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Kansas Events With Words of Choice for 1100 Torches on Oct. 9-10 in Wichita, Hays


For Immediate Release
Contact: Susann,

Words of Choice Will Perform in a Benefit for 1100 Torches in Wichita and Hays on October 9 and 10, respectively.

Words of Choice, a pro-choice New York touring theater company, will present two special performances in Kansas to Benefit 1100 Torches, a new organization set up to honor the memory of Jana Mackey, a young activist slain in Lawrence in July 2008.

The first performance will be in Wichita at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 7202 E 21st Street North on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by ProKanDo.

Playwright Cindy Cooper’s “Words of Choice” pieces together excerpts from a dozen real stories and imaginative writings. “I wanted to create a work that could show the huge panorama of reproductive rights, not just abortion,” said Cooper. “I wanted it to reflect the full complexity of these issues.”

Words of Choice previously worked with Mackey on a tour of Kansas in 2005, and Mackey’s comments as the interim Director of NOW Kansas are included on the Words of Choice DVD. “She was a remarkable and insightful young woman,” said Cooper.

A monologue from Mackey’s interview with Words of Choice is incorporated into the play.

A second Kansas performance will take place on Friday, October 10 at 7 pm at Fort Hays State University, where Mackey’s mother teaches.

1100 Torches ( asks 1100 individuals to undertake good deeds in Jana’s name, following her concern about women’s rights and social justice.

“Words of Choice” comes to Wichita and Hays as it heads to Colorado for 10 days to amplify ’No on 48’ conversations about a state ballot measure that, if passed, would result in a ban abortion, contraception and stem cell research. Perform-ances are scheduled in Denver, Boulder, Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Oct. 12-22.

An ensemble of three New York actors -- Crista Marie Jackson, Carl H. Jaynes and Claudia Schneider -- will perform in Kansas and Colorado, under direction by Francesca Mantani Arkus. All performances are followed by a discussion.

Writers in the play include Justice Harry Blackmun and Sally Blackmun, Angela Bonavoglia, Kathleen Tolan, Alix Olson, June Jordan, Michael David Quinn, Esosa Edosomwan, Susan Wicklund, and others.

Tickets for the Oct. 9 performance in Wichita may be purchased at the door for $8/$5. For information and reservations call 212-560-2616 or visit the Words of Choice website at Words of Choice is a nonprofit theater organization in New York.


 Words of Choice
 Cindy Cooper
 Jana Mackey
 women’s rights

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