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.