand
and your many guitars were signs that
you were still home.
Washington Post: “…arresting and appealingly idiosyncratic…Thais Menendez is amusingly frivolous as Amy’s best friend, Reba…the production is gripping enough to elicit an ache of solicitude.”
DC Theatre Scene: “Thais Menendez is a melancholy Anne, who carries her emotional wounds just below the surface.”
DC Metro Theatre Arts: “…the stuff for which this gritty small theatre is best known…Anne, played feistily by Thais Menendez…
Broadway World: “…this very unsettling work is subtly powerful. The four girls are superb…Thais Menedez provides some much needed relief from tension in an outstanding cameo…this piece resonates much louder considering the nation’s political climate. “
Eating three bowls of Rice Krispies on the couch at midnight. Not having the heart to take down the portrait his niece drew you. Relating more than ever to the emo songs of your comically angst-ridden youth. Spontaneous tears in the car–driving while crying is sort of dangerous. Dropping the news to folks in the most off-hand way possible, with a stoic shrug. Feeling the wild freedom of responding to a ‘how are you?’ with a simple ‘not okay.’ Adding ‘but I will be’ for a while, before realizing you don’t need to make your hurt comfortable for others with the promise of healing. Right now, you are hurt, so let yourself live in it. It is uncomfortable. It is the definition of uncomfortable. The healing is happening at every moment, and it is not linear. There will be days when the sadness sets in the moment your eyes blink open, and an invisible weight sits on your chest, the days you quietly coach yourself out of bed. Then there will be days when you take a moment to feel the warm sun on your face, appreciating that you are alive and knowing it will be okay. Mostly, there will be moments in between, and progress shouldn’t be discounted just because it’s sandwiched by two heart-shattering breakdowns.
The fears will set in–will anyone ever be able to learn the rhythms of my body as well as he did? Am I less hot now? Can I still catch a dick? What is dating? Is that man single or gay (always no, always yes)? And even in the moment, you will acknowledge how silly you’re being, but the subtle truth of the jest will prick your skin just so. Because breaking up with someone you love sucks.
You will tuck the hurt into a worn suitcase, lugging it around with you to every happy hour, every girl’s night out, and eventually, every date. Until one day, you will absentmindedly leave the suitcase at a bus stop and notice only once you are far, far away.