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Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: Alice Yorke Is Making Abortion Funny

The founder of the Philly-based Lightning Rod Special discusses their newest show, ‘The Appointment,’ plus reviews of ‘What the Constitution Means to Me’ and ‘Plano.’

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series and podcasts, theatre critics (and theatre besties) Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts.

This week they talk to Alice Yorke of Lightning Rod Special about their new show The Appointment. Yorke is a co-founder of the Obie-winning Philadelphia-based theatre company, which specializes in creating original works on important subjects through creative theatrical techniques. In The Appointment they take a look at the way abortion is talked about in American society. Based on their work shadowing people at real-life abortion clinics, Yorke and company use humor (dancing fetuses!) and inventive formats to discuss a topic that’s become extremely relevant in the light of constant threats to women’s bodily autonomy.

The audio of the interview is also available on the podcast, where the Friends review two shows currently playing in New York City:

What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck, at the Helen Hayes Theatre through July 21 ($49 – $169. Since the Friends last discussed it, Schreck’s love letter to the women in her family and the U.S. Constitution has transferred to Broadway (where it’s running at 99 percent capacity), has been selected as a Pulitzer finalist, and is in better shape than ever.

Plano by Will Arbery at the Connelly Theatre ($45). Three Texan sisters deal with the three abusive male figures in their lives: a slacker sculptor husband, a gay Latino immigrant, and Jesus Christ. Arbery’s play challenges our notions of time and space to create a nightmarescape brimming with humor, emotions, and creepy masked lurkers.

Then at the end of the episode the Friends discuss this year’s Pulitzer winner in drama and what it means for the American theatre (all good things, they hope!).

Download the episode here.

You can subscribe to Token Theatre Friends as a podcast via RSS feediTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or TuneIn. Or subscribe to the videos on YouTube or like American Theatre on Facebook.

Do you have a comment, suggestions for segments, or a show to plug? Contact the Token Theatre Friends via email or Twitter.

*Producer’s note: due to technical difficulties we did not discover until after we recorded, the audio in this week’s episode is lower quality than normal. We will fix the issue in the next episode. Apologies to your ears.

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