ROE, a theatrical survey of the complicated and fiery underpinnings of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman’s right to an abortion. Roe precisely illustrates the fractured and fracturing history of one of the most polarizing social issues of the modern era.
Sarah Weddington was a 26-year-old lawyer when she argued Roe v. Wade and accidental heroine Norma McCorvey was a 22-year-old poor, hard-living lesbian bartender seeking to end her third pregnancy when she first agreed to be the plaintiff under the pseudonym “Jane Roe,” decades before she renounced her involvement in the case and became an anti-abortion advocate. ROE is an historically sweeping rare play that takes this inflammatory American issue head-on. Lawyer’s and plaintiff’s subsequent journeys mirrored the American divide.
ROE was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2012 as part of its American Revolutions Cycle. It was developed at the University of Texas and The Kennedy Center (as part of DC’s Women’s Voices Festival) as well as at OSF’s Black Swan Lab before it played for 70 performances in Ashland and then had runs in Washington, DC (Arena Stage), Berkeley (Berkeley Rep), and Sarasota (Asolo Rep).
Lisa Loomer is a playwright and screenwriter who has written for stage, film, and television. Roe is the fourth play Mixed Blood has produced penned by Lisa, preceded by Maria!MariaMariaMaria, Living Out, and Distracted. Her plays have been produced at The Roundabout, Second Stage, The Vineyard, INTAR, The Public, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Denver Center, Cornerstone, Trinity Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, and Missouri Rep, among others. Lisa wrote the screenplay for Girl, Interrupted and has written comedies, dramas, and pilots for HBO, CBS, Fox and Showtime. Her awards include the American Theater Critics Award, Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, Lurie Foundation Award, Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, Imagen Foundation Award, Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Artistic Director Jack Reuler: “This 2018-19 season – Transforming the Impossible to the Probable – aspires to have a moral imagination that stimulates ripples of hope. I was once told that ‘The work of an artist is to make revolution irresistible.’ That is the aim for the half dozen shows that populate our offerings, magnified by Lisa Loomer’s surprising, funny, tragic new play.”