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’Words of Choice’ Stages New Theater Piece to Benefit Planned Parenthood NYC


“Words of Choice II” -- a dynamic pro-choice play -- will perform for he first time in New York City as a Benefit for Planned Parenthood of NYC, on Thursday, April 23 at 7 pm.

With a new collection of theatrical works, the play will be seen at the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, 55 Washington Square South. Tickets are $15, student tickets are $5. All ticket proceeds go to Planned Parenthood’s Activist Council.

The performance features actors Crista Marie Jackson, Carl H. Jaynes and Claudia Schneider, each playing a whirlwind of roles from varied writings. Francesca Mantani Arkus directs. The work, the second collection of writings from “Words of Choice” about choice and women’s rights, was created by Cindy Cooper.

“Words of Choice” weaves together the humorous, poignant and real-life stories of women (and men) on women’s freedom and rights: abortion, pregnancy, contraception, adoption, self-esteem, equal rights and activism.

One selection is composed of letters written to Justice Harry Blackmun after he authored the opinion in “Roe v. Wade”. Other selections feature a televangelist, a Vietnam vet who learned the hard way about illegal abortions, a doctor who is harassed by protestors and a woman who has a nightmare about Health and Human Services regulations.

The performance is the first in New York City of this new collection of works, which toured in fall 2008 to Kansas and Colorado. Performances in Colorado were presented to help counter an anti-abortion ballot measure, ultimately soundly defeated. Shows in Kansas benefited 1100, an organization set up to honor the memory of Jana Mackey.

Writings included are by Judith Arcana, Sally Blackmun and Justice Harry Blackmun, Angela Bonavoglia, Cindy Cooper, Esosa Edosomwan,, June Jordan, Penny Lane, Barbara Lindsay, Jana Mackey, Kathy Najimy, Alix Olson, Michael David Quinn, RH Reality Check, Mary Ann Sorrentio, Kathleen Tolan and Susan Wicklund.

A panel discussion following the performance will describe the Reproductive Health Act now pending in New York. The play will be introduced by Rev. Donna Schaper, senior minister of Judson Memorial Church.

“Words of Choice” has traveled to 20 states to expand conversations about reproductive freedom. From 2004 to 2007, the first collection of “Words of Choice” reached thousands, was made into a film on DVD, and will soon appear in the book, “Front Lines: Political Plays by American Women,” ed, Alexis Green, Shirley Lauro.

Words of Choice, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that uses theater to open dialogues about women’s freedom and reproductive rights.
What: Words of Choice II, a 70-minute theatrical performance
When: Thurs. April 23 at 7 pm
Where: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South at Thompson, near NYU
With: Crista Maria Jackson, Carl H. Jaynes, Claudia Schneider, directed by Francesca Mantani Arkus, created by Cindy Cooper
Tickets: $15/ Stu $5. All ticket sales benefit Planned Parenthood of NYC

See to buy tickets in advance. No service charge.


 Pro Choice
 New York City events
 Women’s theater
 Reproductive rights

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