News: "Roe v. Wade 2.0" Kicks Off a Week of Action with May 16 Virtual Performance

Roe v. Wade 2.0, a collective action troupe of artists and activists, invites the public to participate in a week of theatrical action May 16-23 in defense of abortion rights.

The action begins on May 16 at 7 pm ET with an online performance and panel discussion of Roe v. Wade 2.0, a satire written by Drama League Award nominee Margaret Vandenburg and performed by a star-studded cast including Carrie Preston (True Blood), Joel de la Fuente (The Man in the High Castle), Florencia Lozano (One Life to Live), and more. The week continues with local readings hosted by artists and organizers across the country through May 23. To gain the greatest impact and nationwide spread, there is no barrier to entry: anyone can host and support the initiative. Interested parties are encouraged to sign up to host their own readings. Register for the livestream here and learn more at http://roevwade20.com/kickoff.

The play dramatizes the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization oral arguments from December 2021. The Supreme Court’s decision in this case, expected as early as June 2022, could overturn Roe v. Wade and effectively end federal protection of abortion rights. A draft of the majority opinion leaked to the press on May 2 implies that such a vote is likely. However, most American adults – nearly six in ten – agree that abortion should be legal in all or most cases (Pew Research Center, 2021). The play is designed to activate this majority by providing a framework for people to come together to understand what’s at stake.

The cast for the May 16 reading of Roe v. Wade 2.0, directed by Lisa Rothe, includes Jo Chim, Tiffany Clifton, Kathryn Erbe, Joel de la Fuente, Florencia Lozano, Peter McCabe, Carrie Preston, Portia, CJ Wilson, and Johnny M. Wu. This event is pay-what-you-can and open to the public, with all suggested donations benefiting The Pink House Fund, a local fund for people seeking abortions at the only remaining clinic in the state of Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

According to Vandenburg, “The Supreme Court is more susceptible to public pressure than meets the eye. The more noise we make, the less likely the Court will run roughshod over reproductive rights.” She added, "The Roe v. Wade 2.0 Coalition believes in the power of art to mobilize and amplify our voices. We hope this kickoff event will work to encourage participation in this national outcry.”

While the May 16 debut performance is professionally produced by a team based in New York, anyone is welcome to host their own reading to bring people together in their community around this issue. Further readings for the week of May 16-23 are taking shape in Chicago, Minneapolis, and other cities across the country. Members of the public interested in hosting their own reading are invited to download the script from roevwade20.com and fill out a brief form to be listed on the website.

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