I With Things New Born
October 30th-November 8th at the Off-Leash Art Box
Wrote, directed, and performed alongside actor Renèe Schwarz in the Birth Play Project's inaugural production.
The play was performed for small, masked, distanced in-person audiences in accordance with public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was also filmed for virtual audiences to stream after the run.
About the story:
Juliet is ousted from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure after she is imprisoned for conceiving a child out of wedlock, and Sister Francisca, the young nun & midwife tasked with catching Juliet's baby, has never attended a birth alone before. But with the city outside in chaos, the two strangers must find enough common ground to perform an act of near-unbearable intimacy. Adapted for an altered world from a longer play of the same name, I With Things New Born is an ode to the timeless, quiet courage of those who ensure that life goes on - a story of labor and defiant hope.
Graphic design for poster and Birth Play Project logo by Kezia Florence Germ. Production photos by Noelle Kirscht.
I With Things New Born
Spring 2020 script
scheduled to premiere May 1st at the Off-Leash Art Box
After Juliet is arrested for conceiving a child out of wedlock, she is given one scene in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, and then spends the rest of the play offstage, in prison, in labor. I With Things New Born is the story of that labor, of an odyssey inside a body. The play weaves old poetry with original text, situates Juliet amidst other mother-heroines of Shakespeare's canon, and unspins myths of women who dare to grow when surrounded by impossibility.
I With Things New Born was heavily influenced by the research I conducted for the University of Minnesota UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) grant that I received in fall of 2019 and completed in conjunction with history professor JB Shank: "Making the Makers: Conceptualizations and Representations of the Pregnant Body in Shakespeare's World."
The play was to premiere at the Off-Leash Art Box in May 2020, but production was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some photos from the early creative process, taken by Jacob Badovski.
I submitted a process summary/reflection and academic essay alongside the production draft of the script for my Spring 2020 Summa Thesis when I graduated from the University of Minnesota.
That full document can be read here.