The Washington Rogues return to the Capital Fringe Festival with a bold and timely comedy that dives headfirst into one of the most controversial debates of our time, and does so with heart, humanity and healthy dose of magic. Mitzi's Abortion (A Saints Guide to Late-Term Politics in America) by Elizabeth Heffron will play five performanes between tonight, July 12 and July 25 at The Warehouse at Fort Fringe - 645 New York Ave NW.
Twenty-two year old Mitzi Mendoza (Natalie Cutcher) is ready to start a family. Her Iraq-bound solider boyfriend Chuck (Christian Campbell) couldn't be prouder. Her mother Vera and stepfather Rodolfo (Lolita Clayton and Kevin Boggs) stand ready and waiting. But when tragedy strikes, Mitzi finds herself at the mercy of bureaucracy so absurd it could only be real.
When her unborn child is diagnosed as anencephalic Mitzi's doctor recommends inducement lest her pregnancy go on for over a year. Her insurance claim for the procedure is denied due to absolutely true regulations that no federal money, including Chucks' military insurance, go towards an abortion. Left with little choice, Mitzi and her family work to cut through the red tape and get Mitzi the medical attention she needs. With the world seemingly turned against her, Mitzi turns to guidance from her spiritual advisors, the gregarious soul of 12th Century Catholic Saint Thomas Aquinas (John C. Bailey) and Reckless Mary the anarchic shade of a burned-at-the-stake 17th century Scottish midwife. These two ghosts of the past vie for Mitzi's attention with old fashioned philosophy, rustic wisdom, and surprisingly modern opinions on contemporary women's health. With passion and style Mitzi's Abortion examines a world in which political forces and the media would rather imagine a black and white morality, leaving individuals like Mitzi to live in the real world and face tough choices.
Natalie Cutcher makes her debut with the Washington Rogues, taking on the role of Mitzi Mendoza. Natalie most recently appeared in F2F at this summer's Source Festival. Other DC theatre credits include Faction of Fools, Empty Chair Theatre Company, and The Kennedy Center's Page-to-Stage Festival. She received training from Muhlenberg College and studied clowning and mask abroad at the Accademia dell'Arte.
Elizabeth Heffron's full-length plays include New Patagonia (Seattle Repertory Theatre), Her Mother Was Imagination (Annex Theatre), and Mitzi's Abortion, which received ACT Theatre's New Play Award and a world premiere production in 2006. Since then, the play has been published by Original Works Publishing, and recently included in the Rain City anthology 'MANIFESTO v.3: Here's to a Theater of Defiance', edited by Naomi Iizuka. Her new play, Bo-Nita, will be part of the 2012 JAW Playwright Festival, this coming July, at Portland Center Stage. Short works by Elizabeth include Irreducible Howard, Pipe Play, and T-Minus, radio dramas performed before a live audience for podcast through Sandbox Radio Live! (and available for free download at iTunes); Foxy Populi, a Seattle Times Footlight Award winner; as well as Moses Lake and Birds, both Heideman Award Finalists at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She's written 3 site-specific musicals for Seattle's One Reel Productions, including Icicle Times, which featured 250 performers, two chickens, and a horse, and spawned three more years of work writing the Icicle Times Radio Hour. Elizabeth has served as dramaturg for Intiman/STG's Black Nativity, as well as ACT's Young Playwrights Festival, and the Cornish College of the Arts Winter New Works Festival. She's received several grants from the Seattle Arts Commission, and a Playwriting Fellowship from Artist Trust and the Washington State Arts Commission; and currently teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, ACT's Young Playwrights Program, and at Freehold Theatre/Lab, where she spent 5 years working with the women of the Washington Correctional Center for Women on inmate-generated performance pieces. Elizabeth is the recipient of a 14/48 Glen Mazen Award, and is a member of the Seattle Rep's Writers Group, the Sandbox Artists Collective, and the Dramatists Guild.