Remember Story Time at the local library when you were a kid? Labor Daze is the adult version, complete with the occasional prop, and audience participation. Story teller Rivka Willick is telling tales about birthing, something she knows a great deal about, since she is also a doula, a labor coach.
Rivka is a very sweet natured woman, someone you’d like to have by your side when the contractions hit. She shakes each person’s hand before the show starts and introduces herself. She keeps talking and says ‘we’re not theatrical here. And oh yes, I’ve started.” as people quickly shush their cell phones, the lights dim, and she settles into the rocker, made more cozy by a colorful quilt.
It turns out, there’s a lot I didn’t know about birthing. Like why we deliver in the worst possible position, the nefarious acts of the father of gynecology, and the implement for safe births kept secret for 100 years. My favorites were those original stories passed on to Rivka that ranged from birth while maurauding armies sacked and burned the farm around them, birth in the cotton fields, birth during the super bowl, birth brought on by china and the last – the story of her mother’s treasure.
Rivka knows these tales well. She’s been telling them for years. But her delivery is muted, and she sometimes pauses to search for the right word. The stories have stuck with me. I have already told them several times, so Rivak’s job as storyteller was well done. But her casual, conversational presentation belongs more in the library corner, or over the dinner table.
By the way, she is still collecting stories about birth. If you have a good one, you can see her after the show, or send it to her at [email protected]
- Running Time: 60 minutes
- Tickets: Labor Daze
- Remaining Show: Sun, July 27 at 1
- Where: Goethe Institute, 812 7th Street NW