2015 Capital Fringe Preview #11: ‘Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign’

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“It’s really important that we are able to hear our stories on the stage,” said Marie Byrd Sproul as we talked about the show she directed—Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaignprior to its run in the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival.

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I praised Out of Silence when I saw its one-night-only iteration at The Studio Theatre in January. A project of Advocates for Youth, Out of Silence consists of short plays by a Who’s Who of DC-area playwrights based on real women’s stories about the points in their lives when they chose—as does one in three women in her lifetime—to have an abortion.

Sproul remembers the audience reaction that night: “They were fascinated with stories they had never heard told aloud before. People were really moved. It was the first time the play had been performed in front of an audience, and they really went along with us the entire way. To hear the laughter moving through the audience and then the pin-drop silence at different times and just knowing that it really was touching them—it was a phenomenal night.”

That’s likely to be the case whenever Out of Silence is performed. As I found in January, the writing is really good. “We were so lucky to get those writers,” said Sproul. “It just made all the difference.”

The nine DC playwrights who contributed to Out of Silence:

Anu Yadav
Anu Yadav
D W Gregory
D W Gregory
Jacqueline Lawton
Jacqueline Lawton
Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer Nelson
Karen Zacarias
Karen Zacarias
Kristen LePine
Kristen LePine
Marie Sproul
Marie Sproul
Nicole Jost
Nicole Jost
Ally Currin
Ally Currin
Caleen-Sinnette-Jennings
Caleen-Sinnette-Jennings

The Fringe cast, all local actors, consists of Ariana Almajan, Bess Kaye, Gerrad Alex Taylor, Lilian Oben, and Jeri Marshall.

“The main goal for Advocates for Youth was to create a piece that activists could do on college campuses,” Sproul continued, “and the idea is to continue to raise awareness. So this fall a number of college campuses have signed up to do the production.”

You can catch Out of Silence now while it’s in town.

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Out of Silence: Abortion Stories from the 1 in 3 Campaign will play:

July 10th at 8:15 pm

July 14th at 8 pm

July 18th at 2:30 pm

July 23rd at 10 pm

July 26th at 6 pm

AT:

The Eastman Studio Theatre in the Elstad Annex of Gallaudet University

– 800 Florida Avenue. NE, in Washington, DC.

All performances will be ASL interpreted.

a-ticket-150x150PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE.

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John Stoltenberg
Among the hats John Stoltenberg wears are novelist and author, creative director and communications strategist, and avid theatergoer. Decades ago, in college, he began writing, producing, directing, and acting in plays. He continued through grad school—earning an M.F.A. in theater arts from Columbia University School of the Arts—then lucked into a job as writer-in-residence and administrative director with the influential experimental theater company The Open Theatre, whose legendary artistic director was Joseph Chaikin. Meanwhile Stoltenberg’s own plays were produced off-off-Broadway, and he won a New York State Arts Council grant to write plays. Then his life changed course: He turned to writing nonfiction and what became a distinguished career as a magazine editor. But he kept going to the theater, the art form that for him has always been the most transcendent and transporting and best illuminates the acts and ethics that connect us. He tweets at @JohnStoltenberg.