New work My Body No Choice, featuring monologues from eight American female playwrights about women's choices on bodily autonomy, premieres at the Kogood Cradle at Washington, D.C.'s Mead Center for American Theater October 20. The Arena Stage production is set to run through November 6.
Contributing fictional and non-fictional stories to the work are 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.”
Starring in the production are Felicia P. Fields, Shanara Gabrielle, Tori Gomez, Joy Jones, Jennifer Mendenhall, Toni Rae Salmi, Deidre Staples, and Dani Stoller.
My Body No Choice explores various topics of bodily autonomy, including the "ability to choose—or not—to have an abortion, to the freedom to choose one’s body size, to making a decision around when to end one’s life."
Artistic Director Molly Smith directs the production—her last before stepping down—which features lighting design by Catherine Girardi, sound design by Megumi Katayama, casting director Joseph Pinzon, rehearsal stage manager Karen Currie, and stage manager Rachael Danielle Albert.
There are more voices Arena Stage would like to hear from and spotlight as part of this production: "Arena Stage invites all women, trans, and non-binary individuals from all over the United States to share their stories about choices and their bodies, in videos of up to 2 minutes in length. Up to 18 videos will be showcased on Arena Stage’s digital media properties, extending the experience of My Body No Choicelong after the lights have come down and the run has ended."