“The Funny Thing About Blood” written and directed by Mary Elizabeth Gilbert; starring Mary Elizabeth Gilbert, Victoria Rulle, Kim Taff, and Toby Irving.
The audience sees an object behind a screen, and it surmises that the picture is a representation of a sonorgram. Soon after, three young women playfully run around the stage with balloons in their hands. The image from behind the screen becomes visible. She’s a living person in the flesh. The performer moves two boxes around in order to use their tops. She places a bottle of alcohol, a glass, a pack of cigarette and a lighter on it, and she sits on the other. She tells the audience all about her trip to Poughkeepsie, New York to get an abortion. A library was misguidedly taken for a clinic. Perhaps both buildings had the same architectural designer in Poughkeepsie.
A second young woman shares her story with the audience, and she lets it be known how Huggies commercial for baby’s diapers has put a strain on the mental psyche of some women who had abortions. Expectant mothers in a higher socio-economical strata surely embrace this type of commercial. Another young woman draws the audience’s attention to all of the political wrangling that involves science, culture, education and government. In today’s political climate, we all hear the dialogue about the rights of women to choose and it dictates what is best for them.
The audience hears all about a second procedure by the third young woman. This information gives a rise to the discourse that an abortion is her method of birth control, and it ponders how protesters at abortion clinics do serve as a deterrence for some women not to terminate their pregnancies. Protesters have tried to minimize the number of abortion performed by doctors in the United States of America. Most young women have to endure the name calling and label as baby killers.
One of the performers shows some magazines that promote motherhood to the first young woman from behind the screen with a cord attached to her body, and she refuses to look at them at length. She doesn’t want to read these magazines that promote motherhood. She tells the audience about her encounter with the nurse who wanted her to see the sonogram of her pregnancy.
One of the other ladies gives the audience her reason for her abortion, and she states how she had to assume the role of mother to her sibling at a tender age of eight years old. When her brother was scared, she had to be there for him. Her mother was not acting as a mother with children, and she had to mother herself, too. It was difficult for her to broach the subject of abortion to her parents. Some parents do not want to miss out on the opportunity to become grandparents.
Now, it’s back to the young woman’s story who shares her experience in Poughkeepsie with the audience. She takes the audience into the tiny room mentally, and she mentions asking the nurse to hold her hand. This is the same nurse who held the needle with the medication. The performer severs the
cord for the audience to see on the stage, and the other three performers play jump rope with it. Next, the young ladies run around the room with their balloons one more time.
Each of the young women continues to take turn in telling her story, and the audience gets the 4-1-1 on why one of them had an abortion. She states that her baby’s daddy didn’t have what it takes to be a father to her baby, for he had his own demons to contend with in his own life. She reveals further that he slept around with both boys and girls. Back to the young woman’s story who had the procedure done at the clinic in Poughkeepsie, New York; she resumes her story from being in the recovery room after the actual abortion, and she talks about the nurse’s asking her if she wanted to see the sonogram. She said yes to the nurse! She looked at it! She put the abortion behind her. Her focus is on 10 years from now when it is going to be the best day of her life when she has the right man in her life and probably pregnant again.
The writer gets her message across to the audience, for the topic of abortion is still a very deep and sensitive subject that has divided this country since the Roe v Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) landmark decision by the Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Politicians have been flip flopping on this decision, but it still remains the woman’s choice to choose her options. The writer brings it home to the audience, and it allows it to analyze the different scenarios in this national debate. This show is a must-see performance that requires to be performed on a regular basis.
The reviewer’s point of view: The government cannot continue to legislate the reproductive organs of women without controversy. In some instances, many young women could have prevented their unwanted pregnancies, but promiscuity among young people in this country is as American as apple pie and baseball.