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“Breed or Bust” – A One-Woman Show About Whether or Not to Have Kids

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On the drive back to the city after a wedding up in Sonoma, Joyful Raven and I discussed the question of potential motherhood. We were both in our mid-thirties so it was a question which was timely, egg wise, and fraught, womanhood wise. I was adamant, declarative and brooked no bones about it in that conversation – “I have not, do not, will not ever want to have babies!”

I’ve known that since I was twelve and declared it for the first time talking with the very fabulous, punk friend of my mother’s while sitting in our kitchen. “You might change your mind about that when you get older”, said she. “Peshaw”, said I. For a different twelve year old she might have been right. But not for me. I knew I didn’t want babies then. I knew I didn’t want babies at 37. Now at the age of 48 and menopausal, meaning it’s no longer possible, I still stand by my choice without an ounce of regret. But Joyful was not so adamant. She was on the fence. She, of beautiful body and quite lustrous hair is also a walking fertility goddess. On that drive she spoke about how she might want to have babies maybe someday but not yet. Not yet.

Well that someday happened just a short time later and that ‘maybe’ was forced to become a decision. A fraught and profound choice was painfully brought to bare.

Are you a little disturbed right now that I am talking so intimately about the deeply personal issues of a dear friend of mine? Well you would, in the best world, be right in being disturbed. Because these should be personal rather than political issues. These should be personal choices rather than choices publicly debated or prohibited by law.

But it’s also okay that I am talking about this in a public way. Because my dear friend Joyful’s experience in these matters is the entire subject of her brilliant one-woman show Breed or Bust. It’s a very brave show. It’s a very meaningful and timely show. It’s also a very hilarious show. A knitted representation of the clitoris does indeed, make an appearance.

As the website states:

To breed or not to breed: that is the question award winning solo show artist Joyful Raven wrestles with in her new solo show. Blending standup and storytelling, Raven recounts her difficult reproductive “choices” and contends with her primal baby making instincts. Should she surrender to the role of weird aunty OR start a GoFundMe to freeze her geriatric eggs? With her breeding window rapidly shrinking, she reflects on her abortions, the father of her abortions and the complexity of modern womanhood. Come for the laughs and stay for the sex education…in case you forgot how babies were made.

The show is being presented by PlayGround who is “a leading playwright incubator and theatre community hub, with a core commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. PlayGround’s mission is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre, helping to launch these writers onto the national scene.”

You only have one weekend left to see it. So go.

Go you must. Get your tickets right here.

PlayGround Presents: BREED OR BUST by Joyful Raven

Directed by Jael Weisman
Sept 23 and 24th, Fri & Sat at 7pm PDT.
Live at Potrero Stage & Simulcast
Tickets: $21-50.

Get your tickets right here.

Photo by Elijah Nouvelage

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Ginger Murray

Ginger Murray

Ginger Murray is a writer, storyteller and performer. A once SF Weekly columnist, published poet and founder of a feminist magazine, she recently graduated from Mills College with a degree in History because that is what she loves. Ginger currently lives in West Oakland where the lemon trees grow.