By Southwester Staff

Arena Stage announced that My Body No Choice, a limited engagement staged in the run-up to the midterm elections, will be Molly Smith’s final production before she steps down as Artistic Director.  

Featuring monologues from eight of America’s most dynamic female playwrights, My Body No Choice explores the importance of bodily autonomy, from the ability to choose or not, to have an abortion, to the freedom to choose one’s body size, and to making a decision around when to end one’s life. 

The short stories, which include both fiction and non-fiction, are authored by: Lee Cataluna (Home of the Brave), Fatima Dyfan (Woolly Mammoth Theatre New Work Fellow), Lisa Loomer (Roe), Dael Orlandersmith (Stoop Stories), Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play), Mary Hall Surface (Perseus Bayou), V (formerly Eve Ensler) (The Vagina Monologues), and “Anonymous.” 

“Women need to tell their stories,” Smith said. “For far too long, women have been afraid to tell their stories, particularly about abortion. The national conversation around gay rights changed dramatically when people came out to their families, friends, and neighbors. Suddenly everyone knew someone who was gay, and being gay was normalized. Now, women need to change the conversation around choices that are being made for them, around the autonomy of their bodies in large part by people who have no experience of what it is like to be a woman. We need to tell our stories; it’s past time.”

In a deliberate nod to the voting age of 18, My Body No Choice will run for 18 performances between October 20 and November 6. All tickets are priced at $18. 

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