Can't attend The Bumps: A Benefit Reading or want to donate more to Planned Parenthood? Make a tax-deductible donation HERE

AUGUST 14 & 15, 7:30 PM

By Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
Directed by Deena Selenow
Featuring Jessica Luck*, Taifa Harris*, Jennifer Blood* and Eric Clem*

22 Boerum Place
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

A love letter to ephemerality, The Bumps is a play about waiting, made for a cast of pregnant performers. The piece follows the story of three pregnant strangers in a waiting room, and then picks up a generation later to follow their daughters in a water aerobics class. It asks: How does each of us grapple with the unknown? What do we inherit from our parents? And why do people give unsolicited health tips? Interwoven throughout the play in atmospheric interludes, actors reflect on their present experiences. Behind the scenes, the play seeks to reimagine the infrastructure of theatre from the ground up - redesigning the rehearsal, production and performance processes to center around the needs of pregnant actors and families.

Nominated to the KILROYS 2016 List, The Bumps received it’s first public staging at The Skirball Cultural Center’s inaugural Performance Lab Festival (2017), through The Skirball’s National Performance Network Residency. The project has received additional developmental support from the Hammer Museum (2016/17), the Women's Center for Creative Work (2016), and Moskowitz Bayse Gallery (2016) and was developed with director Deena Selenow and artists Celia Hollander, Jennie Liu, Lena Sands and Shannon Scrofano.

*appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association

A note from the producer

The Bumps poses the question: How do we create meaning while we wait?

After this last election I was stunned. I was pretty angry at myself for not taking more action. I was deeply disappointed. Getting this play up on its feet for two nights to support Planned Parenthood felt like a perfect way to take action, in support of women’s voices and bodies in the theater and for wider reproductive justice in our country.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood provided prenatal services to 17,419 people. As a team of artists, we wanted to come together to support continued access to this care. For our pregnant actors to read a play for you that in turn, essentially sponsors a pregnancy. Or saves a life with a cervical cancer screening. Or a breast exam. That is how we create meaning while we wait.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was thrilled and then terrified at the idea that I might not be able to find work for a year. I researched roles for pregnant women and found very little, but the Bumps was exactly what I was looking for. In talking to other pregnant women or mothers about it, I was met with so much enthusiasm. They were thrilled to hear about a play that puts real pregnant bodies onstage. I was also surprised to find that across the board in our industry, I heard from women who wanted to hide their pregnancies for as long as possible because they were afraid they wouldn’t work. And not just actors, whose jobs can be very image based, but writers, directors, and choreographers. It is important to create space for people to have babies and still work in our industry- in any industry. To do the Bumps as a benefit for Planned Parenthood seemed like a beautiful marriage of art and activism. Pregnant women raising funds for reproductive care and education for those who really need it.

Jennifer Blood, July 2017

Contact Us

Questions? Want to volunteer to help? Have a great way to spread the word about the fundraiser? Email thebumpsbenefit@gmail.com


Photo of Jeanne Syquia, Cristina Fernandez and Deana Barone at the Skirball Cultural Center (2017) by Arianne Alizio

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