Examining the Use of Safety, Confrontation, and Ambivalence in Six Depictions of Reproductive Women on the American Stage, 1997-2007:staging ‘the Place’ of Abortion

Author: Hagen, Lisa Hall
Year:2010
Pages:424
ISBN:0-7734-1466-5
978-0-7734-1466-2
Price:299.95
This book fills a gap created when overtly politicized and polarized writing on abortion is removed. It seeks to explore the ways in which theater can serve as a particularly useful place to explore abortion.

Reviews

“… I felt that as a result of this reading . . . I had been schooled in a methodology for fairly and ethically investigating any issue. I cannot think of any higher acclaim for a piece of academic writing.”-Dr. Beth Osnes, University of Colorado

“…provides a carefully conducted and intriguing analysis of this political hot button, abortion….the approach is uniquely interdisciplinary and captures nuances in a layered, yet clear, perspective.” –Dr. Joanne Belknap, University of Colorado-Boulder

“…original, smart, and very provocative...”-Dr. Merrill J. Lessley, University of Colorado-Boulder

Table of Contents

Foreword by Beth Osnes
Acknowledgments
Introduction
When 'History Came Undone': Contextualizing American Theatre within the Contemporary Abortion Debate
Project Scope and Review of Literature
The Shape of the Chapters
Vocabulary and Method
Legal and Cultural Context of Abortion in American History 38 Aims and Hopes
Chapter 1
"Gravida" Versus the World: Control and Distance in The Credeaux Canvas and Mitzi's Abortion
Introduction: Objectifying Reproductive Women
Gravida: A Medical Metaphor
Defining Control and Distance
The Credeaux Canvas and Mitzi 's Abortion
Reading Amelia: Keith Bunin's The Credeaux Canvas
The Action of The Credeaux Canvas
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text, Reading the Painting, Reading Amelia
Amelia as a Cipher
Winston and Jamie's Control
The Canvas
Concluding Ideas
Mitzi vs. the World: Elizabeth Heffron's Mitzi's Abortion
The Action of Mitzi's abortion
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text: The World Around Mitzi
TimandNita
Tub and Chuck
Aquinas
Compassionate Medicalization
Medicalizing the Gravida
Mitzi's Closing Journey
Concluding Ideas
Staging 'The Front': Distancing Amelia and Mitzi
Chapter 2
Tense Liminality: Abortion Protest on Stage in The Water Children and Retrospect for Life
Introduction: Conflict in the Middle Ground
Abortion Protest: Definitions and History of Violence
The Theatricality and Theatrical Potential of Protest
Tension on Stage: The Water Children and Retrospect for Life
Staging Explicit Ideology: Protest and Tension in MacLeod's The Water Children
The Action of The Water Children
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text: The Trap of Ideology
Converging Tensions
Building Momentum: Ideology Takes Center Stage
Explosion of Potential Energy
The Path of the Pregnancy
Concluding Ideas
The Reality of Abortion and the Rupture of Protest in Morisseau's Retrospect for Life
The Action of Retrospect for Life
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text: The Symbolic Power of Protest Violence
The Depiction of Abortion: Capturing Realities
Shaping the Conflict with Protest
Women versus the "Other"
The Rupture of Violence
Humanizing the "Other"
The Final Moments and Symbolic Realities
Concluding Ideas
Protestors versus Women, Ideology versus Experience: A Difficult Middle Ground
Chapter 3
Confrontation and 'The Place': The Act of Abortion On or Near the Stage in Fucking A and Jane
Introduction: Moving the Unseen to the Stage
A Parallel: The Historical Emergence of Violence on Stage
The Usefulness of Extreme Visibility
Fucking A and Jane: Abortion and the Underground
Reading the Text: The Trap of Ideology
Converging Tensions
Building Momentum: Ideology Takes Center Stage
Explosion of Potential Energy
The Path of the Pregnancy
Concluding Ideas
The Reality of Abortion and the Rupture of Protest in Morisseau's Retrospect for Life
The Action of Retrospect for Life
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text: The Symbolic Power of Protest Violence
The Depiction of Abortion: Capturing Realities
Shaping the Conflict with Protest
Women versus the "Other"
The Rupture of Violence
Humanizing the "Other"
The Final Moments and Symbolic Realities
Concluding Ideas
Protestors versus Women, Ideology versus Experience: A Difficult Middle Ground
Chapter 3
Confrontation and 'The Place': The Act of Abortion On or Near the Stage in Fucking A and Jane
Introduction: Moving the Unseen to the Stage
A Parallel: The Historical Emergence of Violence on Stage
The Usefulness of Extreme Visibility
Fucking A and Jane: Abortion and the Underground
Confronted with Blood: Suzan-lori Parks' Fucking A
The Action of Fucking A
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text: Shock and Awe in Real Time
The Initial Shock
Casual Reality
The Abortionist as Criminal
Abortion as an Attack
Concluding Ideas
'The Place': Staging the Abortion Procedure in Paula Kamen's Jane
The Action of Jane
The Context of Performance
Introducing the Argument
Reading the Text: The Procedure as a "Reality"
Abortion's Context in Jane
Truth, Reality, and Experience
History: Conflation and Explication
History: Shock and Honesty
The Place
Concluding Ideas
Visibility and Responsibility: What we can learn from Hester and Jane
Chapter 4
Staging the "Third Position" of Abortion Ambivalence: The Power of Conflicting Truths
Introduction: The Squirrelly Organ of the Heart
Ambivalence and Abortion
Ambivalence, Lived Experience and the Theatre
Staged Ambivalence in the Plays
Concluding Thoughts
Interview Appendix
Bibliography
Index