Storytelling series to explore reproductive rights

BLOOMINGTON – Tickets are on sale for the second event in Ivy Tech’s storytelling series focusing on reproductive rights. The event will feature members of the local community who will share personal stories of parenthood, adoption, birth control and the right to choose, from all sides of the conversation. The event will be held Friday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, located at 122 S. Walnut St. Ivy Tech’s storytelling series creates a platform for local members of our communities to tell stories of their personal experiences facing issues of immigration, reproductive rights, unemployment, and racism.

Actors will represent some storytellers. All stories were written word-for-word by the people who experienced them.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased online at www.bctboxoffice.com.

The event will feature stories from:

Forrest Gilmore, executive director of the Shalom Community Center

Forrest Gilmore accompanies his partner to a clinic to get an abortion. Unable to bring himself to stay with her, he finds himself wandering the aisles of a Babies “R” Us. What follows is a tale about reconciling the seemingly disparate parts of ourselves and our stories, and about experiencing losses we don’t feel we can talk about.

Amanda Lamm, center operations coordinator at All-Options Clinic in Bloomington
Actress Emily McGee tells Amanda Lamm’s original story. Amanda Lamm tells the stories of three women whom she worked with to secure funding for their abortions. She wonders aloud how much choice the closing of clinics, and the instituting of restrictive laws by the Indiana legislature, leaves women seeking abortion care, especially those women living in poverty. Emily McGee is a local actress and theater maker.

Mike & Nici, birth parents of a former IU student who wishes to remain anonymous
Actor Joel Watson reads a letter from Mike & Nici, the birth parents of a former IU student who wishes to remain anonymous. Mike and Nici are young teenagers when they give birth to Austin, and they immediately put him up for adoption, knowing they do not have the means to raise him. In this letter, Mike addresses Ron and Angie, Austin’s adoptive parents. Joel Watson is a local actor. Listen for his sound design in Ivy Tech Student Theater Company’s next show, “Anonymous.”

A resident of Greene County
Actor Steve Scott reads the personal account of a man from Greene County, Ind. who wishes to remain anonymous. This man, abandoned by his parents in a house in Crane Village (on Crane Naval Base), when he was 4 months old, is raised by strangers, until his birth father shows up to claim him. This is a story about creating your own life, of secrets kept and secrets revealed, and of finding out what family truly means. Steve Scott is a local actor, most recently seen in the BPP’s “Beating a Dead Horse.” He is also the co-owner of MC Martial Arts.

Anonymous woman
Actress Shannon O’Connor Starks reads the story of B, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous. When B comes home to tell her husband she’s pregnant, he gives her an ultimatum. She must get an abortion, or he will leave her, and her young son. Reflecting on the four pregnancies that came after that, she talks about her now fierce belief that no one should be pressured into abortion, and that becoming pregnant is a gift from God. Shannon O’Connor Starks is a local actress, regularly seen on stage with Cardinal Stage Company.

Anonymous woman
A live recording of a story told by C, a local woman who wishes to remain anonymous, will be played. In this story, C talks about discovering – at 19 years old, while in army bootcamp – that she had bi-polar disorder. While in the psych ward, recovering from psychosis and developing a treatment plan with doctors, she learned she was pregnant. She was able to carry the baby to term inside the hospital. She talks about the most difficult choice she has ever made in her life: to give her son up for adoption. A later pregnancy ended in abortion, because she still didn’t feel she would be able to raise a child in while struggling with bi-polar. Years later, she talks about re-uniting with the son she gave up for adoption, about their shared experiences with bi-polar disorder, and about her feelings on abortion.

Anonymous woman
Actress Tabitha Burton tells the story of D, a local woman who wishes to remain anonymous. D talks about her love of children, and her desire to have kids at a young age. After a wild-night with a co worker, a two-pack of pregnancy tests and a 6-pack of green apple smirnoff ices, D finds out she’s pregnant. For a while, she and her co worker plan to keep the baby, but D soon finds that her new beau isn’t the man she thought he was. Tabitha Burton is also the assistant director, production stage manager, and co-arranger of the Ivy Tech Storytelling Series: Reproductive Rights.

 

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