Play synopsis for two That Takes Ovaries plays
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Synopsis of the play:
That Takes Ovaries: Bold Women, Brazen Acts
by Rivka Solomon and Bobbi Ausubel
This play is adapted from the book, That Takes Ovaries: Bold Females and Their Brazen Acts (Random House), a collection of real-life experiences, first person narratives, edited by Rivka Solomon. This 90 minute play has flexibility: It is written for three actors but directors can use more if they wish; all stories in the play can be performed either as monologues or as scenes (2+ actors); the play can be performed either on a bare stage or as a full theatrical production; and, lastly, with the playwrights’ permission, some of the scripts’ stories can be swapped out for others from the original That Takes Ovaries book or from the true lives of local women in the community. No matter how it is done, the evening can be more than just a play – it can be a celebratory, festive, empowering and fun girls-night-out. Producers are welcome to make this play a fundraiser for worthy women’s causes.
Synopsis: The play opens as actors in energetic, playful movement and rhythmic sound call out “ovaries synonyms” – gutsy, bold, brazen, etc. One actor then addresses the audience, asking, “When have you ever been feisty, brave… a risk-taker?” She dramatically announces a “Call for stories,” inviting women everywhere to share their ovarian acts. In response, a flood of stories is enacted on stage – true stories of the outrageous and courageous acts of women and girls. The 20+ stories are culturally diverse, fun, sassy and often touching true tales of estrogen-powered deeds that range from playful to political, including women fighting for their human rights. The stories roller-coaster from lighter ones, such as Joani opening the country’s first sex-toy store for women and Alison’s humorously told tale of staging a “pee protest” to secure wheelchair accessible toilets on her campus, to more serious ones, such as D.H. Wu, a child in Asia, stopping her mother from committing suicide on a railroad track after years of spousal abuse. Between scenes, the upbeat music and the calling out of ovaries synonyms continues. Towards the end of the play, the audience hears from Ruchira, who risks her personal safety to help girls who are imprisoned as sex slaves in India. In turn, the usually meek prostituted girls act together against powerful pimps and the mafia to save Ruchira’s life. The last story of the play is from Rivka, the same actress who had originally announced the “Call for stories.” She reveals her own act of courage: Despite a profound disability that leaves her bedridden, she manages to write a book – a collection of women’s bold deeds called That Takes Ovaries, the book this very play is based on. In the final moments, after all the stories are complete, Rivka tentatively announces a new idea: an Ovaries open mike movement where everyday women gather to share their own true stories. To her surprise, requests for open mikes flood in from around the globe. The play reaches a climax as actors’ proclaim their courage in pithy, punchy, serious and comedic, rapid-fire ovarian acts.
Optional: After the performance, perhaps as a second act, theaters can hold their own live open mike. Women from the audience spontaneously share stories about times they acted boldly. Guys proudly brag about the ovaries in their lives – mothers, sisters, daughters. Everyone who shares gets a chocolate egg wrapped in gold foil – a Golden Ovary award.
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Synopsis of the play for GIRLS:
That Takes Ovaries: Bold Girls, Brave Acts
by Rivka Solomon and Bobbi Ausubel
This script is specifically for girls. More than just a play, this can be a celebratory, festive, empowering girls-night-out or a fun family affair (mother and daughter; father and daughter).
Synopsis: The play opens as three girls engage in a highly physical game of tag, then collapse in a heap of laughter. One actor asks, “What does a girl want; what does she need?” The stories that make up the play – a flood of girl-powered bold actions – are the answers: She wants a full life, where nothing stops her from reaching her dreams. And for that, she needs to be gutsy, courageous. Plus, having a big mouth helps. In short, she needs ovaries. Unsure, one actor asks, “Do I have ovaries? Do you?” The true narratives included in this play – the outrageous and courageous acts of teens, tweens and girls – are culturally diverse, fun, sassy and often touching true tales of estrogen-powered deeds that range from playful to political. They roller-coaster from lighter stories, such as Amy, full of bravado, jumping into the middle of an ice hockey fight and Mica shaving her legs in playful circles, to more serious ones, such as D.H. Wu, a child in Asia, stopping her mother from committing suicide on a railroad track after years of spousal abuse. Between scenes, the dance-in-your-seat music and the calling out of “ovaries synonyms” creates an energetic buzz. After all the stories are complete, the actors confirm that they do indeed “have ovaries.” The play reaches a climax as the young actors proclaim their strength and courage in pithy, punchy, serious and comedic, rapid-fire ovarian acts.
Who is the Audience: Girls, of course; teens, tweens, and younger ones coming with groups of friends on their own or with an established girls’ organization (YWCA, Girls Inc, Girl Scouts, Brownies), and, most importantly, coming with their families. Imagine mothers and daughters piling into a theater to see a positive play about being a bold girl. Who attends? Cool moms who could not take their girls to the Vagina Monologues because it was too explicit; moms who want to share a cultural (yet fun and hip) experience with their daughters; and dads who want to support their daughters to grow up in charge of their lives, even in a media-driven world awash with stereotyped (and hypersexualized) images of women.
Optional: After the performance, theaters can hold their own live open mike. Women and girls from the audience spontaneously share stories about times they acted boldly. Guys proudly brag about the ovaries in their lives – mothers, sisters, daughters. Everyone who shares gets a chocolate egg wrapped in gold foil – a Golden Ovary award.