Kathleen Chalfant to Star in SPARE RIB Benefit Reading for the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project

Spare Rib follows two generations of abortion providers: Harriet, a member of the underground collective Jane in the early 1970’s, and Florynce, her daughter.

By: Oct. 06, 2022
Kathleen Chalfant to Star in SPARE RIB Benefit Reading for the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project
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NewYorkRep will present a special one-night-only benefit reading of Spare Rib, a new play by Winter Miller, Monday, October 24 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street). Directed by Mia Walker, Spare Rib features Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Kathleen Chalfant (Wit, Angels in America), with further casting to be announced. A talkback conversation with the participating artists will follow the presentation. Proceeds from the special event will benefit WRRAP, the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. Tickets begin at $25 and available at www.GiveButter.com/SpareRib.

Spare Rib follows two generations of abortion providers: Harriet, a member of the underground collective Jane in the early 1970's, and Florynce, her daughter who is a contemporary abortion provider. The action rockets between three distinctive eras, early 1970's, 30 years later and the present. Members of the cast play multiple roles as they time-bend and genre-bend, and naturalism collides with surrealism.

"I wrote this play because I wanted to get people talking about abortion beyond the semantics of whether to call it a baby or a fetus, or whether someone is pro or anti-abortion," says playwright Winter Miller. "When I began this play in 2013, Roe v. Wade was being steadily eroded, but most progressives were comfortable believing that legal abortion would remain so. They didn't know we were going to have to fight for our lives. To research this play, I observed doctors as they provided abortions, and in spending time with them, I became more familiar with the everyday stigmas they face beyond the walls of their clinics--not just the threats of violence, but the ongoing tension of navigating people's responses to their profession. This play is dedicated to all people who carry the torches that light the way; to abortion providers everywhere; to the memory of those whose lives were cut short because of our nation's cruelty, indifference and denial of personhood due the living."

"At NewYorkRep, we feel it is critical to utilize theater to respond to what is going on in the world around us, what is impacting our lives and the lives of others." says Gayle Waxenberg, Founding Artistic Director of NewYorkRep. "Theater safely and artistically raises awareness and helps us speak about what is difficult, it helps us pay attention and take action."

"Theatre is an especially powerful medium that humanizes personal stories and Spare Rib has done just that while creatively weaving in how abortion is a common, safe health procedure that needs to remain legal and accessible," says Sylvia Ghazarian, Executive Director, WRRAP. "WRRAP is thrilled to partner with NewYorkRep, Winter Miller, and the entire cast and crew to engage individuals to defend our fundamental human rights, reframe conversations about reproductive justice and freedom and help support WRRAP - the largest national independent nonprofit abortion fund. We are tremendously grateful, especially now, to receive proceeds that will impact the lives of so many more in our communities."

Spare Rib, a new play by Winter Miller, Monday, October 24 at New World Stages (340 West 50yj Street). Tickets begin at $25 and available at: www.GiveButter.com/SpareRib.

Kathleen Chalfant

(Harriet). Broadway: Angels in America (Tony and Drama Desk nom.), Racing Demon, Dance With Me. Off-Broadway: Four Quartets, A Woman of the World, Wit (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Connecticut Critics Circle, Obie Awards), For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, A Walk in the Woods (Drama Desk nom.), Tales from Red Vienna, Miss Ovington & Dr. Dubois, Talking Heads (Obie Award), Dead Man's Cell Phone, Nine Armenians (Drama Desk nomination), Henry V (Callaway Award). Other NY Credits: The Vagina Monologues, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Endgame, Sister Mary Ignatius..., The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador. Film: Old, Isn't it Delicious?, R.I.P.D., The Bath, In Bed With Ulysses, Lillian, Duplicity, The People Speak, Lackawanna Blues, Perfect Stranger, Dark Water, Kinsey, Laramie Project, Random Hearts, A Price Below Rubies, Murder and Murder. Select Television Recurring on "The Affair," "The Strain," "The Americans," "House of Cards," "Rescue Me," "The Book of Daniel," "The Guardian," "Law and Order" "One Life to Live"; "Madam Secretary," "High Maintenance," "Elementary," "MuhammadAli'sGreatest Fight"(HBO),"GeorgiaO'Keeffe"(Lifetime),"Voicesfrom the White House" (PBS). AWARDS: 1996 ObieAward for Sustained Excellence, 2004 Lortel Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Professional Women. 2018 Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement. She has received the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work and hold an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Cooper Union.

Winter Miller

(Playwright) Raised by activist feminist parents and schooled by Quakers, Winter Miller is surprisingly amusing. She makes and champions art to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Eartha Kitt once held her left hand for five minutes. Winter is a founding member of the Obie-winning collective 13Playwrights. She graduated from Smith College with Latin honors and holds a Masters in Playwriting from Columbia University. Her plays are published by Concord and Broadway Licensing, her autobiographical essays feature in multiple anthologies. She published a children's picture book, Not a Cat. She has worked with youth in refugee camps in Northern Uganda and Palestine and with LGBTQI+ youth in New York city making theater. Winter is profiled in The New Yorker and Bomb Magazine

Mia Walker

(Director) [she/her] is an award-winning theater and film director. In theater, Mia has been on the original creative teams of the A.R.T./Broadway productions of Jagged Little Pill, Waitress, Pippin, Finding Neverland, and Porgy and Bess; and has gone on to direct the national tours of Pippin and Finding Neverland. Off-Broadway and regional directing credits include world premieres at The Flea, Ensemble Studio Theatre, West Virginia Public Theatre, and The Encore Michigan. Mia has developed new work with The Vineyard, Bushwick Starr, Broadway Video (Lorne Michaels), Jewish Plays Project, Fault Line Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Montclair University, Premiere Stages, Bay Street Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Yale School of Drama, Audible. In TV/Film, Mia was awarded the Drama League TV Directing Fellowship, for which she shadowed on an ABC network show, and recently directed the short film Pippi, which has played at Oscar-qualifying festivals around the U.S and was a Film Shortage Daily Pick. Currently in pre-production for a music video. B.A. Harvard University.


develops and produces new plays and musicals that inspire and compel social change by telling stories that expose our humanity. By illuminating social and ethical questions through art, we strive to create provocative theater that promotes empathy, compassion, and inclusion. In order to increase access to the stories we tell, NewYorkRep, produces content across artistic mediums. NewYorkRep is a 501(c)(3) organization.


the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, established in 1991 and headquartered in Los Angeles, is the only independent 501 (c) 3 abortion fund that provides urgently needed financial assistance, on a national level, to those seeking abortion or emergency contraception. The surge of anti-abortion legislation has triggered more insurmountable financial barriers for thousands of individuals needing abortions. WRAAP's mission: To ensure that marginalized individuals of all ages, ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations can access abortion care and emergency contraception. WRAAP evaluates each patient solely on the basis of need. Once approved, WRRAP sends funds earmarked for the patient to the WRRAP-affiliate health clinic or doctor of the patient's choice. Those clinics and doctors are members of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Abortion Federation, the Abortion Care Network, and/or independent health clinics. And, we have over 700 clinics, doctors, and hospitals that we work with across the United States.


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