(Segment 2 of 3). How do we talk about controversial subjects in a pluralistic age given to hostile talk and not reasonable discourse? Does theatre offer unique opportunities for more complex, multilayered viewpoints? This The Kindlings Muse roundtable includes Elizabeth Heffron, playwright whose Mitzi's Abortion caused quite a stir in ACT Theatre's 2006 season. Also joining us are Pam Nolte, Seattle actor and co-founder of Taproot Theatre, and Dr. George Scranton Theatre Professor at Seattle Pacific University.
Here is the storyline as described by ACT Theatre. "Mitzi's Abortion is a surprising and compassionate play about a young woman confronting one of life's most difficult and deeply personal decisions in a system determined to make it a political one.Facing a surprise pregnancy, Mitzi embraces motherhood and a future with her baby's father. But when complications collide with deeply-held beliefs, insurance regulations, and varying reactions from those she loves, Mitzi's world is thrown into chaos. As her family and friends try to comfort her in the face of their own discomfort, Saint Thomas Aquinas and a 17th-century midwife join the fray to give Mitzi unexpected support. With humor and honesty, this stunning new play takes a multifaceted look at an extraordinarily powerful and contemporary question."
Capital Hill Times said: Playwright Elizabeth Heffron has taken one of today's most volatile topics and tried courageously to present its complexity without making her play a harangue.
Seattle PI said: "The magic of theater" is a phrase that can mean a lot of different things. In the case of "Mitzi's Abortion" it means "welcoming unwelcome thoughts and feelings." The play is receiving its premiere production at ACT Theatre. It is powerful. Seattle playwright Elizabeth Heffron deals with two troubling subjects: a genetically defective fetus and a late-term abortion. Much public discourse on these subjects avoids thought and feeling by means of bluster and dogma. Heffron takes the opposite approach. She cultivates thought and feeling by creating engaging characters who grapple with tough issues. Empathy is pretty much automatic.
Seattle Times said: Anyone looking for an ideological rallying cry in Elizabeth Heffron's play "Mitzi's Abortion" won't find one. Instead, you'll get an even-handed, ambitious yet jumbled and ungainly tragicomedy " which, almost in spite of itself, manages to break your heart anyway.