Cris Eli Blak, playwright PHOTO: COURTESY OF COMPANY ONE
On October 13, Company One Theater is launching a digital event, “Reproductive Liberty and Body Justice for All,” featuring new short plays by four playwrights of color created in response to the dismantling of Roe v. Wade.
Cris Eli Blak, Pampi Das, Cayenne Douglass and Rawchayl Sahadeo are all part of Company One Theater’s 2021-2022 Volt Lab, a collective of playwrights of color and rising voices in American theater. For this event, each playwright chose something from the National Abortion Fund Network’s list of requests and used it to inspire a short play.
“We know that the repeal of Roe v. Wade will have repercussions that go well beyond the status of abortion laws,” says Afrikah Smith, producer-in-residence at C1’s National New Play Network, who also has produces this event. “Reproductive justice is a broad issue that includes everything from family planning, to inclusive and gender-affirming health care, to reducing maternal mortality and improving access to care in systemically underserved communities. -funded. C1’s Volt Lab writers are interested in how we tell stories and act in a post-Roe world.
The program will stream for free on October 13 at 7 p.m. on Company One’s YouTube page. Playwrights worked with directors and actors to bring these plays to life, including notable local talent like directors Dawn M. Simmons and Summer L. Williams. After the performance of each short piece, the creative team will be available for live questions and dialogue with the audience, with the aim of thinking about concrete actions that can be taken in response to this situation. The recording of the event will also be viewable on Company One’s YouTube page following the live performance.
Company One Theater is intrinsically linked to a mission of social justice, and the PlayLab Circuit Volt Lab is designed to result in a responsive playwriting experience and event like “Reproductive Liberty”. Throughout the year, additional events will be held to address social justice issues in our contemporary world and showcase pre-professional writers who flex their creative muscles for a cause. Company One performances are always free or paid, providing access to audiences of all kinds.
Ilana M. Brownstein, C1’s Director of New Works, said, “I’m excited about how these four writers in particular — a Boston Public School educator, a mental health artist-activist from Kentucky, a recent Boston Playwrights’ Theater graduate, and a community healer/cultural worker based in Western Massachusetts – amplify the specific calls to action that we can take for more justice and liberation. ”