Abortion is not a topic Americans are willing to discuss. We shout about it, we scream, we editorialize or sermonize, we pose hypothetical questions, we divide into two camps — but we never talk about it. Maybe we can't; maybe it's an issue so emotionally complex that we're incapable of comprehending it verbally. So let's dance. In Becoming Emily, a joint production between Uppity Theatre Company and a handful of very talented choreographers and actors, the true story of Emily Lyons is recounted through dance. Lyons was a nurse at the New Woman, All Women clinic in Birmingham, Alabama — the clinic bombed by anti-abortion activist Eric Rudolph. Lyons survived the bombing, but suffered massive trauma and endured more than a dozen surgeries to repair the damage done by Rudolph's nail bomb. Becoming Emily conveys her life experiences before and after the bomb, not in words but through movement. The loss of her eye, learning to walk again, the doubts, the hope, the strength she borrowed from her husband, Jeff — and looming behind it all, the reason why it happened: Because we set off bombs when we don't talk. Becoming Emily is performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (June 18 to 20) at the Black Cat Theatre (2810 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-995-4600 or www.uppityco.com). Emily and Jeff Lyons will attend Thursday's performance, and tickets for all shows are $10 to $25.
June 18-20, 2009