The play, about the legendary feminist underground Chicago abortion service, is available free of charge for activist events, It offers at least 9 diverse and substantial roles for women. Based on original interviews with women who ran and used the service, it tells the story of Jane, which was known as “the best kept secret in Chicago" and provided safe abortions to more than 10,000 women from all backgrounds from 1969 to 1973. It offers inspiration about the power of women organizing, but also warns about the harsh realities of illegal abortion, even in the most ideal DIY circumstances.
The play, which officially debuted in 1999 and has been excerpted in several “best of” stage scene and monologue books, has had about 20 readings and productions, mainly in fringe feminist theaters and at universities during the George W Bush years. Now, with abortion access under renewed threat, I"m relaunching this campaign, especially for the Roe anniversary in January 2018.
We recently had a sold-out reading of this play in Chicago last summer, co-sponsored by Shout Your Abortion 773 and the Chicago Women's History Center. More than a dozen colleges have also used it for successful events, such as at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Director Annika Spear, who also wrote an article about the feminist documentary style of the play for Frontiers, gave this recommendation:
“I directed Jane as a fundraiser event for the Santa Barbara Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice Coalition’s Roe v Wade anniversary event. There were numerous merits to incorporating activist theatre into the event: It was an excellent way to get university students involved. By connecting the university to the event we were able to cross collaborate with the Feminist Studies Department and the Theater and Dance Department. Kamen’s multiple versions of the script as well as her “Student Organizing Guide” makes the play accessible to non-theatre practitioners. A major strength of this play is its activist potential! ”
For more info on play, see my Jane page or the listing on the National New Play Network. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or for a script.