National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month a perfect time to talk about breasts. These conversations are exactly what you will find within the episodic play: The Rise and Fall of My Breasts, a NoHo Fringe Festival entry at The Acme Theatre, Saturday, October 24 at 4:00 and Sunday, October 25th at 5:00, 5124 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA. 91601.
The most significant issue surrounding women’s breasts is breast cancer. Examining, testing and treatment are paramount in the life or death of a woman. CDC’s 2012 statistics indicate that 224,147 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 41,150 died from breast cancer. These are cold numbers. Behind them are lives, families, triumphs and defeat. Presented within The Rise and Fall of My Breasts are a few stories depicting the struggles and triumphs with breast cancer?
Since the beginning of this year, two members of the original cast of The Rise and Fall of My Breasts have lost loved ones to breast cancer, one her wife, the other her mother. An audience member had been diagnosed with breast cancer, undergone treatment and a mastectomy, another shared that after seeing the show at age 43 was motivated to get her first mammogram. For these women and their families we humble submit The Rise and Fall of My Breasts in their honor.
The Rise and Fall of My Breasts, is based on interviews conducted with women 19 – 90. I’m full breasted! I remember my world changing when my breasts started to form. Not just physically, but I had to contend with gawking, sexual overtures; even my character was called into question as a result of having breasts.
After an examination of the impact of breasts in my life, curiosity compelled me to question whether my experiences were isolated. Conducting research and talking to other women a common thread emerged: “no matter the size: small, medium, large or non-existent, females experienced memorable life altering events associated with having breasts.” Their interviews gave birth to the play: The Rise and Fall of My Breasts. Within the play are memories of puberty, first bra, being fondle and molested, mammograms, breast feeding, mastectomies, enhancement, sexuality, homosexuality getting older and life.
“Sadly, advancement in anything that asks for a cultural shift is slow. Women’s breasts continue to be sexual, shameful, and objectified. I would love to be free to accept myself as I am, to boldly and proudly inhabit my body without shame, and to fully embrace and accept my anatomy as the beautiful and miraculous vessels that it is.” I don’t live in a vacuum, and though I have made progress in my own life, there is much work to be within me and within the world that I inhabit. For this reason I am encouraged to help others, as well as myself, be more aware of the influences that shackle women to antiquated and misogynistic precepts. Breasts are made up of fat, nipple, glands, and a network of ducts which milk can pass from.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a perfect opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the impact of both cancers; physical and social. There are runs, walks, movements, social media campaigns that involve women and their breasts. Get involved. Oh yeah, and go see The Rise and Fall of My Breasts Saturday October 24 at 4:00pm or October 25 at 5:00pm at The Acme Comedy Theatre, 5124 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood.
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