Birth, A Play

Birth is a play based on over one hundred interviews Karen Brody conducted with mothers across America who gave birth between 2000-2004. It tells the true stories of 8 women painting a portrait of how low-risk, educated women are giving birth in America today.

In the play we meet Jillian, a stay-at-home mother of four children, who always sees the humor in life, especially in her mixed-bag of birth experiences; and Beth, a 35-year-old successful, high-powered computer systems manager from New Jersey who confidently planned a cesarean.

We are introduced to Vanessa, a buyer for a major department store who never had a doubt that she wanted an epidural. We hear from Janet, a lesbian in her 40s, who despite her feminist background wanted a medicalized birth, fearing the safety of herself and the baby; and Lisa, an African-American who felt intimidated and used by her midwives and the medical system after her birth.

We get to know Sandy, who thought birth was “just one day,” but found out that having an emergency c-section on that day changed her world. We hear Natalie's intimate story of physical betrayl; and Amanda, an athletic, confident stay-at-home mother who believed her birthing mantra--”My Body Rocks”--gave her the attitude she needed to give birth naturally in the hospital.

Moving between first-person monologues, some dialogue, and the voices these women heard on the day they gave birth, Birth confronts, what City Lights Theater Company has called, "The naked truth about childbirth in America."

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