Jane: Abortion and the Underground | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Jane: Abortion and the Underground 

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Before Roe v. Wade, between 1969 and '73, several Chicago women ran the radical group Jane, which offered relatively safe, cheap abortions. Paula Kamen's 1993 script, made up of monologues and brief scenes, is based on interviews with Jane members and women who'd had clandestine abortions, often gruesome and humiliating experiences. This play illuminates just how bad the bad old days were, but it's flat and didactic: it feels like 95 percent exposition, 5 percent drama. In Elizabeth Schwan-Rosenwald's bare-bones staging for the 20 Percent Theatre Company, most of the 11 performers manage to create real characters during the monologues, but the ensemble scenes are disastrously lacking in passion. And pity the two male actors, condemned to sainthood or slave-master devilry. --Laura Molzahn a Through 3/24: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM, Side Studio, 1520 W. Jarvis, 773-528-9488, $15.


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