If the seats are full, the audience smiling, and the politicians are quiet, we are doing something wrong. As we close ROE, our quasi-objective theatrical portrait of the misunderstood Norma McCorvey (the eponymous Roe of Roe v Wade), its response was reflective of its impact. It was sold out the vast majority of its performances. We partnered with ACLU of Minnesota, Planned Parenthood Minnesota Advocate, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, and the Minnesota Historical Society. Participants in Continuing Legal Education on the Elimination of Bias attended as part of their accredited session.
There was adoration, pushback, and scorn. One person withdrew his support because Mixed Blood didn’t align with his Christian values. I invited that individual to attend and see if that point of view persisted after the curtain call. Another challenged the director who was quoted as saying that Norma wasn’t a good spokesperson for either side when she had been a crusader for the pro-life movement for 22 years.
As they exited the theater some people praised the work and some cursed at the theater. Mixed Blood’s Vision Statement reads, “As a beacon for the global village and beyond, Mixed Blood will champion equity and animate social change through exceptional artistry, catalytic relationships, and universal access.” Coming to a show at Mixed Blood has three components to be successful: the community through which one travels (Cedar Riverside embodies our model of pluralism), the people with whom you sit, and the work on stage. ROE brought together people with difference – racial, cultural, gender, class, and world view – and that is the purpose of this particular non-profit.
Thanks to the more than 3,100 folks who experienced the theatrical production of ROE and who felt a call to action – whatever that action may be – after the curtain call was over. It is you who animate our mission.