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Provocative discussion

Thoughtful plays can inspire thoughtful discussions, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Living Ideas series is inviting the community to consider its play, “Roe,” which explores the landmark Roe v. Wade court case on abortion, through the perspectives of history, agency and advocacy.

Community members will engage with panels of scholars, activists and educators to discuss various aspects of the Roe v. Wade decision and events leading up to it.

“These discussions are an opportunity for people to explore ideas and have meaningful conversations about a topic that resonates today,” said Robert Goodwin, OSF’s in-residence programs manager.

Lisa Loomer’s “Roe,” which tells the story of the people behind the legislative battle, was commissioned by OSF as part of its American Revolutions series of history plays that explore moments of great change in the United States. The Living Ideas series, organized by OSF’s education department, collaborates with a number of groups to provide discussion points where community members can engage with aspects of the play and share thoughts with one another.

“We’ve done our best to put together a multifaceted jewel, with multiple points of engagement,” said Goodwin. "In choosing a play for the series, there’s always one that jumps out. ‘Roe’ was an obvious choice, given the political climate and the fact that the case is in different levels of visitation within our legal system.”

Goodwin adds that he hopes the series both enhances people’s understanding of the play and inspires conversation.

“It’s a wonderful thing when people step out of their comfort zone to talk with one another and share their different points of view,” he said. “Conversations are how we connect, how we understand what it means to be human in this world.”

The schedule for the remainder of the series is below. For more information about “Roe” and the Living Ideas series, visit bit.ly/osflis.

For tickets, call the box office at 800-219-8161.

Agency

"Actions of Spirit: Faith and Roe v. Wade." Interfaith spiritual leaders discuss Roe v. Wade and how they support and counsel the decisions of their membership. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, July 15, Carpenter Hall, 15 S. Pioneer St. Tickets $12; members $10; youth 6-17, $8.

"Affinity — A Quality that Makes People or Things Suited to Each Other." Gather in community dialogue and digest “Roe,” then engage with fellow participants in Affinity Spaces. Groups will reconvene and share. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 16, New Place, 15 S. Pioneer St. Free ticketed event.

Advocacy

"What is Reproductive Justice?" What is the social and political theory behind it? Who were founding mothers of reproductive justice? Interactive panel will explore the origins, theory and framework of reproductive justice. Facilitated by Toni M. Bond Leonard, scholar-activist/reproductive justice expert, co-founder and former president/CEO of Black Women for Reproductive Justice. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, Carpenter Hall. Tickets $12; members $10; youth 6-17, $8.

"Story as Self-Care: Connect, Listen and Share." How does the sharing of an abortion experience help women, men, family and community? How do we learn to listen without judgment? Join OSF community members as they share personal and literature-based stories. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, Carpenter Hall. Free ticketed event.

Reach Ashland freelance writer Angela Decker at decker4@gmail.com.