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Student-Directed Play to Address Women's Reproductive Rights

Sponsored by the Boston College theatre department, What Every Girl Should Know by Monica Byrne follows the life of four teenage girls who adopt Margaret Sanger, birth control activist, as their secret patron saint. Set in a NY Catholic reformatory in the year 1914, the girls build a communal fantasy life where they travel the world and take lovers at will. "Through these imaginative stories, they reveal their abusive pasts, marred by unwanted sexual encounters with older men. Their fantasy life grows more and more elaborate until one of them discovers she is pregnant, calling into question the relationship between the fantasy world and the real one."

Directed by Cassie Chapados, MCAS '17, the show is student produced and performed. The play premieres January 26 at 7:30 p.m. and will have continued performances through Jan. 29 in the Bonn Studio Theater.

In light of recent tensions surrounding women's reproductive rights, this production is especially timely. Just this past week, President Donald Trump signed an executive action known as the Mexico City policy. In effect, the policy prohibits international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving U.S. government funding.

While it was clear over the course of President Trump's campaign that he would be a pro-life president, controversy surrounds the setting in which the executive action document was signed. Given that the document is viewed by many as a reversal of progress in women's reproductive rights, it is telling that President Trump signed it in the oval office surrounded by men.

"He wants to stand up for all Americans, including the unborn," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at his first briefing. "I think the reinstatement of this policy is not just something that echoes that value, but respects taxpayer funding as well."

Tickets and showtimes for What Every Girl Should Know are available on the Boston College theatre department's main website.

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Nicole Rodger