A reading of Paula Kamen’s documentary play Jane: Abortion and the Underground, benefiting A is For, will be presented September 24 at 7 PM at Rattlestick (224 Waverly Place).
Julie Kline will direct a cast that features Cynthia Nixon, Amy Berryman, Brooke Bloom, Charlotte Graham, Jackie Sanders, Chris Stack, Carmen Zilles, Monique Coleman, Ana Gasteyer, Jenn Lyon, Kathy Najimy, and Jeff Biehl.
The play follows Jane, the feminist abortion service that operated in Chicago from 1969 through 1972, before abortion was legal in the United States. The women who ran the service were mostly unassuming: college students, “hippie housewives,” and antiwar activists. Jane: Abortion and the Underground is based on interviews with the women who ran and used this service, as well as the men who supported it.
The reading will also feature projection design by Lacey Erb, lighting design by Kia Rogers, and sound design by Alexandra Valley. Kat Norton is the stage manager.
The reading will be followed by a panel discussion with Pascale Bernard (vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City), playwright and journalist Paula Kamen, reproductive rights historian Felicia Kornbluh (professor of history and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at University of Vermont), and Angelique Imani Rodriguez (senior editor, fiction and short story for Raising Mothers) as well as women who had underground abortions referred by or related to Jane in the late 1960s: activist Sunny Chapman and Jackie.
All proceeds benefit A is For, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing reproductive rights and ending the stigma against abortion care.