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Abortion, Pregnancy, Sex, Contraception: Words of Choice New Works Tackle All Aspects of Reproductive Freedom


“Letters to Justice Blackmun” and a dozen other pieces are among the works that “Words of Choice” will present in an exciting Evening of New Works on Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 7 p.m. in New York City.

In its first open submissions opportunity, Words of Choice received 150 selections from across the country. Fifteen writings were selected for the reading. Words of Choice is a theater company in New York dedicated to artistic explorations of women’s freedom and choice.

Writers included in the evening are: Judith Arcana, Marcy Bloom, Kim Bouchard, Meghan Brill, Caitlin Brock, Ellen Chesler, Esosa Edosomwan, Tia Federica, Gloria Feldt, Sheri Graubart, Babs Lindsay, Maisie McAdoo, Nikki Roberti and Mary Ann Sorrentino.

Francesca Mantani Arkus will direct the evening. An ensemble of actors -- Patricia A. Chilsen, Christopher d. Burris, Esosa Edosomwan, Carl H. Jaynes, Nairoby Otero -- will read the material.

“People wrote about sex, self-esteem, abortion and the challenges of life -- a fascinating collection of material,” said Cindy Cooper, founder of Words of Choice and creator of a touring anthology of writing under that name.

The writings include nonfiction, spoken word, theater, and poetry. “The Company She Keeps” by Ellen Chesler, adapted from her book, tells of the historic arrest of Margaret Sanger for distributing birth control literature. A selection by Judith Arcana recites the all-too-common worries of women. Eighteen-year old Nikki Roberti writes about a girl’s decision to carry a pregnancy to term, while Maisie McAdoo portrays a teen and her boyfriend who get parental support for the decision to have an abortion.

“Letters to Justice Blackmun,” was composed from a collection selected by his daughter, Sally Blackmun, and is a pastiche of the mail, positive and negative, that the Supreme Court Justice received after writing the decision in “Roe v. Wade.” Interwoven are quotes from Blackmun’s decisions.

Cooper said that much of the sentiment of the works is captured in a selection by Marcy Bloom of Seattle: “Life is complex ... and I have never known any significant life decision to be simple or easy. Have you?”

The Evening of New Works will be at The TACT Studio, 900 Broadway (20th St.), Suite 905. Tickets may be purchased online.

In addition, Words of Choice will present a Creativity Workshop on reproductive rights on Sunday, October 28, 2007 at 2 p.m. Three artists from Words of Choice -- Cindy Cooper, Suzanne Grossman and Francesca Mantani Arkus -- will lead writing and performance exercises and artistic investigations in reproductive rights.

The Creativity Workshop is open to the public. It will take place at The TACT Studio, 900 Broadway (20th St.), Suite 905. Places may be reserved online.

On Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 5 pm, Words of Choice will present an additional six new writings of poetry, spoken word and theater in an Experimental Reading at the World Culture Open. The writings are by Mellanie Booth, Maxine Kern, Luke Oshier, Brandan Patterson, Vanessa Rodriguez and Judy Williams. DVD selections will also be included. The World Culture Open is at 19 W. 26th Street, 5th Fl. Admission is free.

The weekend of events mark a launch of the Words of Choice DVD, now available for distribution by the National Film Network.


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 reproductive rights

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