My proposal for OPEN

Awarded a 2006 Oregon Literary Arts Special Fellowship for Women Writers, OPEN is a full-length play about the heartbreaking and healing process of open adoption.

Women are expected to possess a biological maternal instinct; when a woman chooses not to parent her baby she is judged by a society that largely deems the act incomprehensible, even shameful.  A multitude of reasons compels a woman to let go of her own flesh and blood, and society demands justification of that choice.  OPEN is a play about the difficult journey to placing one’s baby with an adoptive family.  It paints a realistic picture of the complexity of grief, loss and gain, and attempts to answer the loaded question, “How can a mother give her baby away?”

Our society is mired in stigmas of the past when birthmothers were not allowed to know, love or grieve their babies; when adoptive parents believed severing biological ties was best; when adoptees were expected to live without their genetic backgrounds or birth stories.  OPEN sparks a much-needed collective consciousness by putting a human face on the courageous process of open adoption.

As concepts evolve new constellations of family are born.  The revolutionary idea of birthmothers and adoptive mothers side by side preparing for birth is new to our culture.  The bond that occurs when the torch of motherhood is intentionally passed to another belongs on stage where the seeds of transformation are sown and an audience can begin to grasp the depths of the experience.   OPEN delivers the message that birthmothers are deserving of our respect, and our support.

The play is set in Oregon as Oregon is considered a pioneer in the open adoption movement.


5 responses to “My proposal for OPEN

  1. post a scene! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! PLEASE! Not that I am trying to rush you or anything:)

  2. Just catching up on your blog. Are you entering for that writing opportunity on Whidbey? I hope so. You are so talented and I absolutely love your voice. I am also watching and loving L Word. I have enjoyed the character development and how imperfect they each are.
    The proposal for your play sounds fascinating. Glad you plan to honor the birth mother for her wisdom and ability to make such a selfless choice.
    We saw Obama speak with Reed two weeks before the election in CO. Wow! Our move to the NW is also tied up with the election, except the second disaster. Thank goodness we are on our way to healing as a nation.

  3. Shannon you still impress me … 🙂 Simply amazing. My cousin, after 10 yrs of infertility, decided on adoption, the stonewalls, heartaches and red tape led her to china and to her two children. One of the most basic reasons, was her fear of open adoption. Your play will be amazing.

  4. I recently finished a first draft of this play and it does not even remotely resemble the nice proposal I wrote way back when. It’s become a play about unplanned pregnancy and the toll it takes on a family. It could morph back to its open adoption origins as it develops, but for now it’s something entirely different.

  5. This all seems so dated now! But I actually do have a working draft of this play – finally. With a writing schedule of approximately 1 to 8 scattered hours every few months it only took three years to write. Nice.

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