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SCT presents Lisa Loomer's latest rewrite of her play, 'Roe'

"ROE," Lisa Loomer's play detailing the divergent life journeys taken by "Jane Doe" and her lead attorney in the decades following Roe v. Wade, makes its Southwest Missouri debut in Springfield Contemporary Theatre's new production.
Springfield Contemporary Theatre
"Roe," Lisa Loomer's play detailing the divergent life journeys taken by "Jane Doe" and her lead attorney in the decades following Roe v. Wade, makes its southwest Missouri debut in Springfield Contemporary Theatre's new production.

The play centers on the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

Springfield Contemporary Theatre presents “Roe,” a play written by Lisa Loomer and directed by Rachel Jamieson, October 21 through November 6 in the Springfield Art Museum auditorium.

Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that enshrined a woman's right to an abortion, is still in the news nearly 50 years later.

Since first writing the play in 2018, Loomer has revised it many times. According to director Rachel Jamieson, the most recent script she was given materialized just before rehearsals began six weeks ago.

"It's been evolving as the story evolves, which is constantly happening,” Jamieson said.

Jamieson described the structure of “Roe” as similar to plays like, “The Laramie Project.”

“It's told by ‘dueling narrators': Norma McCorvey, a.k.a. Jane Roe, and her lawyer, Sarah Weddington," Jamieson said.

Those two characters are played by the same actor.

“And they have very different points of view,” said Jamieson. “They come from different backgrounds, and as some people may or may not know-- if they know their history about Norma McCorvey--she goes from one side to the other throughout the course of several decades.”

The other actors in the play portray multiple characters. One of the most versatile of the lot is Keisha McMillen.

“I play Aileen, an African American nurse from the 1970s who is very much a caretaker. Very good friends with Norma McCorvey, and [she] helps Norma throughout her abortion and the struggles of what it's like in the health care system," McMillen said.

She also plays the roles of an African American professor, a pro-choice woman, a Christian woman, and a pregnant woman.

"There are definitely going to be situations that (will) have you thinking” Jamieson said. “There's definitely content that's difficult to handle from either side, whichever side you stand on, to hear in the story. But there are softer moments and there's also a lot of humor and heart and fun, believe it or not, in this story.”

To help audiences make their way through this thorny issue, SCT will offer two post-performance discussions. The discussions will be with cast members, the creative team behind the show, and guests from Planned Parenthood following the October 23 and October 27 performances.

Tickets for “Roe” range from $12 to $32, and the two Thursday performances are SCT “Pay What You Can” nights. For more information, call (417) 831-8001 or visit

Located at 1111 E. Brookside Drive, the museum is adjacent to the intersection of National and Bennett.

Randy Stewart joined the full-time KSMU staff in June 1978 after working part-time as a student announcer/producer for two years. His job has evolved from Music Director in the early days to encompassing production of a wide range of arts-related programming and features for KSMU, including the online and Friday morning Arts News. Stewart assists volunteer producers John Darkhorse (Route 66 Blues Express), Lee Worman (The Gold Ring), and Emily Higgins (The Mulberry Tree) with the production of their programs. He's also become the de facto "Voice of KSMU" in recent years due to the many hours per day he’s heard doing local station breaks. Stewart’s record of service on behalf of the Springfield arts community earned him the Springfield Regional Arts Council's Ozzie Award in 2006.