"Sacred Wombs: Honoring Marginalized Birthing Bodies"

The 4thU Artivists curated this original presentation which calls out the systemic racism causing the mortality rate among Black mothers and birthing people to rise. The piece will highlight original birth stories and true experiences with discrimination in the hospital system, featuring prominent voices from the reproductive justice movement.
This was a weekend benefit production was created as a fundraiser for Women Deliver. This staged reading was held in-person, on stage, with a live audience as well as a live virtual audience.

  • Erin Bigelow-Umar
  • Nancy Robillard
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 12 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 29, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    PTZ Cameras/Zoom
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • https://youtu.be/W0WN7cFCoig

    This is the recording of the staged reading of "Sacred Wombs: Honoring Marginalized Birthing Bodies"
Distribution Information
  • YouTube
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet, Theatrical
Director Biography

Erin Bigelow-Umar is the Creative Director of 4thU Artivists. For this show, Erin was inspired to curate this show because nothing like it exists publicly. Inspired by Lillian Isabella's play about the birth experience and Erin's own birthing experiences, she knew the unspoken Black maternal mortality crisis in the U.S. was what needed to be revealed in a powerful way, as the Artivists know how to do. This show seeks to be a wake-up call, an outrage and a call to action for us all. Returning to the stage with an in-person audience and a professional livestream option promises to bring this important production to more people than ever before. Thank you for attending this show and working to bring birth equity to this country still steeped in systems of white supremacy.

Nancy Robillard is a theatre director who has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theater, summer theatre and university productions. Her New York production work has been at the Culture Project, Vital Theatre, Directors Company, Red Fern Theatre Company, Algonquin Theatre, Theatre for the New City, and HERE. Robillard’s notable regional: Kennedy Center, Walnut Street Theatre, MetroStage, Northern Stage, Luna Stage, Gateway Playhouse, and Theater Masters national new play festival in Aspen. Robillard worked as a director and dramaturg in the Department of Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts for over 15 years. She has an MFA in directing from Illinois State University (home of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater) and has taught acting and directing at several colleges. She is currently on the faculty of the Dramatists Guild Foundation. In addition to directing, Nancy is and acting and public speaking coach.

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Director Statement

“I felt driven to produce a play about the Black Maternal Health Crisis in the United States,” Creative Director Erin Bigelow declares. “To reveal that systemic racism and white supremacy in the business of birth is what is leading to (80% preventable) death rates 4X higher among Black birthing people, and rising. We searched all over for a play about this and it doesn't exist so we had to curate it. This show speaks the truth and helps us move through these deeply heart ripping stories towards action. We are all in this and the more you know, the more you must do."