19 weeks: Performing Theatre About Abortion

Tiffany Lyndall Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the creative processes employed by an actor playing a woman who chooses a late-term abortion following a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. 19 weeks is an award-winning solo performance staged in a
pool. Although explicitly autobiographical, it was written to be performed by an actor; specifically, the paper's author, who is also the playwright's close friend and colleague. The paper considers ethical and performative
issues arising from embodying a friend's traumatic and stigmatised experience, drawing parallels between the actor's creative process and social science research methods. It reveals how the tension between disability and
reproductive rights shaped the performance. It argues that contemporary live performance practices cultivating intimacy and audience engagement offer a novel method for addressing complex and emotionally-charged issues
like late-term abortion and reproductive loss.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102325
Number of pages7
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Actor
  • Abortion
  • Autobiography
  • Disability
  • Down Syndrome
  • Monodrama
  • Performance
  • Social Sciences
  • Theatre and Performance
  • Reproductive rights
  • Theatre

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