October 16, 2013


Can't you imagine people chanting that outside Planned Parenthood?

When I received an email with the subject "MOM BABY GOD," I couldn't help but cringe; THE LE SIGH gets a few odd emails every now and then, and this one sounded like someone trying to "cure" our "raging feminism" in exchange for a life of baby buggies and pearls (ok, I like both of those things, but still). And in a way, when I opened that very same email, that's exactly what I got. Except not at all. The project MOM BABY GOD addresses these very concerns but in a way that advocates for the other way round: for a woman's right to choose whether or not she'd like a baby, to become a mom and perhaps either find or reject God's place in all of this, as opposed to having it thrust upon her as the only way of life. The email, along the same lines, sure, was much more liberating, much more open, accepting and informed than emails with similar titles often are. 

MOM BABY GOD is a one-woman show by Madeline Burrows of the band Tomboy, directed by Emma Weinstein. After a year of slipping under the radar and attending anti-abortion conferences and wading through the goop that is the right-wing party, Burrows combined interviews with priests, young activists and other anti-abortion figures to create an examination of the semi-recent attack on abortion rights. And instead of simply recounting these experiences in slow and grueling detail (how else could one describe an anti-abortion conference?) Burrows becomes these people, embodying their thoughts, beliefs and personalities in a humorous and honest retelling.    

Hitting New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago and Phildelphia, MOM BABY GOD sees Burrows not only hurtling herself back into the deep, dark place that is an embodiment of anti-abortion conference attendees but drags the audience with her. As guests enter the space, they're no longer theatre-goers but Burrows as she was for that year: an attendee, a willing participant in the "Students for Life of America Conference," there to see her (and all her characters) lecture on the importance and inherent right-ness in annihilating abortion rights. And ok, life, yay, we can all agree this is a great thing, but is there life without choice? Though I've yet to see the performance (look for my little face on October 22nd in DC), I can say with near-certainty Burrows aims to pose such questions, forcing those who happily shove their opinions down the throats of others to take a look in the mirror (in Burrows' case, she'll stare back at herself) and see what message they're truly emitting. Odds are, it won't change their red-colored brains overnight, but the thought of getting their guts churning over someone standing up against them is worth it all the same.

Tour Schedule:
New York City: Friday, October 18, 2013
Washington, DC: Monday, October 21, 2013 & Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Chicago: Thursday, October 24, 2013 & Saturday, October 26, 2013
Philadelphia: Monday, October 28, 2013 & Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MOM BABY GOD relies heavily on pre-purchased tickets; find out more about the project and purchase tickets here.

Photo by Joshua Sugiyama

Written by Molly Morris